Sunday night was the secret movie night up at the Capitol Theatre. This is rapidly turning into one of my favorite events, especially since they did it twice this year.
The idea is this – they announce the upcoming schedule for the midnight and cult movies, then you stick around for a free film, always a cinematic atrocity from the programmers personal collection.
I entered the theatre, and discovered that insted of trailers or slides (like you usally see if you arrive at a movie early) they had the Christmas episode of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse running. I was never a big fan of the show as a kid. I’m still not, but I appreciate the lunacy a great deal more and man, how weird is it to see Lawrence Fishborne and William Marshell together in this thing? It’s stuff like this that makes these events feel more like a get together, like you’re hanging out at a friends place watching ridiculous stuff on TV – only in this case, it’s a movie screen insted of a TV.
The lights went up and two lucky people won prizes; a copy of a beautiful art book – “Alternative Movie Posters” vol 2. The artist had been exhibiting at Genghis Con on the east side of Cleveland that day (I keep meaning to get out to that one, it’s run by the guys at Comics are Go, my preferred comic shop) and he slipped the Capitol Theatre a copy to give away that night. Seriously, this is a great prize. I’ve been seeing the ads for this book at every con I’ve gone to this year and it comes out in just a day or so. This winner got it early, and for free.
The second prize was a season pass to the Late shift series. A pretty amazing win and honestly, if you’re coming to the secret movie, you’re definitely up for these films.
And now, on with the show.
How do I describe what followed? The film is called “Final Score”. It stars Chris Mitchum– yes, the son of Robert Mitchum. I spent most of the film trying to figure out exactly where it was supposed to be set at. In the beginning during the talk of software development and turing “here” into the new silicone valley I thought maybe they were trying to sugesst it was in the US, even though it was obviously a forign film. Nope, later on the main character’s son asks “Why do we live here insted of America?” Okay, fine. But where exactly is here???
The final battle takes place in a very japanese looking building, and I ocassionaly see horse and carts in the street – not amish ones but old fashioned ones – and this film takes place in the 80’s. That’s another clue. Seriously, it was kind of hard to tell. The cast is mixed, with a lot of American skin tones confusing me further. I eventually had to go to IMDB to discover it was Indonesian. Let’s see what else IMDB has to say about it.
Richard Brown, a decorated Vietnam War veteran now living in Indonesia, discovers that gunmen invaded his home, murdered his son, Bobby, (preparing to celebrate his 8th birthday), and gang-raped and murdered his wife, Florinda. Vowing revenge, he begins to track down the culprits, learning in the process that they’re in the employ of a business rival named Hawk. At one point he’s captured, beaten, and tortured but then he’s rescued by Julia, Hawk’s personal secretary, who also seeks revenge on her employer for causing the death of her sister. Brown eventually finds and confronts Hawk at Hawk’s fortress-like compound.
This is not an entirely bad description, but it lacks the flavor of the movie. Mitchum is wholly without charisma. In every close up he looks like he’s having a stroke and he’s mastered this look of not quite knowing where he is at the moment…
Its obvious that the entire movie was shot without sound. The dubbing and foley however, get so exaggerated that it frequently crosses over into the cartoonish, and if there’s one thing this movie doesn’t need, it’s MORE cartoonish features.
Explosions abound. I wish I had kept count because they are everywhere. It’s almost as if a pyrotechnic guy met another guy who knew how to make squibs and decided “Hey! Let’s make a movie!”. There’s too much of a budget on display here for that to be the case, and more’s the shame. I have to wonder if anyone was actually keeping tabs on this film. On paper it’s dynamite. Helicopter fighting a dirt bike with a Gatling gun on it…(you know that bike that’s in every commercial for the original Machete? This movie did that first.) a car chase that ends with the bad guys car slammed into by a train, revenge, gunfights, and a ninja shows up at one point.
This really is amazingly bad, and I’m honestly curious enough to pick up some of director Arizal‘s other work, just to see what else he’s done. It’s a movie to see with friends, not alone. It’s up on Youtube right now, though I imagine it could get pulled at any moment if someone actually wants to enforce copyright in this turkey. The rape scene ensures it won’t be in my collection, but I’m still happy to have experienced this film in all of it’s cheesy glory.
By the way, if you’re interested in the Late Shift lineup, check out the list below.
Join me this weekend for Cleveland Movie marathons!
Okay….so let me explain what’s going on this weekend.
Friday starting at 7:00 the Aut-O-Rama drive-in theatre will be presenting a horror marathon : Night of the Living Dead, Nightmare On elm Street, Friday the Thirteenth and The Shining (Yay! I was so bummed that the shining screening was cancelled a few weeks ago). The Drive-In has two screens, so on the opposite screen there will also be family friendly films like Hotel Transylvania, Gremlins, Casper and BeetleJuice. The cost for the four film marathon is thier standard admission of $9.00.
Saturday night going into Sunday morning is 12 Hours of Terror at the Capitol Theatre on west 65th street in Cleveland. The all night marathon includes the Original Evil Dead, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, From Beyond, Creature From the Black Lagoon (in 3d!), Christine, Street Trash and a surprise feature. Seven movies for $30 at the door (or $25.00 in advance).
