A Terribly Vulgar Program of Horror Film Oddities. This week: Vampyre (Carl Dreyer) + David Lynch and Guy Maddin Shorts
Screens every Tuesday throughout July. All screenings at 9pm. Two dollars per screening.
Tuesday, July 5th
Vampyre (Carl Dreyer, 1932)
"One of the strangest, most idiosyncratic horror films ever made." This angular narrative concerns occult researcher David Gray's confrontation with a European village tackling a serious Vampire problem. A young girl is losing blood and in attempt to save her life, Gray donates his not before falling into a fevre dream during which he envisions his own burial and other surreal mainfestations. Dreyer's brooding use of light and unsettling atmosphere is some of the finest expressionist cinematography commited to celluliod. Eraserhead and Fritz Lang enthusiats will adore this obscure and lost treasure of the early sound films that explore the Vampire legacy. running time: 70 minutes
Followed by two shorts produced in the tradtion of early cinema and the horror genre:
Lumiere (David Lynch, 1995)
A one minute short shot with the original Lumiere camera that is said to have fertilized the birth of cinema. creepy and oh so Lynchian. running time: 1 minute
Hospital Fragment (Guy Maddin, 1999)
Eccentric and under appreciated Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin revisits the images of Gimli Hospital in this disturbing exploration of desire, masochism and dead fish. running time: 3 minutes
Tuesday, July 12th
Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1982)
Perhaps the most provocative work in the Cronenberg canon. TV producer Max Renn (James Woods) discovers a renegade television channel said to be broadcasting from the U.S. by way of the Developing World. In an effort to increase his own station's marketability (said to be based on Moses Zammier's flagship station, Toronto's City-tv) Max attempts to pick up the station for commercial use, not before falling victim to the programm's reprehensible images of sex and torture. A horrific experiementation in mind control developes as Max becomes the guniue pig for a Maclughanesque treatment of visual culture and its horrific outcomes. Videodrome visualizes televisual horror through female seduction - a prevalent theme in Cronenberg's work - a monster played to perfection by Deborah Harry (pop diva from the 80s band Blondie). A must see for newcomers and certianly worth revisiting on the big screen by any Cronenberg enthusiast. running time: 89 minutes.
Fear on Film (1982)
A rather humorous, if not gregarious round table discussion featuring John Landis, John Carpenter and David Cronenberg produced as promotional material for Universal Studios. This talk explores the specific films of these three filmmakers and their insights of the horror genre. Overall this chit chat illustrates the very "unpostmodern" notion that there are moments in history when we might actually attribute a director's personality to the film's they make. Totally revealing stuff. running time: 26 minutes.
Tuesday, July 19th
A Living Hell (Shugo Fujii, 2000)
A festival favourite since its auspicious debut a few years back, A Living Hell is billed as the Japanese answer to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Wheelchair-bound 22-year-old Yasu is recovering from a mental breakdown when two distant relatives arrive to stay with his family. One is a pasty-faced elderly woman and the other is a pale, skinny girl about Yasu's age, both of whom never talk or display any recognizable human emotions -- and who always stand side by side, looking on with cold, dead stares. When Yasu's father and older siblings are at work during the day, the creepy duo is left alone to torture the helpless boy. Things get most interesting once the narrative takes a sudden turn towards the bizzare as a grusome dose of parental sadism takes the film to a whole other level. Economically produced on a budget of $100,000, A Living Hell is an example of independent Japanese filmmaking at it finest, taking the Family Horror film to a whole new level of gruesome domesticity. running time: 104 minutes.
Tuesday, July 26th
Eaten Alive (Tobe Hooper, 1976)
PRESENTED OUTDOORS IN DRIVE-IN WIDESCREAM: blankets and bicycles encouraged!
Tobe Hooper's highly anticipated, yet suspicously buried follow up to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The story of a hotel keeper, suffering from a bad case of social alientation and genreal psychosis mames his guests with farming equipment not before dumping their half dead bodies into the bayou, home of his angry pet gator. Although not complemented by the luscious cinematography that marked his genre defining film of a few years earlier, Eaten Alive features the camp humour and slasher sensibilities one would expect from a Hooper film from the 70s. Starring the original scream queen Marlyn Burns (of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame) and a very teenaged Robert Englund (Freddie Kruger) who occupies the questionable role of horny bar stud. One of the finest Drive-In flicks from the 70s you've probably never seen. running time: 89 minutes