Chalk this up as reason number 666 to visit the iconic Cinema Nova in Melbourne's hip north; every Friday a very diverse and strange happening coordinated by fanatical film devotees Zak Hepburn and Ben Buckingham is set to upset your brain and possibly stomach in the best way possible.
The true definition of cult films (and not just a kitsch marketing throw-away term) will be playing every Friday night; from carnivorous classics (including two Cronenberg joints), to current buzz titles such as Citadel. You can take it all in if you happen to be a fan of, or are curious about punk sci-fi, blaxploitation, grindhouse, hardcore horror or Korean apocalypse anthology - huh? Well if you are into some of the above, the Cultastrophe program has something to satiate your urges.
There's more of course, as to complete the appeal of this themed night a special introduction to get the audience into the particular mood of the film playing starts things off, and then a pre-show program of truly inane proportions including retro advertisements, clips and trailers blow your mind! Then the film begins...
The following program for the first season is as follows:
24 May: Master of the Flying Guillotine
This bonafide Kung-Fu classic is often cited as one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite films. The hero of the piece, a man known only as The One Armed Boxer, is stalked by a vengeful Master armed with a flying guillotine - a decapitating contraption that decimates anyone standing in its way. Master of the Flying Guillotine has been often copied but never bettered. Original Chinese Language
In the near future science has accidentally created "Scanners" - a new breed of human with paranormal abilities...and just for a change - some of them want to destroy humanity! Scanners presented a divisive turn in director David Cronenberg's career, taking his core themes, such as warped physicality and psychological horror, into a more traditional narrative space.
7 June: The Nullabor Nymph
This playful mockumentary is a comedic update to the outback Ozploitation construct. Set in the desert reaches of South Australia, two men are dispatched to a remote job in the outback and quickly develop an ominous feeling that something out there is hunting them down. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, this inventive homegrown genre piece presents a welcome new take on the dangerous outback cycle of films.
14 June: The Devil Rides Out
A quintessential entry into the British genre film cannon. London, 1929. The powers of good are pitted against the forces of evil with Christopher Lee staring as the effortlessly cool "Duc de Richelieu" who must wrestle with the charming but deadly Satanist, Mocata (Charles Grey) for the soul of his friend, all while the "Angel of Death" begins an accent to earth.
Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) lives a quiet life in a decaying British tower block with his heavily pregnant wife. When the couple is attacked by a pack of hooded young thugs, Tommy is left to raise his newborn daughter alone. Forever traumatized and suffering from extreme agoraphobia, Tommy must overcome his fears with the help of a renegade priest and face the supernatural elements of this roving gang of "Hoodies" who destroyed his family. This next step in the evolution of the Hoodie Horror (an emerging sub-genre of British horror cinema) gives us intelligent performances to craft a claustrophobic portrait of social unrest and class divides.
Dr. Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed) experiments with "Psychoplasmics", a radical therapy designed to release hidden emotions. He keeps his best and brightest patient, ex-wife Nola (Samantha Eggar) in isolation. As she successfully vents her rage via these therapy sessions, a series of murders begins and the red stuff starts to run! Another dark design from the mind of David Cronenberg, the director claims the piece has autobiographical elements derived from his marriage breakdown. Presented totally uncut for the first time!
Alex Cox's unique punk rock sci-fi comedy was the quintessential cult film of the 80s. Starring the always-reliable Harry Dean Stanton in a performance for the ages as a weathered Repo Man on the streets of a desolate Los Angeles, with a young Emilio Estevez by his side as the nihilistic middle-class punk he takes under his wing. When they get pulled into repossessing a mysterious and dangerous Chevy Malibu, things start to get very weird! Featuring the ultimate L.A. punk soundtrack, with the likes of Iggy Pop, Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies, Cox claims this out there odyssey is politically trenchant take on President Reagan's domestic and foreign policies.
Outlining three ways in which the world ends, The Doomsday Book begins with director Yim Pil-Sung's "A Brave New World," a rollicking tale about rampant pollution that leads to an outbreak of zombie-ism. The second short, the famous Kim Jee-woon's (The Last Stand, The Good, The Bad And The Weird) "The Heavenly Creature" is about a future where robots have become our main source of manual labor. The film then wraps up with the two directors collaborating on "Happy Birthday," about a young girl whose wish results in a giant meteor heading straight for the planet Earth. A cleaver update on apocalyptic cinema, the film Injects welcome doses of comedy into the three hard science fiction scenarios.
19 July: Fear(s) of the Dark
This monochromatic omnibus of terror is a unique collection of frightful tales presented by some of the world's foremost acclaimed graphic artists. Their intertwined stories create an unprecedented epic of style where phobias, disgust and nightmares all spring to life and reveal fear in its most primal fashion. Each artist was charged to create a black and white short based on their own personal nightmares. From the comedic, the bloody, the experimental and the downright creepy, all of the films are incredibly imaginative and effective experiences into the true nature of fear.
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