Category: Monthly Series

TIDEPOINT PICTURES: ISOLATED UNITS

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Sometimes one isn’t the loneliest number. Celebrating Tidepoint’s 20th anniversary, these films find isolation in crowds, in tandem, in public and in intimacy. They focus on the uneasy choice between trusting others you’ll never truly know, or alienation if others are necessary to truly know yourself.



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SHADY
Dir. Ryohei Watanabe, 2012
Japan. 94 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26 – 10:00PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 – 7:30PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

A feature debut from Watanabe, SHADY lives up to its title, setting up a typical Japanese coming-of-age drama before sliding into something much darker. ‘Typical’ does disservice to the film’s first half – the friendship that blossoms between pudgy, shy Misa (nicknamed ‘Pooh’ by classmates) and bubbly, pretty Izumi has real intimacy and depth, but Watanabe, a screenwriter by trade, clearly knows, hits, and (more importantly) manipulates all the genre’s beats. When the tonal shift comes, it seems sudden, yet Watanabe’s carefully set the path all along.

Misa is initially confused as to why seemingly popular Izumi seeks out her friendship, only to learn Izumi’s looks have earned her the endless jealousy of all the other girls. Ostracized on opposite ends, the two find what they need in each other – joy for Misa, stability for Izumi. The nuance captured is all the more amazing as this is an acting first for both leads – Mimp*b, the pop singer playing Misa, also worked on the score. As the two girls become more deeply intertwined, tension mounts as small cracks grow into gaping voids.



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NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE
Dir. Sion Sono, 2005
Japan. 159 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23 – 10:00PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27 – 7:30PM

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A prequel/parallel to 2001’s SUICIDE CLUB, NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE is as subdued and restrained as its predecessor was frentic and gory. And yet, despite a nearly three hour run time, NORIKO’S is the more compelling film – where SUICIDE CLUB was a disjointed mystery of mass suicide, NORIKO’S follows an entire family’s unraveling after eldest daughter Noriko runs away to Tokyo. In the city, Noriko joins online friend Kumiko and becomes part of her literal surrogate family. Kumiko runs a rent-a-relative business where people can hire family members for any need – a spouse to make dinner, children for walks in the park, an ex-girlfriend to wreak vengeance on. The chat room the girls met on is the same that encouraged the jumpers from SUICIDE CLUB. Uncertain whether Noriko was one of the jumpers (the film’s timeline is nonlinear and disjointed, told from several viewpoints), her younger sister Yuka follows her online footsteps and ends up joining the family rental business as well. Their father, a newspaper detective by trade, is blindsided by his daughters’ behavior and sets off to discover what happened and get his daughters back.

The concept of family, identity, and what either can mean tilts wildly – together in the cult-like rental group Noriko and her sister communicate more playing the role of hired ‘sisters’ than they ever spoke at home, but shed their former identities and lose themselves in each character they play, with no central ‘self’. Scenes of dramatic confrontation are immediately undercut by Kumiko criticizing the others’ ‘performance’, suggesting improvements for what was presented (diagetically and non-) as earnest emotion. Though SUICIDE CLUB put director Sono on the map, NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE expands themes the former only hinted at, while deepening the mystery at the core of both.

TIDEPOINT PICTURES: DECAY VERITÉ

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Behind locked doors, in bathroom stalls, on the city outskirts, this triptych of films from Tidepoint (celebrating their 20th anniversary this year) blurs fiction and reality dredging up Japan’s carefully hidden social and moral disintegration.



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JUNK FOOD (82 min)
Dir. Masashi Yamamoto, 1997
Japan. 82 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 – 10:00PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 27 – 5:00PM

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Depicting rarely-seen sides of Japan, including corporate culture’s structural rottenness/complete indifference and the immigrant experience, the meat of JUNK FOOD is scattered, impressionist vignettes of destitute Japanese existence. Split into four parts, the film follows a meth-addicted salarywoman looking to score after running out at her upscale office, a Mexican wrestler trying to leave the country, a Pakistani man turning violently against his Japanese girlfriend, and low-level street gangs, among others. Their lives on the fringe are bookended by the daily routine of an old blind woman (the director’s mother), a grounding element in a violent, alienating world. Early digital cameras used to shoot the film add visual grain and grime to the seedy hedonism of this night in Japan’s underbelly.



