Thursday, June 26, 2014

UPCOMING EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: EXHUMED FILMS - Lost Film Festival, Cannibal Holocaust, Dune, Star Trek III and MORE!

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July 20: Exhumed Films Presents The Lost Film Festival!
International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
Tickets: $20 general admission/$15 IHP members; show at NOON
Exhumed Films has spent the last seventeen years scouring the globe to unearth the rarest, most obscure genre films in existence.  OnSunday,July 20, we will present five "forgotten" film exclusives: these are movies which have fallen off of the cinematic radar-most have never been officially released on video or DVD in any form, and in some cases, the movies have never even received a theatrical release! All will be projected from original 35mm prints.  If you're a fan of obscure cinema, you CANNOT miss this extremely rare, once in a lifetime event!  You can literally become the first person to ever review some of these movies on IMDB!  Here's the lineup:
1979 / 35mm / Dir. William A. Levey / 98 min.
From the director of BLACKENSTEIN and writer Nick Castle (HALLOWEEN II, THE LAST STARFIGHTER) comes this stunning slice of '70s cheese.  Words cannot express the awesomeness of SKATETOWN, U.S.A., which tells an epic tale of good vs. evil set in the sexually charged and drug-fueled fervor (in a totally PG-rated sense of the terms) of the most popular roller disco in town.  You will marvel at the assemblage of 1970s star power, which includes Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Billy Barty, Maureen ("Marsha Brady") McCormick, Ron ("Arnold Horshack") Palillo, Murray ("The Unknown Comic") Langston, Ruth Buzzi, and-in his first ever film appearance-a charismatic young newcomer named Patrick Swayze, who is completely captivating as the film's skate-thug antagonist. SKATETOWN was never released on VHS or DVD due to rights issues with its stellar soundtrack, which features top hits from artists like Dave Mason (who also appears in the film), Earth, Wind and Fire, and The Jacksons.  While our synopsis may sound sarcastic or cynical, it isn't: SKATETOWN, U.S.A. is a truly enjoyable time capsule of a movie that deserves broader recognition.
1974 / 35mm / Dir. Freddie Francis / 90 min.
Beatles fans take note: here is a real obscurity that has finally been unearthed by Exhumed Films!  In 1974, Apple Films released this truly odd horror/musical/comedy/drama amalgam, directed by Amicus and Hammer stalwart Freddie Francis (TALES FROM THE CRYPT, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS).  SON OF DRACULA stars singer-songwriter (and Apple recording artist/Beatles crony) Harry Nilsson as a melancholy vampire, and Ringo Starr himself as the immortal wizard, Merlin.  The film features several of Nilsson's songs, performed by the artist and his "backing band" of popular rock musicians such as Peter Frampton, John Bonham, and Keith Moon.    Like SKATETOWN, soundtrack rights issues prevented the film from ever receiving an official video or DVD release, but SON OF DRACULA is now back on the big screen for the first time in 40 years!
1974 / 35mm / Dir. Andy Milligan / 60 min.
Once upon a time, infamous "no-budget" horror/exploitation filmmaker Andy Milligan (THE GHASTLY ONES, THE RATS ARE COMING!  THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE!) decided to make an homage to the Universal Studios "Monster Rally" movies of the 1940s.  The result was BLOOD, which-questionable acting, editing, and special effects aside-stands as one of Milligan's better works, and has a certain charm of its own that makes it worth a watch.  BLOOD focuses on the mad scientist Doctor Orlovsky and his bride as they try to cope with Mrs. Orlovsky's bloodthirsty cravings.  Turns out Orlovsky is actually the alias of  Lawrence (The Wolfman) Talbot, Jr. (!), who has married Dracula's daughter and has come home to the family estate only to find he's been swindled by his father's lawyer. Things go quickly downhill from there.  Full of colorful characters and gruesome set pieces, BLOOD is a goofy, gory throwback to the monster mash-ups of yesteryear.
1973 / 35mm / Dir. Alan Ormsby / 85 min.
Now this is a true rarity: the directorial debut of horror favorite Alan Ormsby (CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, DERANGED, POPCORN), MURDER ON THE EMERALD SEAS was not only never released on DVD or video, but never actually received a theatrical release outside of a few regional markets.  It has zero reviews on IMDB.  It is truly a lost film in every sense of the word!  This unconventional comedy-thriller concerns a police detective who goes undercover in drag to catch a masked maniac brutally dispatching the winners of an annual beauty queen contest run by drug smugglers aboard a cruise ship.  We couldn't make up a plot synopsis that absurd if we tried.  Featuring the stars of CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (Paul Cronin, Anya Ormsby and Jeff Gillen) and Roberts Blossom from DERANGED, as well as cameos from Johnny Weismuller and Henny Youngman!  Be the first to see it! 
1968 / 35mm / Dir. Zoltan G. Spencer / 64 min.
Our final feature is another truly lost film-not on video or DVD, the horror/sexploitation flick THE SATANIST has not been seen by an audience for nearly fifty years.  Recovering from a mental breakdown, a writer and his young wife move into a new home and are soon met by a female occultist and a sultry succubus intent on welcoming the newcomers to the neighborhood by making them the guests of honor at a black mass and ushering them into a world of orgiastic sex and Satanism!  If Russ Meyer and Anton LaVey were to have ever collaborated on a film, it probably would have looked a lot like this.

