American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of June Schedule!
Series compiled by Chris D & Dennis Bartok.
Special Thanks to: Larry Cohen; TAURUS ENTERTAINMENT; William Lustig/BLUE UNDERGROUND; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL DISTRIBUTION; John Kirk, Irene Ramos and Latanya Taylor/MGM-UA; Michael Schlesinger/COLUMBIA REPERTORY; Mark L. Lester and AMERICAN WORLD PICTURES; Quentin Tarantino; Julie McLean; Jonathan Lees and Lloyd Kaufman/TROMA; Germaine/NEW HORIZON; Todd Wiener/UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE; Bob Murawski/GRINDHOUSE RELEASING; Donald Randall; XENON PICTURES; Bill Carter.
Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise. Programs listed as double features are two films for one admission price.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date. Available tickets will be released at the door.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< June 5-11, 2003 >>>

Cheap, Fast, and Out of This World: The Untamed Age of Grindhouse and Drive-In Movies!!

Just after World War II, drive-in theatres began sprouting across America, becoming a fast-growing, viable alternative to your neighborhood movie house (remember when James Cagney as Cody Jarrett pulled into a drive-in to hide out in WHITE HEAT?) Soon, drive-ins became the refuge of droves of teenagers looking for a place to park and neck and, in between smooches, maybe drink in some of the cheap thrills up on screen. The drive-ins showed prestige studio films, too, of course, but it was pioneering companies like American Releasing Corp. (soon to become American-International Pictures) who saw the true gold mine potential of the drive-in demographic. Soon grade B, C and Z science fiction, horror, crime, juvenile delinquent and rock ‘n roll opuses proliferated on drive-in screens, with titles like CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN, IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE and KITTEN WITH A WHIP. At the same time, many formerly shiny movie palaces became third-run theatres – generally referred to as "grindhouses" -- showcasing the same kind of films you would find in the drive-ins: delirious low-budget movies made by independent American companies, or exotic (and often erotic) treasures imported from Europe. The movies themselves were strange, subversive messages from an alternate world, where traditional law and order had no meaning, women were often much more powerful than men, and issues of race, politics and sexuality exploded on-screen like incoming missiles. Drive-ins and grindhouses produced their own auteurs, low-budget masters like Jack Hill (SWITCHBLADE SISTERS, COFFY), Larry Cohen (IT’S ALIVE, GOD TOLD ME TO) and Edward L. Cahn (CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN), along with untamed icons like Pam Grier (FOXY BROWN), Mary Woronov (DEATH RACE 2000), Rudy Ray Moore (DOLEMITE) and Claudia Jennings (TRUCK STOP WOMEN). Sadly, the advent of cable TV, home video and multiplex cinemas in the 1970’s spelled doom for drive-ins and grindhouses. Now, the theatres are mostly a memory – but the movies live on, in all their rude, unsanitized, unrepentant glory!!

We’re very happy to welcome to the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian directors Larry Cohen, Richard Rush, Mark L. Lester, Vernon Zimmerman and Jack Hill, actresses Coleen Gray and Mary Woronov, and actor Rudy Ray Moore - !

 

Thursday, June 5 – 7:30 PM

Larry Cohen Tribute In Person!!

GOD TOLD ME TO, 1977, Larry Cohen, 95 min. Writer/director Larry Cohen has always been a truly independent filmmaker, fusing unique concepts and bold, in-your-face storytelling with traditional exploitation cinema. With the success of the recent PHONE BOOTH, for which he penned the screenplay, Larry Cohen is long overdue for rediscovery. In one of his most unusual shockers, GOD TOLD ME TO, Tony LoBianco is a cop tracking down a Christ-like figure influencing random people to commit murder – a warped messiah who may just be an alien from outer space! With Sandy Dennis, Sylvia Sidney, Deborah Raffin, Richard Lynch.

Q aka THE WINGED SERPENT, 1982, Taurus, 93 min. Dir. Larry Cohen. Q is a winged, resurrected Aztec deity decapitating New York citizens -- and two-bit piano player Michael Moriarty knows just which skyscaper hides its nest, info he intends to profit from, much to the dismay of cops David Carradine and Richard Roundtree. Q is a perfect example of just how well-acted and original exploitation films can be. Discussion between films with writer/director Larry Cohen (schedule permitting).

 

Friday, June 6 – 7:00 PM

KITTEN WITH A WHIP, 1964, Universal, 83 min. Dir. Douglas Heyward. Escaped reform school hellcat Ann-Margret hides out in politician John Forsythe’s house, sucking him into an undertow of sordid, violent hijinks with her maladjusted hipster friends. Not only does she jeopardize his political career and marriage, but his life as well when her pals turn out to be every bit as psychopathic as her! Purple prose beatnik/hoodlum dialogue abounds in this trash classic. With Peter Brown.

