Sunshine and Noir: 1980s L.A. Horror Marathon

Another late post, and I apologize because I know many of you out there are just circling like sharks for the next Bad Transfer post. Especially one that involves a movie marquee. Last week Cinematic Void and the LA Phil, along with Wynter Mitchell held a 6 movie marathon at the Aero in Santa Monica: They Live (1988), Society (1989), The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), Chopping Mall (1986), Blood Diner (1987), and Angel (1983).

Wynter Mitchell held a great panel with Amy Holden Jones, Sandy King Carpenter, Kelli Maroney midway through the afternoon, where they discussed working in horror, the future of horror, and being female in the industry.

Sunshine and Noir at the Aero, May 14, 2022. Photo: Matt Average

THE BEYOND (1981)

Can’t believe I snoozed on posting this… Not intentional, as this is one of my all-time favorite movies. Top 5, easily. The New Beverly screened the restored and uncensored print Tarantino made back in the late 90s. I remember seeing that at a midnight screening at the Sunset 5 around 1998/99 with Felix from Lifes Halt.

The Beyond is like a nightmare put up on screen. Like a dream it doesn’t always make sense, like the army of spiders (tarantulas, actually) that come out of nowhere when someone falls from a ladder at a bookstore, but this has atmosphere and looks great. Steeped in despair with bits of gore, everyone in this movie is damned, and when you contemplate the ending, it’s pretty grim. On this viewing Emily really stood out for me. When she pleads, “I did what you asked of me” to whatever spirit in the room with her and Dicky, you have to wonder what brought her to that fate in the first place. One of Fulci’s best.

Outside the New Beverly, May 7, 2022. Photo by: Matt Average

NEW YORK NINJA (2021) / MIAMI CONNECTION (1987)

The double bill that had to happen happened! The New Beverly ran this event of dreams for two nights back in January, and Devon and I went on the 17th to see director Kurtis Spieler and Voyag3r spoke about the movie and composing the soundtrack. Both prints were great, and the audience reaction made the whole experience next level. Will anyone be able to top this bill? Remains to to be seen.

Photo by Matt Average

THE CONVERSATION (1974)

A newly struck 35mm print Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece The Conversation screened at the fabulous Nuart in West Los Angeles this past week, and it looks and sounds as great as you can imagine. David Shire’s score is one of my all-time favorites. Then there’s Bill Butler’s cinematography. Then you have Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Allen Garfield, Teri Garr, and more in the cast. Not to mention Coppola was on fire in this period of his career.

Photo by Matt Average

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: A Todd Haynes Documentary (2021) at the Nuart

Patrons outside the Nuart. Photo by Matt Average

Finally made it over to the Nuart to see The Velvet Underground: A Todd Haynes Documentary. It’s even better than you may expect. The segments with Jonathan Richman alone are worth the price of admission. His insights make them human, and his love for this band is infectious.

JOE DANTE and THE HOWLING (1981) at the Nuart

Joe Dante in the lobby at the Nuart. Photo by Matt Average

Joe Dante made it out to the Nuart on Wednesday night, October 20, 2021 to introduce the 4k restoration of his 1980s werewolf classic The Howling on the first night of the full moon. Talk about perfect timing! Tonight he will be back at the Nuart doing a Q&A before the 7:30 showing. Make a point of getting over there before it leaves the theatre.

Joe Dante introducing the 4k restoration of The Howling at the Nuart. Photo by Matt Average

FOXES (1980) / SUBURBIA (1984)

FOXES (1980)

Directed by Adrian Lyne

Starring Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Scott Baio, Kandice Stroh, Sally Kellerman, Marilyn Kagan, Randy Quaid

SUBURBIA (1984)

Directed by Penelope Spheeris

Starring Chris Pedersen, Bill Coyne, Jennifer Clay, Flea, Timothy O’Brien, Wade Walston, Maggie Ehrig

MALIGNANT (2021)

Crowd forming outside the Aero in Santa Monica for Sneak Preview of Malignant, September 9, 2021. Photo: Matt Average

MALIGNANT (2021)

Director: James Wan

Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White

NUART – reopens!

Places are starting to reopen here in California. I have no idea how long that will last, or if we will ever close down again at all. With the vaccines getting around, and after a year of “we’re turning a corner” only to see the numbers rise it’s tough to be positive about much at the moment.

That said, the Nuart opened it’s doors up last Friday, March 19, 2021. No idea when the midnight movies will return, but I’m looking forward to that moment when I can sit in my seat, finish my soda and candy before the trailers finish, and watch whatever classic horror is projected onto the big screen. It will be epic. (MA)