Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sci-Fi Spectacular 4 Coverage



As many of my Twitter followers know, I was fortunate enough to attend the Sci-Fi Spectacular screenings at the Music Box here in Chicago. I was unable to go with my friend however I met up with my old teacher/mentor and the producer of his podcast known as The Harvey and Bob Show. It was great to finally meet them after all these years and we had a blast watching all the movies they showed.

The lineup was as followed:
Them
Planet of the Vampires
Dark Star
Flash Gordon
Q: The Winged Serpent
Lifeforce
They Live

Larry Cohen was actually there too to present Q and then do a quick Q&A with the audience. He was a very straightforward and very wacky person. While filming Q he actually filmed at the top of the Chrysler building without any kind of permit, which he stated that it would never fly in today’s world. It was very entertaining to hear him talk about filming Q and Black Caesar.


Larry talking about his experience while filming Q

It was great seeing all those films on a 35mm print with the film scratches and the cigarette burns… it felt more realistic to me. Throughout the night the theater played old 70s, 80s and 90s sci-fi trailers ranging from Tank Girl to Clockwork Orange to Single Room Furnished. It made me feel like I was watching a true grindhouse movie or movies.

Now, I want to do a brief reflection on all of the films that I watched. I was unable to see Dark Star because I had dinner then.

Them

Seeing this on the big screen was a breathtaking. I always had an appreciation for the special effects but now I think I have a huge appreciation for the sound design. The sound the ants make with their antenna is so spine-shivering that it will get stuck in your head. For that time, it was truly revolutionary.

Planet of the Vampires

This was a really bad movie with really bad acting but what made this movie for me was the set design and the effects. The set design was wonderfully crafted and looked like something out of a Jules Verne novel. The effects were great, especially the laser gun… it sounded pretty good and overall it was really creative.

Flash Gordon

This was the first time I actually saw this movie. It was… okay. I think the only thing that it had going for it was the costuming and the set design, especially the costuming. Everything was glossy, over the top and ridiculous.

Q: The Winged Serpent

I thought this was a really good movie in terms of character and effects. The winged serpent is like a second hand character while the rest of the movie is like a crime drama. Although I liked the stop-motion effects more than I liked the story. Larry Cohen stated that it was a satire on the fact that everybody is suing everybody nowadays.

Lifeforce

Ever since I saw it on FearNet at one point I always wanted to see this movie and now I finally did. I thought it was a decent flick. I liked the pacing of the story but the effects really steal the show. They are some amazing puppetry and animation… oh and the sound design was great.

They Live
There is way too much to talk about when it comes to this film but what I will say is that it was really fun to see this on the big screen. Midway through the epic fight scene the film ran out and they had to change reels. Oh it was great, it made me feel like I was in the 80s watching this movie at an old movie theater.




Right: My teacher/mentor who influenced my horror hobby.

Other than that I had a blast. I met up with Nicki Nix who runs Hey Look Behind You and I met up with Mitch, Kristen and Bryan of Horror Society… haven’t seen them in ages. So it was a fun night.

**NOTE: These convention coverage posts are meant to be bragging about going to these events. Honestly, I had more fun talking to high school teacher than I did with the actual event so I hope that I don't piss anybody off.

3 comments:

Hey! Look Behind You! said...

It was great to finally met you! See ya soon at Women in Horror 2

Jay Amabile said...

Yeah Q the Winged Serpent Rocked!!!

The Film Connoisseur said...

Im dying to see Planet of the Vampires...its Mario Bava doing science fiction which I cant even begin to imagine...I have to hunt down a copy of that one and buy it!

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