Upcoming Shows

-Exhumed Films Presents: Cannibal Carnage!
Thursday, August 7-
Special weeknight screening!  International House Philadelphia 7:00pm 
start time

"The greatest cannibal film of them all and the one that started it all!"
On the 13th anniversary of EF's North American premiere of the restored CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (and in anticipation of the upcoming Blu-Ray release) comes this encore screening of the film, paired up with the movie responsible for kick starting the most notoriously repugnant sub-genre in movie history!

1980 / 35mm / Dir. Ruggero Deodato / 95 min.

Love it or loathe it, Ruggero Deodato's notorious cannibal shocker is still as potent today as it was when it was made.  A group of documentary filmmakers heads to the "Green Inferno" to film the natives, but their techniques anger the cannibals, and the crew soon discovers that this may be their last film.  Told in found footage style years before THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is exploitation filmmaking at its most challenging, and a movie that will undeniably leave you breathless.

1972 / 35mm / Dir. Umberto Lenzi / 93 min.

The Italian cannibal genre started with this early gem from Umberto Lenzi, who later went on to make the notorious CANNIBAL FEROX (aka MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY).   Putting an exploitation twist on the Richard Harris film A MAN CALLED HORSE, a photographer travels to the Amazon only to be captured by cannibals and, through a series of bizarre initiation trials, inducted as a member of the tribe.  Basically inventing all of the tropes for the entire genre, MAN FROM DEEP RIVER presents both a compelling story and the shocking violence that you have come to expect from Italian grindhouse cinema.


August 23 2014: Exhumed Films presents a double feature of Underrated Science-Fiction Films!Doors at 7:30 pm, Show at 8:00pm - Admission $15
International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK (30th anniversary screening)
1984 / 35mm / Dir. Leonard Nimoy / 105 min.
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN was one of the biggest box office hits of 1982, so Paramount was anxious to quickly ramp up a sequel.  Although Trek fans generally loved KHAN, the film's decision to kill off Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock was a controversial one, to say the least.  As its title implies, STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK focuses on Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the Enterprise as they attempt to retrieve the body of their fallen comrade.  However, they run afoul of a cruel Klingon commander (BACK TO THE FUTURE's Christopher Lloyd) who plots to steal the rejuvenating secrets of the planet Genesis for his own nefarious purposes.  While not as lucrative as either STAR TREK II or the oddly light-hearted sequel STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK is an intelligent, enjoyable, and underrated entry in the TREK film series.
DUNE (30th anniversary screening)
1984 / 35mm / Dir. David Lynch / 137 min.
Frank Herbert's epic science-fiction novel DUNE was long considered unfilmable, though several directors-most famously, Alejandro Jodorowsky-tried to bring the classic to the screen during the 1970s, only to see their projects ultimately fall apart.  But in 1984, acclaimed avant-garde filmmaker David Lynch followed his art-house successes ERASERHEAD and THE ELEPHANT MAN with an ambitious, big budget adaptation of Herbert's masterpiece.  Lynch's DUNE is infamous in the realm of sci-fi films: it is a divisive movie, one that fans tend to either love or hate.  Many of the film's perceived weaknesses can be traced to the fact that producer Dino DeLaurentis forced Lynch to excise over 45 minutes of footage in order to get the running time down to a more reasonable (but still lengthy) 2 hours and 17 minutes.  But flawed or not, DUNE's story of political intrigue, galactic warfare and religious allegory set in the far-off future is visually stunning and truly epic in score.  Featuring an impressive cast (Kyle MacLachlan, Jurgen Prochnow, Patrick Stewart, Max von Sydow, and Sting, among others) and an orchestral/rock hybrid score by the band Toto (!), DUNE is definitely an interesting film that deserves a second look.

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