This Week At The New Beverly: British Noir, Hammer Horror, Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard, the Grindhouse Film Fest & More!

Posted by phil blankenship, October 21, 2010 01:02am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full upcoming schedule is available online:

Thursday, October 21

Co-presented by Sergio Leone & the Infield Fly Rule

Seed Of Chucky writer / director Don Mancini, stars Jennifer Tilly & Brad Dourif, Chucky master puppeteer Tony Gardner, and producers David Kirschner & Corey Sienega will appear IN PERSON, schedules permitting, for a Q&A on Thursday!

Strange things keep happening to the members of the family who have adopted little Esther, and she has some strange ways of going about making her new life just the way she wants it. Dismissed as sadistic trash by the majority of critics, Orphan (2009) is actually one of the best pure horror films of the past 10 years. Directed with maximum efficiency and finesse by Jaume Collett-Serra, the movie stakes its claim to a long tradition of stories about fearsome, murderous movie children. As Esther, Isabelle Fuhrmann is indeed the true and rightful heir to nasty little Patty McCormack's Rhoda Penmark. If Ms. McCormack was The Bad Seed, there is, as the movie progresses, increasingly little doubt that Esther is the worst. Screenwriter David Johnson will participate in a Q&A after the screening on Wednesday, Oct. 20. Co-presented by Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule.


Satire may close on Saturday nights, but in horror movies it is right at home, as Don Mancini's deliriously funny Seed of Chucky (2004) proves in spades. The fifth in the series of killer doll movies that began with 1988's Child's Play fulfills the series pendulum swing from nuts-and-bolts horror to a more irreverent comedy which takes aim at Hollywood and a particularly earnest brand of social problem dramas. It's the movie Brian De Palma would have made from the scripted bastard child of Ordinary People, The Great Santini and Dressed to Kill-- shocking, scary, hilarious, taking on dysfunctional family dynamics in ways that make you realize just how flexible the horror genre really is. Mancini will attend the screening on Thursday, Oct. 21, along with cast members Jennifer Tilly and Brad Dourif, producers David Kirschner and Corey Sienega and master puppeteer Tony Gardner. Co-presented by Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule.


Seed Of Chucky
2004, USA / UK / Romania, 87 minutes
written & directed by Don Mancini, starring Jennifer Tilly, Redman, Hannah Spearritt, John Waters & the voices of Brad Dourif & Billy Boyd
Thurs: 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

With Seed of Chucky, director Mancini distances himself from the previous Chucky films and admits his true love for camp.
- Jeremiah Kipp, Slant

- plus on the same bill -

2009, USA / Canada / Germany / France, 123 minutes
directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, screenplay by David Johnson, starring Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, Jimmy Bennett, Aryana Engineer
Thurs: 9:30, Watch The Trailer!

You want a good horror film about a child from hell, you got one. Do not, under any circumstances, take children to see it. Take my word on this. - Roger Ebert

Furhman plays pure evil with such supreme calmness that only her eyes shine with madness. - Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter

Friday & Saturday, October 22 & 23

What can be said about Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) that hasn't already been said? You know that writer Holly Martins, invited to post-war Vienna by his friend Harry Lime, discovers that his friend has been killed, and after talking to those who knew Lime Martins begins to suspect that Harry may still be alive. You know about the superlative cast-Joseph Cotton, Orson Welles, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee. You know about the Ferris wheel, Anton Karas's justly famous zither music. You may even know about one of the movies' most celebrated third-act revelations. You probably also know that, whether you've seen it 10 times or more especially if you've never seen it on the big screen, it's time to see it again. Harry Lime beckons, and his call really should be heeded.


