This contest applies to those in and around or visiting the greater Los Angeles area this week/weekend.
Last week Jennifer R. nabbed herself a one-month pass to Cinefamily (where she can now binge on all the horror movies she can handle all month long), while five runner-ups were able to see last Friday’s sexy brand-spankin’ new 35mm print of John Carpenter’s Christine. Well, the good times and horror movies aren’t done rolling just yet.
This week CHUD and Cinefamily are giving away five more tickets (with a plus-1 of course), and better yet, we’ll let you choose which show you want to see!
Here are your options, from Cinefamily themselves (details on how to win at the bottom):
10/07 @ 8:00pm Dario Argento Double Feature:
Dario Argento fans love arguing over whether this or Suspiria is his best film, but there’s a good case to be made that this isn’t just his finest achievement but also the best giallo ever made, period. David Hemmings (in one of his best roles) plays an English pianist who witnesses the brutal murder of his psychic neighbor and is drawn into a nightmarish web of clues involving grisly children’s drawings, a nasty Christmas double homicide from the past, a ghoulish lullaby, and a rising body count (including one standout scene swiped by John Carpenter for Halloween). Driven by Goblin’s ferocious and legendary rock score, this all-time classic features some of the scariest images Argento ever put on film (brace yourself for the dummy!) and works like gangbusters with an audience on the big screen; don’t even think of missing this one, proudly presented here in its 30-minutes-longer, richer uncut Italian version in a very rare 35mm screening.
Largely considered to be his last truly great work, Dario Argento’s Opera possesses most of the stylistic hallmarks the mad Italian director is known for: crazy camera movements, unconventional scoring and song placement, tricked-out lighting and Hitchcock-on-PCP sequences of suspense and violence. The story is simply a reworking of “Phantom of The Opera” by way of the giallo, the genre Argento had undisputably mastered at this point in his career. His longtime musical colloborator Claudio “Goblin” Simonetti is back to do some scoring, this time with superstar producer Brian Eno in tow, which is a good thing considering how central the music is to the story. The film has some true standout moments of classic, hyper-creative Argento imagery, such as the scene in which a woman’s eyes are taped open with needles as she’s forced to watch the killer brutally stab someone to death. Does that sound like a good time to you? Then you need to get yourself to the theatre, ’cause this is one opera that won’t put you to sleep!
10/8 @ 8:00pm Japanese Gore Night!:
Mutant Girls Squad (L.A. premiere!)
“At 2009’s NYAFF, action choreographer/director Tak Sakaguchi (Be A Man! Samurai School), director/special effects genius Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) and cherubic pervert Noboru Iguchi (Robogeisha) got drunk and vowed to make a movie together. For better or worse, this splatter-ific, hyperactive take on X-Men is going to shock, horrify and delight you…Rin is a normal high school girl, but on her Sweet Sixteen, her body starts changing, and a special forces squad busts up her birthday party and kills her guests with booger bullets. It turns out that Rin’s one of the reviled mutants (known as Hirukos), who are the latest inferior race slated for extinction. Rin runs, and discovers a resistance movement made up of other mutants: swords shoot out their nipples, chainsaws project from their butts, deformed faces grow on their bellies and metal claws erupt from their wrists — but these deformities are the weapons they’ll use to tear down straight society! Close in tone to Tokyo Gore Police‘s Cronenberg’s liberation anthems…Mutant Girls Squad is cheap, tacky and weird. But it’s also clear that for all its awkward moments and low budget restrictions, it’s a successful melding of these three directors into one giant, bloody robot, [ready] to crush the normals and to gleefully transgress all the boundaries of good taste.” — New York Asian Film Festival
Alien Vs. Ninja (L.A. premiere!)
“That title isn’t enough for you?…in the context of crowd-pleasing fun, it far outshines Hollywood’s lame summer product.” -Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
“In medieval Japan, no one can hear you scream! Whoever wins — we lose! It came to our planet for the thrill of the hunt but it picked the wrong man! It’s an alien, a big disgusting alien who wants to rip out our intestines and tear off our heads. It comes from a planet where everything is goopy and disgusting and the only language it speaks is horrible violence. It’s like a drunk redneck with a gun set loose at a wedding reception. This sick extraterrestrial freak even wants to impregnate our species with its hideous jelly babies. It is unstoppable. It is unkillable. It is unbeatable. But it made one mistake: it forgot to make itself ninja-proof. Like some kind of ultra-stupid, ultra-gory version of the Mighty Moronic Power Rangers, Alien Vs. Ninja is the kind of boneheaded movie that does exactly what it says on the box. There are ninjas, and they fight an alien and by the end so many buckets of gore have been emptied, so many prop swords have been soaked in green alien gunk and so many copyright laws have been violated that the entire Dumb Movies Genre needs to go on vacation!” — New York Asian Film Festival
10/08 @ midnight Dreamcatcher
When Dreamcatcher was released back in 2003, you probably thought to yourself, “Another Stephen King adaptation. Is it about a dreamcatcher possessed with the ultimate evil or something? Blecch, I’ll pass.” Oh, how wrong you were, my friend. Directed by Hollywood writing legend Lawrence Kasdan and based on a novel King wrote in a haze of post-car accident painkillers, Dreamcatcher is a wild mish-mash of some of King’s more celebrated works, coupled with wacky new concepts like anal aliens and bizarro government cover-ups. Your brain will boil in your skull as each reel gets progressively crazier than the last, culminating in a wack-a-do finale that will leave you stupefied and gibbering in your seat. Dreamcatcher is a gonzo film-lover’s wet dream: an expensive, wildly entertaining holyfuckingshit of a film that you will never, ever forget. Starring Jason Lee, Thomas Jane, Tom Sizemore, Donnie Wahlberg, and Morgan Freeman (sporting some of the strangest prosthetic eyebrows since “Space: 1999″). Do not miss this unique cinematic experience!!!!