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CARNIVAL IN THE NIGHT
Dir. Masashi Yamamoto, 1981
Japan. 109 min
In Japanese with English subtitles.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8 – 10:00PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – 10:00PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – 7:30PM

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A long, dark journey into nihilism, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Filmed a year before BURST CITY, CARNIVAL IN THE NIGHT leans closer to anarchic punk than dystopian futurism, but its urban grime and verité-style shooting (the film is often mislabeled as a documentary) make it feel like a precursor to cyberpunk and cousin to New York’s No Wave scene. Opening with a surreal take on Japan’s then-economic boom, the camera languidly moves through the sunny, colorful Shinjuku shopping district to the shrill sound of densely layered advertisements. It then drops literally underground into black and white at a noisy punk club, where singer Kumi finishes a set. She drops off (more like rids herself) of her young son, free now to spend the endless night wandering city streets with deranged druggie friend Papou. What they want isn’t clear; what they seek is annihilation by any means – meeting up with a bomb-makng friend, cruising male hustlers in the park, borrowing a gun with no intention of returning it. With nothing to fight for or against in an authoritarian society that won’t even deign to oppress them (there’s nary an officer to even try and stop their exploits), death seems like the only option.



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PEEP ‘TV’ SHOW
Dir. Yutaka Tsuchiya, 2003
Japan. 98 min.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – 7:30PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – 10:00PM

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Director Tsuchiya’s career has focused on the search for identity among Japanese youth, particularly the dark paths it can take.  PEEP ‘TV’ SHOW follows kids from Shibuya, Tokyo, obsessed with outward appearances and the internet, as they navigate the city. Considering this generation grew up under constant surveillance, their ingrained exhibitionism and voyeurism seems natural.

Cynical young man Hasegawa runs a website hosting his secretly-shot footage of unsuspecting people, Peep TV, in the hopes of capturing a realer ‘reality’. Gothic Lolita Moe (also the script’s co-writer) is a fan of the site, and after the two have a chance encounter on the street, she wants in on the business. As the anniversary of 9/11 draws near, the project grows increasingly darker.

Woven around actual surveillance footage and news clips and shot on DV, the film proudly wears its no-budget rawness on its sleeve. Scenes switch from talking-head documentary confessional to dramatic narrative in the same shot, and nearly everyone onscreen plays themselves. Watching and being watched are nearly interchangeable – internet porn is an obsession for sexless characters whose outfits constantly broadcast a chosen persona. A collection of events more than a thorough narrative, PEEP TV SHOW’s fragmentation works all the better to reflect the disaffection, isolation and search for meaning of this generation.

HEADSPACE 3D: AN ANIMATION SHOWCASE

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HEADSPACE 3D-an animation showcase!
Dir. various, 2007-2016.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – 7:30PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – 10:00PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21 – 7:30PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

HEAD SPACE, the program of animated shorts returns for a second year in a row, now with an added dimension! The films are created by talented 3D and stop motion artists from here in New York, and around the world. The films have mostly been created in the last 10 years, and show a gradation of approaches to 3D media from Natalia Stuyk’s “Visiter-422” which is wholly enmeshed in the digital world, to Allison Shulnik’s unique manipulations of clay in “Mound”. All the works focus on craft and dimensionality, and will include, but won’t be limited to themes that go bump inside the HEAD SPACE, such as insomnia, DIY cel phone rescue, getting lost in a digital limbo, and ABC gum.

COMPOTE COLLECTIVE: ANIMATION SHORTS FROM SOFIA

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TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 5 – 5PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 5PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – 7:30PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Compote Collective is an animation production company made up of twenty artists in Sofia, Bulgaria. They do both commercial work and creative narrative pieces, the latter receiving support from the Bulgarian National Film Center and going on to feature in festivals. In 2015, Compote Collective put together a series of six contemporary Bulgarian poems with accompanying animation called MARK & VERSE. The shorts in this series have a contemplative tempo combined with moments of wry humor, expressive human forms, and floating surrealistic creatures. MARK & VERSE is accompanied by six additional pieces from Compote Collective animators and composers. FATHER shows an impossible relationship between a child and a father in blue and gray toned landscapes rich with symbolism. ANNA BLUME is a journey of love and lust with a red gluttonous beast that uses material from Kurt Schwitter’s poem, “An Anna Blume”. Many thanks to Compote Collective, especially the kind help of Vessela Dantchev and Petya Zlatev. Total Run Time: 60 minutes.

“MARK & VERSE”:

(All poems are in Bulgarian and English, with English Subtitles)

1. PETTY MORNING CRIME
dir. Asparuh Petrov, 04’00”

2. NATURAL NOVEL IN 8 CHAPTERS
dir. Milen Vitanov, 04’01”

3. ODEON
dir. Boris Despodov, 02’47”

4. MILKMAID
dir. Ivan Bogdanov, 2015, 02’25”

5. POSTINDUSTRIAL
dir. Boris Pramatarov, 2015, 03’20”

6. 100% MOOD
dir. Dmitry Yagodin, 04’05”

ALSO SHOWING:

FATHER
dir. Ivan Bogdanov, Moritz Mayerhofer, Asparuh Petrov, Veljko Popovic, Rositsa Raleva, Dmitry Yagodin, 2012, 16’30”
In English

ANNA BLUME
dir. Vessela Dantcheva, 2009, 9’01”
In German with English subtitles

GAME
dir. Ina Nikolova, 2015, 03’10”

