The Ohio Sci-Fi and Horror Marathons

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:26 pm 
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The lineup is nearly complete.

List so far:

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 3RD KIND.
THE TIME MACHINE.
Harryhausen's 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD.
ALGOL (silent w/music)
MARJORIE PRIME.
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968).
WORLD WITHOUT END.
Roger Corman's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.
ARMY OF DARKNESS.
20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH.
LOOPER.


Full rundown here: http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya ... 900525/0#0

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:48 pm 
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Kind of lackluster imho. Are they digital or 35mm?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:02 pm 
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Here was the final line-up. Review soon.

http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya ... 900525/0#0

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:23 pm 
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My review of the Boston Sci-Fi Marathon held a week ago. (For the full version go here: http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1519070182/8#8)

First, I want to thank everybody involved for putting on the show - Thanks!
After a lull the last few years in audience participation, there was, perhaps, Too Much this year - especially, the annoying 'Door!' thing which persisted loooooooong after it was amusing. Possibly, it was the familiarity with too many movies on the schedule that encouraged the yahoos in the audience to chatter incessantly? The crowd quelled later on, but, the perfect balance of excitement and respect for the movies, was off.

On to the movies:

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS - The film really holds up. You see all the Spielberg traits developing here that have, for good and not so great, been maintained. Some of the family stuff in the middle does drag and the acting of Dreyfuss' kids is pretty amateurish. Still, the flaws are glossed over by the combination of optimisim, terrific acting by the leads, Trumbull's extraordinary pre-CGI effects, Williams' music and the gorgeous first contact end sequence - the best of its kind on celluloid. Even if you don't know about Truffuat's career, his casting was a stroke of genius - kind, inquisitive and a calming presence. My two favorite bits with Dreyfuss: Stealing a peak to the skies as he's kissing Garr on the roadside; And, that final determined push to make it up the mountain to his destiny below.

TIME MACHINE - Still a fine example of late 50s/ early 60s sci-fi. HG Wells purists don't care for the liberties it takes with the novel, but, for George Pal, this is still a pretty pessimistic view of the future of man. Some of the effects don't hold up, but, the design of the title contraption is lovely, as is Alan Young's performance as Filby.

7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD - Colorful and rousing adventure tale, if off-topic. The Harryhausen creature effects set it apart from the usual sword & sandal Saturday matinee epic. Kerwin Matthews' acting is stronger than I remember, and Torin Thatcher makes a good heavy. Have always loved Herrmann's theme music.

Haley (Short) - Agree with those that wouldn't mind seeing a short or two from the Fest every year. As to the short itself? Well made, certainly, and not without interest, but, it doesn't really lead very far. Tastes are different, of course, but I have a hard time believing this was the very best short shown at the Fest.

LOST WORLD - 3rd marathon visit. All with live music, but, with respect to his predecessors, Jeff Rapsis' score tops them all. There are some prolonged sequences, but, it's still a solid silent, propelled into a Marathon highlight by Rapsis.

MARJORIE PRIME - Skipped much of this to celebrate my core four's 30th straight marathon together at Orleans. The audience seemed to enjoy it, if not overly so (it's not that kind of picture). Here's my full review: http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1503944740

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN - No matter how many times I see it, this still remains one of my all time faves. It's truly one of the great creations of Hollywood's early golden era. Concise, orginal, thrilling and hugely entertaining. The blood & thunder horror stuff works on that level, but, it's the subversive wit that takes it to another strata with it's sly invocation of a Christ analogy and gay innuendo. As I said to a Marathoner - with apologies to GODFATHER II - BRIDE is the greatest of all sequels.