After Breakfast at Church, I’ll be heading out to the Lorain Palace for thier double feature of the Friday the Thirteenth remake and Poltergeist. Cost for the double feature on the biggest indoor screen in Lorain County is $5.00.
A film weekend of Cinema Wasteland proportion (for about the same as a weekend pass). I know we’ve all seen most of these films on TV over the years, but there’s something special about seeing something like this on the big screen at a theater. There’s an experience to it….and these aren’t the sterile, neon lit, faceless multiplexes that are scattered through out the country. These are beautiful old theaters. Places with character. The Palace is one of my favorite places on earth, and I’m so grateful that we still have a drive in like the Aut-O-Rama around here- close to my home (twenty minuets) and already upgraded to digital.
Alien : The Director’s Cut
I left Cinema Wasteland a little early on Friday night. I hate to cut out on the party early like that, but there was something special going on . The Apollo Theatre was screening the director’s cut of Alien.
I really miss the days when ships were dirty. When they were cramped and rusty and full of weird parts. Today ships are too clean. Even Prometheus, which cribbed a bunch of the visual style from Alien, was far to clean with holographic displays and smooth panels. This was a far more visually interesting ship and seeing it on the big screen lends so much more to it- you can see the hand written notes stuck to screens, you can see the Waylan name on the beer cans and the photos of family and pets. This was so cool to see at the theatre. The director’s cut is interesting. I’m not really convinced it adds anything to the movie, but it doesn’t really drag it down. I’ve seen a virtual directors cut with every bit of available footage added back in….and that DOES drag, but it’s a lot of fun to spend three hours on the Nostromo. It wouldn’t have worked in the theatre though. Not like this.
The interesting thing about going to see this in the theatre – Oberlin is a college town. The theatre was packed with college students, and it was obvious that most of them had never seen this before (I personally find that unthinkable, but the evidence overwhelms me). It was fascinating to see them react to the movie for the first time. It gave an added joy to seeing this on the big screen and made it that much more memorable. Determinately worth slipping out of Wasteland.
By the way, I ran into the Cleveland Cinema’s Late Shift guys at Wasteland and noticed there’s a screening of Kubrick’s The Shining coming up on the 20th! I may just have to hit that next!
Die Hard this weekend! The perfect Christmas gift!
Seriously, what better way to get yourself into the Christmas spirit than watching Bruce Willis take on a bunch of terrorists barefooted with the help of the dad from the Urlke show?
My friend Mike was talking about coming up from Toledo to see it and I might even get my wife to come out. We’ll see you at the Capitol Saturday night at midnight!
Art Pad Grand opening tonight
So tonight while Amy and Lydia are out hunting for a Christmas Dress, Maddie and I will be heading out to a new gallery! I suppose I could take her to see the Big Lebowski at the Cedar Lee, but her mother might frown on that.
If you see us, tap me on the shoulder and say hello!
12 Hours of Terror
And what a movie night we have ahead of us! The Capitol Theatre presents its 3rd Annual 12 Hours of Terror all-night horror movie marathon. Titles include: The original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) FRIGHT NIGHT (1985), SLITHER (2006), SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004), TERROR TRAIN (1980), JAWS 3-D (1983) plus a surprise secret screening! No one under 18 admitted. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 day of show.
Look guys, movies like these were made to be seen on a big screen. 12 hours is always a good time and not a bad deal, even at thirty dollars. I guarantee you won’t be disappointing.
And if you are, read some Violent Blue. That always cheers me right up.
Ugh. The Cleveland Cinema’s Late Shift did it again. They scheduled a movie I want ot go see on the big screen at the same time as Cinema Wasteland. Not sure what to do here. I really don’t want to leave the Wasteland party to run across town, but this is Beetlejuice. I really like Beetlejuice. It’s from back when Time Burton still made great films. My wife is even talking about wanting to go to this. I’ll have to look over the con schedule again and see if I can’t figure out how to swing both of these.
Maybe I’ll just go draw some more Violent Blue and the answer will come to me.
SO Flash is showing this Saturday at the Capitol Theatre and I’m still a little undecided as to wether or not I want to go.
Can someone explain this to me? I realize this film has a huge cult following, but I don’t get it. I like the old serials, I dig the comic strips. I get that they have a sort of ridiculous “Retro-Future” look to them….of course it wasn’t silly looking at the time. I think we forget that.
My friend Johnny Em says the charm is in the outragousness of the film. It’s the same thing that draws him to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World But for me, it just feels like the material is being made fun of. Much like last years Green Hornet film did. Taken seriously, with respect for its roots (something the Sci-Fi channel version of Flash copmpletely abandoned – I just saw the pilot on DVD at a Dollar store) this material can stand on it’s own, it dosen’t needto be tarted up in camp. That kind of thinking killed the Batman movies for a time, it’s no wonder we haven’t gotten a good version of Flash again….well other than Star Wars.
I’ll probably head out if my friends want to go see it. Maybe it’ll be better on the big screen in a pretty theatre, kind of like how My Bloody Valentine was improved by 3D glasses.
I won’t hold my breath.