Friday, May 25, 2018

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): The Sacrament, The Zodiac Killer, Scarlet Diva

I'm so ready for this weekend! Not only because it's a day longer, but also because we're starting it off by finally seeing Revenge, which opens at the Roxie Theatre tonight! Many of the Overlook's family have already seen this film and the rest of us have been hearing great things, so I'm pumped.

Also this weekend, the Yerba Buena has a bittersweet and awesome film series celebrating San Francisco's dark past. It's lovingly called "Please Help Me I Am Drowning" which is a line from one of the Zodiac Killer's letters to the media, and it's justified by their playing both films on the elusive murderer. They couldn't be any more different!

First Reformed also expands to the Alamo Drafthouse starting today. Another title I've been extremely curious about! This will be an eventful weekend after all.

Opening This Week

Limited Theatres/ VOD Friday 25th (1hr 30min)
Horror (Rotten Tomatoes)
Your best friend has just been infected with a horrifying virus that will soon turn her into a rabid, rampaging cannibal-zombie. Do you: a) try to save her? or b) kill her before she kills you? That's the nightmarish scenario six students find themselves facing when their celebratory camping trip goes terrifyingly wrong. One by one, each falls victim to the feral disease, until only Alice and Jules two girlfriends testing the waters of their new relationship are left standing, armed with a shotgun and holed up in a remote cabin. They've got a hell of a fight before them if they hope to survive...

Limited Theatres/VOD Friday 25th (1hr 18min)
Horror (Rotten Tomatoes)
Megan cannot stop the nightmares. Her parents, Rob and Susan, are at their wit's end. When a couple from their small town in New York suggest Megan's soul may be the target of a soul-hungry demon, the family find themselves in a battle for Megan's life, and their own lives as well.

Screening All Weekend (1hr 48min)
Drama/ Thriller (IMDB)
Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church is now a tourist attraction catering to a dwindling congregation, eclipsed by its nearby parent church, Abundant Life, with its state-of-the-art facilities and 5,000-strong flock. When a pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence. From writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver; American Gigolo; Affliction) comes a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary.

Also Screening At 

Midnight Madness

Friday 25th @ 11:55pm (1hr 41 min)
Comedy/ Scifi/ Horror/ Musical (Rotten Tomatoes)
This low-budget freak show/cult classic/cultural institution concerns the misadventures of Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) inside a strange mansion that they come across on a rainy night. After the wholesome pair profess their love through an opening song, their car breaks down in the woods, and they seek refuge in a towering castle nearby. Greeting them at the door is a ghoulish butler named Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien), who introduces them to a bacchanalian collection of partygoers dressed in outfits from some sort of interplanetary thrift shop. The host of this gathering is a transvestite clad in lingerie, Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), a mad scientist who claims to be from another planet.

Friday 25th @ 8:45pm (1hr 30min)
Drama/ Erotic Google)
Shot on digital video, this no-holds-barred, semi-autobiographical film from Italian actress/model Asia Argento presents the bleak decent of a popular actress into a haze of drugs and overindulgence. Anna Battista (Argento) has seemingly everything anyone could ever want, yet sometimes everything is never enough. Fed up with going through the motions as an actor, Battista aspires to seek a career as a director so that she may truly explore her currently latent artistic talent. The queen of excess, Battista's attempts to realize her true talent are time and again shattered as the she is used and abused by everyone she comes into contact with. After a one-night fling with an emotionally distant and uncaring Australian rock star (Jean Sheperd) leaves the self-confessed whore a lovelorn mother-to-be, Battista's desperation to bring her story to the screen finds her dealing with a shady American producer (Joe Coleman), an agent reluctant to assist her in branching out, and a heroin-addicted former filmmaker who is as close to ending his life as Battista is to beginning hers. Her career in disarray and her uncertain future growing increasingly grim, Battista embarks on a numbing binge of sex and drugs that takes her from Europe to America and back again. Attempting to seek-out the father of her unborn child and find some sense of stability, Battista finds the truth about her one-time lover.