John Boulting's Brighton Rock (1947) in the jewel in the crown of post-war British noirs. Also known as Young Scarface, it features Richard Attenbourough in a stunning early performance as Pinkie Brown, leader of a gang who runs a protection racket at a Brighton race course. Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, which is determined to be suicide. But the victim's girlfriend ain't buying it, and she sets off on her own investigation, which to no one's surprise lands her in a boiling kettle of trouble. Featuring a stellar cast including Carol Marsh, Hermione Baddeley, William Harnell and Nigel Stock, Brighton Rock finds American-style malaise creeping round the darkened corners of a Britain still finding its feet after the devastation of war. It's a nasty, violent, compelling addition to the film noir canon, compelling evidence of the genre's potent hold on world cinema.

The Third Man
1949, UK, 104 minutes
directed by Carol Reed, written by Graham Greene, starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:30 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize Winner; BAFTA Award Winner Best British Film; Academy Award Winner Best Cinematography

Of all the movies I have seen, this one most completely embodies the romance of going to the movies. - Roger Ebert

One of British cinema's most enduring and atmospheric thrillers. A genuine and endlessly rewatchable classic. - Film 4

- plus on the same bill -

Brighton Rock
1947, UK, 92 minutes
directed by John Boulting, screenplay by Graham Greene, starring Richard Attenborough, Carol Marsh, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell
Fri: 9:35; Sat: 5:35 & 9:35

John Boulting's adaptation of Graham Greene's classic novel stakes its claim as one of the darkest films ever to be made on these shores. - Jamie Russell, BBC

A seedy noir, equal parts concealed-camera atmosphere and tense set pieces. - Vadim Rizov, Village Voice

Friday, October 22

As close as any movie has ever come to deserving being labeled a new generation's Breathless, Quentin Tarantino's breakthrough film Pulp Fiction (1994) has, as do all landmarks in movie history, a lot to answer for. The power with which it captured the imagination of filmmakers that have come in its wake for almost 20 years now is a testimony to its impudent mastery of narrative form, discovered in the shuffling of rules of time and space which have their parallels in Jean-Luc Godard's disregard for the formal boundaries of style in his French New Wave classic. But the blame for the onslaught of lousy imitations of Pulp Fiction can only be partially laid at Tarantino's feet, and his originality has proven as impossible to duplicate as his imitators have proven relentless. Happily, Pulp Fiction stands up to the nearly two decades of weakening echoes as a rowdy, insouciant work of art, defying its audience's natural tendency toward revisionism. After all this time, it remains as good as we remember.

Pulp Fiction
1994, USA, 154 minutes
written & directed by Quentin Tarantino
starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Eric Stoltz, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Uma Thurman
Fri: 11:59pm (Midnight), All Tickets $7, Watch The Trailer!

Like "Citizen Kane," Pulp Fiction is constructed in such a nonlinear way that you could see it a dozen times and not be able to remember what comes next. - Roger Ebert

The first masterwork of the post-modern pop culture generation gets better with every viewing, and like good rock n' roll, needs to be played loud! - Brad Laidman, Film Threat

Saturday, October 23

Amoeba Music & Phil Blankenship
present New Beverly Midnights

Jeffrey Konvitz, producer, screenwriter & author of the original novel will appear IN PERSON, schedule permitting, to discuss!

Why is John Carradine staring out from the top floor window of the old apartment house which Ava Gardner rather too eagerly rents out to comely fashion model Cristina Raines? What about the strange neighbors, including dotty old Burgess Meredith and the quite clearly insane Sylvia Miles? And what with the delirium, the visions and the sudden suicidal thoughts upon moving in, how could Raines' life get any weirder? These questions and more (perhaps too many more) are answered with gusto in director Michael Winner's over-the-top adaptation of Jeffrey Konvitz's supernatural best-seller The Sentinel (1977). Konvitz, who also wrote the screenplay and produced the film, will be on hand for the New Beverly's midnight screening Oct. 23 to discuss the film, and if you've seen the movie it's reasonable to expect that Konvitz will be fielding some interesting questions indeed!

