Amoeblog

Having A Movie Moment with Jon Longhi: The Reptile with a Side of Quatermass

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 4, 2019 07:43pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi.

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi where I review recent Blu-ray releases. If you're a Hammer movie fan Shout Factory really opened the floodgates for you in August when they released some of the best films the studio ever produced including one that is arguably their very best.

The Reptile, Shout Factory:
This has always been one of my very favorite Hammer films. The studio was mainly known for redoing all the classic Universal monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and the Mummy in their own unique and luridly colorful British style. What sets The Reptile apart is that it is their own original creation. There are mild elements of the werewolf in the film but the script goes to new and unexpected places. The movie is kind of a slow burn but when the monster does finally reveal itself it is as good as anything Jack Pierce created. This was a later Hammer film so everybody who worked on this was at the top of their game when it was made. It's just a good story that is well told. Everything on the movie works flawlessly, the cinematography, directing, script, music, acting, so that when all these elements are put together they make a perfect whole. On many levels, this film is the essential embodiment of Hammer and their style.

It starts with a murder like many of the best Hammer movies do. After Charles Spalding is killed in this opening scene his brother Harry and his new bride, Valerie, inherit his cottage and move to the rural town of Clagmoor Heath in Cornwall. They find the town living in terror due to a rash of recent deaths caused by a mysterious and unexplained ailment the locals refer to as the "Black Death." The corpses left behind by this ailment are all foaming at the mouth with blackened and swollen faces. At first the locals shun the couple, but Harry eventually befriends Tom Bailey who owns the local pub and offers to help Harry solve the mystery of the recent deaths. Tom and Harry have only seen similar symptoms in people bitten by king cobras in India. Their investigation leads them to the nearby home of the sinister Doctor Franklyn who recently moved to the area with his daughter Anna. Franklyn is a professor of theology who has traveled the world studying mysterious and hidden cults and religious groups. To describe Doctor Franklyn's relationship with his daughter as "dysfunctional" is putting it lightly. Every scene with these two is profoundly disturbing on a number of psychological levels. You know something weird is going on with these people you just don't know what it is. John Gilling does an excellent job directing and he keeps you guessing at the true nature of what is going on right up until the final act. The ending really delivers and the movie is as good as any of the classic monster films Universal made.

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October is Full of Weird Wednesdays at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 30, 2019 06:20pm | Post a Comment

Anton LaVey

Not only is October the kookiest, spookiest, and ookiest month of all, but at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission in San Francisco, it's also the Weirdest. Amoeba Music is thrilled and chilled to continue partnering with Alamo Drafthouse into the witching month for these five bitching Weird Wednesdays this October:

THE LOVE WITCH (2016)
Wednesday, October 2. 10:15pm
The Love Witch is a breath of fresh air for twenty-first century horror. Meticulously crafted on 35mm film by genre revisionist Anna Biller, this is both a salute to -- and an attack on -- decades of exploitation tradition. When a witch named Elaine (Samantha Robinson) moves to a new town, she wastes no time in using spells to line up lovers. And also corpses. Soon, Elaine finds her haunted libido in a psychotropic battle against an entire town of weirdos. Combining the hyper-stylized aesthetic of Jacques Tati, the surreal melodrama of Nicholas Ray, and the pop-art violence of Doris Wishman, The Love Witch drips with day-glo pulp while challenging gender expectations in horror. Smart, timeless, and unmissable.





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Sorceress Sabbath, Witchcraft Film Festival in SF, 10/19

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 27, 2019 07:49pm | Post a Comment

The Super Shangri-La Show (creators of the fringe film events Bigfoot Bonanza and The Space Visitors Film Festival) bring back Sorceress Sabbath, Witchcraft Film Festival -- a full day of witchcraft-themed films at San Francisco's historic and haunted Balboa Theater -- on Saturday, October 19th! See seven films dealing in the dark arts, as well as special guest speaker Maja D'Aoust! Maja is an author, artist, practicing witch, and founder of the educational non-profit The Well Wishers, which focuses on teaching wellness and esoteric sciences to the community.

Here's the bewitching schedule for the day:
11:00am - Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)
1pm - The Witches (1966)
3pm - Daughters of Satan (1972)
4:45pm - Night of the Demon (1957)
6:30pm - Guest Speaker Maja D’Aoust
7:30pm - Simon, King of the Witches (1971)
9:30pm - The Love Witch (2016)
10:15pm - The Devil’s Rain (1975)

Get your tickets to this unique day of magick and cinema HERE before they vanish!
 

 

Weird Wednesday at The Alamo Drafthouse New Mission in September

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 1, 2019 03:42pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba and Alamo Drafthouse are at it again this September as we continue our partnership for Weird Wednesday at the New Mission theater in SF! Weird Wednesday is Alamo's weekly celebration of movies that are too outrageous, too beastly, too gritty, and sometimes too synthy for prime time. Here's what we have in store for you this month...

SLEEPWALKERS (1992)
Wednesday, September 4. 10:15pm
Mary and her son Charles are shapeshifting, telekinetic beasts who eat the souls of virgins and battle really cute house cats. Oh, and they’re also lovers. Filled with gory carnage, jaw-dropping special effects, and a constant barrage of insanity, Sleepwalkers is the ultimate WTF party in Stephen King’s filmography. Look for uncredited cameos from Mark Hamill, Joe Dante, Tobe Hooper, and Clive Barker. Plus a scene with John Landis eating a sandwich while performing an autopsy.



AN EVENING OF SYNTH ROCK W/ GENESIS AND EMERSON, LAKE, AND PALMER (1977)
Wednesday, September 11. 10:40pm
A 35mm double bill played L*O*U*D, communing us with the colorful godz of classic progressive rock. Come take a topographic journey into 21st Century Schizoid land with us. Everything that makes prog wonderful (and everything scoffed at by critics of the day) is on display in Genesis: In Concert (‘77) and ELP: Pictures At An Exhibition (‘73): synths, organs, dual drummers, Rickenbacker basses, guitar prodigies, elaborate stage shows, astounding sounds, lyrics from another planet and melodies from the eighth dimension.

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Sword-and-Sandal Time with Debra Paget

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 31, 2019 06:29pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


"Oh yeah there's all kinds of things happening here boy! There's sword fighting, horse-play, and there's dancing, dancing, dancing...Holy Cats!!"
~ Commander USA introducing Princess of the Nile (1954) on his Groovie Movies TV show

Pour yourself some pomegranate wine in a clay chalice, light some botanica candles, and kick your feet Journey to the Lost Cityup as Debra Paget takes you away to romantic palaces in ancient desert lands. Some of you may remember Debra from starring in Roger Corman's Tales of Terror and The Haunted Palace (both 1963 and her last films), but it was truly the Fritz Lang Indian epic of The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb (both released in 1959) that made her famous for her snake dance scene.

*Sidenote: This reminds me of the time I left my snake charmers flute that I got in India in my car on a hot day and the resin that kept it together melted all over my seat and my car reeked for months like someone dumped bong water in it.

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