TASTE OF COLOR
dir. Asparuh Petrov, 2011, 01’20”

ADAPTATION
dir. Petya Zlateva, 2011, 03’00”

EASY
dir. Vessela Dantcheva & Ivan Bogdanov, 2004, 03’20”

THE GAME
dir. Dalibor Rajninger, 2012, 03’00

WHY IMITATE REALITY? THE FILMS OF MARCELL JANKOVICS

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WHY IMITATE REALITY? THE FILMS OF MARCELL JANKOVICS

It’s impossible to mistake Marcell Jankovics’ work for anyone else’s. Fluid, gorgeous, hallucinogenically colorful, his films fully exploit expressive possibilities only available through animation. Despite outsized brushes with the U.S. – part of his short film Sisyphus was used in a 2008 GMC Superbowl ad (notably nixing the rock rolling back), and pre-production on Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove (never seen after the film devolved into its “stupid, kitschy final version,” in Jankovics’ words) – the director remains criminally underknown in this country.

His deep appreciation of mythology (having written numerous books and articles on the subject) is reflected in a body of work rooted in folk- and fairytales, mining the specific, yet fleshing out to the underlying universal. Often adapting material he feels hasn’t been properly expressed in other mediums, Jankovics’ careful consideration of the emotional and psychological impact of each aesthetic element results in the definitive version of the work.

Starting at 19, he rose through Budapest’s Pannonia Film Studios from in-betweener to director in a mere five years, and continued working through governmental shifting to and from Communism. With a prolific career spanning over a half-century, Marcell Jankovics continues to produce incredible, emotional works to this day, and Spectacle is proud to present a small selection of them.

Special thanks to the Hungarian National Film Archive, and please read Cartoon Brew’s excellent (and unfortunately rare) interview with this amazing and thoughtful man.


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FEHÉRLÓFIA (SON OF THE WHITE MARE)
Dir. Marcell Jankovics, 1981
Hungary. 81 min.
In Hungarian with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – 5:00PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 – 10:00PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

A glorious work of unparalleled brilliance, FEHÉRLÓFIA melds ancient legends of the Steppe people into a kaleidoscopic rumination on the cyclical nature of time and space. Originally combining several existing folktales on time’s recurrence, Jankovics was forced to write an original story after his first script was deemed anti-Marxist (according to Marxism, time is irreversible). Raised hidden by his mare mother in the World Tree, immensely strong Fehérlófia must venture forth to find the Underworld’s entrance and, with his brothers’ help, defeat the dragons who seized power from the ancient Forefather and Progenitrix. The constantly morphing concentric images, looping back on and mirroring each other, perfectly fit a film dedicated to the early nomads. Only the second film to come out of Pannónia Studios, FEHÉRLÓFIA is a masterwork of color and story.


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JÁNOS VITÉZ (JOHNNY CORNCOB)
Dir. Marcell Jankovics, 1973
Hungary. 74 min.
In Hungarian with English subtitles.

Showing with
KUZDOK (THE STRUGGLE)
Dir. Marcell Jankovics, 1977
Hungary. 3 min.

MÉLYVIZ
Dir. Marcell Jankovics, 1970
Hungary. 2 min.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 10:00PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 – 7:30PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Commissioned by the government for the 150th anniversary of national poet Sándor Petöfi’s birthday, and based on his epic poem of the same title, JÁNOS VITÉZ is the first Hungarian feature-length animated film. Completed in a mere 22 months, the visuals blend Peter Max pop and traditional Hungarian folk art into a bright, vibrantly-hued world. The story follows titular János, whose love for country maid Iluska distracts him from shepherding. Banished from the village after losing the entire flock, he vows to return on better terms to marry his beloved. Joining a battalion of Hussars, he travels the world over (including ludicrously fanciful interpretations of Venice, Mongolia and the Sahara) on wild adventures, yet always dreaming of Iluska. His triumphant return home is shattered when he learns Iluska was worked to death by her wicked stepmother. No longer caring what happens to him, János goes on a series of increasingly dangerous adventures, hoping if he can’t live happily to at least die gloriously. Giants, witches, French court life, and drinking songs all merge and blend in this pastel chimera. Unfortunately the Hungarian government’s restoration of the film, currently ongoing, won’t be completed until sometime next year, so for now we must make do with a less-brilliant version of this dynamic tale.

The film screens with two shorts highlighting Jankovic’s gift for conveying emotion through pure visuals and texture.

SPECTACLE SHRIEK SHOW VI

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29 – ALL DAY!

Crunch a leaf, smash a pumpkin, key a car! The time is at hand. Tricks, treats, and everything in between – the 6th (!!!) Annual (!!!) SPECTACLE SHRIEK SHOW is upon us! Post up for 12ish (probably 14) hours of cerebellum boiling insanity with your favorite Spectaghouls. This year we have the premiere of Appalachian satanists, perilous board games, some rare and secret archival prints from Radical Hardware, as well as the usual who’s who of fiendish friends, shorts, songs, and surprises. After five years strong of marathons this one is truly one for the books. Don’t miss out! As always, $25 for the day or $5 each film.