 

Friday, June 6 – 9:00 PM

Brain Damaged Bikers Double Bill – Director Richard Rush In Person!!

HELL’S ANGELS ON WHEELS, 1967, MGM/UA, 95 min.. On its release, HELL’S ANGELS was seen as one of the more credible portraits of outlaw biker life, and achieves an unusual existential aura by the time its final fiery frames unspool. An early harbinger of great things to come from director Richard Rush (THE STUNT MAN), cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs (EASY RIDER) and actor Jack Nicholson, who appears as the easygoing loner, Poet. Angels leader Buddy (played by the underrated Adam Roarke) offers alternating comradeship and prickly competition to Nicholson as they vy for the attentions of biker mama Sabrina Scharf.

THE GLORY STOMPERS 1967, MGM/UA, 85 min. Dir. Anthony Lanza. Dennis Hopper is a sociopathic loser leading a tribe of cycle-riding miscreants on a rural Southern California tour of gratuitous violence, sleazy sex and assorted perversion, in this no-redeeming-social-value masterwork. Discussion between films with director Richard Rush (HELL’S ANGELS ON WHEELS) (schedule permitting).

 

Saturday, June 7 – 5:00 PM

Claudia Jennings Tribute Double Feature!!

TRUCK STOP WOMEN, 1974, American World Pictures, 88 min. One of the most popular Playboy Playmates of the 1970’s, Claudia Jennings (1949 – 1979) brought her stunning good looks and ballsy, in-your-face spirit to the big screen in films like TRUCK STOP WOMEN, UNHOLY ROLLERS and GATOR BAIT, before her tragic death in a car accident at age 29.

With TRUCK STOP WOMEN, director Mark L. Lester delivers one of the most perfectly realized drive-in movies of the 1970’s. Hard-living truckstop owner Anna (Lieux Dessler), given to hijacking big-rigs on the side to supplement her income, goes into crisis mode when her rebellious daughter, Rose (Claudia Jennings) joins ranks with L.A. mobsters trying to take over her operation. This well-told, fastpaced story has it all: nudity, violent action and an abundance of sick humor!!

UNHOLY ROLLERS, 1972, MGM/UA, 88 min. Director Vernon Zimmerman (FADE TO BLACK) spins a fascinating behind-the-scenes roller derby yarn punctuated with raunchy humor. At-loose-ends Karen (Claudia Jennings, in her first starring role) decides being a skater beats working in the catfood cannery, and in no time is headed for a vicious rise-and-fall as a superstar roller derby queen. With Roberta Collins, Allen Vint. Discussion following with writer/directors Mark L. Lester, Vernon Zimmerman and Daily Variety film critic Todd McCarthy(schedules permitting).

 

Saturday, June 7 – 9:15 PM

Jack Hill Tribute In Person!!

COFFY, 1973, MGM/UA, 91 min. Jack Hill had already directed the ferocious Pam Grier in the women-in-prison pix THE BIG DOLL HOUSE and THE BIG BIRD CAGE, but this was the first time they worked together on home turf, and the result is one of the most spectacularly satisfying black action films ever made. Nurse Coffy (Pam Grier), her sister nearly dying from tainted heroin and her cop friend murdered by pushers, is transformed into a one woman hit squad bent on exterminating every hardcore drug dealer in Los Angeles. Mindbending! With Robert Doqui, Linda Haynes, Sid Haig and Allen Arbus.

FOXY BROWN, 1974, MGM/UA (AIP), 94 min. Dir. Jack Hill. She’s baaaad, she’s black and she’s back – Pam Grier returns in this unofficial sequel to the super-smash COFFY (the film’s original title was BURN, COFFY, BURN). This time, Grier goes undercover as a high-class hooker to smash an ultra-tacky white drug mob (bad hair, gold chains and very uptight …) Antonio Fargas (Huggy Bear from "Starsky & Hutch") co-stars as Grier’s skinny brother. Discussion between films with writer/director Jack Hill (schedule permitting).

 

Sunday, June 8 – 5:00 PM

Actress Coleen Gray In Person!!

