The American Cinematheque presents The 7th Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction (August 2 – 26 at the Egyptian Theatre, August 9 – 12 at the Aero Theatre), including many rarities not available on DVD. You won’t find a better place to indulge your appetite for spine-tingling entertainment this summer.
The festival tributes the work of late author Kurt Vonnegut and director Curtis Harrington (What’s The Matter With Helen) with individual Memorial Tribute Screenings. Vonnegut will be remembered with a double feature of film adaptations of his Slaughterhouse-Five and the rare Happy Birthday, Wanda June (the title character is deceased and plays shuffleboard with Jesus in heaven). Games, Harrington’s 1967 pop art tale of sinister parlor games starring Simone Signoret, James Caan and Katherine Ross will be presented on the Egyptian’s giant screen – in the theatre where Cinematheque member Curtis spent many nights watching films himself!
If you like your horror and sci-fi with a British accent, you won’t want to miss these hard to see devilish delights from the 1960’s – 1970’s, including the rare The Projected Man starring the founder of Janus Films(!); Horror Hotel, for which the phrase “Ring for Doom Service” was coined; Devil Doll, the creepiest of evil puppet movies; Ken Russell’s sex and satan blasphemy The Devils (not on DVD!) with Oliver Reed; Quatermass And The Pit, a brilliant fusion of apocalyptic sci fi and supernatural mystery; a restored, uncut print of Hammer Films’ atomic age parable, These Are The Damned directed by Joseph Losey – and don’t forget, Never Take Sweets From A Stranger!
European terror lurks! Some new, including the Los Angeles premiere of Lamberto Bava’s latest, Ghost Son (not the only film in the fest to feature some serious “sex with the undead”); Swedish vampire flick Frostbite, steeped in Goth terror during an eternal Lapland night; French mockumentary, Our Earthmen Friends; and some retro: Roger Vadim’s dreamy, lesbian vampire classic, Blood And Roses, Mario Bava’s last feature, Shock, Pupi Avati’s frightening Zeder, Jess Franco’s Venus In Furs, a bewitching ghost story with a jazz rock fusion score, inspired by the tragic life of jazzman Chet Baker, and more!
Made on American soil, where sci-fi proliferated in the atomic age, these 1950’s drive-in masterpieces will scare you silly! Watch out for the pod people in the classic Invasion of The Body Snatchers and marvel at the plot ingenuity behind the absent-minded professor contaminated by poisonous prehistoric fish blood that turns him into the Monster On The Campus, Plus, the extremely rare World Without End (the first science fiction film to be shot in Cinemascope and color!), screening in a gorgeous new 35mm print!
At the Aero, you’ll see Charlton Heston abused by civilized apes in the original Planet of The Apes, screening with its sequel, Beneath The Planet of The Apes, Richard Donner In-Person with a double bill of Ladyhawke and The Goonies and new films (Jim Hemphill’s Bad Reputation, Takashi Okazaki’s Afro Samurai and Erik Nelson’s documentary-work-in-progress, Dreams With Sharp Teeth about legendary science fiction scribe Harlan Ellison – with Mr. Ellison In-Person!).
Screenings are at the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre and Spielberg Theatre at the historic Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Las Palmas) in Hollywood and the Max Palevsky Theatre at the Aero Theatre (1328 Montana Ave) in Santa Monica. Tickets available through Fandango