NOON: THE SCREAMING SKULL
2PM: Camp Motion Pictures presents SPLATTER FARM
4PM: Junk Food Dinner presents BEYOND THE GATES
6PM: Radical Hardware presents SPARE THE ROD…
8PM: DON’T LET THE DEVIL IN
10PM: Vinegar Syndrome presents HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY 5
MIDNIGHT: Massacre Video presents WOMEN’S FLESH: MY RED GUTS

GET YOUR TICKETS!

tss_bannerTHE SCREAMING SKULL
dir. Alex Nicol, 1958
68 min, USA
In English


Newlyweds Eric and Jenni decide it’s a good idea to move back to the mansion where Eric’s first wife died under mysterious circumstances. Luckily for the couple, the grounds have been maintained by an old family friend – Mickey (director Alex Nichol) the gardener. After settling in, the already mentally exhausted Jenni begins hearing bumps/screams in the night. Is the ghost of Marianne come back to seek revenge? Is it her jerky new husband gaslighting her? Some combination of both? Hard to say, we think you can guess though. Fun fact: when the film was first released director Nichol promised a free burial to anyone who died of fright during the climax of the film.


sf_bannerCamp Motion Pictures presents: SPLATTER FARM
dir. John & Mark Polonia, 1987
70 min, USA
In English

Special thanks to Mark Polonia!


Two twin brothers (played by the filmmakers, as they are wont to do) visit their aunt at her farm seated deep in beautiful rural Pennsylvania. While they think they’ll simply be honing their green thumbs and helping their dear old auntie, things take a harrowing turn. Can you believe it? Terrible acts abound, folks are turning up missing (or worse!), and it’s revealed their aunt’s farmhand has a very disturbing set of extra-curricular activities.

The Polonia Brothers hold a special place in the hearts of us here at Spectacle. Having had a blast with FEEDERS once upon a midnight, we at the Shriek Show are honored to be blessed with showing this slab of analog insanity to an audience hungry for tape hiss and mini-Butterfingers especially hot on the heels of Mark Polonia’s new work. As always, many thanks to Camp Motion Pictures who have been down with the burning S since forever.


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Junk Food Dinner presents: BEYOND THE GATES
dir. Jackson Stewart, 2016
84 minutes, USA
In English

Special thanks to Jackson Stewart!

Two estranged brothers reunite at their missing father’s video store to liquidate the property and sell off his assets. As they dig through the store, they find a VCR board game dubbed ‘Beyond The Gates’ that holds a connection to their father’s disappearance and deadly consequences for anyone who plays it.

Cult film podcast juggernauts Junk Food Dinner (who provided commentary for the upcoming blu-ray release) and filmmaker Jackson Stewart bring a loving tribute to the evil’s of VHS and tabletop gaming to Spectacle for a special Halloween treat. Barbara Crampton (FROM BEYOND) stars alongside Chase Willamson (THE GUEST) and Brea Grant (HALLOWEEN II) in a flick certain to make you reconsider picking up the dice ever again. Also, we’ll be giving away a copy of NIGHTMARE (The Video Board Game) to a lucky audience member so you can experience the terror at home or maybe a motel that still has a VCR in it but no continental breakfast.


str_bannerRadical Hardware presents: SPARE THE ROD… (Secret 16mm!)
dir. Robert Enrico / Don Weis, 1964 / 1963
60 min, France / USA
In English

Oooooooh baby. It’s about six o’clock. The 6th annual Shriek Show is rolling right along and we are in the ZONE! The sun is setting, it’s TWILIGHT! Man it’s almost like we’re in some sort of TWILIGHT ZONE. Like you’re so comfy in your seat and you hear the soothing whir of a projector as it fires up. Yeah that’s the stuff. It’s almost like Radical Hardware is coming through the velvet curtains and screening not one but two pristine 16mm archival prints of a beloved and game-changing show from almost 55 years ago. Crazy right? Like maybe you’d be watching two works written by genre masters Richard Matheson and Ambrose Bierce. Is it an illusion? Is it a secret screening? Is it the first time in Shriek Show history we’ve had the 16mm projector out? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.


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DON’T LET THE DEVIL IN (NY Premiere!)
dir. Courtney Fathom Sell, 2016
80 min, USA
In English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAr9eiiSqf0)

After suffering a miscarriage, Newlyweds John and Samantha Harris relocate from New York City to a small Appalachian town where they become wrapped up in a nightmarish tapestry of evil.

Sell’s film eschews conventional genre and instead hops gleefully around – owing as much to the backwoods horrors of last years standout MIDNIGHT as it does to Satanic Panic mainstays like ROSEMARY’S BABY. Aided by the rolling hills and picturesque backdrop of rural West Virginia, the film lures the viewer into an expansive wilderness and then manages to trap you in it. Also featuring Ed Wood/Mark Pirro player Conrad Brooks!


