Monday, May 8, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Dead Awake, Deadly Spawn, Cat People

We're heading into the middle of May and things are getting really good. The Cat Power! film fest continues at the Yerba Buena Theatre with the 1982 Cat People, Midnites for Maniacs presents a Twin Peaks Tribute Double  feature at the Roxie Theatre, and we're ending the week with a new release with might just be playing in the bay area...

Opening This Week

Opens Friday 12th (1hr 39min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB) 
From the creator of the iconic FINAL DESTINATION franchise comes the paralyzing thriller DEAD AWAKE. Kate Bowman (Jocelin Donahue) is a straight-laced social worker who finds herself plunged into a world of supernatural terror while investigating a series of mysterious deaths. Each victim suffered from a chilling condition known as sleep paralysis, a nightmarish assault on the senses that immobilizes its victims as they dream. As a terrifying entity begins to haunt Kate's friends and loved ones, she must fight to stay awake to stop the nightmare she's unleashed!

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 9th @ 10:15pm (1hr 21min)
Horror/ SciFi (IMDB)
A meteorite crashes to earth during a torrential thunderstorm, bringing with it a slimy, three-headed alien beast that craves human meat and gives birth to hundreds of eel-like spawn. The monster takes up residence in the basement of a family home, devouring the parents without anyone else's knowledge. The oldest son Pete (Michael Robert Coleman) is a science major in college, and his younger brother Charles (Charles George Hildebrandt) is a horror movie fanatic who loves to dress up like his favorite monsters and scare his visiting aunt and uncle. When an electrician arrives to check the fuse box, Charles follows him into the basement in costume for a little fun, but instead discovers the hideous alien and what's left of his mother's corpse. Meanwhile, two of Pete's friends come over for a study session, bringing along the remains of a dead alien spawn that they found on the side of the road. Baffled, they dissect it in an effort to establish its origin, but it seems to defy everything they've ever been taught in class. Their intellectual curiosity is abandoned when they find Pete's uncle being eaten by a swarm of alien spawn, and from there on it's a fight for survival against the monster.

Weird Wednesday

Wednesday 10th @ 10:15pm (2hrs 3min)
Drama/ Horror/ Fantasy (IMDB)
Santa Sangre is the surreal horror story about a young man, Fenix (Axel Jodorowsky) who has grown up in a circus with his mother Concha (Blanca Guerra) and his philandering father. Fenix witnesses a brutal fight between his mother and father, at the end of which his mother loses both of her arms and his father commits suicide. Fenix spends years in an insane asylum, before his mother persuades him to act as her hands in her bizarre nightclub act. Soon, Concha is having Fenix perform a variety of murders, where he is killing every female in sight. Though the film has some of the hallucinatory qualities of Jodorowsky's earlier films, Santa Sangre doesn't quite have the same punch, particularly in terms of cerebral and emotional impact, despite its fine visuals. Santa Sangre is available in both R-rated and NC-17 edits.

Friday 5th to Monday 8th
First feature starts @ 7:15pm 
Monday, May 8
An ex-con stumbles into a vicious payback scheme when he takes on a series of contract killings, and is caught in a maze of deceit. Japon negro at its bleakest and most lurid!
Sexual blackmail goes viral when a young housemaid becomes obsessed with the husband of an unsuspecting family. Eun-shim Lee’s performance is so extreme that a backlash formed against her and she never appeared in any other film!

Tuesday 9nd @ 8pm (53 min)
Before he was a filmmaker, David Lynch was an art student, a painter. His film work grew out of painting, not cinephilia, and his first film, Six Men Getting Sick (1967) is in a very real sense, a “motion picture”. Lynch’s early shorts are fascinating because they’re not indebted to conventional movies. They are explorations of shape and light, texture, form and sound, and they open up the first crack into the feverish anxieties, the abiding sense of dread and disgust that runs as a malevolent undercurrent throughout Lynch’s cinema.

Midnites for Maniacs Presents

Thursday 11th @ 6:45pm (2hrs 37min)
Drama/ Romance (IMDB)
This 1957 adaptation of Grace Metalious’ controversial novel is perhaps the biggest influence on David Lynch’s TWiN PEAKS. A subversive soap-opera that was surprisingly nominated for nine Oscars, unmasked the moral hypocrisy of a small fictional American mill town in the years surrounding World War II. Scripted by John Michael Hayes (hot off writing Hitchcock’s REAR WiNDOW and THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH) and showcasing a daring performance by Lana Turner (as well as Russ Tamblyn aka Dr. Jacoby), PEYTON PLACE has slipped through the cracks of film history (perhaps upstaged by the T.V. show adaptions.) It now deserves to be ranked alongside the classic mid-1950s social critiques: REBEL WiTHOUT A CAUSE, BiGGER THAN LiFE, ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and IMiTATiON OF LiFE. Come out to the restored 60th Anniversary (DCP) screening and uncover this unique and equally disturbing sub-genre of “Film Noir”, which could be defined as “Film-Blanc.”


Blue Velvet (1986)
Thursday 11th @ 9:45pm (2hrs)
Drama/ Mystery (Rotten Tomatoes)
David Lynch made his surreal mark in Hollywood with this unofficial prequel to TWiN PEAKS. College student Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) comes back home to uncover the disturbing undertow in his small American town. Setting the stage for everything TWiN PEAKS, this 1980s throwback to the 1950s is more than essential viewing as we prepare for the return of the greatest TV show to ever air on network television. DId I mention Angelo Badalamenti did the haunting score for this as well? 35mm print courtesy of Park Circus.

Cat Power!

Thursday 11th @ 7:30pm (1hr 58min)
Fantasy/ Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
In this loose adaptation of the 1942 horror classic of the same name, a 2001-style opening montage establishes some sort of sacrificial, mystical union between panthers and an ancient tribe of humans. Flash forward to 1980's New Orleans, where waifish Irina (Natassja Kinski) meets her older brother, Paul (Malcolm McDowell), a minister, for the first time since their animal trainer parents died and she was sent to a series of foster homes. Paul's Creole housekeeper, Female (Ruby Dee), helps Irina settle into her brother's home, but Paul himself disappears. Cut to a fleabag motel where a blasé prostitute finds an angry panther instead of a client; after mauling her, the cat is captured by police and a team of zoologists: Oliver (John Heard), Alice (Annette O'Toole), and Joe (Ed Begley Jr.). The next day Irina finds herself in the zoo where these scientists work; drawn to the newly captured panther, she befriends Oliver and takes a job in the gift shop. Shortly after the panther's violence turns deadly, it escapes, and soon Paul turns up spouting an unbelievable story about his family's were-cat heritage and his inevitable sexual union with little Irina. On the run from her dangerous brother, Irina takes refuge in a sexually frustrated romance with Oliver, afraid of what might happen if she consummates their passion. Astute viewers will notice that the zoologist characters refer to the film's panthers as leopards; "panther" is actually a generic term for any large cat, especially a black one, but Cat People's panthers are in fact leopards whose black color comes from a recessive trait known as melanism. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi


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