THE VAMPIRE (aka MARK OF THE VAMPIRE), 1957, MGM/UA, 74 min. Dir. Paul Landres. Small town doctor Paul Beecher (the excellent John Beal) mistakenly takes some pills he found on a dead researcher’s body and immediately becomes addicted. Sheriff Buck Donnelly (Kenneth Tobey) connects the dots when people start turning up dead, and, before long, tormented Beal realizes he is the vampire killer. Coleen Gray (NIGHTMARE ALLEY) is his devoted nurse, hoping to stay alive as she tries to help him. A fast moving, well-acted little gem of a thriller punctuated with an awesome chills-inducing score by composer Gerald Fried (PATHS OF GLORY, THE KILLING). Discussion following with actress Coleen Gray (schedule permitting).

 

Sunday, June 8 – 7:30 PM

Atomic Age Sci-Fi Madness – Edward L. Cahn Double-Header!!

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE, 1958, MGM/UA, 69 min. Director Edward L. Cahn was one of the legendary, underrated masters of the grade-Z movie, wringing suspense, well-orchestrated action and authentic cheap thrills from drive-in staple material. IT! is no exception, and is his most famous contribution to genre film history. A reptilian Martian vampire stows away on a rocketship bound for Earth, and the crew has to use every trick in the book to kill it before it kills them. This chilling nailbiter is the film most often credited as inspiring ALIEN. With Marshall Thompson, Shawn Smith.

CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN, 1955, Columbia, 70 min. Once again, matinee master Edward L. Cahn crafts a delightfully whacked-out sci-fi monster mash. A ruthless gangster forces a misguided scientist into using his atomic zombies to murder his double-crossing enemies. Richard Denning is the police forensics doctor hot on the trail of the radioactive creatures.

 

Tuesday, June 10 – 7:30 PM

Mary Woronov Tribute In Person!!

DEATH RACE 2000, 1975, New World, 78 min. Deliciously funny, politically incorrect sci-fi/action satire directed by the late, great Paul Bartel (EATING RAOUL), chronicling the national sport of the future: a cross country road race where the wrestling-themed champions run down pedestrians to garner points!! David Carradine is Frankenstein up against homicidal rivals Machine Gun Joe (Sylvester Stallone) and Calamity Jane (Mary Woronov). Produced by Roger Corman.

SUGAR COOKIES, 1973, Troma, 90 min. Dir. Theodore Gershuny. Mary Woronov stars as an ultra-nasty porn producer who remakes innocent waif Lynn Lowry into the image of a deceased adult film star (also played by Lowry!), in this Nixon-era lesbian version of VERTIGO. Described in the Troma Films catalogue as a "sensuous melodrama" [i.e. with copious nudity]-!! Discussion following with actress Mary Woronov (schedule permitting).

 

Wednesday, June 11 – 7:00 PM

Rudy Ray Moore "Dolemite" In Person!

DOLEMITE, 1975, Xenon, 90 min. To quote the poster, "Bone Crushing Skull Splitting Brain Blasting Action!!" Super pimp Dolemite (played by Rudy Ray Moore, who created the character in his infamous comedy club sketches), aided by his squad of kung fu hookers, goes up against evil bad-ass Willie Green (D’Urville Martin, who also directed) in this low-budget classic. Peppered with Rudy’s famous toasts, martial arts skills and just plain crazy plot twists, DOLEMITE must be seen to be believed. Discussion following with actor Rudy Ray Moore (schedule permitting). Note: Rudy Ray Moore is famed for his unvarnished, uncensored and politically incorrect live appearances. No one under 18 will be admitted to the screening or Q&A!

 

Wednesday, June 11 – 9:30 PM

Italian Crime Rampage!!

MACHINE GUN MCCAIN (GLI INTOCCABILI), 1968, Columbia, 94 min. Dir. Giuliano Montaldo. John Cassavetes is pitch-perfect as McCain, a lone wolf ex-con who helps his son rip off former mob comrades Peter Falk and Gabriele Ferzetti. Things go wrong, and the gangsters hunt him down. On-the-run, McCain brings along his girl (Britt Ekland) and enlists the help of his ex-wife (Gena Rowlands), two things that contribute to his downfall in this violently riveting Italian/American co-production. Ennio Morricone did the simple but very memorable score. With Luigi Pistilli, Florinda Bolkan, Tony Kendall.

ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON (ROMA A MANO ARMATA), 1976, Grindhouse Releasing, 80 min. Director Umberto Lenzi (SPASMO, CANNIBAL FEROX) turns out one of the most gonzo, over-the-top Euro crime films you’ll ever see, a picture that compares favorably in pace and visceral impact to Kinji Fukasaku’s 1970’s yakuza thrillers. Maurizio Merli is the rules-be-damned, hot tempered cop on the trail of wisecracking hunchback "Il Gobbo" (super charismatic Tomas Milian), a psycho thief who occasionally enjoys machine gunning innocent bystanders just for the hell of it! With Arthur Kennedy, Ivan Rassimov.