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Vinegar Syndrome presents HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY 5 (New restoration!)
Dir. Richard Casey, 1985
87 minutes, USA
In English

A mysterious killer, wearing a Nixon mask, terrorizes and murders a young couple. A professor assigns his students a project investigating the strange events connected to a possibly dead Nazi scientist, Dr. Fredrick Bartholomew. The doctor’s assistant kidnaps students, holding them hostage and torturing them. Meanwhile, Nixon stalks the night!

One of the most confusing and compelling homemade horror films ever made, future music video director Richard Casey’s debut feature film, shot over years on nights and weekends, is a delirious collage of oddball gore, ludicrous plot twists, and a general milieu of weirdness unlike anything else in cinema history. Newly restored from original 16mm vault elements by the almighty Vinegar Syndrome, HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY 5 finally gets the treatment it so richly deserves. A head-scratcher of this magnitude hasn’t graced the Shriek Show screen since…well, probably last year!


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Massacre Video presents WOMEN’S FLESH: MY RED GUTS
Dir. Tomakichi Anaru, 1999
54 min, Japan
In Japanese

Director Tomakichi Anaru made a splash with his first feature and foray into the field of extreme cinema – TUMBLING DOLL OF FLESH, a pseudo-snuff nightmare – but WOMEN’S FLESH: MY RED GUTS is more of a slice of life. Like we’re seeing something we’re not supposed to see. Finger eating, tongue slicing, dismal bathroom lighting, and flashbacks flicker across the screen while you squirm in your seats. Massacre Video (a Shriek Show/Spectacle mainstay) has never been one to shy away from rare and often shocking titles – MONDO MAGIC, THE ABOMINATION, and 555, all come to mind – but this is one for the books.

Closing out this years marathon with easily one of the most grizzly entries to date, this is not for the faint of heart – consider yourself warned.


SPECTOBER V

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For the fifth year, Spectacle is proud to present a month-long, lovingly-selected series of unknown, mysterious, and shocking films from around the world. This time around includes surreal French slasher reductions, American gore classics, Yugoslavian political repression murder sprees, and a rare full cut of insanity from Mexico’s Panic movement.


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DARK WATERS (TEMNYE VODY)
Dir. Mariano Baino, 1993.
UK/Russia, 94 minutes.
English.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3 – 7:30PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13 – 7:30PM *Special Introduction by Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni*
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 – 10:00PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

DARK WATERS is the recipient of the Prix Du Public at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival and the Vincent Price Award at Rome’s Fantafestival and has been hailed as a “masterpiece of arthouse horror” by Filmmaker Magazine’s Scott Macauley and an “unholy hybrid of Bergman and Argento” by Film Review magazine.

Young Englishwoman Elizabeth travels to an ascetic convent on an isolated Eastern European island to settle the affairs of her late father, against his last wishes.  Confined by the sea and chambers of the convent, and under the ireful scrutiny of the sisters, Elizabeth experiences disorienting visions of a horror she can not recall.  Director Mariano Baino shot the footage for DARK WATERS in Ukraine just after the Soviet Union’s dissolution.  The rich cinematography and gorgeous location add to the eeriness of this Lovecraft-adjacent horror story.

Join us Thursday October 13 at 7:30pm for a special screening of DARK WATERS, introduced by actress and multi-talented artist Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, star of director Mariano Baino’s latest short LADY M 5.1 as well as his upcoming feature, ASTRID’S SAINTS, which Baino and Cataldi-Tassoni co-wrote.  Cataldi-Tassoni is known for her work in seminal European films such as Dario Argento’s Opera, Phantom of The Opera, Mother Of Tears and for her starring debut as Sally Day in Lamberto Bava’s Demons 2. Cataldi-Tassoni is also an accomplished painter, singer and musician, and her work can be viewed here.


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MADELEINE, STUDY OF A NIGHTMARE
Dir. Roberto Mauri, 1974.
Italy, 110 min.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2 – 5:00PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12 – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 – 5:00PM

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Given that writer/director Roberto Mauri’s best known for schlock like THE PORNO KILLERS and CURSE OF THE BLOOD GHOULS, the sustained unease of MADELEINE’s sun-soaked scenes seems happy coincidence rather than intentional. Similar to LE ORME, MADELEINE creates a palpable sense of dread and mystery by delaying an inevitable confrontation with reality (before throwing it away with a boiler plate twist ending). Camille Keaton’s laisse faire acting style works to the advantage of a story about a woman unable to directly acknowledge deep personal trauma, but trying to; her efforts mostly take the form of swanning around a gorgeous Italian villa seducing one man after another (if this is a nightmare, sign me up). And yet, the increasing sense her will is not her own, that her mysterious husband/lover/benefactor isn’t acting benevolently, that her very self is slipping away, turns what could have been mere softcore into a haunting look at a woman struggling with her own id and losing.


