Monday, April 17, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Phoenix Forgotten, Pan's Labyrinth, The Body Snatcher

Hi everybody! I'm really excited to tell you guys about the movies playing in the bay area this week. First off, we're getting a new found footage movie, opening at the end of this week. When we first saw this trailer, Trash tried to look up the film the next day and came up with nothing. It wasn't on IMDB, wasn't listed on Rotten Tomatoes, and didn't seem to exist at all. And I believe it was called something else at the time. And just when I was about to chalk it up to a weird attempt at viral advertisement, the film surfaced, Phoenix Forgotten. Anyway, I've been pumped for it ever since, with a couple of reservations... Say what you will about the sub-genre, I think it's pretty ballsy to continue releasing found footage in theatres.

San Francisco's 4 Star Theatre has two more showtimes for The Void, which we made sure to check out over the weekend. This theatre hadn't really been on my radar for a while now, because I'd never actually been to it and felt weird referring people to it. But now that I've finally check it out and talked to some of the employees, I'll always keep this place in mind. They get some very cool and super limited releases. 

Opening This Week

Opens Friday 21st (1hr 20min)
Horror/ Mystery/ SciFi (IMDB)
Based on the shocking, true events of March 13th, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon became known as "The Phoenix Lights", and remains the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history. Phoenix Forgotten tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night, and were never seen again. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed...

Wednesday 19th & Thursday 20th @ 8:35pm (1hr 30min)
Horror (IMDB)
When police officer Carter (Aaron Poole) discovers a blood-soaked man limping down a deserted road, he rushes him to a local hospital with a barebones, night shift staff. As cloaked, cult-like figures surround the building, the patients and staff inside start to turn ravenously insane. Trying to protect the survivors, Carter leads them into the depths of the hospital where they discover a gateway to immense evil.

Midnight Madness

Friday 21st @ 11:55pm 
Drama/ Horror/ SciFi (Rotten Tomatoes)
Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro returns to the phantasmagorical cinema that defined such early fare as Cronos and The Devil's Backbone with this haunting fantasy-drama set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and detailing the strange journeys of an imaginative young girl who may be the mythical princess of an underground kingdom. Her mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), recently remarried to sadistic army captain Vidal (Sergi Lpez) and soon to bear the cruel military man's child, shy young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is forced to entertain herself as her recently-formed family settles into their new home nestled deep in the Spanish countryside. As Ofelia's bed-ridden mother lies immobilized in anticipation of her forthcoming child and her high-ranking stepfather remains determined to fulfill the orders of General Francisco Franco to crush a nearby guerilla uprising, the young girl soon ventures into an elaborate stone labyrinth presided over by the mythical faun Pan (Doug Jones). Convinced by Pan that she is the lost princess of legend and that in order to return to her underground home she must complete a trio of life-threatening tasks, Ofelia sets out to reclaim her kingdom and return to her grieving father as Vidal's housekeeper Mercedes (Maribel Verd) and doctor (Alex Angulo) plot secretly on the surface to keep the revolution alive. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Thursday 20th @ 9:30pm (1hr 53min)
Drama/ SciFi/ Thriller (IMDB)
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Also playing at the 4 Star Theatre

Staff Pick

Thursday 20th @ 9:30pm (1hr 43min)
Comedy/ Horror (IMDB)
Peter Loew, a sleazy NYC literary agent, prowls the bars in the evening looking for some action. One night he hooks up with Jennifer Beals, and in the course of their relations, she bites him on the neck. When he wakes up the next morning, Peter doesn't feel quite right. He is irritable, and has a hard time dealing with life at the literary agency, where his secretary takes the brunt of his ire. Suddenly, it dawns on Peter that he was bitten by a vampire, so he goes out and buys a set of real fangs. Then the chaos begins.

Val Lewton Double Feature

Isle of the Dead (1945)
Friday 21st @ 6:05pm & 9pm (1hr 11min)
Drama/ Horror/ Mystery (IMDB)
Inspired by Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin's famous painting, this seminal horror film marked the first of three collaborations between RKO producer Val Lewton and British genre star Boris Karloff. Set during the 1912 Balkan Wars, Isle of the Death featured Karloff as Greek general Pherides who, along with an American journalist (Marc Cramer), visits the gravesite of his late wife on a deserted island. They find the grave desecrated and a group of travelers held hostage by the superstitious beliefs of Kyra (Helene Thimig). One by one, the inhabitants of the island are felled by what Dr. Drossos (Ernest Dorian aka Ernst Deutsch) terms the plague, but what Kyra insists is the work of Thea (Ellen Drew), a young nurse she believes to be a "varvoloka," an ancient Greek vampire. Thea's patient, Mrs. St. Aubun (Katherine Emery), suffers from death-like trances and, sure enough, during one of her spells, she is pronounced dead by Swiss archeologist Albrecht (Jason Robards Sr. and is interred alive.


The Body Snatcher (1945)
Friday 21st @ 7:30pm (1hr 17min)
Drama/ Horror/ Suspense (Rotten Tomatoes)
In this film, Henry Daniell stars as a brilliant 18th-century London surgeon. Daniell can only make his humanitarian medical advances by experimenting on cadavers, which is strictly illegal. Karloff plays a grave robber, providing corpses for Daniell's research. The low-born Karloff enjoys blackmailing the aristocratic Daniell into silence.


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