Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Episode 49: A Night At The Drive-In

For our BIG end of summer Fantasmo we're pulling out all the stops and doing something entirely different. As much as we all know and love Theatre du Fantasmo, summer is a special time where it's kind of fun to commune with nature. With that in mind your Team Fantasmo thinks it only appropriate that we finish off by actually heading to the great outdoors. We sorely miss being able to go out to the drive-in, so we figure this is the next best thing. How are we accomplishing this monumental feat you might ask? We're putting up a big screen and projecting in the library's "back yard." That's right while you may not be able to truly drive in, you will be able to bring your comfiest lawn chair or blanket and watch two great 70's horror films under the stars. We'll still be providing the snacks and sodas, but this time the seating is do-it-yourself : )

With regard to our featured films, it was a tough decision. We wanted to do some classic drive-in horror, and there's just so many to choose from that picking two was quite the challenge. First off we decided to go with some outdoor themed horror and selected the 1979 film Prophecy, which truly is the final word when it comes to mutant bear films. Directed by the renowned John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate), and honestly how he got mixed up in a mutant bear film is anyone's guess, Prophecy is a ridiculous attempt at environmental cinema. There is a message about industry and pollution, but it gets somewhat lost in translation when watching Armand Assante playing a Native American wrestling with a hideous looking rubber monster. Having said that the movie is beautifully filmed (as you might expect from Frankenheimer) so it is easily the best looking of these 70's animal attack films (even besting the classic Jaws ripoff Grizzly). And how better to see it than outside at night . . . and I will share with you that I have seen deer, racoon, and fox outside the library so you may even get to enjoy the show with some actual wildlife.

Our second film is a top drawer anthology from the legendary British film studio Amicus Productions, and is truly one of their best. The House That Dripped Blood features the likes of Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Jon Pertwee and more in tales that include vampires, witches, voodoo, and a similar range of subject matter that one might expect from Amicus. Often these anthology films can be a bit hit or miss, but this one fires on all cylinders (mostly) for the duration. Pertwee's performance in particular is not to be missed, and will surely be a treat for any Dr. Who fans out there. So without further ado here are your full Episode 49 details:

When: Friday, September 25th

Where: Chesapeake Central Library, 298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322


8:00 p.m.: Prophecy (1979) – Rated PG

10:00 p.m.: The House That Dripped Blood (1971) – Rated PG

So there you have it Superfans, your end of summer Fantasmo! And don't forget just a few weeks later will be the 6th(!) annual Monster Fest, so you'll get a short breather before what is the biggest horror event of the fall season!


Daniel said...

Wow! Prophecy eh? Didn't see that one coming! Incredibly fun flick that I havent seen in ages. The House That Dripped Blood is good one too. Nice pairing! I am really looking forward to this episode. Hopefully I wont forget my lawn chair. In case of bad weather are you going to move the event inside?

I shall now do my Shaman/Mutant bear clear weather dance in hopes it will please the ancient cult cinema gods.

Jim Blanton said...

Hi Daniel,
We didn't see it coming either (and really who would see Prophecy coming : ) Actually it is a pretty cool movie, even if it is pure cheese. I wasn't exaggerating in saying that it is one of the most beautifully shot mutant bear movies ever. It's filmed in cinemascope, and there's one scene in particular I remember as a standout. The bear is chasing the survivors across a lake that is shrouded in mist, and hats off to Frankenheimer because it looks great!

Should it rain we'll go forward with an indoor screening, but here's hoping your dance brings us great weather : )

Best, Jim

michael said...

WoW! I just relocated here and this is the coolest thing I've seen! And the best part is I live right down the street...I could walk to the library from my house! I am a confirmed horror film and exploitation movie buff and I am really looking forward to friday night and meeting some other folks who share my nefarious interests.

Jim Blanton said...

Hey Michael!
Horror is our stock and trade at Fantasmo, so I think you're really going to enjoy it! Ususally we're projecting in our auditorium on the big screen, so this outdoor edition is unusual for us (and somewhat experimental). Should be a fun evening! If you like this you'll definitely enjoy our all-day/all-night Monster Fest coming up in October. See you on Friday!