The Sentinel
1977, USA, 92 minutes
directed by Michael Winner, starring Chris Sarandon, Cristina Raines, Martin Balsam, John Carradine, José Ferrer, Ava Gardner, Arthur Kennedy, Burgess Meredith, Deborah Raffin, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Jerry Orbach
Sat: 11:59pm (Midnight), All Tickets $7, Watch The Trailer!

One hell of a sick little horror flick. - Christopher Null,

The Sentinel is a grubby, grotesque excursion into religioso psychodrama. - Variety

Sunday & Monday, October 24 & 25

Two "old dark house" comedies starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard!

The New Beverly kicks off a week-long horror tribute to Halloween with two chilling comedy classics starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. First, the reading of a will is the setting for the goosebump-inducing hijinks of The Cat and the Canary, in which Goddard stands to inherit a millionaire's fortune if she can avoid her family's penchant for insanity. But if she stays sane and gets rich, she might just be the next victim of a homicidal maniac known only as the Cat. Hope and Goddard were a terrific comedy team, and here they get terrific laugh support from the likes of John Beal, Gayyle Sondergaard, Douglass Montgomery, Elizabeth Patterson and nasty B-movie heavy George Zucco. The Cat and the Canary makes for half of a terrific horror comedy program suitable for all ages.

Hot off the success of The Cat and the Canary, Bob Hope-Paulette Goddard teamed up again the next year and came up with a doozy that some say tops even their first effort. Hope is a radio broadcaster who teams up with his very nervous butler and Goddard to investigate the apparent haunting of the ancestral home she has inherited. The Ghost Breakers (1940) is one of those comedies that, like Murder, He Says, has remained beloved some 70 years after its release, even minus the critical cachet of some other laugh machines of the time. It's a perfectly balanced blend of horror and giggles that has influenced everything from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein to Ghostbusters and every creepy comedy that came between. Paired with The Cat and the Canary, there's no better way to say hello to Halloween. 

The Cat & the Canary
1939, USA, 72 minutes - New 35mm Print!
directed by Elliott Nugent; starring Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, John Beal, Douglas Montgomery, Gale Sondergaard
Sun: 4:10 & 7:30; Mon: 7:30

- plus on the same bill -

The Ghost Breakers
1940, USA, 85 minutes
directed by George Marshall; starring Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Willie Best, Anthony Quinn
Sun: 5:45 & 9:05; Mon: 9:05

Tuesday & Wednesday, October 26 & 27

Terence Fisher Directs Hammer Horror!

A superb double feature of Hammer horror classics, both films directed by Terence Fisher, gets under way October 26 and 27. The first stars Oliver Reed in a moody, deliberate and emotionally wrenching retelling of the werewolf legend, The Curse of the Werewolf (1961). In what has long been thought to be one of the best depictions of lycanthropy in horror movie history, Reed locates the sympathetic heart of his doomed character while simultaneously suggesting his attraction to the darkest corners of his soul. And director Fisher stages a brilliant gathering of everything that Hammer had become known for-evocative sets, vivid photography, a powerful musical score, an ingenious, multi-layered script and the director's own muscular vitality and talent for ensuring that each scene builds properly on the next, setting the stage for a gratifyingly horrific climax.


Fisher returns at the helm for the second feature, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), perhaps the apex of the Hammer aesthetic in terms of formal rigor and emotional depth. Peter Cushing returns as the titular body-builder, sans even a shred of pretense toward the greater good of humanity. This Frankenstein is self-absorbed, vile and single-minded-his attempts at successful brain transplant surgery come at a high cost, especially for an old associate who becomes the focus of Frankenstein's latest project. Fisher's talents are focused and amplified here as never before, and the result is a real horror classic whose reputation only continues to strengthen. The sterling supporting cast includes Freddie Jones, who supplies the heartbreak behind the mad doctor's most venal experiment, and Victoria Carlson and Simon Ward as lovers caught in Frankenstein's tightening web of horror.

