Upcoming at The American Cinematheque … cult films: Italian grindhouse treasures and three bizarro delights from Forbidden Zone filmmaker Richard Elfman at The Egyptian Theatre.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, the Italian genre films from the 1960s through the 1970s still remain the gold standard, the Golden Age, the yardstick to measure bigger-than-life greatness in low budget international cult cinema. Rivaled only by the Japanese in the same time period for sheer jaw-dropping wildness, the Italian moviemakers toiled in the salt mines of debased genres – giallo (sexy suspense) thrillers, sword and sandal adventures, spaghetti sagebrush sagas, gothic horror, nunsploitation and, last but not least, polizioteschi or the action-packed crime film.

That said, before delving further back in time, The American Cinematheque is kicking off with a double bill from the 1980s-’90s – Dario Argento’s Opera and Michele Soavi’s Cemetery Man. Also screening are two sexy jet-set, giallo mindbenders with Carroll Baker (Paranoia and A Quiet Place To Kill); a peplum double bill of Mario Bava’s Hercules In The Haunted World and Sergio Corbucci’s Duel Of The Titans (starring muscle-bound icons, Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott); rare spaghetti oaters Sartana and Corbucci’s Minnesota Clay (starring Cameron Mitchell); groovy, mod “psycho”-delic puzzlers The Next Victim and Queens Of Evil and crime masterworks Giuliano Montaldo’s Machine Gun Mccain (with John Cassavetes!) and Enzo G. Castellari’s High Crime (with Franco Nero).

Here’s when it all happens:

July 9 – 16, 2009 at the Egyptian Theatre – So Sweet, So Perverse, Italian Grindhouse Treasures from Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Other Masters of the Macabre & Violent Including 12 Films Ranging from Spaghetti Westerns to Mod Murder Fests. 8 Films Not on DVD!

July 17 – 19, 2009 at the Egyptian Theatre – Director Richard Elfman, Joined by Screenwriter Matthew Bright to Present Digitally Restored Forbidden Zone (featuring Danny Elfman and the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo), Shrunken Heads & the Uncut, Unrated, Euro Version of Modern Vampires.

For more information: The American Cinematheque

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