Opens Friday 25th (1hr 48min)
Action/ Thriller (IMDB)
Jen (fearlessly embodied by Matilda Lutz, Rings) is enjoying a romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend which is suddenly disrupted when his sleazy friends arrive for an unannounced hunting trip. Tension mounts in the house until the situation abruptly--and viciously--intensifies, culminating in a shocking act that leaves Jen left for dead. Unfortunately for her assailants, Jen survives and reemerges with a relentless, wrathful intent: revenge. A white-knuckle tale of transgression and transformation, REVENGE gloriously blurs the lines of vengeance and survival while simultaneously delivering a ferocious dissection of gender and genre.

Sunday 27th @ 6:45pm (1hr 40min)
Sci-Fi/ Fantasy/ International
A compendium of the best sci-fi and fantasy animation shorts, this special program boast classic works by some of the greatest animation directors, all in 16mm.

To Catch a Thief (1955)
Friday 25th @ 7:30pm (1hr 46min)
Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th @ 3:30pm & 7:30pm
Mystery/ Romance/ Thriller (IMDB)
"When a reformed jewel thief is suspected of returning to his former occupation, he must ferret out the real thief in order to prove his innocence."


Rear Window (1954)
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th @ 5:25pm & 9:25pm (1hr 52min)
Mystery/ Thriller (IMDB)
Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To pass the time between visits from his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and his fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), the binocular-wielding Jeffries stares through the rear window of his apartment at the goings-on in the other apartments around his courtyard. As he watches his neighbors, he assigns them such roles and character names as "Miss Torso" (Georgine Darcy), a professional dancer with a healthy social life or "Miss Lonelyhearts" (Judith Evelyn), a middle-aged woman who entertains nonexistent gentlemen callers. Of particular interest is seemingly mild-mannered travelling salesman Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who is saddled with a nagging, invalid wife. One afternoon, Thorwald pulls down his window shade, and his wife's incessant bray comes to a sudden halt. Out of boredom, Jeffries casually concocts a scenario in which Thorwald has murdered his wife and disposed of the body in gruesome fashion. Trouble is, Jeffries' musings just might happen to be the truth.

(Poster art from Mad Duck Posters)

Friday 25th @ 7:30pm (1hr 48min)
Biography/ Drama (IMDB)
In this docudrama, Natasha Richardson plays Patty Hearst, the heiress to her family newspaper fortune who was kidnapped and allegedly brainwashed by members of the radical Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). She is blindfolded and stuffed into a closet for 57 days and subjected to the philosophies of her SLA captors. She is later offered her freedom but elects to join the group, and Hearst and the gang proceed to go on a rampage of well-publicized bank robberies. Since the story is told from the point of view of the victim -- from her book -- the feature attempts to portray her plight sympathetically. Was she the victim of ruthless political extremists or a spoiled rich girl playing out her counterculture fantasies? The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Twenty years after the kidnapping, her SLA counterparts were still in jail while Hearst, married with children, made the rounds of television talk shows. She is perceived as someone whose incredible financial resources kept her from prison, and her stories of being the terrorized victim are unconvincing at best.

Double Feature

Saturday 26th @  7pm (1hr 27min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller (IMDB)
This 1971 exploitation vehicle is primarily designed for maximum squirms, produced as it was at the height of the true-life killer's notoriety, but it's notable for the efforts made by the filmmakers to include authentic case details while theorizing about the identity of the still-unapprehended serial slayer. Opening with a major red herring in the guise of a trucker who claims to be the Zodiac before being killed by police in a domestic violence standoff, we're eventually introduced to the real psycho, a postal worker named Jerry (Hal Reed) who breeds rabbits in his apartment and murders in order to collect slaves to serve him in the afterlife.


Saturday 26th @ 9pm (1hr 39min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
From acclaimed writer/director Ti West (The House of the Devil) and master of horror Eli Roth (Hostel), THE SACRAMENT follows two journalists as they set out to document their friend's journey to find his missing sister. They travel to "Eden Parish," a self-sustained utopia. At the center of this small, religious, socialist community is a mysterious leader known only as "Father." As their friend reunites with his sister, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it seems. What started as just another documentary shoot soon becomes a race to escape with their lives.(c) Magnolia

Sunday 26th @ 2pm (2hrs 37min)
Crime/ Drama/ History (IMDB)
In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks its residents. Investigators (Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards) and reporters (Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr.) become obsessed with learning the killer's identity and bringing him to justice. Meanwhile, Zodiac claims victim after victim and taunts the authorities with cryptic messages, cyphers and menacing phone calls.


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