BEST OF BEST OF SPECTACLE

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Each year in December or January, Spectacle selects some of our favorite films that we’ve shown over the past 12 months for our “Best of Spectacle” series. This year we are starting a new tradition; to celebrate Spectacle’s first five years in existence, we will present some of our favorite discoveries from past installments of “Best of Spectacle” and feature them each month throughout 2016 as part of “Best of Best of Spectacle”.

As we look forward to our next five years, Spectacle would like to acknowledge the audiences, artists and distributors who have pitched in their support, vision and feedback. Thank you for five brilliant years!

October: Bakeneko: Spirit of Vengeance / The Snow Woman
September: Viy / Head Against the Wall
August: Women in Revolt / Riddles of the Sphinx / Extreme Private Eros
July
: Naked Killer Dorothea’s Revenge Boxer
June: Don’t Deliver Us from Evil / School of the Holy Beast / Der Fan
May: Go Down Death / Digital Man / The Killing of America / Death Promise
April: Hawk Jones / Little Marines
March: Final Flesh / Magic of the Universe / Marquis / Themroc
February: Les Saignantes / Behindert / The Monster and the Stripper / The Red Squirrel / Offshore TV
January: Panelstory / The Shining Backwards and Forwards and Inwards and Outwards in High Definition Anaglyph 3D / Devilhelm


THE SNOW WOMAN
aka Kaidan Yukijorô
Dir. Tokuzô Tanaka, 1968
Japan, 79 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – 5:00 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17 – 10:00 PM

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The story of Yuki-Onna, the Snow Woman, who kills any man who sets his eyes upon her, is best-known to western audiences as one of the segments in Masaki Kobayashi’s 1965 portmanteau horror classic KWAIDAN. Made just three years later, Tokuzô Tanaka’s poetic and haunting feature-length interpretation adheres to the basic outline of the folk tale (which is also referenced in Kurosawa’s DREAMS), infusing it with added emotional depth and political subtext and one-upping Kobayashi’s version with some truly inspired and terrifying set-pieces.

Shigetomo, a master sculptor, and his apprentice Yosaku set out for the Mino Mountains to find the suitable wood from which to carve the Buddhist statue for the state temple. Caught in a blizzard, they take refuge in a hut, where the Snow Woman finds them asleep. She murders the sculptor but, struck by Yosaku’s “youth and beauty”, impulsively decides to spare him if he promises to never tell anybody what he witnessed. He returns safely to his village but soon falls in love with a new arrival named Yuki, who is really the Snow Woman disguised as a human.


BAKENEKO: A VENGEFUL SPIRIT (aka THE CURSED SWAMP)
Dir. Yoshihiro Ishikawa, 1968
Japan, 86 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 – 7:30 PM

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Lord Nabeshima, who rose to power by murdering his master, demands that the young Yujiki become his concubine. When she refuses to submit, he murders her and her fiance Yuki. Yujiki’s cat consumes her blood and becomes her avenging spirit, possessing one of Nabeshima’s wives and murdering his vassals, his concubines and his only son.

Ishikawa was one of the writers of BLACK CAT MANSION, and though he directed few films, Bakeneko displays directorial genius. Beginning in a quietly haunting vein reminiscent of UGETSU, BAKENEKO descends into a nightmarish parade of splattered blood, decapitations and ghosts gnawing on severed limbs.


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VIY
Dir. Konstantin Yershov and Georgi Kropachyov, 1967.
Soviet Union. 78 minutes.
In Russian with English subtitles.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 – 10:00PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 -10:00PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – 7:30PM

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A young student must pray for 3 days over the body of a recently deceased woman – believed to be a witch – while her restless spirit and a gang of ghouls temp, prod, and terrorize him to no end. Based on the story (also called Viy) by Nikolai Gogol, the film boasts some excellent effects work and a beautiful score.


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HEAD AGAINST THE WALL
(aka LA TETE CONTRE LES MURS)
Dir. Georges Franju, 1959.
France. 95 min.
In French with English subtitles.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – 10:00PM

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Anouk Aimee. Charles Aznavour. A shimmering black motorcycle jacket. Georges Franju’s Head Against The Wall taps into cinema’s inherent attractions but renders its own utterly untenable, less a cautionary tale than a smoldering portrait of loss. Behind the gates of a countryside sanitorium lives young Francois (future filmmaker Jean-Pierre Mocky), the hotheaded son of a stuffy lawyer – a wild one in the Brando tradition on the outside, bored to sedation within. Francois knows he’s sane, but while waiting for this latest convulsion of The System to pass, all he can do is look at the people around him – and now, without the comfort of his on-and-off girlfriend Stéphanie (Aimee), his visage isn’t pretty.

Blessed with the same magisterial stillness and dark beauty that gave Eyes Without A Face its inimitable power, Franju’s feature debut is both straightforward and serpentine. The screenplay (adapted from a Herve Bazin novel) posits man’s place in society as anything but certain; as Francois seeks validation from parties neutral to his domineering father, his individuality seems to vanish. What develops is not a critique of doctors or hospitals, but instead of French paternalism at large. Under the heel of a society founded on class expectations, Francois doesn’t lose his freedom so much as he realizes it never existed in the first place.

“He seeks the madness behind reality because it is for him the only way to rediscover the true face of reality behind this madness… Let us say that Franju demonstrates the necessity of Surrealism if one considers it as a pilgrimage to the sources. And Head Against The Wall proves that he is right.” – Jean-Luc Godard, Cahiers du Cinema

“Whether it’s the weird, eerily erotic gaze of a female inmate or a strange gathering of doves or a cityscape by night that seems as dank and claustrophobic as the asylum walls themselves, Franju’s mastery and palpable adoration of effect is ever evident.” – Glenn Kenny, The Auteurs



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WOMEN IN REVOLT
Dir. Paul Morrissey, 1971.
USA, 97 min.
In English.
MONDAY, AUGUST 8 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 14 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19 – 5:00 PM

Featuring Candy Darling, Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn and Jane Forth. With music by John Cale.

What do you mean “Come down off the trapeze and into the sawdust”? That’s circus talk.

Three of the most indelible transgender icons of all time play militant feminists in this incredible film, which is so much more than parody. Jackie Curtis and Holly Woodlawn have had it with men and their foul ways, so they join a militant feminist organization called PIG (Politically Involved Girls). Candy Darling is a wealthy socialite from Park Avenue (or Long Island – they can’t keep it straight) who they draw into the group to give it legitimacy, but it turns out that she’s having an incestuous relationship with her brother. Regardless, the three quickly become enemies: “I could just plunge a knife right into her back.” “Oh no, it’s too bloody!” “Well, I could do it and just not look.” Holly Woodlawn becomes a Bowery bum and Jackie Curtis can’t stop hiring male prostitutes, while Candy becomes a famous actress: “I’m sick of incest and lesbianism. I’m ready for Hollywood.”

After Women in Revolt previewed on 59th Street, it was protested by a feminist organization, who mistook the film for a caricature of feminism rather than a caricature of the popular discourse around feminism, not to mention a caricature of traditional gender roles. Candy Darling reportedly declared, “Who do these dykes think they are anyway? Well, I just hope they all read Vincent Canby’s review in today’s Times. He said I look like a cross between Kim Novak and Pat Nixon. It’s true – I do have Pat Nixon’s nose.”



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RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX
Dir. Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, 1977.
UK, 92 min.
In English.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5 – 5:00 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 25 – 7:30 PM

Laura Mulvey, author of the seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, helped to establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study. With Peter Wollen, she directed one of the most visually stimulating, theoretically rigorous films to emerge from the 1970s. RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX is a landmark fusion of feminism and formal experimentation that seeks to create a non-sexist film language. Its title figure, the legendary creature of antiquity, terrorized Thebes and self-destructed only after Oedipus correctly answered her riddle. Invoking and challenging traditional interpretations of the Oedipus story as a movement from matriarchal culture to patriarchal order, the film also probes representation in film itself. The central narrative section, about Louise, a middle-class woman, and her four-year-old daughter Ana, is an inquiry into the arbitrary nature of conventional film techniques that captures Louise’s struggles with motherhood in a patriarchal society. — Women Make Movies

Special thanks to Women Make Movies.



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EXTREME PRIVATE EROS: LOVE SONG 1974
Dir. Kazuo Hara, 1974.
Japan, 98 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 4 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 30 – 10:00 PM

Shot over several years, EXTREME PRIVATE EROS: LOVE SONG 1974, a documentary about Hara’s ex-lover was a clarion call against a historically reserved Japanese culture. The film follows Miyuki Takeda, Hara’s ex and father of his son, as she navigates new relationships (first with a woman, and then with an American GI in Okinawa), raises her son, and explores life in 1970s Japan as an outspoken feminist. But the film isn’t just a portrait of the vulnerabilities of a radical feminist single mother, in a time when that wasn’t heard of; Miyuki often takes the opportunity of being filmed by her ex to let loose with what she really thinks about him as a partner, as a lover, and as a filmmaker.

As well as a portrait of two complicated, damaged people, the film is a portrait of Okinawa as a dysfunctional city, damaged by two decades of American military presence. Hara films the GI bars and the underage prostitutes that frequent the bars for business. Hara takes a detour into the life of a 14-year-old “Okinawa girl” Chichi, whose life converges and diverges from Miyuki’s story in intriguing ways.

Released around the same time as the groundbreaking PBS series An American Family (and predating the similarly-themed SHERMAN’S MARCH by a decade), EXTREME PRIVATE EROS takes a long, hard look at gender roles, romantic relationships, and what it means to be a family in 1970s Japan. Hara’s out-of-sync sound and hand-held photography are disorienting and intimate at the same time, giving the feel of an experimental film to a film with very real content. The results are bitter and sometimes hard to watch, but always compelling.

Special thanks to Tidepoint Films.


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NAKED KILLER
Dir. Clarence Fok Yiu-leung, 1992
Hong Kong, 93 min.
In Cantonese with English subtitles.
FRIDAY, JULY 1 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 8 – 5:00 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 12 – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 19 – 10:00 PM

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A gleefully sleazy, over-the-top CAT III camp romp about dueling lesbian contract killers and the impotent policeman caught in the middle, NAKED KILLER is a joyous ode to all things (s)excessive.

Following a traumatic crime bust gone awry, Hong Kong cop Taninan can’t seem to perform in the line of duty or in the bedroom… until he meets the enchanting seductress/killer Kitty. Their tango is soon cut short by Sister Candy, a veteran assassin who snatches Kitty away and teaches her the ways of professional execution and how to tap into her sensual side. Almost just as quick, two of Sister Candy’s previous students show up to murder their former teacher, prompting an all-out lesbian assassin war.

With tongue planted firmly in-cheek, director Fok Yiu Leung crosses titillating eroticism with a strong sociological undercurrent denouncing male piggishness. But he also knows how to entertain, and wildly so: copious amounts of milk drinking, dick slicing, office shoot-’em-ups, underwater knife fights, and Skinemax soft-core lesbian playfulness all wrapped up in a engrossing amount of 90s neon bliss… it’s all here and then some.

This is the 1992 summer action blockbuster you deserve.

“Imagine the erotic world of Basic Instinct exaggerated into a kung-fu cartoon of sexy lesbian avengers executing quadruple leaping somersaults in a deadly assault against the opposite sex.” —The New York Times

“John Woo on acid… Naked Killer breaks Mach 5 within the first 10 minutes and never lets up. Bursting with colorful lighting, angles, and set pieces, it’s a panoply of Nineties sex and violence, decadence for decadence’s sake, with little moralizing thrown in. A genuine crowd-pleaser…” —The Austin Chronicle

“It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before… a stylized girlie graphic novelization of psycho hot babe killers as channeled through and re-imagined by Quentin Tarantino… Naked Killer is girl power gone gonzo, a geek’s wet dream doused with libido lightening messages about Chinese society’s misogyny.” —Pop Matters


DOROTHEA’S REVENGE
aka Dorotheas Rache
Dir. Peter Fleischmann, 1974
West Germany/France, 92 min.
In German with English subtitles
TUESDAY, JULY 5 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, JULY 11 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 22 – 10:00 PM
SATURADY, JULY 30 – 10:00 PM

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The shortlist of fans for Fleischmann’s sex satire is nothing to scoff at. Among its most ardent fans were several household names of European arthouse: Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Claude Chabrol. Then there’s the post-surrealist group the Panic Movement (comprised of Fernando Arrabal, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Roland Topor) who liked the film so much that they even decided to bestow upon the film a little reward—the “prix du group panic.”

Dorothea is a 16-year old girl from Hamburg, brought up in a typical, bourgeois family. This changes one day when she comes down for breakfast and her parents find her completely disheveled—a Martian has just raped her. So begins Dorothea’s sex odyssey, as she seeks to understand her body and its various uses in an incereasingly consumerist society. The key to the film is that she approaches these question of sex with every ounce of naiveté common to a young girl. She tries to make softcore porn with her friends, and when that doesn’t work, she gives prostution a turn, and so on and so forth. There’s seemingly no end to this excursion.

Fleischmann proved that he could produce biting political commentary within the confines of fiction in HUNTING SCENES FROM BAVARIA. Eschewing the traditional narrative scaffolding and riding on the back of a sex wave in European cinema—Vilgot Sjöman’s I AM CURIOUS (YELLOW), Dušan Makavejev’s WR: MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM, and the films of Walerian Borowczyk are key predecessors—Fleischmann enlists a slew of experimental techniques, like having the characters routinely break the fourth wall and construing a hodge podge of stylistically contradictory scenes, from conversations with Christ on the cross to BDSM rituals. Moreover, humor is a constant presence, something that can’t be said for many of the period’s Eurotrash sexploitations. In one scene, there’s a shot of three men getting an erection, played to brassy, courtly music. It’s the promise of entertainment that gives an otherwise powerful political satire its enduring glow.


