Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking Back at a Year of Repertory Hosting '11 (part 2)

And so here we find ourselves, staring down the barrel of 2012 with both hammers cocked and a twitchy inebriant manning the trigger which brings about a new year. Sincerely it's my hope that you look back at the year that was with delightful fondness but I understand if you need a little reminder about why you should appreciate the machinations of 2011. Before we delve into the second half of the year in horror, cult and scifi at The Colonial Theater, if you missed part one, check it out here and get up to speed.

Picking up were we left off, July is always an exciting month at The Colonial. In addition to the monthly First Friday Fright Night (FFFN) and Colonial Cult Cinema (CCC) shows, Blobfest is always held during the second weekend of the month this year's was one for the ages. It was also a sad time, a partings of ways. Bob Trate, creator and longtime host of FFFN, relocated to the greener pastures of Los Angeles but not before hosting one last film, the classicist of films: The Planet of the Apes.

With the departure of Mr.Trate, a gap was left to be filled. Joel Rickenback, host of eminent podcast You've Got Geek and local horror cinephile extraordinaire Nick Lombardo joined me (I'd been hosting the MST3K shows to this point) to continue to bring you a steady diet of the weird and wonderful. We also took this opportunity to refocus FFFN into a horror specific endeavor, spinning off cult, scifi, action and peculiar films into a new series dubbed Colonial Cult Cinema, which would kick off in August. We also made the conscious decision to only bring you films in 35mm print, the way they're meant to be seen (accept in the case of MST3K, which as a TV show was never actually committed to film and obviously baring print shipping issues). 

With all that having been said, let's bring you fully up to speed on 2011.


The Planet of the Apes - If it's possible to point out a film that holds up better than this one, I haven't come across it. This highly influential cultural touchstone is a phenomenal adventure which got even more love at the end of the month from the Exhumed Films crew, who ran the entire original Apes saga on the last day of the month. Happily, I attended both screenings.

MST3K episode #509 - The Girl in Lovers' Lane - This underrated episode marks the one year anniversary of our MST3K shows. Another invention exchange took place, this time more Gizmonic hopefuls strutted their homespun inventions. The winner? Charcoal boxer shorts which you never need change. Eeewww.


The Fog - No, not the remake. What's your boggle? John Carpenter's original masterpiece, which instilled in me the lifelong desire to live in a retrofitted lighthouse (I still want to). An all star cast, a perfectly crafted atmosphere, superb special effects and a master of film making at the top of his game, The Fog is a personal favorite of mine.

Jaws - Our most popular screening from 2010 makes a triumphant return to help kick off our Colonial Cult Cinema series and, just as before, it rocked the house. Side note: I love the voice over gentleman on this trailer. Love it.


Pieces - Despite the tag line in the trailer, Pieces really isn't exactly what you think that it is as depicted there. It's wacky, it's absurd, hell it's madcap. More than what it is, this film is an appetizer of that which we plan to bring you more of: slightly off the beaten track and more rarely screened in 35mm.

MST3K episode #1011 - The Horrors of Spider Island - Mike and the 'bots shred this former German nudie flick, which had all the naughty bits stripped out and a bad English dub track added before it was released into the American market. While this isn't as well remembered of an episode as some of the more popular ones, it is a personal favorite of mine and the riffing is super tight.


An American Werewolf in London - John Landis' monster man classic is a fantastic blend of humor and horror and contains the absolute coolest transformation ever captured, indeed it was revolutionary at the time. It was a sad night for the Phillies, who were knocked out of the playoffs while the film was unspooling. It's a good thing we had Landis to keep our mind off it. 

Friday the 13th - originally, this night was supposed to hold a screening of Walter Hill's amazing gang actioner, The Warriors, but the print for it was accidentally shipped to the wrong theater. Luckily, local print collector (and 1/4 of Exhumed Films) Harry Guerrero stepped in and with an rarely screened, pristine 35mm print of the UK cut of Friday the 13th. (we rescheduled The Warriors once the print was again available in November)

Nightbreed - One of our more unusual selections was undoubtably Clive Barker's seldom run Nightbreed. Why did we run it? Because you needed to see it. Because David Cronenberg plays an incredibly creepy and intelligent serial killer. Just because. Hopefully you didn't miss it. 

The Warriors - Ah! The harrowing tale of a group of hardcore soldiers, trapped miles behind enemy lines, forced to bop their way all the way back home. The Warriors is a venerated cult classic, with a passionate following. Many attended in costume. Awesome!

MST3K episode #424 - Manos: The Hands of Fate - This is the seminal episode, one of the most popular and most peculiar. The Satellite of Love crews' take has granted Manos it's own cult following which has led to a sequel, a hand puppet play (Manos: The Hands of Felt) and, most recently, a film restoration project. Not at all shabby for a film made by a fertilizer salesman on a bet.

Silent Night, Deadly Night - The film that taught us not to be naughty, lest Santa punish us. Or maybe the lesson was that wicked nuns breed psycho serial killers. Perhaps the best lesson is to never steal a kid's sled in the middle of the night or you'll loose your head. Santa Nick welcomed the Yule tide revellers to the Colonial in true Christmas fashion and good times were had by all! (and to all a good night!)

Die Hard - If I had to choose a favorite Christmas film, this would undoubtably be it. It clicks on so many levels, I honestly can't think of one thing I'd change. Sadly, there was a print shipping error and we didn't find out until just the day before the show that we wouldn't have one (in fact the only one) in time for the show. And while we always want to show you a 35mm print, that simply wasn't possible. Rather than cancel the show, we projected it via Blu-ray and a packed house enjoyed Christmas Bruce Willis style.

It's been a crazy and exciting year for Horror, cult and Scifi film buffs this year and we're absolutely prepared to kick butt and take names in twenty-twelve. Here's what we've got on tap for you (this is just what I can share with you so far!)

First Friday Fright Night
Friday the 13th part VII - January 13th
My Bloody Valentine - February 3rd
Night of the Creeps - March 2nd

Colonial Cult Cinema
The Big Lebowski - January 20th
MST3K: Time Chasers - February 17th
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure - March 16th
MST3K: Mitchell - April 20th
The Room - May 18th

See you at the movies!

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