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Ghosts of Marathons Past - Earlier Films, Years (Read 40503 times)
Feb 25th, 2012 at 12:04pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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A place to post your memories of the Previous Marathons and Marathon films.

Ran across this detailed article on one of the most bizarre films to ever play at the Marathon - SF/6's THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE. A Documentary about Insects! And, a loosely defined Doc that also went on to win an Oscar.

I remember it as a then pretty innovative nature film with a bizarro on screen narrator (actor Lawrence Pressman playing a scientist), insanely detailed photography and too close for comfort sound effects. Worth catching.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7608725/the-hellstrom-chronicle-one-most-biz...


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Reply #1 - Mar 28th, 2012 at 4:22pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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Article on this year's fave, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS. In England, it has gone from a completely banned film (barred from exhibition for over a Quarter Century!) to a cut version to...PG! Oh, the horrors!

I do disagree with the point made in the article that the film no longer "pack(s) a real punch". Though mild in terms of graphic visual horror, the whole vivisection and the Panther Woman's sexuality are still pretty "punchy" in my book!


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17315918


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Reply #2 - May 16th, 2012 at 12:17am
Roger van wagyu   Ex Member

 
Evile Dade a more painful horror film.
 
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Reply #3 - May 16th, 2012 at 7:03pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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Assume, it's "EVIL DEAD". Not shown at a Marathon, although ARMY OF DARKNESS was. Not a fan. And, it was more than a bit of a stretch including it at an SF marathon.
 
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Reply #4 - May 28th, 2012 at 6:50pm

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L.A. Connection wrote on Mar 28th, 2012 at 4:22pm:
I do disagree with the point made in the article that the film no longer "pack(s) a real punch". Though mild in terms of graphic visual horror, the whole vivisection and the Panther Woman's sexuality are still pretty "punchy" in my book!


Yes, this movie was one of my highlights from SF 37.  Still creepy and perverse after all these years.   Very nice BW print too!
 
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Reply #5 - May 29th, 2012 at 8:14pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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And, with all the studios going to an almost exclusive "all digital" distribution model, it was imperative that it be shown in 35MM while prints still can be rented!

It has shown up on TCM a couple of times since the Marathon, but, it can't be beat on the big screen.

Dragonator wrote on May 28th, 2012 at 6:50pm:
L.A. Connection wrote on Mar 28th, 2012 at 4:22pm:
I do disagree with the point made in the article that the film no longer "pack(s) a real punch". Though mild in terms of graphic visual horror, the whole vivisection and the Panther Woman's sexuality are still pretty "punchy" in my book!


Yes, this movie was one of my highlights from SF 37.  Still creepy and perverse after all these years.   Very nice BW print too!

 
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Reply #6 - Jul 27th, 2012 at 1:47pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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What if
2001
had to be given the hard-sell of today's Blockbusters? Here's the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSGsh9so_dA

But, sad news. There are some wonderous 70mm prints of 2001 out there, but now, the most recent screenings in L.A. are in Digital.  Angry Sad Sad Sad


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Reply #7 - Aug 27th, 2012 at 4:12pm

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On the heels of the announcement of a VIDEOROME remake (http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1318294276/192#192), I, by coincidence, happened to stumble across an old issue of Cinefantastique that had a long article about the Making of the original VIDEODROME (Vol.14.2  Dec./Jan. 1983/4).

A few things popped out.

First, of course, is how difficult the special effects were in those Pre-CGI days. Just a simple effect of having an image on a TV set as it dropped into a bathtub of water was a huge deal because they had to actually have the TV set plugged in with electricity to have the picture on the screen (and, natch, make it safe for the actors and crew!).

Second, the long-held myth that there wasn't a completed script when the film began is just that, a myth. There were actually a few drafts that were done. What IS true, is that a lot of changes occured during the prep, shooting and post-production. Budget had a lot to do with the alterations, but so did Cronenberg's tinkering with how the tale would be told. In those pre-NC17 days, VIDEODROME also got slapped with an X-Rating when first submitted (Cronenberg claims he only had to change part of a torture scene so that the man being brutalized got electrocuted in the EARS and not his....uh.....vitals).

One major set of changes ocurred after a Test screening in BOSTON in April 1982! Anybody go to that, or knew somebody who did??? (I went to the Press screening of the completed film, but had never heard of this test showing). The screening went ok, but, a lot of folks were confused. Part of the confusion happened because Cronenberg and his editors cut out most of the first reel of the movie so it wasn't clear who the Renn character (James Woods) was. Not even that he was a TV producer. Debbie Harry/Blondie's character Nicki also disappeared from that version of the movie without explanation. So, it was back to the editing room and most of the first reel was put back in. Also, new bits and pieces were filmed to try and make the story clearer and to also explain where Nicki had gone.