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BOXER
Dir. Shûji Terayama, 1977.
94 min. Japan.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 13 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 23 – 10:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 – 10:00 PM

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Dense with glorious tints and nail-biting moments, Shûji Terayama’s Boxer pits avant-garde and crowd-pleaser sensibilities against each other with downright jugular results.

The story is old as sin: a withered ex-champion, fueled by bitterness and drink, takes a young drifter under his wing. In a society that rewards cowardice and conformity, the student’s values are shaken by his mentor’s discipline and focus, but it’s hard to tell if the retired boxer is steady, or just plain berserk.

Spectacle favorite Terayama (Pastoral, Emperor Tomato Ketchup), who wrote boxing commentary as a hobby between plays and movies, gives the story a dazzling palette and lightning swiftness, but also a necessary sense of respect for the body – and the weight of its punishment.


DON’T DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Dir. Joël Séria, 1971.
110 min. France.
In French with English subtitles.
FRIDAY, JUNE 3 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, JUNE 12 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 16 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, JUNE 27 – 7:30 PM

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“Really about the obsessive nature of female friendship, of girls suffering a tedious, square world filled with hypocrisy and becoming hopped up by literature and the forbidden and hellfire and all the stuff that’s so intense when you’re 15, [DON’T DELIVER US FROM EVIL] is a fiendish paean to the freaky bad girl—girls who, when staring into that bland void would rather, quite literally, burn out than fade away.” —Kim Morgan, Sunset Gun

Special thanks to Pete Tombs and Mondo Macabro

Trigger warning: attempted sexual assault of a minor


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SCHOOL OF THE HOLY BEAST
Dir. Norifumi Suzuki, 1974.
91 min. Japan.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
FRIDAY, JUNE 3 – 5:00 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 23 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, JUNE 27 – 10:00 PM

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Special thanks to Nico B and Cult Epics.

Something foul is afoot at the Sacred Heart Convent, as Yumi Takigawa discovers after cloistering herself to search for traces of her mother, who had disappeared into the monastery years before. Once there, she becomes privy to dark secrets and sadistic games. In the hands of brilliant director Norifumi Suzuki, Sacred Heart is a wonderful and terrifying world of sensuality and violence rendered with masterful visual panache. Equally notorious for its exploitational extremes as its stunning artistry, School of the Holy Beast is a twisted rabbit hole of sin and vice that absolutely lives up to its legendary cult reputation.


DER FAN
Aka Trance.
Dir. Eckhart Schmidt, 1982.
Germany, 89 min.
In German with English subtitles.
TUESDAY, JUNE 7 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, JUNE 12 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 24 – 10:00 PM

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Special thanks to Pete Tombs and Mondo Macabro.

In the wake of films like CHRISTIANE F., studies of displaced, dysfunctional German youth were a dime a dozen. However, the forerunner in the sweepstakes for the most memorable and disturbing entry would have to be DER FAN.

Like every other teenager in school, Simone has a crush on a rock star. When her idol, the lead singer ‘R’, comes to town to make a television appearance Simone is gripped by a trance-like state, leaving school, friends and parents behind her. However, when Simone comes to realize the shallow nature of the ‘glamorous’ music industry and of ‘R’ himself, she plans a calculated, ritualistic and bloody revenge on her obsession.

An unsettling blend of new wave pop culture, adolescent angst, and full-blooded horror, this nasty little art house shocker caught more than a few unsuspecting viewers off guard and earned a bit of a cult following in the process. Imagine a John Hughes film with Michael Haneke in the driver’s seat and you’re getting close…


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GO DOWN DEATH
Dir. Aaron Schimberg, 2013.
87 min. USA.
Village Voice Critics Pick!
SUNDAY, MAY 1 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 10 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 19 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 27 – 10:00 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

In early 2014 Spectacle presented the first–and only?–narrative feature run of Aaron Schimberg’s staggering debut feature GO DOWN DEATH. Acclaimed as one of the most distinctive, visually stunning, and greatest undistributed films of 2013, it sits uneasily among rote indie festival programming. Naturally, we feel we make a great pair.

GO DOWN DEATH is a wry, sinister realization of a strange new universe, a cross-episodic melange of macabre folktales supposedly penned by the fictitious writer Jonathan Mallory Sinus. An abandoned warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, stands in for a decrepit village haunted by ghosts, superstition, and disease, while threatening to buckle under rumblings of the apocalypse. Soldiers are lost and found in endless woods, a child gravedigger is menaced by a shape-shifting physician, a syphilitic john bares all to a young prostitute, and a disfigured outcast yearns for the affections of a tone-deaf cabaret singer. Highlighted by offbeat narrative construction, stunning black-and-white 16mm cinematography, and immaculately detailed production design, GO DOWN DEATH is a distinctively original film informed by American Gothic, folk culture, and outsider art.

#1 Best Undistributed Film of 2013 —Christopher Bell, IndieWire’s The Playlist

AN ASTONISHING, OUT OF NOWHERE FILM. Amidst all the cookie-cutter indies, Aaron Schimberg’s Go Down Death casts a mysterious spell. A dreamy, highly stylized affair recalling early David Lynch. Highly recommended.” —Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine

A UNIQUE, STRANGE, UNFORGETTABLE FILM, a half-remembered dream that will trouble and beguile the subconscious long after you’ve moved on. (A-)” —Gabe Toro, IndieWire’s The Playlist

“One of the best films of the year! An uncompromising feast of vision and atmosphere.” —Kentucker Audley, NoBudge

“Robert Altman meets Tod Browning…an immaculate, offbeat triumph. Rarely do homespun independent filmmakers convey such a distinctly original vision.” —Jon Dieringer, Screen Slate

“Irresistible! Evokes the great novels of William Faulkner, even as Go Down Death offers us a resolutely modern filmic experience. Schimberg appropriates the language of cinema and obeys only the rules he sets out for himself. The result is a thrilling leap into the unknown.” —Simon Laperrière, Fantasia

“Go Down Death is as eccentric and daring as American indie cinema gets.” —Matthew Campbell, Starz Denver

Distributed by Factory 25


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DIGITAL MAN
Dir. Philip J. Roth, 1995.
Nevada. 91 min.
In English.
FRIDAY, MAY 13 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, MAY 28 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Hot on the heels of 2013’s sold-out screenings of Richard J. Pepin’s Hologram Man, Spectacle offers up this late-night cyberwar curio fielded from the pixelated precipice between Atari and The Matrix. Starring an Altmanesque corps of noteworthy surnames, Philip Roth’s Digital Man concerns a glitch in national security so cruel, it’d be divine if it weren’t so damn digital: a time-traveling supercyborg touches down in the small-town Southwest just in time to hijack an apocalypse’s worth of nuclear launch codes.

Fresh off a realm too insane in its violence and punishment for mere humans  to enter, the Digital Man must be stopped – and it’s up to a motley crue of wisecracking heavyweights (some military experts, some shotgun-toting salt of the earth) to take him out, analog style. Tons and tons and tons and tons of fireball explosions (replete with slo-mo backflips and brutal, spaghetti-worthy shootouts) ensue, culminating in one night you can’t merely “attend” while on your laptop.

Digital Man is a very entertaining movie, with good acting, excellent photography and outstanding F/X. It does suffer from a mediocre script however. A very good, overall effort from a bunch of actors who fall  into the category of “where have I seen them before?” A rating of 8 out of 10 was given. – VCRanger, IMDB

lets get down to brass tax where can we get this movie someone upload cmon it cant be ilegal look at it buying it would be a magor crime – Jamie Mcfayden, YouTube

I’ve seen Digital man almost a decade ago when it came to video. My dad rented me this movie to watch over the weekend since he was leaving with my mom. I loved it so much that I’ve watched it five or six times in 48 hours !!! – thebigmovieguy, IMDB

Don’t just settle for T2 ,experience this equal ,yet lower budget Sci-Fi action outing,with martial arts giant Matthias Hues in the lead. – “A Customer”, Amazon

I rented this when it came out on video. I remember thinking the special effects and costumes were pretty cool back then. And in the early-to-mid-1990s computer animation was a novelty, so that added to the movie’s appeal. (And back then CGI looked cooler with those smooth surfaces.) – felicity4711, YouTube


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THE KILLING OF AMERICA
Dir. Sheldon Renan & Leonard Schrader, 1982
USA, 90 min.
TUESDAY, MAY 10 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, MAY 16 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 27 – 7:30 PM

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ALL OF THE FILM YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IS REAL. NOTHING HAS BEEN STAGED.

So begins the 1982 shockumentary THE KILLING OF AMERICA, a film that, even among its mondo movie contemporaries, stands out as one of the grimmest and most infamous films ever produced. So much so, in fact, that to this day it remains effectively unreleased in The United States.

If violence is the disease, then THE KILLING OF AMERICA is the microscope. Compiled almost entirely from news broadcasts, security camera footage, etc, THE KILLING OF AMERICA chronicles nearly every major violent incident of the era, from the JFK assassination onward. The America presented here is land characterized by widespread burnout and disillusionment. Add to that the increasing pervasiveness of the mass media, as well as an obscene overabundance of firearms, and you are left with a sobering portrait of a sick society, in which insanity and paranoia breed easily. Meanwhile, three decades later…

Directed by Sheldon Renan & Leonard Schrader (brother of Paul Schrader), and featuring a noteworthy narration by voiceover master Chuck Riley.


DEATH PROMISE
Dir. Robert Warmflash, 1977
USA, 95 min.
FRIDAY, MAY 27 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

After the murder of his father, a young vigilante targets a cabal of extremely corrupt landlords and their army of henchmen to restore justice in a city gone mad.

The holy spawn of DEATH WISH and ENTER THE DRAGON, DEATH PROMISE is a kung-fu revenge epic set against a sweltering Manhattan backdrop that features the greediest landlords ever put on film, a Kung Fu master living upstate, bags of hungry rats tied to heads, defenestrations, street fights, rooftop fights and a soundtrack that brings the FUNK from a band calling themselves Opus.


Hawk Jones
Dir. Richard Lowry, 1986.
USA, 88 min.
In English.
SATURDAY, APRIL 2 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, APRIL 16 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, APRIL 24 – 7:30 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Part of the Children on Fire series.

Minitropolis is under siege by gangster Antonio Coppola, whose reach extends throughout the city, all the way to the police department, where the Chief of Police does everything in his power to aid Coppola and thwart the one person who can rid the city of this scourge once and for all – HAWK JONES! Against all odds, Hawk uses an arsenal of weapons to take down Coppola’s army of thugs and anyone who stands in the way of justice.

We should mention the average age of the cast is eight years old.

Those of you expecting Disneyfied goofs should beware – this is a film well in line with shoot-em-all 80s action. There’s no mugging to the camera, no soapy morality lessons, no relentless merchandising. What you do get is Uzi-toting shootouts, crooked cops, milk-slinging speakeasies and a hero more in line with Fred Williamson than Fred Rogers. In other words, perfect for Spectacle!


Little Marines
Dir. A. J. Hixon, 1991.
USA, 87 min.
In English.
FRIDAY, APRIL 1 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, APRIL 24 – 5:00 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 30 – MIDNIGHT
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Part of the Children on Fire series.

Awkwardly shot like a pervert peeking on these kids in the woods, A.J. Hixon’s LITTLE MARINES is the story of three turds that go camping. It’s not really an adventure film since it is mostly just a series of mishaps and fuck-ups and offers no resolutions to these kids problems. Most famous for its really long shaving scene featured at the Found Footage Film Festival, LITTLE MARINES has many more precious moments including bizarre flashbacks to their friend who died of cancer, a cool dude that tries to give them a handful of joints, a not so cool dude that is probably a child molester, a bully that has a gun, and a moment when the fatty admits that his father never said he loved him and the fatty’s friends say nothing. Its what you can expect from good ol’ Christian entertainment.

For this screening, the Spectacle will be screening the VHS tape that features the original music they probably couldn’t get the rights to when it came out on DVD!


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FINAL FLESH
Dir. Vernon Chatman
USA, 71 min.
TUESDAY, MARCH 8 – 10:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 25 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, MARCH 27 – 7:30 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Writer/director Vernon Chatman of PFFR (WONDER SHOWZEN, XAVIER: RENEGADE ANGEL) discovered the existence of “websites whereupon one can hire professional porn production companies to do the sick and custom bidding of your panting loins’ darkest yearn.” He chose four different custom-porn-making sites, and submitted segments of a highly detailed script, or as he called it, his “purest truths”, to each of them. The results form the “8-part prepocolyptic triptych in D minor” (or perhaps the 4-part “cinematic exquisite corpse”) that is FINAL FLESH.

This epic and disturbing saga cannot be adequately explained or summarized, but by way of an attempt, it concerns the Pollard family (who shape-shift in their representation by the four different smutmakers).

The family is calmly discussing their impending death by atom bomb when Mrs. Pollard recounts a dream in which she sensually bathes herself in the “Tears of Neglected Children”. Daughter Pam goes to the Psycho Sexual Burn-Ward (the bathroom) and reads the Koran on the toilet: “Yahweh ordered a double-latte. When the barista handed it to him, it was too hot, so Yahweh threw it in the janitor’s face. The end.” Pam then gives birth to an egg (“this is so hot”) and a piece of raw steak which she names Mr. Peterson and breastfeeds. Mrs. Pollard and Pam then hatch a plan to convince their patriarch to return to the womb (“get up in there”), before Mrs. Peterson recounts her life’s regret: “I didn’t want to have a family, I wanted to murder the president. I wanted to use his blood to oil the machinery of capitalism.” The atom bomb drops but the adventure continues as they re-emerge in God’s womb, reincarnated as a different set of amateur porn actors…

If FINAL FLESH is not the greatest film of the 21st century, then I just creamed in my demon. “It’s the same thing every Thanksgiving. Remember?”


