If you read CHUD I don’t (or at least shouldn’t) have to tell you who Larry Cohen is. The prolific auteur and undisputed kingpin of 70’s and 80’s independent genre cinema, as a writer/director Cohen gifted cinema with such fevered celluloid explosions as Black Caesar, It’s Alive, God Told Me To, Full Moon High, Q: The Winged Serpent, The Stuff, and The Ambulance. What you may not know, though, is that Cohen is an even larger personality in person. Hilarious, insightful, spontaneous, charmingly immodest, and a geyser of behind-the-scenes guerrilla filmmaking anecdotes that will leave you feeling genuinely awed, inspired and, of course, wholly uncreative yourself — I mean, why haven’t you tricked the FBI into letting you shoot your stupid movie in FBI headquarters yet? A perfect example of Cohen’s bravado as a public speaker is when Joe Dante staged a live Trailers From Hell (Google that if you don’t know what it is; you’ll thank me for it later) at The Cinefamily, with a host of genre luminaries like Roger Corman doing live commentary over trailers for films they either worked on or personally selected. Then Dante announced that he was bringing up Cohen, and that Cohen had not been told which trailers he’d be seeing and talking over. This is how confident Joe Dante was in Cohen’s improv abilities. And it was golden.
Speaking of The Cinefamily, this Saturday and Sunday the coolest repertory theater in Los Angeles is doing a tribute to Larry Cohen, with Cohen on hand to blather greatness to the eager crowd.
Saturday is “An Evening With Larry Cohen” presented with a screening of The Stuff. Then Sunday is “Larry-Thon: A Larry Cohen Triple Feature” with It’s Alive, Q, and The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (a lesser Cohen film, but this one has great behind the scene stories). Cohen will be present and chatting both nights, the primary difference is that “An Evening With” will be a formal Inside the Actors Studio-style sit-down chat with the man talking about the breadth of his career, whereas the triple feature will be standard Q&As focusing on the films being shown. Both will be amazing in their own rights.
I love Larry Cohen. And I love the Cinefamily. And I love CHUD. So here’s what we’re gonna do. Cinefamily has graciously offered to give two lucky Chewers two free tickets plus a super comfy two-person couch. To clarify, there will be only one winner on Sat and Sun respectively, and that single winner will receive two free tickets and couch.
To enter just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with COHEN in the subject line and tell me which Cohen movie you’re most looking forward to see (or wish they were showing). Now this is important: make sure to give me your full name and specify which night you’d like to attend – Saturday or Sunday.
I will only be contacting the winners.