THEY CAME FROM WITHIN - Well, we proved one thing with our double bill with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - times have Definitely changed in Marathon-land! What was once too much for some to take - is now somewhat commonplace. Somewhat. After some frankly pretty dull passages, the last 20 minutes or so, are still pretty subversively shocking - those forbidden rooms in THE SHINING can't compare to some of the scandalous images here. Early Cronenberg is an acquired taste. Instead of looking at each individual film, it may be best to look at his full filmography. THEY CAME was his full feature (following two extended shorts) and his unease shows with pacing and script issues. But, you could see his body horror themes progressing until they culminated in his remake of THE FLY. Also, those decrying it as misogynistic are misreading Cronenberg's intentions - he was an equal opportunity offender, and, if anything, he was portraying pansexuality.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - Part II of the experiment recreating the events of 40 years prior at SF/3 (see note #28 here: http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1319772249). Like much of THEY CAME, NOTLD can seem almost tame in comparison to what is out there now - even on weekly TV! And, for much of the film you see very little. It is only from the point of the BBQ teen couple feast to the bitter ending that the shock level is amped to 'modern standards'. And, like THEY CAME, those last 20 minutes or so are still pretty frighteningly subversive. A couple of things struck me upon viewing it on the big screen for the first time in years: 1. The use of grungy B&W photography really heightens the realism. One must keep in mind that most people still had B&W TVs when this was made, so this is how they viewed the news - be it Vietnam, riots and the 60s assassinations. 2. Even though Romero and his Producers claim that casting Jones as the lead was purely based on acting ability, and not a comment on race, the racial parallels are still stunning. To see a black man take charge and give a white man quite the beat-down must have been quite appalling to some moviegoers. And, that ending - GET OUT has nothing on that.

Twilight Zone - Still amazed how a a 60 year old TV show projected via BluRay can look superior to feature films shot and projected on Digital/DCP. Love TZ, but, it's time to show something else in this time slot. That said, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" is a doozy of an episode!

WORLD WITHOUT END - After sitting through a mini-horror marathon, this cheezy bit of B Movie sci-fi was a welcome respite with it's space-ships, time travel and mutants! Hard to believe they would spend the money on color and cinemascope and yet not be able to come up with anything better than that spider! And, ever the hack, Director Bernds just lets the widescreen frame linger as the lifeless hunk of rubber just lays there! No great shakes, but, an ok bit of low budget nonsense.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - Pretty much a perfect bit of Z grade cult movie gold. Infamously shot in 2 1/2 days this one takes its delicious one-joke premise to absurd heights. Full of throwaway bits, fun cameos (Dick Miller! Jack!) and inspired lunacy. Is it a great film? Of course not, but, who woulda thought that this miniscule masterwork would become known not only as Corman's best film as a Director - but, the inspiration for a hugely successful musical play and a big budget Hollywood remake?

SURPRISE FILM - I like the film. I love the band and most of the songs. But, this was the big surprise? At least it could have been a sci-fi movie. And, one with a plot. Oh, well, the restoration looked nice off a BluRay (at times, the BluRay projection looked better than the official studio DCPs - go figure!) and you could groove to the songs and watch the pop art visuals. Too bad the dispensaries weren't opened yet. 8)

ARMY OF DARKNESS - time for breakfast and some catching up with some folks in the lobby. Another off-topic flick. A unnecessary repeat from an earlier 'thon and a 'plot' that, as my Dad would proclaim: "That movie is a stupid!"

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH - Yeah! Sci-Fi! This Harryhausen effort holds up pretty well. The story is trivial, but the Ymir is a marvellous creation. The Italian setting gives it a flavor that sets it apart from many a monster on the loose yarn. And, if you can place yourself in the mind of a 10 year old back in 1957, it's fairly scary to boot.

LOOPER - A repeat viewing isn't very kind. The holes in the plot (and the idiocy of the basic premise) really glare upon reflection. I don't care how "really illegal" time travel is - why send back people back? Toss in random telekenisis, absurd makeup on Gordon-Levitt (they couldn't find ANYone that looked more like Willis?) and obvious borrowings from the Terminator series and you have a pretty dumb violent flick. An enjoyable dumb violent flick, but pretty silly nonetheless (and, bonus Emily Blunt points!). Still, after all the non-Sci-Fi stuff, it was a fun ender for the 'thon.

Again, thanks to everybody involved. See you next year!

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