You be the judge of how well it all worked out. As I noted when we showed the film at SF/35 (February 2011): "This was never my fave Cronenberg, but I hadn't seen it in over a quarter century so I was willing to give it another shot. Although it's tech is certainly dated - Big Dish Satellite TV? VHS Tape!? - Cronenberg's film actually makes more sense now than when it was released with the proliferation of the internets and other social media. He truly was ahead of his time in many aspects. Debbie Harry isn't the surest of actresses, but her sexy presence is effective. Unfortunately, the last third drags and gets bogged down in one level of (un)reality too many with the "Long Live the New Flesh!" stuff. And, this must be one of James Woods' weakest perfomances - he never seems sure of what the hell Cronenberg expects of his character. The dark ending is brave and nasty, but, the film had already lost its way by then. Still, chilling."
 
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Reply #8 - Jan 31st, 2013 at 2:35am

L.A. Connection   Offline
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I don't remember this scene in ROBOCOP. Maybe, it was in the outtakes on DVD? (true story below the photo) What's even more unbelievable than a Nixon Meets Robocop scene, is that VHS tapes back then cost $90Shocked

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Reply #9 - Jan 31st, 2013 at 8:12am

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It's true! Nixon had a great interest in cyborgs and robots.

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Here is is with the Robot Enhidrain. Smiley
 

21st Century Man
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Reply #10 - Feb 4th, 2013 at 8:29am

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Reply #11 - Feb 11th, 2013 at 2:03am

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Was SF3 the year they got Christopher Lee on the phone in Cinema 1? As I recall, Lee was characteristically garrulous, and after quite a few minutes, with the start time of the next movie having been delayed, the emcee/announcer (can't recall his name - the guy who preceded Bruce Bartoo) was struggling to find a diplomatic way to wrap up the conversation.

Didn't they get Rod Taylor on the phone one year, too?

After perusing many of the threads here, I've realized that my Marathon memories aren't 100% reliable - I could have sworn that ENEMY FROM SPACE screened at a Marathon one year, but I see it's not on any of the lists or schedules for the years I attended. I'm guessing I must have caught it at the Somerville as part of a double bill during "normal" viewing hours. Though, if a print of such a desirable title was available, why wouldn't it have been booked for the 'thon?

 
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Reply #12 - Feb 11th, 2013 at 5:02am

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I think that was Bill Lee that was supposed to have called, but he spaced out.
 
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Reply #13 - Feb 11th, 2013 at 8:28am

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Planeta Bur wrote on Feb 11th, 2013 at 2:03am:
Was SF3 the year they got Christopher Lee on the phone in Cinema 1? As I recall, Lee was characteristically garrulous, and after quite a few minutes, with the start time of the next movie having been delayed, the emcee/announcer (can't recall his name - the guy who preceded Bruce Bartoo) was struggling to find a diplomatic way to wrap up the conversation.

Didn't they get Rod Taylor on the phone one year, too?

After perusing many of the threads here, I've realized that my Marathon memories aren't 100% reliable - I could have sworn that ENEMY FROM SPACE screened at a Marathon one year, but I see it's not on any of the lists or schedules for the years I attended. I'm guessing I must have caught it at the Somerville as part of a double bill during "normal" viewing hours. Though, if a print of such a desirable title was available, why wouldn't it have been booked for the 'thon?




I think you meant Bill Lee, not Christopher.
I don't think Rod taylor was ever contacted but we did talk on the phone to George pal who talked about Rod Taylor.

Rumor was someone had a contact for Barry Sullivan (Mark himself) but nothing ever came of it.

Enemy From Space was mentioned as a film they were having trouble locating. And this was back when there were LOTS of sources for 35 and 16mm prints.
 

I can't complain but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far.
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Reply #14 - May 15th, 2013 at 3:22pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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Pretty remarkable relic. A free tie-in giveaway by Howard Johnson's pitching 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY! And, yes, it's a naive as you might think. The whole comic is worth checking out here:

http://dreamsofspace.blogspot.de/2013/05/2001-space-odyssey-howard-johnsons.html

But, here's a sample (I love the description, "...One of the rescue pods is quickly launched" 2001 may be a lot of cool things, but, NOTHING in it happens "quickly"!!!!)

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