MAGIC OF THE UNIVERSE
Aka Salamamgkero / The Magician / Monster of the Universe.
Dir. Tata Estaban, 1986/1988.
Philippines. 84 min.
Dubbed in English.

BELIEVE in MAGIC. A wizard accidentally loses his daughter to an unimaginable evil. He risks hat and wand to make things right. Cast of tens includes humans and puppets.


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MARQUIS
Dir. Henri Xhonneux, 1989.
France. 78 min.
In French with English subtitles.
FRIDAY, MARCH 4 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 14 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 18 – MIDNIGHT
SATURADY, MARCH 26 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 31 – 10:00 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Clumped in your history book between the chapters on French Revolution and pioneering 18th century erotic fiction grows a horny, pornographic mold called MARQUIS.

Immersed in a world in which uncanny animal masks mirror the spirit of the character within, a canine Marquis de Sade serves a prison sentence for allegedly raping the bovine Justine… but the situation may be more complicated than it seems. In between bouts of banter with his anthropomorphic, meter-long penis Colin, the Marquis gets down to writing a few of his more infamous scenes—many depicted in surreal claymation. Before too long the Revolution has begun, but where will it leave the Marquis?

Co-written by Henri Xhonneux and Roland Topor—animator of 1973’s inimitable surrealist classic “Fantastic Planet”—MARQUIS’s bizarre tone swings at will between irreverent perversion and clear-headed satire, never failing to entertain and utterly confound.

“This is one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. I found it to be discomforting and just weird. It makes you squirm in your seat and wonder what the people making this are like in real life. It’s definitely entertaining and it sort of sucks you in, especially if you don’t know French and have to read subtitles. It is certainly not American and it is certainly very peculiar. I have never seen a movie where everyone is wearing life-like animal costumes and acting like humans in very abnormal ways. This movie gives me the chills. However, I would watch it again just because it is so fascinatingly WEIRD.” —IMDB user ‘ethylester’

“NOT FOR THE PRUDISH.” —Variety


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THEMROC
Dir. Claude Faraldo, 1973.
France. 110 min.
In grunts.
FRIDAY, MARCH 4 – MIDNIGHT
MONDAY, MARCH 7 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 17 – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 26 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 31 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

With only a vague U.S. release and a blind eye turned by all but the most annoyingly nerdy film buffs, this surreal French satire doubles as a pitch-black freak-out. But when writer/director Claude Faraldo starts to lose it and settle for straight absurdism, THEMROC’s bizarre view of working-class revolution is, as Shock Cinema puts it, “worth a look, if only for its audacity. The most inspired aspect of this Working Class Rant is the fact that nobody on-screen utters a single word of intelligible dialogue, with the entire story told in grunts, howls or simple gibberish. At first glance, the middle-aged Themroc (Michel Piccoli) seems like your typical, brutish, dirty-undershirted factory laborer. And his day goes straight into the crapper once he arrives at his dreary job, and is called onto the carpet after playing voyeur on a manager and his leggy secretary. With a lifestyle this demeaning and repetitious, it’s no big surprise when Themroc suddenly goes bonkers, and for the first time in his miserable life, breaks free of his 9-to-5 shackles. The second he gets home, this disgruntled wacko wrecks his apartment (unlike modern-day Americans, who’d prefer to grab a gun and shoot their boss) and begins acting like a modern-day Neanderthal.


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LES SAIGNANTES
Aka The Blood-lettes.
Dir. Jean Pierre Bekolo, 2005.
Cameroon. 97 min.
In French with English subtitles.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 – 7:30 PM

Part of the Anti-Valentine’s series.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

LES SAIGNANTES is the best African sci-fi vampire political satire with homoerotic overtones you’ve ever seen. Best friends Majolie and Chouchou are two beautiful young women trying to get ahead in a near-future Cameroon. After accidentally killing a powerful politician during sex, the two come up with a plot to dispose of the body, and get into the glamorous wakes that have taken over the local nightlife.

As the girls tear their way through the corrupt ruling class, using their their feminine wiles and magical powers, Bekolo drops inter-titles into the film, commenting on the difficulties of filmmaking in an oppressive political climate. With a feminist subtext and cinematography like a blacklight rave, LES SAIGNANTES is a beautiful, disorienting, and truly original work.



BEHINDERT
Dir. Stephen Dwoskin, 1974
Germany. 94 min.
In German with English subtitles
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 – 10:00 PM

Part of the Anti-Valentine’s series.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Special thanks to The Estate of Stephen Dwoskin

Described by Stephen Dwoskin as “a documentary without being one,” the basis of BEHINDERT is autobiographical: the story of a physically disabled man and a physically normal woman- played by Dwoskin (who has a post-polio disability) and Carola Regnier- who confront the difficulties of a relationship. The two were no longer a couple at the time Dwoskin made the film, yet it burns with the passion and intensity of true love.

With minimal dialogue and a stirring drone score by Gavin Bryars, Dwoskin uses extended takes and extreme close-ups of Regnier’s eyes, feet, hands, and face to create a sustained, hypnotic atmosphere that is simply unparalleled.

An intimate, unsentimental and haunting evocation of desire.

OFFICIAL SELECTION – 1974 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – DIRECTOR’S FORTNIGHT

“Nothing short of a revelation… this is Dwoskin’s masterpiece. Indeed, I have come to regard it as one of the greatest works in cinema history… BEHINDERT remains Dwoskin’s most daring and artistically successful attempt to splice his “first person” mode of cinema with a staged fiction—creating a kind of cubistic complexity from the constantly shuffled perspectives. The ‘fourth look’ which Willemen intuited – not exactly the look of the characters, the spectator, or even the camera-eye, but some other, more forbidding look, like the gaze of society itself – hovers over the interstices between these images, these tableaux, these scenes from a relationship. From a film-history standpoint, Dwoskin’s breakthrough here is prophetic. Anticipating the ongoing novelistic autobiography of Philippe Garrel’s work since the 1980s, BEHINDERT plays a thrilling, almost vampiric game with the proximity of real-life experience to its fictive recreation—especially as its principals are the actual former lovers!” —Film Quarterly

“The mere mention of a film concerned with the subject of physical disability conjures up preconceived notions and images as to the type of film it is. It is put aside as a medical/social document of little importance, particularly by film people who think of films as ‘political,’ ‘narrative,’ ‘entertainment,’ ‘poetic,’ or ‘structural.’ This film is about the physically normal and disabled in confrontation, but not literal relations. It is a documentary without being one. The content lies beneath the film. The material is treated subjectively, and crosses fiction with realistic documents, without a clear distinction.” —Stephen Dwoskin


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THE MONSTER AND THE STRIPPER
Aka The Exotic Ones.
Dir. Ron Ormond, 1968.
USA. 91 min.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26 – MIDNIGHT

Part of the Anti-Valentine’s series.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE 

Any attempt at classing up this sleazy 60s gem stopped with its original title, THE EXOTIC ONES, and even that failed as it switched to the more accurate THE MONSTER AND THE STRIPPER on rerelease. With a lot more stripper than monster, this film is pure 60s trash GOLD, and the last made before director Ron Ormond turned toward moralizing Christian fare.

What a film to go out on though – beginning with a gloriously overlong open call for “talent” at a “New Orleans” burlesque joint (actually a claustrophobically-shot Methodist Church), we’re treated to a bevy of beauties featuring star dancer Titania (I couldn’t make this up) and her famous Fire Dance strutting their stuff to the running Dada commentary of the film’s co-producer and wife of Ron Ormond, June Carr.

Ormond himself plays demented Tony Clifton doppleganger/club owner Nemo, first seen torturing a man foolish enough to steal his money with the contents of a spittoon. Word reaches Nemo a monster’s been murdering hillbillies in the swamps of Louisiana, and Titania suggests a Beauty and The Beast act with the beast ripping off all her clothes. NO OTHER ACT will do, and Nemo finds himself in the monster-hunting business. With a team led by son Tim Ormond (a trifecta of Nashville’s First Family of Film!) they wander into the swamps and capture the beast, played by rockabilly also-ran Sleepy LaBeef (dare I say the Meatloaf of rockabilly?).

Back at the club, Little Timmy befriends the monster, who in turn falls for one of Titania’s new dance rivals. The whole town is abuzz and eager to see the Monster and the Stripper, but will the show go off without a hitch? Of course not.

For all the supposed sleaze, this exploitation film doesn’t feel exploitive – it’s a bizarro family affair where nothing makes a lick of sense, but everyone’s having a damn fine time onscreen. SEE a man get beaten with his own arm! WATCH a couple play dueling oversized harmonicas! MARVEL at hair and eye makeup that would make Divine puke with jealousy! HEAR dialogue that sounds like it was written with Noir Cliché refrigerator magnets! WITNESS – THE MONSTER AND THE STRIPPER! (and a lot of other strippers too)


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THE RED SQUIRREL
Aka La Ardilla Roja.
Dir. Julio Médem, 1993.
Spain. 114 min.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19 – 10:00 PM

Part of the Anti-Valentine’s series.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

A bruising satire of pop musicianship more than a little indebted to the Hitchcockian identity-swap, THE RED SQUIRREL is a painfully unsung masterpiece, maybe the pinnacle of Julio Médem’s white-hot 1990s streak (beginning with COWS in 1991 and culminating in the more famous SEX AND LUCIA a decade later.) On the verge of taking his own life, a grunge musician named Jota (Nancho Novo) witnesses a motorcycle accident on the beach, suddenly tasking himself with helping coax Lisa (Emma Suarez) – a beyond-voluptuous blonde – out of her thick fog of amnesia. The two strike up a romance based just as much on his lies as their latent (and undeniable) chemistry; they hit the road in matching leather outfits, and cozily absorb themselves into a suburban family’s vacation at a gossipy campsite – the nominal Ardilla Roja, in a region between Basque country and Castile.

Long before Lisa has taken to donning herself in a sleevelss tee with nothing on it but a gigantic xerox of Jota’s face, things have gotten weird. A mysterious stranger from the past inevitably threatens to upend Jota’s reprieve from real life, and soon you’ll realize the film has begun – without asking permission – to peel back the membranes separating memories from dreams, and dreams from desires. Anchored by the meticulous, insinuating performances of Novo and Suarez, THE RED SQUIRREL is a serpentine head trip with erotic frisson to spare – one of the sharpest and most vivid un-romances to ever hit the big screen. (Bonus factoid: legend has it this film had Stanley Kubrick recommending Médem to Steven Spielberg for the job of directing THE MASK OF ZORRO, which the Spanish auteur duly declined.)


OFFSHORE TELEVISION
Dir. Mark Hudson, 1988(?).
64 min.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

As a child in Cincinnati, Ohio, artist C. Spencer Yeh views a bizarre late-night sketch comedy show that leaves an unshakable impression. It remains ellusive over many years, and Yeh begins to question its existence and the integrity of his own memory. As recent as the late 2000’s, Yeh is unable to discover any information or even trace of its existence—until following up on a faint mention from an obscure message board lands a dub of a fan’s VHS tape in hand.

Tonight, C. Spencer Yeh teams up with Screen Slate to present three of the five known extant episodes of:

Long-forgotten late 80’s television show OFFSHORE TELEVISION. Defined by its lo-fi video fuckery, excessive celeb cameos, and no-laugh jokes, “Offshore Television” is totally dumb and stoned; a lost classic for no-one.

Despite the comprehensive fansite from which the Hudson Brothers biographies and the filmography were taken from, there is NO information about OFFSHORE TELEVISION on the internet. The only acknowledgement of its existence is a comment on the website jumptheshark.com in regards to the mid-70s “Hudson Brothers” variety show:

“I was crazy about the Hudson Brothers! Brett (my fave!) and Mark did a show around 1990 called Offshore Television–I still laugh when I think some of the skits from that one! The Hudson Brothers did a movie in ’83 called Hysterical, but it wasn’t as funny as the TV shows.”


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PANELSTORY
Dir. Věra Chytilová, 1979.
Czechoslovakia. 100 min.
In Czech with English subtitles.
MONDAY, JANUARY 4 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 – 7:30PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21 – 10PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Vera Chytilova’s 1966 Daisies may be her best known work of radical cinema, but it’s neither her last, nor arguably most significant. A decade later, at time when most of her Prague Spring contemporaries had fled Czechoslovakia or drastically reigned in once-experimental visions, she came back with the equally daring and essential Panelstory. Framed as a sort of ensemble comedy circulating among the many lives contained within a new Soviet-bloc housing complex, the film is actually a scathing satire shredding every available ideal of home and family. The whole film can be understood by its audaciously critical setting: lost in a wasteland of debris and stalled construction, still incomplete yet already falling into disrepair, riddled with half-functional elevators, the housing complex precisely mirrors the disintegrating families contained within, whose individual stories form a catalogue of bleakly hilarious dysfunction and despair. It might have been all too believably familiar to those living under similar conditions in Czechoslovakia at the time, but Chytilova’s disillusionment, as always, extends far beyond her immediate surroundings to call into question the thwarted utopian hopes of an entire industrialized world.