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SCREAM BLOODY MURDER
Dir. Marc B. Ray, 1973
USA, 90 Minutes

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 – MIDNIGHT

GET YOUR TICKETS!

A troubled young man with a hook for a hand (he lost it as a boy while killing his father with a tractor) and a serious aversion to sex murders anyone who gets in the way of his love for a prostitute in this grimy slasher flick from 1973.  Much in the vein of films like “The Witch Who Came From the Sea” and “Criminally Insane,” “Scream Bloody Murder” seems to have crawled directly from the gutter, (though actually it was made by the writers of Ann-Margret and Raquel Welch TV specials) with a warped internal logic that effectively drags you into it’s bleak, blood-drenched world.  From the creators of “The Severed Arm.”


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LA MANSION DE LA LOCURA (THE MANSION OF MADNESS)
Dir. Juan López Moctezuma
Mexico, 99 min.
In English (originally shot in English, dubbed into Spanish)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 – 5:00PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 – 10:00PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
Beginning with Poe’s story The System Of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, in which a reporter visits an asylum to discover the system by which the insane and the caregivers has become a bit muddled, we enter into a place where political satire and surrealist horror blend into a truly astonishing film, where a man becomes a chicken, the body becomes a musical instrument, and nothing is ever as it seems. Director Juan Lopez Moctezuma (ALUCARDA, MARY MARY BLOODY MARY), a member of Mexico’s Panic movement alongside Alejandro Jodorowski and Fernando Arrabal: the three having worked together on FANDO Y LIS, which should give you some idea of what you’re in for. Led by the great Claudio Brook (CRONOS, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL) as the mad Dr. Maillard (as well as Raoul Fragonard), the film is as a dream, a ritual, a series of living tableaux. Describing the plot would be to cheapen the film, but it’s worth noting no less than Leonora Carrington served as art director. We are honored to present this film in its longest known cut, with the original English dialogue, miles from public domain cuts. Those expecting cheap horror will be disappointed; those expecting clarity will be confused, those with eyes to see will behold a revelation.


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FOLIES MEURTRIERES
Dir. Antoine Pellissier, 1984
France, 47 min.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 – 10:00PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 – 10:00PM

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The slasher film, like any genre, has various approaches. From the baroque excess of its giallo roots to the meta-awareness of the Scream series, from scuzzy video nasties like The Toolbox Murders and Don’t Answer The Phone! to the satirical aspects of The Slumber Party Massacre, there’s a variation for any taste, so long as your tastes lead to seeing people get killed. It can also be stripped down to its most minimal elements: 80s synth dirge, long POV shots and gruesome set piece murders. That’s what FOLIES MEURTRIERES provides: the slasher boiled down to a kind of dead-eyed late-night trance, all VHS tape hiss and HG Lewis-style gore effects and zero relateable character development or or wisecracking comic relief. Anyone looking for a well-written mimetically plausible story won’t find it here: this is homemade murderdrone haze. Information on this film is sparse, which may be for the best; it’s a film that you might pick up from a box of unmarked VHS tapes on a streetcorner only to discover diseased dreams of torment and bloodshed stained onto magnetic tape. We will say director Antione Pellissier’s day job is medical examiner, which is fitting for a film far closer to Grand Guignol than the action-film-jump-scare world of contemporary horror.

“The woozy, warped tape of Folies Meurtrieres has no subtitles. That’s okay, as there are maybe five lines in the film that aren’t a narrator reading off the date of the murder you are about to see. The 47 minute film is just that: a series of murders without context or plot, and within each murder sequence lies a different variation on the classic slasher scenario.” -Peter Galvin, MURDERDRONE


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THE APE WOMAN
(aka LA DONNA SCIMMIA)
Dir. Marco Ferreri, 1964
Italy/France, 100 min.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18 – 10:00PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 – 5:00PM

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By means of disclosure: THE APE WOMAN is not a scary movie per se, but rather a withering satire of masculinist culture, the apparatus of “freak show” exploitation, and the tacit racisms of the so-called Western World. (Who would expect anything less from Italian auteur Marco “DILLINGER IS DEAD” Ferreri?) Annie Giradot stars as the nominal donna scimmia Marie, a beautiful young woman suffering a rare condition that covers her body with long, thick hair – based on the real-life case of Julia Pastrana, whose hypertrichosis terminalis left her resembling a cross between simian and human. She comes under the thumb of an opportunistic lout played by Ugo Tognazzi, who begins to make big plans for the two of them – showing Marie off, concocting bogus tales about her discovery “in Africa”, training her to whoop and holler for the audience.

Via Marie’s prolonged expectations and unfulfilled hopes, a tender and devastating parable ensues, a study in gender relations (to say nothing of the Italian Catholic church) and the politics of what is/isn’t “scary” according to 20th century showmanship. THE APE WOMAN still has plenty to say, and fits alongside THE SEED OF MAN and BYE BYE MONKEY as one of Ferreri’s blistering works that’s long overdue for reevaluation.

