Monday, December 14, 2015

Horror is Always in Season in the Bay Area

We may be deep into the Christmas (or other such holidays) season, but that doesn't mean that horror isn't still playing all around us! For many people, it's mostly on their own screens, but if you're in or near the bay area, I have a couple of theatre field trips to suggest to you. 

Showing at the Balboa Theatre 12-14 at 7:30pm

"Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee), a brilliant British anthropologist researching in the Russian Far East, boards the Trans-Siberian Express with his latest discovery, a frozen specimen he hopes to prove is the missing link. But en route to Europe, passengers begin to turn up dead, and terror engulfs the train as Saxton and his partner, Dr. Wells (Peter Cushing), struggle to contain a mysterious -- and increasingly murderous -- force with the power to control minds."

Showing at the Balboa Theatre 12-16 at 7:30pm

"In psychedelic swinging 60s style, the dreaded thief (and killer) Diabolik wreaks havoc on a generic European country for his own financial gain and amusement. He shares an extravagant underground lair (and a giant bed of money) with his curvaceous, superficial girlfriend...who uses her awesome powers of wig-wearing to help Diabolik kill innocent people and steal billions from the government. Nonetheless, Diabolik is the "hero" of the film because he must face off against bumbling cops and revenge-seeking mafiosos."

But also on Wednesday 12-16, the Castro Theatre will have one night of 

Two movies, one night! This is also the night the screening schedule for Noir City Fest 14 will be revealed. 
"California homemaker Joan Bennett longs to separate her headstrong daughter Geraldine Brooks from the influences of bad apple boyfriend Shepperd Strudwick. But events spiral out of control, and soon mother and daughter are covering their tracks from an accidental homicide. Enter shady character James Mason—tall, dark, and handsome, and in possession of evidence that would incriminate Bennett. Max Ophüls criminally underrated noir masterpiece weaves this weird, it-could-never-be romance with a twisty, tension-fueled plot." 1949
"Victor Mature plays a hump trying to shake the crooked life who gets enlisted by the cops as a stoolie. He fingers Richard Widmark for a job that's been nagging the law, but the prosecution bungles the case and the wacko walks. Mature sends his family away, knowing that he'll have to confront the vengeful Widmark if he ever wants to be free of him. Kiss of Death is actually one of the earliest psycho-stalker movies—all of its suspense is generated by wondering when and where Widmark (in his debut performance as Tommy Udo!) will reappear, making the audience eager for whatever fresh, twisted tricks he has up his sleeve."

Castro will also be holding a couple of double features this weekend, one of which is:

Showing at Castro Theatre 12-19 at 2:15pm and 7pm

"Based on the Henry James story "The Turn of the Screw," a psychological thriller about a woman who takes a governess job for two orphans in a Victorian home. She begins to see what she believes are ghosts and suspects the children's bizarre behavior is the result of supernatural powers."

The Shining
Showing at the Castro 12-19 at 4:15pm and 9pm

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack's writing goes nowhere and Danny's visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel's dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.

The Quay Brothers in 35mm
Showing at the Roxie Theatre 12-13 to 12-17 at 7pm

“American identical twins working in London, stop motion animators Stephen and Timothy Quay (born 1947 in Norristown, Pennsylvania) find their inspiration in Eastern European literature and classical music and art, their work distinguished by its dark humor and an uncanny feeling for color and texture. Masters of miniaturization, they turn their tiny sets into unforgettable worlds suggestive of long-repressed childhood dreams. These three Quay masterworks, selected by director Christopher Nolan, feature broken pencils and lead shavings in IN ABSENTIA (2000; “a dazzling piece of work” – The Guardian); a porcelain doll’s explorations of adreamer’s imagination in THE COMB (1991; “most beautiful of their recent films” – The New Yorker); and the nightmarish netherworld of STREET OF CROCODILES (1986; “their crowning achievement” – Film Comment); and for the first time ever, QUAY (2015), Nolan’s new short film revealing the inner workings of the Brothers’ studio. All four films in 35mm.” –Film Forum. Year: 1986-2015 Origin: UK/USA. Color and B&W Approx. 70 mins. All four films in 35mm."

Even if this isn't directly horror, every still I've seen of these shorts looks amazing and horrifying, so this I definitely want to check this out.

Showing at the Roxie Theatre 12-19 to 12-21

"In the future, mankind lives in vast underground cities and free will is outlawed by means of mandatory medication that controls human emotion. But when THX 1138 (Robert Duvall) and LUH 3417 (Maggie McOmie) stop taking their meds, they wake up to the bleak reality of their own existence and fall in love with each other in the process. But love is also illegal in this Orwellian dystopia, and the act of making love has made both of them outlaws on the run from an army of robotic police."

Of course, there is also the obvious, seasonal choice...

"While the holiday season represents the most magical time of year, ancient European folklore warns of Krampus, a horned beast who punishes naughty children at Christmastime. When dysfunctional family squabbling causes young Max (Emjay Anthony) to lose his festive spirit, it unleashes the wrath of the fearsome demon. As Krampus lays siege to the Engel home, mom (Toni Collette), pop (Adam Scott), sister (Stefania LaVie Owen) and brother must band together to save one another from a monstrous fate."

And you can read our review here.

Now let's all go to the movies!

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