As with all Chytilova’s best work, form here deftly follows function. The urban malaise is caught near-entirely in verité-style hand-held camerawork decades ahead of fashion, and rhythmically fragmented under anarchic editing that mixes apartment interiors with dystopian architecture and massive earth-moving operations. Even the sound design follows suit, as the characters are beset by cataclysmic atonal score (contrasted against a synth-funk interlude straight out of an aspirational 70s home furnishings showroom). What Panelstory may lack in Daisies’ sheer stylistic invention, it makes up for in thematic cohesion.

After the collapse of the Prague Spring, Chytilova was among those directors cut out of the studio system for their brilliant excesses, which meant that she spent the years from 1970 to 1976 secretly directing commercials under the name of her husband (Jaroslav Kučera, her frequent cinematographer and collaborator). Pressures from international film festivals and a bold letter from directly to the president restating her sincere Socialist values allowed Chytilova release The Apple Game in 1976. But if that work seemed comparatively restrained, she pulled out all the stops for Panelstory. It’s unbelievable that such a film could have been produced under the noses of the state censors, and following its release, Chytilova found herself banned for another two years for her troubles. Seeing Panelstory again, all these years later, it seems well worth the risks of getting it made.

While the film opened up our series at the Museum of Art and Design in summer 2014, this will be the first time it’s shown in the Spectacle itself since the theater’s earliest weeks.


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THE SHINING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS AND INWARDS AND OUTWARDS IN HIGH DEFINITION ANAGLYPH 3D (CHAOS MIX)
1980/2011/2013.
USA. 146 min.
The Shining Backwards and Forwards Returns in a Soul-Searing 3D Re-Remix!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 7 – 10PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20 – 10PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JANUARY 30 – 10PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Dark Side of the Rainbow for the 21st century, THE SHINING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS is a hallucinatory palindromic mindfuck, an accidental profundity resulting from a literal reading of MSTRMD’s comment that “The Shining is a film meant to be watched both forwards and backwards.”

Conceived by John Fell Ryan and executed with Spectacle’s Akiva Saunders behind the controls, it became one of the most successful events in the sprouting days of the theater, and it returned October 2011, when it was performed live with Saunders mixing multiple additional layers of superimposition with realtime audio manipulation by Tony Lowe and Jason McMahon.

In the meantime, it has become instant legend, followed by stagings at Fantastic Fest and the Seattle International Film Festival inspired by the attention of Shining obsessives doc ROOM 237, in which JFR is one of the primary participants and Spectacle receives a hearty shout-out. In fact, the footage shot inside Spectacle appears to be the only non-archival live footage in the film.

And now TGHNEISNHIIHNSIENHGT has been radically re-rendered by Jon Dieringer as THE SHINING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS AND INWARDS AND OUTWARDS IN HIGH DEFINITION ANAGLYPH 3D (CHAOS MIX), in which The Shining Backwards and Forwards now also movies Inwards and Outwards in High Definition Anaglyph 3D. The superimposed channels now intersect not only chronologically but depth-wise. Each forward and backward channel has been individually post converted to 3D. Subsequently, they are both mixed overall at different depths so that the superimposed backwards channel(s) initially appear to float above the forwards track(s). The depths then gradually converge to meet each other in the center, and the forwards channel(s) then rises to the top. This configuration foregrounds the more sinister latter half of the film over its tranquil beginning like a spectral premonition of violence; therefore, we’re calling it the CHAOS MIX. This diagram elaborates:

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Special thanks to John Fell Ryan, Akiva Saunders and Jon Dieringer.


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DEVILHELM
Dir. Craig Rahtz/Hibachi Chicken Films, 1999.
USA. 96 min.
In English.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

“When the Dark Elves, driven by hatred and greed, steal an evil relic known as the Devilhelm, chaos threatens the peaceful valley.  Only three ninja have the power and courage to stop this evil, and protect the earth from the ravaging powers of the Devilhelm.”

“Intense martial combat combines with supernatural wizardry to make Devilhelm an unforgettable adventure.”

Made over the course of three years in the woods of southwestern Ohio in the late 90s, Devilhelm is a virtually unknown exemplar of autodidactic backyard moviemaking.  Unconventional energy and invention is firmly on display, from the ambitious makeup and sets, to the primitive computer graphics and original soundtrack; most importantly, Devilhelm rides that right line of irreverence and sincerity that we all love when we hear the phrase “shot-on-video.”
‪Ninja stars are thrown, riddles are spoken, the re‬ ‪d stuff sprays freely, ‬ ‪and some pagan raver vomits up a ____.‬

Originally released on VHS mostly to family and friends, Spectacle Theater is excited to reintroduce Devilhelm into the audience and dialogue where it belongs.

EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS

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EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS
Dir. Various, 1933—2009

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – 5:00 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – 10:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9 – 7:30 PM

Thanksgiving is an American holiday celebrating two things – food and family. Okay, three things – food, family, and culturally whitewashing American history. EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS showcases all of the above with a convergence of grocery tips, frustrating relatives, meal preparation and awkward historical reenactments. Like your sexist uncle waxing philosophical at the dinner table, GIVE THANKS uncomfortably reminds you though America’s social mores and attitudes have come a long way, there’s still so much further to go. Featuring a 70s decision on what to eat next framed as vitriolic political debate, a very nervous turkey serenaded by Liberace, so many condescending Dads, and the most disgusting 50s ‘salad’ recipe put to film (“Lime Jell-o with diced pineapple on watercress, topped with creamed cottage cheese, garnished with radish roses and carrot flowers!”).

Let us all bow our heads and be truly thankful this season for the visual bounty freely available to us in the modern age, and that these ephemeral treats have been spared the Memory Hole and dished up for our viewing pleasure.

Including selections from:

THOUGHT FOR FOOD
(Handy (Jam) Picture Service, 1933)

PICK OF THE POD
(Palmer (W.A.) & Company, 1939)

EARLY SETTLERS OF NEW ENGLAND (SALEM 1626-1629)
(Encyclopedia Britannica Films, 1940)

FOOD FOR FIGHTERS
(U.S. Office of War Information, 1943)

KITCHEN MAGIC (1948)

A BRIGHTER DAY IN YOUR KITCHEN
(Ray Waters, 1949)

LET’S TALK TURKEY
(Armour & Company, 1951)

A DAY OF THANKSGIVING
(Centron Corporation, 1951)

DINING TOGETHER
(Children’s Productions, 1951)

SOMEONE’S IN THE KITCHEN
(On Film, Inc., 1960s)

THE FOOD PLATFORM
(Directions Unlimited Film Corporation; Pyramid Films Inc., 1972)

LONG LIVE LA FAMILIA – NO HAY NADA EN EL FRIDGE
(New Mexico State University, 2009)

…and more!

SPECTACLE SHRIEK SHOW V

For the fifth year in a row, Spectacle is proud to present our 12ish hour horror marathon – The Spectacle Shriek Show. Throughout October midnight screenings have paid tribute to presenters from the last five years and this years line up is one of the most diverse yet. We’ve got 60’s spectral horror, German gut-munchers, made for TV Frankensteins, Mexican Satanists, cannibals who talk to their fish, dark Easter rituals, and surreal Italian brain-liquifiers.

Settle in for a full day of terror that you “can’t” escape! As always it’s $25 for the full day or $5 per film.

NOON – THE GHOST a.k.a. Lo Spettro
1:30 PM – ANTHROPOPHAGUS 2000 presented by Massacre Video
3:00 PM – DEAD MEAT presented by Horror Boobs & Wild Eye
5:00 PM – FRANKENSTEIN (I SWEAR ON MY MOTHER’S EYES) THE TRUE STORY presented by Lunchmeat VHS Fanzine
7:30 PM – John Russo’s MIDNIGHT
10:00 PM – GRAVE ROBBERS a.k.a. Ladrones de Tumbas
MIDNIGHT – Cosmotropia De Xam’s INFERNO VENEZIANO presented by Negative Pleasure & Phantasma Disques


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THE GHOST
A.k.a. Lo Spettro
Dir. Riccardo Freda, 1963
Italy, 97 min.

Spectacle marathon and midnight mainstay Barbara Steele and her giant eyes return for another tale of deceit, deception, and MURDER MOST FOUL! Steele plays Margaret Hichcock (no “T”) the wife of the wheelchair bound Dr. Hichcock. Not content to wait around for her husband to die of natural causes, Margaret and her lover decide to take matters into their own hands. Before his body is even cold, strange events befall the mansion and the two adulterers are shaken to their very core! Has Dr. Hichcock returned from the grave to reap a horrible vengeance? (Kind of!) Is this gothic tale of madness and betrayal the perfect kickoff to this years festivities? (YES.) A harkening back to last year’s opening screening of NIGHTMARE CASTLE, this one sets the mood/doom for the rest of your day.


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ANTHROPOPHAGOUS 2000 presented by Massacre Video
Dir. Andreas Schnaas, 1999
Germany, 80 min.
In German with English subtitles.

Massacre has been going five years strong (555, DEMON QUEEN, THE ABOMINATION, MONDO MAGIC) as presenters in the Shriek Show and this years entry is…something else.

Nikos and his family are trapped during a heavy story in a boat, leading to the unfortunate death of their daughter Vicky. Nikos becomes mad with the desire to survive, and he begins to kill and eat his own wife. Nikos manages to reach the shore of a small island, but his appetite for human flesh has consumed him. A group of young people on vacation have an unfortunate meeting with Niko. Will these youngsters make it out alive? (No.)

Massacre Video proudly presents, ANTHROPOPHAGOUS 2000, from the German Splatter master Andreas Schnaas (of the VIOLENT SHIT series), fully uncut for the first time ever in America!


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DEAD MEAT presented by Horror Boobs & Wild Eye
Dir. Tom Vollmann, 1993
USA, 107 min.

A true VHS rarity from the early 90’s DEAD MEAT was heavily bootlegged so it must be good, right? RIGHT. Think of all the classic characters from this slab of analog insanity – Sgt. John “Mo” Mentum, First Victim, Pizza Boy, and the rest! Basically a serial killer named The Senses Taker (guess what he takes from his victims) is running amok and these cops HATE it!

Filled to the brim with great gore, angry stock police characters, VERY long chase scenes, and a lot of scenes of a truly insane person talking to their pet fish this is a rare treat. Horror Boobs and Wild Eye will be officially releasing this lost clas-sick and we’ve got the premiere!


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FRANKENSTEIN (I SWEAR ON MY MOTHER’S EYES) THE TRUE STORY presented by Lunchmeat VHS Fanzine
Dir. Gary Cohen, 1983
USA, 90 min.

The hoots and howls of Halloween excitement are nearly in full swing as our favorite holiday fast approaches, Tapeheads, and in order to ring in the radical rewind VHSpirit right this Halloween, Lunchmeat has been keeping busy in the kitchen cooking up a super-sweet VHS treat for all the voracious Videovores out there. So, without any further analog ado, we proudly present some of the most exciting fresh VHS news of the season: Lunchmeat is absolutely elated to announce the unprecedented home video release of the ultra-obscure, shot-on-video, made-for-cable production FRANKENSTEIN (I SWEAR ON MY MOTHER’S EYES) THE TRUE STORY!

We’ve teamed up with the great Gary Cohen, director of cult SOV classics VIDEO VIOLENCE 1 & 2 to unearth this long lost slice of shot-on-video horror comedy insanity. Gary co-writes and stars in this utterly unknown film that debuted on Cablevision on Halloween night in 1983, and after a single airing, has since fell into complete obscurity. And now, over 30 years later, Lunchmeat is bringing this never-before-seen low-budget trashterpiece take on the classic tale of Frankenstein back from the grave!

The print used for the release comes directly from Gary’s archives (the only known surviving print!), keeping intact all of the grit and grain of the original analog-shot broadcast. The release will also include a video intro from Josh Schafer (yours truly!) talking about the inception of the release, and an exclusive intro from star and co-writer Gary Cohen, explaining how the production came to be, and why it’s been obscured for all these years. Here’s an excerpt from that intro with Gary Cohen, just to give you a little taste of history on this flick:

“I must admit, this whole project is shrouded in secrecy… at the time, what is now Comcast, I believe it was Cablevision back then… had a studio in New Jersey, and they were advertising, I think, for people who wanted to do some kind of cable access shows… my friend Richard Dominick (of Jerry Springer fame) decided he would pitch a project for Halloween, and write this version of Frankenstein. We got together, he wrote a script about Frankenstein, and we used a lot of the actors who you’ll recognize from Video Violence, who were all a part of Celebration Playhouse, this theater group in New Jersey. I believe we had about a day to film this thing, filmed on video, on three and a quarter inch video… and if memory serves, we were high or drunk or something when we we’re doing it… Once it aired, everybody disavowed any knowledge of the project. It is truly unique; it’s an oddity. I can’t believe here in 2015, it’s resurfaced, but so be it! I hope you get a kick out of it.” –Gary Cohen


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MIDNIGHT
Dir. John Russo, 1982
USA, 91 min.

Special thanks to John Russo.

We’re just gonna go ahead and say that if you only see one movie in this marathon (like an idiot)–make it MIDNIGHT.

A teenager runs away from home after her pervo cop stepdad (Laurence Tierney) puts the moves on her. She’s California bound when she meets up with two fellow travelers. Things go from pretty much ok to outright horrible when they stop in a small town and run into a family of Satanists who keep their dead mother in the attic. The paranoia is thick enough to cut with a knife (like a number of throats in the film) and no one is safe as the days run on to that most unholy of holidays – Easter. Cynthia looks great and has a pentagram on her forehead and there’s a lot of blood drinking and people in cages. Also some other truly sadistic and harrowing shit goes down. The film is based on Russo’s novel of the same name and was followed by a sequel–MIDNIGHT 2–many moons later. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE.