“The only redeeming feature of this oddly distasteful film is the fact that a certain haunting pathos does emerge from it.….It is evident that the censors have used their shears on this film. The producer should have beat them to it. He should have used shaving cream.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

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DÉJÀ VU (VEC VIDJENO)
Dir. Goran Markovic, 1987
Yugoslavia, 102 min.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3 – 10:00PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30 – 5:00PM

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Déjà vu concerns a troubled piano teacher, Mihailo (Mustafa Nadarevic), and his efforts to come to terms with reality through a love affair with a poor but industrious girl, Olgica (Anica Dobra). When she dumps him for a younger boyfriend (hoping to make a political career in the Communist Youth organization), Mihailo is overrun by the ghosts of his past and begins a killing spree. Flashbacks which explain the killer’s motivation are intrinsic to the film’s central idea. The apparent contrast between the past and the present becomes a parallel, thanks to the clever transitions between shots. Mihailo becomes unable to distinguish the ‘reflections’ of the past upon his own present, and is thus driven over the edge.

Written by Ghoul via IMDB

TIDEPOINT PICTURES: WEIRD WORLDS

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Tidepoint Pictures, specializing in bringing contemporary and cutting-edge Asian films to North American audiences, turns 20 this year. As part of the celebration and in the spirit of Halloween, Spectacle presents a selection of Tidepoint films that go beyond (or directly mock) typical JHorror while showcasing Tidepoint’s diverse catalogue.


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IDOL IS DEAD
Dir. Yukihiro Katô, 2012
Japan, 63 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

Real-life J-pop anti-idol group BiS (Born idol Society) star in a perfect showcase for their aggressive parodying of all things idol. Starting off meta, BiS play failed idols despondently working as hostesses at a sleazy café. After not-so-accidentally dispatching their more successful rivals in a rumble gone wrong, BiS realize they can turn murder-lemons into success-lemonade by posing as the now-dead group. They’re going to sing, dance, and claw their way to stardom one supermarket opening at a time, and the only thing that can stop them is the mad-scientist-resurrected, extremely pissed lead singer of the original group! What price idoldom? Featuring gore, depravity, and the bubbliest J-pop this side of a knife fight.

SCREENING WITH:

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SANGUIVOROUS
Dir. Naoki Yoshimoto, 2011
Japan, 53 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

Wearing a debt to Dreyer’s silent classic VAMPYR on its blood-soaked sleeve, SANGUIVOROUS is a highly stylized tale told through text and textures, an impressionist fever dream of a young woman’s realization she’s related to an ancient vampire clan. Kidnapped by older vampires, all consume and are consumed by blood and darkness.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – 7:30PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 – 7:30PM

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WOMAN OF MUD (ANG BABAENG PUTIK)
Dir. Rico Maria Ilarde, 2000
Philippines, 105 min.
In Filipino/Tagalog with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 – MIDNIGHT

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Recently graduated and with a sexy San Francisco trip just around the corner, medical student/Olympic-level archer Mark just wants to get away from it all to focus on his true passion, writing horror about limb-severing serial killers. But when he finally hikes to his uncle’s dissident safe-house in the boondocks, he’s struck with a severe bout of writer’s block. As thanks for rescuing him from the local junta, scrub magician Ben gives Mark a magic seed he promises will be the answer to his needs, but cautions him to not be deceived by appearances or plant the seed during a full moon. In a fit of blue-balled inebriation, Mark plants the seed during a full moon. It grows and hatches into a beautiful, mute muse he dubs Sally who immediately cures both of Mark’s problems. But soon, local villagers begin disappearing, and Mark notices Sally prefers raw meat to his delicious dishes…Featuring excellent gore effects, gorgeous countryside, and lots of home cooking, WOMAN OF MUD is an underseen creature-feature gem.


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THE GUARD FROM UNDERGROUND (aka SECURITY GUARD FROM HELL)
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1992
Japan, 96 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 – 5:00PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13 – 10:00PM

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Unfairly derided as a generic slasher flick ground out before Kiyoshi Kurosawa moved on to better-known and -received works, including CURE and PULSE, THE GUARD FROM UNDERGROUND features all Kurosawa’s signatures in nascent form – loneliness and isolation amid the everyday, dingy, banal locations made haunting, terror stemming from the gloom and nihility of human existence rather than shock or gore. Art historian Akiko begins her new job at a corporation the same day as an immense security guard, who happens to match the description of a murderous sumo wrestler released due to an insanity plea. The outsized antagonist is a true void – stating no one truly believes people like him can exist and repeatedly telling people not forget him, he’s a walking warning monsters are real and around us.