10/9 @ 8:00pm Cinefamily Pajama Party II: Bitch-Craft!
You are about to enter a vortex of power, a place beyond imagining,where birth and death, dark and light, joy and pain, meet and make one. You are about to step between the worlds, beyond time, outside the realm of your human life. — Coven Initiation Spell
You — are about to attend Cinefamily Pajama Party II: Bitch-Craft! The circle is drawn, the succubi have been invoked, and there’s no turning back now: for one night only, the hallowed (haunted) halls of this theatre will become a Cine-coven, devoted to the raw power of the dark arts, of girls gathered together, and of white rap musical numbers. We’ll be partying way past the witching hour with tunes from DJ Dia (KSPC’s “Songs For The Whippersnapper”), Craft-y crafts like wand-making stations, and Satantic rituals such as “light as a feather, stiff as a board.” And while the sign says, “No Boys Allowed” outside, men can technically attend — if they dare.
We’ll open with cult fave The Craft, starring Neve Campbell, Rachel True, and the possibly-an-actual-Old-One Fairuza Balk as Catholic schoolgirls whose horrible backstories and raging personality disorders lead them beyond goth and into an actual obsession with Wicca. When Robin Tunney, the new girl at school, turns out to have actual powers, they recruit her, and soon move past “the glamour effect” (which enables them to grow their own hair extensions by supernatural means) and head straight to genuinely violent and cruel forms of revenge on bullies, stepdads, and snobby high school racists. Caught somewhere between Evilspeak and Clueless, The Craft is a sizzling spellbinder, whether you’re seeing it for the first time, or revisiting it after 500 viewings in your teen years.
After intermission, it’s the ‘80s musical camp classic Teen Witch, the story of an outcast (Robyn Lively) who finds out on her not-so-sweet 16th birthday that she’s descended from Salem witches. With Poltergeist’s Zelda Rubenstein as her mentor, she uses her powers to magically Madonna-fy herself and become the most popular girl in school, all the while wreaking revenge on her tormentors via such dire wizardry as voodoo dolls and the curse of the afore-mentioned white “Rap-Off.” Overtly a dance number-laden whiffenpoof of a teen trifle, this film hides a surprisingly subversive side — forgoing the usual message that girls should settle for the overlooked loser dudes who’ve loved them all along, and instead permitting our adolescent augerer to get it on with the jock of her darkest desires.
10/10 @ 8:00pm Pet Sematary / Pet Sematary Two with director Mary Lambert in person!
In the ‘80s Stephen King became a legitimate brand name, and as a result, movie screens were hit with a deluge of King adaptations, most of which were middling to poor. It seemed at the time, that the only successful King adaptations and would have to be seriously retooled to fit the directors’ visions (the way auteurs Kubrick and De Palma had in the 70s). But then came Mary Lambert’s Pet Sematary in 1989. Lambert, a talented young director then making music videos for Madonna and Janet Jackson, showed you could adapt King’s material straightforwardly, and still make a genuinely spooky film. Lambert manages to mine genuine scares and dread from an admittedly goofy but simple premise: a burial ground outside of a small-town pet cemetery has the power to resurrect whatever or whoever is buried in it — but like in all good versions of “The Monkey’s Paw,” there’s a catch. Lambert shows particular skill at taking King’s creepiest characters and incarnating them in flesh: the late great Fred Gwynne’s take on “Jud Crandall”, the nightmare-inducing invalid shut-in “Zelda” (in a daring cross-gender casting coup, played by Andrew Hubatsek), and the skin-crawling presence of murderous baby revenant “Gage Creed.” You’ll also tap your toes to the kick-ass titular Ramones song that closes the end credits. Mary Lambert will be here for a Q&A after the film — and stick around for Pet Sematary Two after the intermission!
Alright, so here’s the deal. Pick whichever show you’d like tickets for, then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell me your best horror movie viewing experience. Whatever “best” means to you, let me have it. And put CINEFAMILY CONTEST in the subject line.
Good hunting, Chewers.