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GRAVE ROBBERS
A.k.a. Ladrones de Tumbas
Dir. Rubén Galindo Jr., 1990
Mexico, 87 min.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

Directed by Rubén Galindo Jr. who also made the unbelievable DON’T PANIC, GRAVE ROBBERS concerns a bunch of dumb teens who mess around in a graveyard and summon Satan and get their just desserts. Rather than prattle on about it, it’s probably best to let the copy from the back of the Mexican VHS tell the tale:

“LADRONES DE TUMBAS–It’s about four young boys who pretend to assault the tombs in the cemetery of a small town. But these boys were not aware that this place was surrounded by a strange evil force.

LADRONES DE TUMBAS–will take you to the unknown world of the evil where no human being has ever been able to escape! This time be prepared for the most exciting and violent film. Starring the best actors.”

The ultimate penultimate film for this years Shriek Show in the perfect sandwich between MIDNIGHT and INFERNO VENEZIANO.


INFERNO VENEZIANO presented by Negative Pleasure & Phantasma Disques
A.k.a. Hell of Venice
Dir. Cosmotropia de Xam, 2015
Italy, 65 min.

Negative Pleasure & Phantasma Disques team up to end our marathon with a bang presenting the third part of the ANIMA PERSA trilogy from Cosmotropia de Xam. Waaaaaaaaay back in 2011 Spectacle screened a midnight double feature of ACiD and INAUGURATION OF SNOW WHITE. Negative Pleasure has been killing it lately with double and triple features to coincide with comic releases (FELONY COMICS CRIME SPREE, etc) and this will be a sweet goodnight kiss to wrap up Shriek Show V!

Scientists vanishing and mutating to Zombies. A door to another dimension. A blind woman who keeps a secret. Mysterious surreal connections that prepare an Inferno for the city of gondolas.

FELONY COMICS 4: FELONY COMICS MOST WANTED

For the past year, Negative Pleasure has proudly brought the best in overlooked, underappreciated crime, action and horror films to the screen at Spectacle Theater in celebration of the release of our comics, such as Felony Comics 1, 2 and 3, Jeans 3 and Night Burgers. Now, with the release of Felony Comics 4, and in celebration of this weekend’s Comic Arts Brooklyn Festival, we’re more pleased than ever to bring you FELONY COMICS MOST WANTED, a selection of three of our favorite films from our past screenings, as selected by both Negative Pleasure publisher Harris Smith and the Illuminati of Spectacle Theater.

For this monumental occasion, we’ve selected three films from south of the border – US/Mexican co-productions NEW DRUG CITY and DRUG RUNNERS, and Mexican horror epic THE THRONE OF HELL (EL TRONO DEL INFIERNO). Hosted by Harris Smith and featuring surprise appearances by Felony Comics’ rogues gallery of creative contributors, this night promises to be our most frenzied yet, with comics giveaways, Q&As, and other special surprises in store.

new drug city title

NEW DRUG CITY
(aka: Narcotrafico)
Dir. Raúl de Anda Jr, 1985
Mexico, 90 min.
Dubbed in English

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 7:30 PM

It’s the Feds vs. the Cartel as both sides of the law race through the desert to snag a hidden dope stash in New Drug City. Originally released in 1985 as Narcotrafico, New Drug City was retitled to cash in on the popularity of the popular Wesley Snipes/Judd Nelson crime flick New Jack City for its American dubbed VHS release by Magnum Video. Pure exploitation through and through, New Drug City features a bargain basement Crockett and Tubbs trading awkward, vaguely homoerotic banter as they blast their way through Mexico’s badlands, leaving behind a trail of the prerequisite blood, bullets, bodies and babes. Directed by Raul de Anda Jr. and starring his brother, Rodolfo de Anda, both legends of Mexican action cinema.

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DRUG RUNNERS
Dir. Alan Kuskowski, 1988
USA/Mexico, 86 min.
in English.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 10:00 PM

It’s the Feds vs. the Cartel as both sides of the law race through the desert to snag a hidden dope stash in New Drug City. Originally released in 1985 as Narcotrafico, New Drug City was retitled to cash in on the popularity of the popular Wesley Snipes/Judd Nelson crime flick New Jack City for its American dubbed VHS release by Magnum Video. Pure exploitation through and through, New Drug City features a bargain basement Crockett and Tubbs trading awkward, vaguely homoerotic banter as they blast their way through Mexico’s badlands, leaving behind a trail of the prerequisite blood, bullets, bodies and babes. Directed by Raul de Anda Jr. and starring his brother, Rodolfo de Anda, both legends of Mexican action cinema.

el trono title

EL TRONO DEL INFIERNO
(aka: The Throne of Hell)
Dir. Sergio Goyri, 1994
Mexico, 94 min.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – MIDNIGHT

In THE THRONE OF HELL (EL TRONO DEL INFIERNO), from Mexico, an archeological dig unleashes Beezelbub, forcing the Vatican to call in master exorcist El Hombre. In a battle of stop Armageddon, the forces of good call upon the power of the Seven Seals and the sword Excalibur to take on the devil himself. Bloodshed ensues. A lot of it. Guts, too. And some brains. Starring and directed by Sergio Goyri, star of the Mexican stage version of MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS and creator of the Black Stallion and Still Loving U fragrances.

Felony Comics #1 was featured in Best American Comics 2015 (edited by Jonathan Lethem) with Alex Degen’s “Crime Chime Noir,” and received a notable mention for Ben Urkowtiz’s “The Facts” and Pete Toms’ “In Post,” (originally appearing in Jeans 3), and Alabaster Pizzo’s “Mimi & the Wolves” (excerpted in the now out-of-print Jeans 2). Other contributors to Negative Pleasure Publications include such comics luminaries and up-and-comers as Benjamin Marra, Rich Tommaso, Josh Burggraf, Victor Kerlow, Leah Wishnia, Lale Westvind, Zach Mason, Laura Callaghan, Jason Murphy, Michel Fiffe, Amy Searles, Claire Donner, Ken Johnson (Ball and Cone), Anthony Meloro, Brigid Deacon, Ben Passmore, Laurie Pina, Laura Perez-Harris, Thomas Slattery and numerous others.

Felony Comics #4 features stories and artwork by Alex Degen, Odin Cabal, Pete Toms, Derek Marks, Anthony Meloro, Thomas Slattery and Poland’s Lukasz Kowalczuk. It debuts at this year’s CAB festival in Brooklyn.

SPECTOBER MIDNIGHTS

FRIDAY, SPECTOBER 2: 555
SATURDAY, SPECTOBER 3: WILD SIDE

FRIDAY, SPECTOBER 9: THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS
SATURDAY, SPECTOBER 10: BALLET DOWN THE HIGHWAY

FRIDAY, SPECTOBER 16: HEADLESS EYES
SATURDAY, SPECTOBER 17: THE NIGHT BEFORE

FRIDAY, SPECTOBER 23: MARLEY’S REVENGE: THE MONSTER MOVIE
SATURDAY, SPECTOBER 24: FIFTH ANNUAL SPECTACLE SHRIEK SHOW

FRIDAY, SPECTOBER 30: TROUBLE EVERY DAY
SATURDAY, SPECTOBER 31: COMING SOON


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Massacre Video presents: 555
Dir. Wally Koz, 1988.
90 min, USA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2 – MIDNIGHT

From The First Annual Spectacle Shriek Show. (2011)

A hippie killer with a sex-fueled, murderous bloodlust is on a rampage and he’s brutally murdering innocent young couples! A nationwide trend of killings with the same m.o. happens to catch the eyes of Detective Haller and Sergeant Connor. Every five years, within five days of each other, the killer strikes! Now it’s up to Haller and Connor to find out who is behind these grisly murders. Who is this crazed, blood thirsty hippie? And more importantly, what is the significance of the third ‘five’?

Written by Roy Koz and directed by Wally Koz, this rare SOV splatter-classic has recently been given the royal treatment by Massacre Video with a DVD, special edition DVD, and an already eBay fodder clamshell.


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WILD SIDE
Dir. Donald Cammell, 1995.
U.S., 110 min. (Director’s cut); 95 min. (Nu Image re-edit)

Nu Image Re-edit
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3 – MIDNIGHT

Director’s Cut
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 26 – 7:30 PM

Donald Cammell’s fourth film in as many decades, the brilliant and berserk WILD SIDE is a beyond-salacious slab of psycho-noir starring Anne Heche as “Alex”, a Long Beach investment banker-cum sex worker for the rich and powerful. Tonight, that means Bruno – a shadowy millionaire money launderer (Christopher Walken, plus wig) – and perhaps also his valet, a sleazy undercover cop by the name of Tony (Steven Hauer, of Scarface fame). Cammell’s signature refracted narrative comes into play when Alex meets Bruno’s wife Virginia (Joan Chen), up-turning audience expectations for late-nite sleaze into a surprisingly tender, psychologically astute, and crushingly desperate queer love story. (There’s also a sublime Ryuichi Sakamoto score, and a concurrent subplot about a virus on a floppy disk that, if it fell into the wrong hands, would bring the western world to its knees.)

After Nu Image Productions wrested control of WILD SIDE away from Cammell and recut the film into the schizoid quasi-porn they thought they had paid for, the filmmaker saw fit to take his own life. In 2000, Kong supervised a painstaking, posthumous recut with editor Frank Mazzola; this October, Spectacle is thrilled to present both the damned and saved versions of WILD SIDE.

“Games are again played with power and identity, dangerous games but not fatal ones this time; if there is one difference between the Cammell of 1968 and of 1995 that stands out above all others, it is the replacement of Artaudian cruelty with an affectionate generosity towards his characters.” – Maximilian Le Cain, Senses of Cinema

“When this film was premiered at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, it was accompanied by a remarkable on-stage talk from Mazzola and Kong, who were able to show extracts from the butchered, and utterly different ‘TV version’: furnishing us with an unmissable masterclass in the realities of film editing and a radical essay in the textual aspects of cinema. I hope that Mr Mazzola and Ms Kong can be persuaded to repeat this lecture all over the country.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


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Lunchmeat VHS Fanzine presents: THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS
Dir. T.L.P. Swicegood, 1966.
63 min, USA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9 – MIDNIGHT

From The Spectacle Shriek Show II. (2012)

Two degenerate café owners cook up a depraved alliance with a demented Undertaker and run amok through town on their motorcycles, hacking up hot dames and cleaving craniums. Select portions of the corpses are served up as daily specials at the café and The Undertaker gets to bury the leftovers. But when a pair of local detectives smell something fishy afoot, the trio’s reign of terror runs into some trouble.

One of Lunchmeat Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Josh Schafer’s all-time favorite flicks, this pioneering pitch black comedy is a kitschy slice of pure drive-in delirium that plants its tongue firmly in cheek, then bites it off and spits it out onto a sizzling hot plate ready for you to enjoy. Once you’ve ingested the wacky slab o’ cinema cheeze that is THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS, you’ll never get the taste out of your mouth!

Dig it!


BALLET DOWN THE HIGHWAY
Dir. Jack Deveau
USA, 93 min, 1975

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14 – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20 – 7:30 PM

Opposites attract when a New York ballet dancer’s car breaks down on the highway and he is rescued by a closeted truck driver. An ambivalent romance blossoms until he finds the city apartment he shares with his boyfriend, a fellow dancer, filled with horny truckers. Filled with sadness and unrequited longing, BALLET DOWN THE HIGHWAY is directed by Jack Deveau, whose disco-tastic DRIVE screened at Spectacle in 2014.

 


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Spectacle Midnights presents: HEADLESS EYES
Dir. Kent Bateman, 1971.
78 min, USA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16 – MIDNIGHT

From The Third Annual Spectacle Shriek Show. (2013)

You know how it is for starving artists, right? I mean, look at your clothes. Anyway, it used to be even harder! So hard that some of them turned to a life of crime. This is especially true in the case of Arthur Malcolm. Down on his luck, Arthur is caught robbing an apartment and loses his eye in the process. Once he’s healed he’s out on the streets and, brother, he is HEATED. Arthur sets about on a mad killing spree, gouging out the eyes of his victims with a spoon. He collects the eyes for his artwork, you see. This continues for some time with mixed results.

This film was directed by Kent Bateman, father of Jason and Justine, in the streets of a now long gone version of NYC. According to this film, it was a time when a hooker would approach a man covered in blood in the middle of the day in order to turn a trick. The good old days. In addition to this movie being totally batshit insane with a FIERCE mutant soundtrack, it’s a veritable snapshot of a city as nasty as they come. The performances are hammy and intense, like Easter dinner in a mental institution.

Not to be missed!


THE NIGHT BEFORE
Dir. Arch Brown
USA, 72 min, 1973

MONDAY, OCTOBER 12 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17 – MIDNIGHT
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20 – 10:00 PM

THE NIGHT BEFORE gets its straightforward gay porn “narrative” out of the way in the first half before getting on with being exceptionally odd and psychedelic. There’s body painting, someone sucking a disembodied cock that appears out of a bowl of fruit, a woman dancing in Central Park for no reason, and if you want to see an orgy scene
where a dildo goes in so deep it comes out someone’s mouth, this film is highly recommended. Also appearing: kittens.

 


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Horror Boobs presents: MARLEY’S REVENGE: THE MONSTER MOVIE
Dir. Jet Eller, 1989.
83 min, USA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 – MIDNIGHT

From The Fourth Annual Spectacle Shriek Show. (2014)

“I don’t know about you, man, but I’m still huuuuungry.”