Kurosawa’s penchant for layering on social commentary is also present –  Akiko’s corporation is so large it outsources and doesn’t control its own security, and her department, hastily thrown together to buy and sell art as commodity, technically doesn’t exist. All this housed in a sallow, sickly building constantly trapping its occupants even without the help of a vicious killer. Kurosawa once named Hitchcock and Ozu as his influences, and GUARD FROM UNDERGROUND’s direct blend of moody atmosphere and meat-and-potatoes suspense lands squarely between them.



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TETSUDON: THE ABCS OF FOOL JAPAN
Dir. Various, 2016
South Korea/Japan/Hong Kong, 105 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 – 7:30PM

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Comedy film fest TETSUDON put together an anthology of 26 ‘foolish’ films by 26 different directors. Japan and ‘Japan’ are covered in full, with kaiju, anime, salarymen, panty shots, calligraphy, samurai, gothic loli, bushido, and everything else from A-to-Z thrown into the mix. Audience participation’s encouraged:

After all of the 26 short films are over, the ending credits come up soon.  During the credits rolling, you can see all of the films’ images from A to Z again.  At that time, if your favorite comes up, please clap your hands.  If a damn film comes up, please say “Boo”!  That’s the way the producer wants you to enjoy until the end mark.

So, let us know which ones you liked!

FOLIES MEURTRIERES

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FOLIES MEURTRIERES
Dir. Antoine Pellissier, 1984
France, 47 min.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 – 10PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 – 10PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

The slasher film, like any genre, has various approaches. From the baroque excess of its giallo roots to the meta-awareness of the Scream series, from scuzzy video nasties like The Toolbox Murders and Don’t Answer The Phone! to the satirical aspects of The Slumber Party Massacre, there’s a variation for any taste, so long as your tastes lead to seeing people get killed. It can also be stripped down to its most minimal elements: 80s synth dirge, long POV shots and gruesome set piece murders. That’s what FOLIES MEURTRIERES provides: the slasher boiled down to a kind of dead-eyed late-night trance, all VHS tape hiss and HG Lewis-style gore effects and zero relateable character development or or wisecracking comic relief. Anyone looking for a well-written mimetically plausible story won’t find it here: this is homemade murderdrone haze. Information on this film is sparse, which may be for the best; it’s a film that you might pick up from a box of unmarked VHS tapes on a streetcorner only to discover diseased dreams of torment and bloodshed stained onto magnetic tape. We will say director Antione Pellissier’s day job is medical examiner, which is fitting for a film far closer to Grand Guignol than the action-film-jump-scare world of contemporary horror.

“The woozy, warped tape of Folies Meurtrieres has no subtitles. That’s okay, as there are maybe five lines in the film that aren’t a narrator reading off the date of the murder you are about to see. The 47 minute film is just that: a series of murders without context or plot, and within each murder sequence lies a different variation on the classic slasher scenario.” -Peter Galvin, MURDERDRONE

BORO IN THE BOX

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BORO IN THE BOX
Dir. Bertrand Mandico, 2011.
France. 40 min.
In French with English subs.

LIVING STILL LIFE
Dir. Bertrand Mandico, 2012.
France/Belgium/Germany. 15 min.
In French with English subs.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9 – 7:30PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20 – 10PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29 – 7:30PM

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Bertrand Mandico might be one of the last great surrealist filmmakers in operation. His films occupy a unique area of the fantastic uncanny, where babies may be born encased in wooden crates, and artificial natural environments erupt into the colors and signs of deepest dreams. But the look and feel of his world is all his own. His “Incoherence Manifesto” sheds some light on a methodology which favors all manner of the unnatural and anti-real, along with all in-camera effects shot on expired film stock and a refusal of the cinematographic rationality of narrative and genre. And yet his films are far from abstract or storyless. Instead, they tell entrancing stories of twilight lives spent in pursuit of macabre marvels.

BORO IN THE BOX is Mandico’s ostensible biopic of Polish animator-turned-eroticist Walerian Borowczyk. But where we might expect a biopic to dramatize the rough facts of a life, Mandico’s, instead, seems to express only the seething subconscious of Borowczyk’s speculative formative experiences and artistic impulses. The results may be the only biography that’s truly up to a filmmaker as singular as Borowczyk: an alphabetical series of phantasmagoric tableaux on the voyeurism of film, psychosexually-fraught familial relationships, and the struggle to create. O, of course, is for Obscene, but that doesn’t even begin to cover it.

The film will be accompanied by one of Mandico’s finest shorts to date, LIVING STILL LIFE, also taking on the story of an idiosyncratic artist. Frequent collaborator Elina Lowensohn (who also plays Borowczyk’s mother) appears as an outsider animator who uses her art to briefly resurrect dead animals recovered from a virulently-colorful wilderness of autumnal decay. Like BORO, the film follows a determined structure, a progressive increase in stakes as she pursues larger and more serious subjects. Meanwhile, a stranger looks on, awaiting the moment to precipitate a haunting final act.