The Curse of the Werewolf
1961, UK, 91 minutes
directed by Terence Fisher, starring Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed, Yvonne Romain, Catherine Feller, Anthony Dawson
Tues & Wed: 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

The film is all the more effective for its restrained build-up that increases the sense of tension and menace, culminating in the most impressive man-to-wolf transformation this side of An American Werewolf In London. - Film 4

Oliver Reed is ferocious, tormented, sulky and brutal - yet he also makes the character enormously sympathetic, so that the audience is forever on his side. It's an exceptional performance. - All Movie

- plus on the same bill -

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
1969, UK, 101 minutes
directed by Terence Fisher, starring
Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones, Simon Ward, Thorley Walters, Maxine Audley, George Pravda
Tues & Wed: 9:25, Watch The Trailer!

This was director Terence Fisher's favorite film, and his pacing and composition have rarely been better. - All Movie

Fisher taps a rich vein of Romanticism here, making this the high point of a series. - Time Out Film Guide

Thursday, October 28

The Grindhouse Film Fest
presents a Robert Quarry double bill
All Tickets $8

On October 28 the Grindhouse Film Festival salutes legendary horror star Robert Quarry with screenings of two of his most delectable performances. In Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) he matches wits with murderous musicologist Vincent Price on an expedition to Egypt to uncover the River of Life beneath a pharaoh's tomb. Phibes still wants to revive his dead wife Victoria, Quarry has his own selfish reasons, and Phibes makes sure a bunch of artfully dispatched corpses are left trailing behind!


Robert Quarry reappears in his second go-around as a sexually voracious vampire running loose in modern-day Los Angeles in The Return of Count Yorga (1971), a gory, altogether worthy sequel to its 1970 predecessor Count Yorga, Vampire. This time Mariette Hartley is the focus of the count's hypnotic charms, and his undead brides are even more voluptuous than before. No doubt the Grindhouse Fest gang have put together a juicy Halloween week pairing of American International classics here that will have you (blood)thirsty for more.

Dr. Phibes Rises Again
1972, UK / USA, 89 minutes
directed by Robert Fuest, starring Vincent Price, Robert Quarry, Peter Cushing, Valli Kemp, Peter Jeffrey, Fiona Lewis
Thurs: 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

Winner Best Director Sitges International Film Festival

This sequel to THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES carries over the tongue-in-cheek approach of its predecessor and devises an even more outlandish series of murders. - TV Guide

- plus on the same bill -

The Return of Count Yorga
1971, USA, 97 minutes
directed by Bob Kelljan, starring Robert Quarry, Mariette Hartley, Roger Perry, George Macready, Walter Brooke
Thurs: 9:20, Watch The Trailer!

This sequel to Count Yorga, Vampire is so superior to its parent production that comparing the two films makes one wonder why anyone would bother attempting to turn the relatively drab, routine original into a franchise. - All Movie


Advance tickets may be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets by clicking HERE. Advance tickets are not sold at the box office.

Currently, only general admission tickets may be purchased via this link. Discounted student, senior, etc. tickets may not be purchased in advance at this time. As always, any available tickets will also be sold at the theater box office the day of the event. Purchasing advance tickets is generally unnecessary for most shows, as the only programs that ever come close to selling out are special event shows with special guests, etc. Plenty of tickets are available at the door for nearly all of our programs.

Coming Soon:

29 & 30: Trick 'r Treat (2008) & Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Oct 31 & Nov 1: The Wolf Man (1941) & The Invisible Man (1933)

2 & 3: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo & Girl Who Played With Fire
5-11: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (NEW PRINT!) & Seven Year Itch
12 & 13: Cassavetes' Shadows & The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
14 & 15: Samurai Rebellion & Sword Of Doom
17 & 18: Car Wash & Used Cars
19 & 20: Antonioni's Le amiche & The Passenger
26 & 27: Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success & Some Like It Hot

Program notes by Dennis Cozzalio
Schedule subject to change

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