Two bozos get picked up by a gang of vigilantes out to scrub the streets of scum after mistaking the men for drug smugglers. The problem is they’re actually smuggling in their aunt and uncle. The four are whisked away to the local island where they murder all the other drug smugglers. You know what though? None of this even matters because once they get to the island things get really out of hand. Zombies rise from the grave, a giant hell monster shows up, and the vigilantes aren’t too pleased either. How will anyone escape this island alive?

Another marathon mainstay and VHS monolith, Horror Boobs has been providing not only marathon fare but midnight fodder at Spectacle for over a decade![citation needed] This years entry is…well, something special indeed.

Featuring a completely new transfer and other goodies. If you saw this at the marathon last year, you still haven’t truly seen it. A house favorite and rare treat!


TroubleErryday2

TROUBLE EVERY DAY
Dir. Claire Denis, 2001
France, 101 mins.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2 – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30 – MIDNIGHT

An American doctor (Vincent Gallo) arrives in Paris with his new wife (Tricia Vessey). They are ostensibly on honeymoon, but he is strangely distant and preoccupied with finding a former a colleague. Meanwhile, a French couple live in seclusion, the husband (Alex Descas) both caring for and imprisoning his wife (Béatrice Dalle, exuding a primal power) whose mysterious illness has reduced her to a vehicle for her own bloodlust. Connections between these characters reveal themselves slowly; exposition here is a distant second to a deep sensuality in the truest sense of the word. Denis’ tactile approach to filmmaking is in full effect, the camera mapping out fragile bodies with careful, almost predatory attention, creating a discomfiting sense of intimacy. TROUBLE EVERY DAY is a film felt as much as viewed, and when it reaches its bloody apex, that’s a truly frightening thing.

GHOSTS OF SHRIEK SHOWS PAST

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2 – MIDNIGHT: 555
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9 – MIDNIGHT: THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16 – MIDNIGHT: HEADLESS EYES
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 – MIDNIGHT: MARLEY’S REVENGE: THE MONSTER MOVIE

Since the dawn of time, Spectacle has long been carried on the backs of many a supporter. It’s kind of like that poem Footprints that hung in your grandma’s dorm room. Or better yet, it’s like an ant farm. A cool ass ant farm that shows the best movies you’ve ever seen. To be blunt–Spectacle wouldn’t and couldn’t exist without the often jaw-dropping amount of love we receive from filmmakers, distributors, cinephiles, and (of course) our audience.

In 2011, we held our first ever horror marathon (and last ever sci-fi marathon). Over the course of the next 4 years the marathon would play host to some incredible titles both old and new while laying waste to brains both old and new. Whether you stopped by for the full 12 (sometimes 14) hours or just came for one movie (or maybe you’re the those two dudes who showed up at 2am after the first one who thought it started at midnight instead of noon)–we say thank you.

To celebrate half a decade of marathons we present GHOSTS OF SHRIEK SHOWS PAST. The following titles are hand picked one from each past year to lead into The Fifth Annual Spectacle Shriek Show this year on October 24th. Without the generosity, kindness, and confidence of the following presenters (and others too numerous to cover in this brief post) we wouldn’t be where we are today.

South Third Street Forever.


555_banner

Massacre Video presents: 555
Dir. Wally Koz, 1988.
90 min, USA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2 – MIDNIGHT

From The First Annual Spectacle Shriek Show. (2011)

A hippie killer with a sex-fueled, murderous bloodlust is on a rampage and he’s brutally murdering innocent young couples! A nationwide trend of killings with the same m.o. happens to catch the eyes of Detective Haller and Sergeant Connor. Every five years, within five days of each other, the killer strikes! Now it’s up to Haller and Connor to find out who is behind these grisly murders. Who is this crazed, blood thirsty hippie? And more importantly, what is the significance of the third ‘five’?

Written by Roy Koz and directed by Wally Koz, this rare SOV splatter-classic has recently been given the royal treatment by Massacre Video with a DVD, special edition DVD, and an already eBay fodder clamshell.


UNDERTAKER_BANNER

Lunchmeat VHS Fanzine presents: THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS
Dir. T.L.P. Swicegood, 1966.
63 min, USA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9 – MIDNIGHT

From The Spectacle Shriek Show II. (2012)

Two degenerate café owners cook up a depraved alliance with a demented Undertaker and run amok through town on their motorcycles, hacking up hot dames and cleaving craniums. Select portions of the corpses are served up as daily specials at the café and The Undertaker gets to bury the leftovers. But when a pair of local detectives smell something fishy afoot, the trio’s reign of terror runs into some trouble.

One of Lunchmeat Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Josh Schafer’s all-time favorite flicks, this pioneering pitch black comedy is a kitschy slice of pure drive-in delirium that plants its tongue firmly in cheek, then bites it off and spits it out onto a sizzling hot plate ready for you to enjoy. Once you’ve ingested the wacky slab o’ cinema cheeze that is THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS, you’ll never get the taste out of your mouth!

Dig it!


HEADLESSEYES_Banner

Spectacle Midnights presents: HEADLESS EYES
Dir. Kent Bateman, 1971.
78 min, USA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16 – MIDNIGHT

From The Third Annual Spectacle Shriek Show. (2013)

You know how it is for starving artists, right? I mean, look at your clothes. Anyway, it used to be even harder! So hard that some of them turned to a life of crime. This is especially true in the case of Arthur Malcolm. Down on his luck, Arthur is caught robbing an apartment and loses his eye in the process. Once he’s healed he’s out on the streets and, brother, he is HEATED. Arthur sets about on a mad killing spree, gouging out the eyes of his victims with a spoon. He collects the eyes for his artwork, you see. This continues for some time with mixed results.

This film was directed by Kent Bateman, father of Jason and Justine, in the streets of a now long gone version of NYC. According to this film, it was a time when a hooker would approach a man covered in blood in the middle of the day in order to turn a trick. The good old days. In addition to this movie being totally batshit insane with a FIERCE mutant soundtrack, it’s a veritable snapshot of a city as nasty as they come. The performances are hammy and intense, like Easter dinner in a mental institution.

Not to be missed!


MARLEY_Banner

Horror Boobs presents: MARLEY’S REVENGE: THE MONSTER MOVIE
Dir. Jet Eller, 1989.
83 min, USA.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 – MIDNIGHT

From The Fourth Annual Spectacle Shriek Show. (2014)

“I don’t know about you, man, but I’m still huuuuungry.”

Two bozos get picked up by a gang of vigilantes out to scrub the streets of scum after mistaking the men for drug smugglers. The problem is they’re actually smuggling in their aunt and uncle. The four are whisked away to the local island where they murder all the other drug smugglers. You know what though? None of this even matters because once they get to the island things get really out of hand. Zombies rise from the grave, a giant hell monster shows up, and the vigilantes aren’t too pleased either. How will anyone escape this island alive?

Another marathon mainstay and VHS monolith, Horror Boobs has been providing not only marathon fare but midnight fodder at Spectacle for over a decade![citation needed] This years entry is…well, something special indeed.

Featuring a completely new transfer and other goodies. If you saw this at the marathon last year, you still haven’t truly seen it. A house favorite and rare treat!

MILLENNIUM FILM WORKSHOP AT SPECTACLE

millenium

Spectacle is pleased to host Millennium Film Workshop for an ongoing, weekly presentation through December 2015 to showcase a selection of works by cinema artists.

For 49 years, Millennium Film Workshop has supported the emergence of a veritable “who’s who” of experimental and non-commercial film cinema artists, through low cost workshops and equipment access, critical discourse in Open Screenings and the pages of the Millennium Film Journal, and through Personal Cinema Screenings that provide a forum for filmmakers to present and discuss their work in self-curated programs. Continuing a policy of “open” programming, we invite cinema artists and scholars to propose screenings, series, or events. We invite you to contact us at screenings@millenniumfilm.org.

NOW PLAYING:
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4: 7:30 PM – DIVIDING ROADMAPS BY TIMEZONES: FILMS BY AMANDA DAWN CHRISTIE
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13: 7:30 PM – MILLENNIUM FILM WORKSHOP MEMBER’S SHOW


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POLYNESIAN TRIANGLE PROGRAM
Dir. Various, 1958-2015
Various, Total Running Time: 75 min.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 – 7:30 PM
** Grahame Weinbren in attendance! **

The program is curated by Grahame Weinbren from an assemblage of films selected by Martin Rumsby. It consists of works primarily by Samoan, New Zealand and Cook Island Maori, moving image artists from the Polynesian Triangle, which extends from New Zealand to Hawaii, from Easter Island to Samoa. All the works are U.S. premieres, and many world premieres made especially for the program. Artists include Leilani Kake, Tanya Ruka, Jeremy Leatinu’u, and Len Lye. The program is based on Martin Rumsby’s “The Ocean is our Prairie,” published in MFJ 61. Graham Weinbren will read from this text.

FREE RADICALS
Dir. Len Lye, 1958-1979
New Zealand, 4 min.

POUTAMA
Dir. Tanya Ruka, 2015
New Zealand, 4 min.

IN PURSUIT OF VENUS (INFECTED), 2 excerpts
Dir. Lisa Reihana, 2015
New Zealand, 3 min.

KIA ORA / KIA ORANA
Dir. Leilani Kake, 2010
Cook Island/New Zealand, 8 min.

THE WELCOME PROJECT
Dir. Jeremy Leatinu’u, 2010
New Zealand, 21 min.

TANE LIVES
Dir. Johnson Witehira, 2011
New Zealand, 3 min

TIMES SQUARE PROJECT [DOCUMENTATION]
Dir. Johnson Witehira, 2012
New Zealand, 2 min.


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VAGUE TERRAIN
Dir. Various, 2010-2015
USA/Belgium, Total Running Time: 56 min.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 – 7:30 PM
** All artists in attendance! **

Curated by Angela Ferraiolo.

A diverse group of filmmakers comes together to examine the familiar and ambiguous–to revisit places, persons, situations or ideas in an effort to find that small part of an experience that escapes logic, system, and the quantifiable. By looking at what is weird, and unstable, these films seek to generate illusory narratives, unsettling landscapes, and strange interiors.

LOS ANGELES II
Dir. Angela Ferraiolo, 2013
USA, 2 min.

GLASS ELEVATOR
Dir. Angela Ferraiolo, 2015
USA, 12 min. 30 sec.

PARADISE
Dir. Noe Kidder, 2010
USA, 10 min.

PARADISE OF CHILDREN
Dir. Noe Kidder, 2015
USA, 3 min.

ALEXIA
Dir. Kevin Jarvis, 2015
USA, 8 min.

INTELLECTUAL DESIGN
Dir. Kevin Jarvis, 2015
USA, 15 min.

DUBAI/ABU DHABI DESERT
Dir. Robbert&Frank Frank&Robbert, 2015
Belgium, 1 min. 30 sec.

QATAR COWBOY SCENE
Dir. Robbert&Frank Frank&Robbert, 2015
Belgium, 3 min. 30 sec.


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KIM RICHARDS GOT ARRESTED AT TARGET
Dir. Joey Huertas aka Jane Public, 2003-2013
USA, Total Running Time: 86 min.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – 7:30 PM
** Joey Huertas aka Jane Public in attendance! **

Millennium Film Workshop and Spectacle present an evening of film screenings by experimental filmmaker Joey Huertas–aka Jane Public. The screening will included I Need You; Missing Green; I’m not Jesus; Nice People; and I really think it’s a Black and White incident.

Active since the early 1990’s, Huertas has divided his time between social work and his practice as a filmmaker. The complex cinematic research that Huertas deploys extracts–at first sight–of a general violent layer exposing the state of a type of social schizophrenia. Using re-enactments, obscurity and sound sources within many of his films, the stories depicted are personal misers of broader social actions constantly shifting between private and public concerns.

The background upon which Huertas’ works take place can be described as ‘clinical fiction.’

I NEED YOU
Dir. Joey Huertas aka Jane Public, 2004
USA, 37 min.

MISSING GREEN
Dir. Joey Huertas aka Jane Public, 2007
USA, 9 min.

I’M NOT JESUS
Dir. Joey Huertas aka Jane Public, 2013
USA, 3 min.

NICE PEOPLE
Dir. Joey Huertas aka Jane Public, 2008
USA, 26 min.

I REALLY THINK IT’S A BLACK WHITE INCIDENT
Dir. Joey Huertas aka Jane Public, 2003
USA, 11 min.


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TRIP AND GO NAKED
Dir. Chris Fiore, 2004
USA, 74 min.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – 7:30 PM
** Chris Fiore in attendance! **

TRIP AND GO NAKED is a defiantly, deliriously, and joyously, obscene film. TRIP falls squarely into a time honored tradition of underground cinema, breaking sexual barriers and flaunting taboos, the film is a cavalcade of performances intended to titillate, shock, and terrify.

TRIP AND GO NAKED documents a transgressive variety show that took place in the dead of night over the course of the sweltering New York summer of 1995. Shot in the East Village’s famous Pyramid Club, the film chronicles the efforts of the indomitable Mistress Otter and her band of merry perverts, constantly upping a twisted ante in an escalating series of emotionally intense and dangerous performances. Though it’s definitely not a film for the squeamish, one of the big surprises here is that it’s also quite funny.

In 2004 TRIP AND GO NAKED won the Excellence In Sexual Theater award at the Arlene’s Grocery Picture Show and was featured at The Coney Island film festival.

Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its shooting, this Millennium Film Workshop screening will be the third time this rarely screened film will be witnessed by the public.


image from the film ROMA ©2004 by Jacob Burckhardt

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 MINUTES (WHY GO ANYWHERE)
Dir. Jacob Burckhardt, 2000-2015
USA, ~70 min.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14 – 7:30 PM
** Artist in attendance! **

A series of short poetic documentaries shot by Jacob Burckhardt in various places around the world between 2000 and this year. Some in black and white film, some in color video, some in-between. Impressions of a curious pedestrian. Sky light, dancing, night. Italy, New York, Sri Lanka, Estonia, Japan, New Jersey and more.

Over the years Jacob Burckhardt has worked a variety of jobs: blueberry picker, steel mill laborer, Fuller Brush man, truck driver, taxi driver, camera repairman and photographer. He has done sound recording, edited and mixed the sound of many independent movies and teaches at the Cooper Union and the Pratt Institute.

His films include two features: IT DON’T PAY TO BE AN HONEST CITIZEN (1984) with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Vincent D’Onofrio, and LANDLORD BLUES (1986); four featurettes in the series “Black Moments In Great History” (a collaboration with Royston Scott and Gerard Little AKA Mr. Fashion); A GUIDED TOUR OF EDITH’S APARTMENT, a “talking head” documentary about the 90-year-old artist. His movies fall into two categories: comedies and poetic documentaries concerned with texture, atmosphere and presence.


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STRING THEORY: RECENT WORKS BY ROBERTA FRIEDMAN & GRAHAME WEINBREN
Dir. Roberta Friedman & Grahame Weinbren, 1976-2015
USA, ~70 min.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21 – 7:30 PM
** Artists in attendance! **

A program of recent films including STRAIGHT FROM BERTHA (1976-2015) and LETTERS (1997-present).

“STRAIGHT FROM BERTHA is straight from the heart. From the mind, it is hardly straight. The Gertrude Stein epigraph—“Everything being alike everything is different simply different naturally simply different”—prescribes the profoundly recursive style of the film will take, starting, as the film does, with the minimalist, structuralist, looping film-within-a-film, appropriated from an earlier era, 1976, then folding into that film new material from many earlier and later eras, generations, and themes, including film history, film language, film style, film institutions, family history, biography, and autobiography.” -Ron Green, from “Notes on Straight from Bertha,” 2015.


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FILMS BY TIM GERAGHTY
Dir. Tim Geraghty, 2013-2015.
USA, ~70 min.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28 – 7:30 PM
** Artist in attendance! **

3D visions. Plagues of cicadas. Charred forests, crowded subways, the monkey’s hand. Basements. Old cars. Soiled spots, torn extensions. Movies for each of your eyes. Binocular visions and locked doors. Mushrooms, dashboards, a walk to the store. Window planes, bending floors. Psychology. Food. Decapitation. Somehow these movies all make sense.

Program includes:
SOMETHING MIGHT HAPPEN, 2013, 16min (Anaglyph 3D video)
RAVEN AND DOVE, 2014, 11min (Anaglyph 3D video)
HERE COMES EVERYBODY, 2014, 10min (bipacked 16mm film)
NOVEL, 2015, 22min (Anaglyph 3D video, live optical sound performance)

Tim Geraghty is a film & video artist in the avant-garde tradition working largely with stereo 3D. His work has shown at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, the London Institute of Contemporary Art, Microscope Gallery, Flaherty NYC, and the International Film Festival Oberhausen. He is currently completing a documentary he has edited and co-directed. Born and educated in Providence, Rhode Island, he now lives and works in Queens, NY.


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DIVIDING ROADMAPS BY TIMEZONES: FILMS BY AMANDA DAWN CHRISTIE
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2000-2010
Canada, Total Running Time: 71 min.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 7:30 PM
**Amanda Dawn Christie in attendance!**

This program of work is a survey of ten years of her practice from 2000-2010. These films reflect Amanda Dawn Christie’s restless growth as an artist. Moving from hand processing to optical printing, contact printing, and performance, she layers memories and images in an effort to explore her past. Train trips, relationships, and her efforts to plumb the depths of the image all contribute to an ever changing evolution of her work.

“Amanda Dawn Christie traces the proximity and distance between places and people, images and memories; experiences, sensations, thoughts. Christie works the surface and the deeper materiality of film to trace the perpetual motion of subjectivity […] Analogous to a series of letters from one to another, Christie etches fragments of a life lived and places traveled into the fabric of the film medium. ”
-Scott Birdwise – Canadian Film Institute-

HERE
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2000
Canada, 3 min
Super 8, BW, silent

One of Christie’s first films, this hand processed super 8 film was created as a part of Helen Hill’s Ladies Film Bee . Twelve women in Halifax were invited to each shoot a roll of super 8 film edited in camera, and then after handprocessing in Helen’s bathtub, they spent an afternoon of tea, chit-chat, cucumber sandwiches and film animation at the kitchen table.

FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2003
Canada, 1 min
16mm, colour, hand scratched sound

Live actions with hand scratched sound, this film presents the frustration of feeling the need to speak with nothing to say. Filmed by the artist’s husband at the time, the film also relates to subtle complexities of communication within marriage.

TURNING
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2004
Canada, 9 min
16mm, BW, silent

Throughout the journey, meanings that symbols once held for us shift and change as black and white blend to form grey. We see ourselves reflected in the world around us and the world around us envelops us. Things that were once threatening become comforting arms of solace while things that were once sanctuaries threaten to drown us. Water has the power to cleanse as well as the power to drown while the forest is both protective and foreboding.

This film was originally projected onto a wall of melting ice as a part of the Quiet Triptych performance

PLAYING JACOB
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2005
Canada, 3 min
16mm, colour, optical sound

Loosely exploring the historical weight of institutionalized religion , and its relationship to individual spirituality, the filmmaker places herself into the Jacob myth of the Pentateuch. She plays the role of Jacob in an attempt to come to terms with her religious upbringing, and her anxious ambivalence towards her own agnosticism. Inspired by the in-camera techniques of the early cinema of Meliese, the film and all of its special effects were shot and edited in-camera.

16MM POSTCARD
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2005
Canada, 3 min
16mm, BW, optical sound

A diaristic film in which the filmmaker comes to terms with her new life in Vancouver, “16mm Postcard” is a bittersweet letter back home to the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative in Halifax. Like in any letter, it becomes painfully obvious that one can never fully communicate an experience or a longing, and the result is a series of random tidbits that point to a larger experience.

KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2005
Canada, 1 min 25 sec
16mm, colour, silent

This film is an abstract exploration of the tension surrounding women and stereotypical representations of their knowledge. This film was created from footage shot at Phil Hoffman’s independent imaging retreat (aka “the film farm”) in Ontario as well as from footage shot in Vancouver. All of the footage was hand-processed, and some of it was contact printed by hand and treated in baths of potassium ferricyanide. The final film was created through various optical printing techniques.

THIS UNNAMABLE LITTLE DREAM: OR A TRACED SKETCH OF TWO BROTHERS
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2005
Canada, 3 min
Super 8, BW, silent

A personal narrative about the end of a marriage inserted into an homage to the Brother’s Quay. This film was commissioned for the Splice This Remake This program.

MECHANICAL MEMORY
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2006
Canada, 5min
16mm, BW, optical sound

Created from super 8 footage that was shot in the 1970s of the family dogs and the trains that my father worked on, this film explores the decay of memory and image. The super 8 film grew fungus while stored in a basement. It was then optically printed up to 16mm and slowed down so that the snowflake shaped fungus could be studied. Narration presents fragmented stories of childhood memories. This film was created as a source film, which was later physically cut up and reprinted with a flashlight to destroy the image and sound for the subsequent film “Mechanical/Animal Memory” which is owned by the NFB.

3PART HARMONY: COMPOSITION IN RGB #1
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2006
Canada, 6 min
16mm, colour, optical sound

This experimental dance film employs a bastardized version of the 1930s three strip Technicolor process. Shot entirely on black and white film through color filters, the images were recombined into full color through optical printing techniques, one frame at a time. The gestures in this dance work explore the psychological fracturing and reunification in representations of the female body.

A MATERNAL RECORD NOT FULLY RECORDED
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2006
Canada, 3 min
Super 8, colour, live sound

A look at our attempts to preserve the past in home movies and photographs, and the disparity between the actual lived events and the mnemonic objects. Super 8 home movies from the 1970s show my mother and myself as a toddler, blowing bubbles and riding horse back. The original super 8 footage was transferred to video, then filmed back onto super 8 from a television monitor in an attempt to translate the memories from medium to medium degenerating and deteriorating with each transfer.

FALLEN FLAGS
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2007
Canada, 8min
16mm, colour, optical sound

A layered tapestry of trains and underwater footage exploring the realms of fear death and transience, this film places the traces of human voices amidst the flickering light and shadows of empty passenger cars. This film Stems from a train trip from one end of Canada to the other and back again, and the loss of a friend in a drowning accident. This project involved 15 days of train travel from Vancouver to Halifax and back again (1200 km in total).

POINT A – > POINT B
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2009
Canada, 3 min
Super 8, BW, double system sound

Created for a program of Acadian films curated by Mario Doucette for 8fest. This film is a meditation on identity, geography, and language; Je viens d’Acadie, mais je ne suis peut-être même pas Acadienne; est-ce que c’est la langue? la géographie? l’histoire?

V=D/T
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2008
Canada, 7min 36 sec
16mm, colour, optical sound

This film explores the possibility of measuring distances between loved ones through time zones. The sound track is comprised of personal and tragic phone messages left on voicemail when individuals could not connect due to great time zone differences, while the visual elements present simple and contemplative images of antique telephones, on handprocessed colour film, using a modified steenbeck as a contact printer.

TRANSMISSIONS
Dir: Amanda Dawn Christie, 2010
Canada, 15 min
Expanded cinema performance for two 16mm projectors, optics, and radio

An improvisational performance for analogue and digital technologies that explores radio waves and dreaming; satellites and ideas; wireless internet and cell phones; television and radio broadcasts; all of these signals contribute to complex interconnected webs of invisible landscapes and invisible architectures passing through our bodies in every time and in every space.

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Amanda Dawn Christie is a Canadian artist working in film, video, performance, photography, and electroacoustic sound. Since 1997 she has been involved with artist run centres, serving on boards, working as a technician and later as a director, teaching workshops, publishing, and serving on juries across Canada. She completed her MFA at the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts in Vancouver, before moving to Amsterdam. Upon her return to Canada she worked as director of the Galerie Sans Nom and the RE:FLUX music festival. She left the gallery last year to work as a full time artist.


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MILLENNIUM FILM WORKSHOP MEMBER’S SHOW
Curated by Lili White
Dir: Various, Various
Total Running Time: 73 minutes

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 7:30PM
**Curator and artists in attendance!**

This is a Members show of filmmakers involved with MILLENNIUM FILM WORKSHOP. There is no theme, no style, no philosophy or anything that connects these works together. Each presents an individual filmmaker work through their own personal cinema. – Lili White, curator

ZULEIKA DOBSON (digital)
Dir: Catherine Corman
2 min, 41 sec

MARIETTA (16mm)
Dir: Adele Friedman
5 min
“Marietta” was filmed in Vienna, Austria, in an apartment building that has been in her family since the aught years of the 20th century. The film is in black and white, which suits the interior of mementoes and heirlooms, family portraits and souvenirs of eras past. Yet Marietta is extremely energetic and contemporary in her approach to life.

BABEL (digital)
Dir: Margot Niederland (Theremin Music: Llamano)
4 min, 40 sec
A meditation on the consistency of change. I shot this footage on 16mm film and double exposed it in-camera. During my residency at The Experimental TV Center, I used one of their old analogue machines and turned its dials and knobs to create the effects.

EAST RIVER PAVILION, UPPER EAST SIDE, NYC (16mm to digital)
Dir: Barton Lewis
3 min, 4 sec
A study of a rusting steel truss bejeweled with flaking paint at the East River Pavilion.

WISCONSIN CHEESE QUILT 1 (digital)
Dir: Peter Kingsbury
3 min
This is quilted from still and moving digital captures I made at a Wisconsin cheese and root beer oasis. Over several months I had become fascinated with my wife’s art practice transition from painting to quilting. Pondering images from our recent transcontinental road trip, I suddenly thought of quilting them -though I could not imagine the process or result. I still can’t -which is a refreshing change in my art practice. I have plans for more quilts. I find that sewing timelines raises interesting questions about drama and decoration.

STARFISH AORTA COLOSSUS (8mm to digital)
Dir: Lynne Sachs and Sean Hanley
4 min, 30 sec
NYC poet Paolo Javier invited Sachs to create a film that would speak to one of his poems from his book COURT OF THE DRAGON (Nightboat Books). Sachs chose Stanza 10 from Javier’s poem “Starfish Aorta Colossus”. She then collaborated with film artist Sean Hanley to edit the film. Together, they traveled through 25 years of unsplit Regular 8 mm film that Sachs had shot
including footage of the A.I.D.S. Quilt from the late 1980s, a drive from Florida to San Francisco, and a journey into a very untouristic part of Puerto Rico. Throughout the process, they explore the syntactical ruptures, the celebration of nouns and the haunting resonances of Javier’s poetry.

THE DOGS OF SPACE (digital)
Designed by Michael Betancourt
3 min
This narrative fuses documentary, scientific, fictional and abstract glitch footage into a composite story, dramatizing the launch of two Soviet space dogs, Belka and Strelka, into orbit. It explores glitch and realism, where the two are held in tension against each other: a balance between the abstracting and representing functions of digital imaging. In this
trajectory between realism and the geometric, the formal dimensions of digitally encoded motion transform live action footage into something else by shifting between the surface flatness of pixels and their organization into particular, recognizable subject matter. This engagement is distinctly semiotic: recognizable imagery as signifier (earlier, quoted work) in an arrangement and context that changes the meaning of concepts such as “Heavens and Earth” to provide a visionary subtext to scientific exploration. The immanent identification provided by archival material is essential. By using twentieth century scientific and public domain footage, these explicit quotations enable a synthesis, drawing attention to my reuse. Glitching functions syntactically in this fusion; linking shot-quotations while at the same time providing inflection that changes the imagery’s meaning separately from issues of montage or sequence. The continuous flow of imagery is precisely the point to this process: there is only a limited distinction between one “shot” and the next, eschewing montage for the continuity of the long take data stream of the digital file. The results are neither edited nor animated, but a hybrid recognizable as the “morph” where one image becomes the next seamlessly by degrees of change over time. These technically-generated transformations give rise to both the abstracting and representing dimensions of the imagery equally.

THE GAME IMPROVES AS A SPECTACLE (Super 8 /animation to digital)
Dir: Guy Kozak
2 min, 26 sec
A contest between Yellow and Blue and another phase in Guy Kozak’s ongoing exploration of the aesthetics and psychology of American Football. Shot on the field in Super 8.

SNEAKING UP ON PEOPLE (digital)
Dir: Jonathan Mittiga
3 min
Visit www.plermpt.com for more info!

IN THE FOOTSTEPS (16mm to digital)
Dir: Jacob Burckhardt, 2009
13 min, 4 sec
A trip through Jordan, following the footsteps of Jean Louis Burckhardt, the explorer who was the first European to see Petra in hundreds of years. Shot in 16mm B&W.

GUILTY
Dir: George Spencer, 2014
3 min, 33 sec
From a performance in Berlin

[T] (digital)
Dir: Philippe Leonard (Sound by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma)
12 min
[T] is a film at the limit of cinema, an experiment in the moving image where stillness and movement converge on each other to produce an experience of time as space. Philippe Leonard shot the footage for this remarkable work at Times Square, in New York City, during the hours of artificial illumination. Partly for this reason, it is an oneiric diary, tempted by myth and, at the same time, suffused by a melancholy sense that myth has lost its magical power. Faces appear and disappear in spasmodic waves of light, which emanate from billboards and mobile telephone screens and confuse the boundary between the organic and the artificial. The dilation of time and the miniaturization that that enables in [T] also ensures that the momentary betrayal of excitement, suspicion, attraction, hesitation, boredom and relief that traverses these faces approaches pure physicality. A smile, a blank stare, a fluttering eyelash: what the film permits us to encounter in these isolated elements is a materiality drained of eroticism, a society of bodies beneath the neon signs, where the market has abducted everything and everyone. The meticulously edited image track is brilliantly echoed in a sound track that renders the underground subway as a haunting residue and subtext. Times Square is a stop on the subway line; [T] is a film that arrests the mania of that space, giving to the viewer a rare experience of visual redemption.” – Rosalind Morris

ALVARO (digital)
Dir: Jean Sousa (Music: A.Vitorino d’Almeida, Lyrics: Jose Saramago, Sung by: Misia)
6 min, 13 sec 6.13
A meditation on loss, based on a poem written by Alice Goncalves Sousa about the death of her brother Alvaro. Using Nature used as metaphor for the fragility of life and including archival photographs and material objects left behind by one who passed, it embodies the spirit of Fado, Portugal’s urban folk music.

SUHAIL AND THE ONE HAVING CROSSED OVER
Dir: Anna Kipervaser (Sound: Freesound/Yle Archives & Anna Kipervaser)
5 min, 55 sec
Before he was known as Canopus, he was called Suhail. And before that his name was Osiris. In all documented cases, he had two sisters, one of whom was left behind. She always signals the coming of an other, bigger than she. Their legend lives on to this day; each night the two sisters mourn him – and their separation – across the great heavenly river.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (digital)
Dir: Catherine Corman
4 min

FELONY COMICS CRIME SPREE #3

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Negative Pleasure is pleased to announce the latest installment of our ongoing series, the Felony Comics Crime Spree, in celebration of the debut of Felony Comics #3, an anthology of underground crime comics featuring new work by Brigid Deacon, Ben Passmore, Pete Toms, Thomas Slattery, Amy Searles and Harris Smith, with a cover by Kid Space Heater creator Josh Burggraf and a never before seen pin-up of Michel Fiffe’s Copra!

For such a monumentously criminal undertaking, we have dug deep into the annals of cinematic crime and unearthed two little seen tales of delinquent malefaction. All shows $5, make an evening of it.


DAY OF THE WOLVES
Dir. Ferde Grofé Jr, 1971
USA, 95 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 – 7:30 PM

In this post-Western, neo-noir heist film, a cadre of bearded thieves, each identified only by number, with no name, conspire to rob an entire town. Clad in black jumpsuits and wielding submachine guns, they have little trouble taking the whole village’s populace hostage, but Sheriff Pete Anderson isn’t going to take that kind of antisocial behavior lying down. Outmanned, outgunned, and with the lives of his family, friends and constituency at risk, Anderson fights back! Starring noir veteran Richard Egan (SLAUGHTER ON 10TH AVENUE) and venerable Borchst Belt comedian Jan Murray (aka Uncle Raymond on “My Two Dads”).


DRUG RUNNERS
Dir. Alan Kuskowski, 1988
USA/Mexico, 86 min.
in English.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 – 10:00 PM

Featuring one of the last performances by once-great character actor Aldo Ray, DRUG RUNNERS hits all the marks a low-budget 80’s action thriller oughta. The bad guys are bad, the good guys play by their own rules. There are sports cars, blazing Uzis, big hair, desperate chases across the Mexican border and a flustered chief who’s getting way too old for this shit. The specifics, if they matter, involve a hotshot Mexican cop and his beautiful partner infiltrating a ruthless smuggling carter in a mission that’s more out for vengeance than justice. Gunfights ensue. Directed by Alan Kuskowski (FIRST STRIKE).


REVOLT
Dir. J. Shaybany, 1986
USA/Persia, 72 min.
In heavily dubbed English.

FRIDAY,  SEPTEMBER 11 – MIDNIGHT

Written by the enigmatically named Shield, this US-Persian co-production features yet another cop-on-the-edge squaring off against yet another band of ruthless drug dealers, this time set against the racial tensions set off by the Iran hostage crisis. Shot without sound and weirdly overdubbed, Revolt is a schizophrenic mess of a movie (i.e. perfect for a Spectacle midnight) that can’t decide whether it’s a hard-hitting, socially conscious crime drama or a goofy, lighthearted action comedy. Fortunately, the filmmakers lacked the ability to appropriately orchestrate either, and the result is a near-hallucinatory mess of inscrutable plot developments and character flourishes. Whatever the intent, Revolt is one of the most consistently entertaining hidden gems of 1980s action cinema!

SEPTEMBER MIDNIGHTS

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4: MONDO BIZARRO
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5: MONDO FREUDO

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11: REVOLT
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12: THE FORBIDDEN

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: RUBY
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19: THE DEAD DON’T DIE

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25: NINJA WARS


RUBY
Dir. Curtis Harrington, 1977
USA, 84 min.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 – MIDNIGHT
** One night only! **
** Don’t miss this month’s Harrington shorts! **

To call Ruby an EXORCIST/CARRIE knockoff (Piper Laurie starred in both, this film a year after CARRIE, also it’s about possession, which everyone on IMDB knows never appeared in a film before Friedkin) misses the point entirely: rather than being the story of an ostracized teenage girl and her overbearing mother, it’s the story of Ruby, a one-time gangster’s moll turned single mother, drunk and drive-in owner who begins receiving messages from her rubbed-out hood boyfriend through their mute child Leslie. Bodies begin piling up, with employees at the drive-in meeting a series of grisly ends, and Ruby’s ever-tenuous grip on reality slides into madness. Harrington’s love of southern Gothic and period pieces is in full display here, as always more interested in creeping dread than shock. Best known via a TV edit often played on midnight creature features (re-edited and with additional material shot without Harrington’s approval, possibly by Stephanie Rothman, leading to Harrington removing his name from the TV edited version), the copy we’ll be playing is the uncut theatrical version, closest to Harrington’s original vision. Beloved by Leni Riefenstahl, it’s a film only Harrington could have directed.


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THE DEAD DON’T DIE
Dir. Curtis Harrington, 1975
USA, 74 min.
In English

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – MIDNIGHT
** One night only! **
** Don’t miss this month’s Harrington shorts! **

Perdito is dead! His body is merely an instrument through which I speak. The dead are my children!

“Not too long after The Killer Bees was completed, Doug Cramer offered me another Robert Bloch story from the pages of Weird Tales to direct. The Dead Don’t Die was about zombies and took place during the depths of the depression. I was once more back in the period territory of What’s The Matter With Helen?, and I loved it.” -Curtis Harrington, Nice Guys Don’t Live In Hollywood

The 70s was a golden age for TV horror, from tv shows (Night Gallery, Circle Of Fear, Kolchak The Night Stalker) to films like DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, DON’T GO TO SLEEP and BAD RONALD. By 1975, Harrington was well into his TV career, or as he called it, his “slippery slope”. Of his many TV projects, THE DEAD DON’T DIE is among his best, making the most of Harrington’s attention to period piece detail, his taste for the Gothic and his love of casting actors best know from earlier work, with Joan Blondell, Ray Milland and Yvette Vickers (Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) joining George Hamilton all doing great, moody work. It’s a film about as far away from the action-film-pretending-to-be-horror status of the contemporary zombie film, the entire film drenched in timeless night, an occult atmosphere permeating everything, perfectly balanced against the pulpy detective quality of a man seeking to clear his brother’s name descending into witchcraft and madness. By turns chilling, paranoid and absolutely lovely, it’s a perfect demonstration of Harrington’s sullen style in a format which, for a short time at least, proved a suitable pairing. Never released on DVD or Blu-Ray!


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NINJA WARS
Dir. Kôsei Saitô, 1982
Japan, 95 min.
Japanese dubbed in English

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – MIDNIGHT
** One night only! **

Good fantasy needs some missing pieces. Just as we mumble increasingly nonsensical arguments in bed to prepare ourselves for dreams each night, films that transfer us to another world sometimes need to be defended for their irrationality. Does THE NINJA WARS have a lot in the realm of character development? It really could not have less. Does it need any to make us care about these characters who decide in an instant they love or hate each other? Also no. Is plot often shoehorned into exposition scenes that offer the barest pretext for random groups of men dressed in exotic period costumes to slaughter each other while our main characters wait patiently in the middle of the affray? Yes. But are those fights awesome? Also yes.
THE NINJA WARS is a beautiful film, camera and special effects departments come together and diverge in an elegant counterpoint of daring composition and extreme gore, criteria of excellence Japanese filmmakers have thankfully never thought of separating. It’s also beautifully blocked, thanks to the mechanistic Kabuki aesthetics that give every little movement, of every completely retarded dramatic scene, the same quality of dance as the fights.

There is something like a real story still shining through from novelist Futaro Yamada’s source material. Yamada also wrote the novel that became Oshima’s PLEASURES OF THE FLESH, a much more coherent drama about a misogynist chasing pieces of an ideal woman across various female bodies. The same exchange in WARS has a reverse meaning. The forces of evil need a woman to legitimate their power, she in turn offers them a series of counterfeit versions of her likeness. In the process she is constantly becoming more abstract, losing her head, then her life, then her any identity independent of her twin, ultimately arriving back in her true love’s arms as nothing more than the principle of self-determination, represented by a symbol of Western values, the crucifix. These were principle concerns of Yamada’s, who was famous not only for pulp novels about ninja wars, but also the bitterness of a postwar generation that viewed Japanese society as a “pile of acorns with zero regard for personal independence or uniqueness.” That uniqueness is denied brutally in FLESH, and only regained in WARS as the faintest promise amid overwhelming, violent nonsense.

For the staggering and delirious in our midnight audience, who look to the ninja war genre for simpler satisfactions, we can promise the following: some (limited, but fruitful) screen time for Sonny Chiba, projectile vomiting monks (who can fly), doppelgänger succubi, an impressive variety decapitation scenes, and a love story that does not require any serious attention to the dialogue to enjoy.

MONDO NOWHERE – THE WAY OUT WORLD OF LEE FROST

In 1966 R. Lee Frost was a filmmaker with some nudie cuties (SURFTIDE 77) and Dave Friedman-written roughies (THE DEFILERS) under his belt. He’d spend the year combining pre-existing footage of weirdness around the world with his own high-powered lens examinations of the seedier side of Los Angeles (and beyond) to create three of the stranger examinations of the Mondo film. Episodic, problematic, lurid and ready to swing, these three films offer viewers a peek behind the forbidden curtain to witness scenes they’ve only read about in the tabloids. With re-enactments, staged scenes, and completely out of context clips from European stag reels cut into live documentary footage, it’s a constantly shifting collection between peepshow and freakshow. Generally free of the animal cruelty that marks European mondo films, it was aimed much more toward theaters of the arts like the Pussycat Theater than basement arthouses, during which Frost perfected his use of POV he’d later use in films like ZERO IN AND SCREAM and the Video Nasty Nazi nightmare of LOVE CAMP 7. Those of you who came out for WITCHCRAFT 70 know about Lee Frost’s ability to cut European Mondo into American Smut and will find all three of these films in the same lascivious mode. Welcome to the far side of the peephole! Welcome to MONDO NOWHERE!


MONDO BIZARRO
Dir. Lee Frost, 1966
USA, 76 min.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 – MIDNIGHT
** One night only! **


MONDO FREUDO
Dir. Lee Frost, 1966
USA, 76 min.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 – MIDNIGHT
** One night only! **


THE FORBIDDEN
Dir. Lee Frost, 1966
USA, 68 min.
(US edition, modified from the original)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 – MIDNIGHT
** One night only! **