WELCOME to the Messageboard for the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival and Marathon!!
SF/43 is in the books! Here's what was shown: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 3RD KIND. THE TIME MACHINE. Harryhausen's 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD. LOST WORLD w/Jeff Rapsis Live Music! MARJORIE PRIME. BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Cronenberg's THEY CAME FROM WITHIN. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968). WORLD WITHOUT END. Roger Corman's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. ARMY OF DARKNESS. 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH. LOOPER. Plus, a "Surprise Film"! Reactions? Post here: Comments Thread.
Any Suggestions for 2019's SF/44? Click here
List of ALL Films that have played the Marathon. Click here
Click here for the SF/43 Film Info Page

The Next Marathon will be held Presidents' Day Weekend 2019 at the Somerville Theater, Somerville Massachusetts.
It will be preceded by the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival at the same venue.


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Post-SF/43 reactions reviews suggestions (Read 2143 times)
Feb 19th, 2018 at 2:56pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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The Marathon is in the books . Post your comments reviews reactions and suggestion on how to improve next year here
« Last Edit: Feb 21st, 2018 at 1:41am by L.A. Connection »  
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Reply #1 - Feb 20th, 2018 at 11:12am

Dinsdale   Offline
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Had a good time as usual, could have done without the horror heavy theme this year.
CE3K always great to see, especially on the big screen, holds up well.
Time Machine, a classic.
ADHD contest- time to put this away, no participants.
7th Voyage of Sinbad- no SciFi connection, but one I had never seen.
Gort Shorts winner, a great addition to the 'Thon, hope it becomes an annual event. The shorts were all well done and the attendance was great last Thursday.
Though we have seen Lost World before, Jeff always does such a great job and it was enjoyable, if a bit long.
Marjorie Prime was OK, hit a bit too close to home for me at this stage of life.
Bride of Frankenstein, another classic that went over well.
They Came From Within, not very shocking in this day and age. Not a very good movie.
Night of the Living Dead, a classic and where the Zombies began. Pretty lame compared to what you can see on TV these days.
Twilight Zone episode was enjoyable.
World Without End, this is where I started a major snooze fest even though I wanted to see it.
Little Shop of Horrors- Much too loud....ZZZZZZ
Surprise Feature Film- love the idea of doing this every year, I do not need to know what films are showing, didn't know back in 1979 when I started attending this event. I just know that the crowd is great and that I will have a great time no matter what is shown. Seeing this on the big screen was such a treat and the restoration was wonderful!
Army of Darkness- a classic, not much of a Sci-Fi connection other than the reference to The Day the Earth Stood Still. Crowd seemed to really enjoy it.
20 Million Miles to Earth- saw this at my first 'Thon and enjoyed it again. Harryhausen and his copycats were very heavy this year!!
Looper- nice to see this recent movie again, very well done.
See you all at SF44!
 
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Reply #2 - Feb 20th, 2018 at 4:31pm

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Okay. I've recovered enough to try an SF43 review before memory fades too much.

Close Encounters- LOVED this film ever since it's original release and glad to see it still stands up.
The Time Machine- another favorite and again still stands up.
7th Voyage of Sinbad- nothing wrong with a fantasy film or two during the marathon. This one is corny enough to be enjoyable but the Harryhausen effects snap you back to respecting it.
Gort Shorts Winner- good idea bringing the best short from the festival.
The Lost World- enjoyable but kind of dumb silent spectacle but the musical accompaniment was truly awesome.
Marjorie Prime-skipped
The Bride of Frankenstein- man this is an eccentric film, lots of fun on the big screen though where the over the top acting can shine.
Shiver/They Came From Within- okay, it's impact has faded a bit since SF3 but still with parasites that literally look like crap and a "no one is safe, there is no hero and children are not spared" attitude, its still shocking when ya think about it a bit.
Night Of The Living Dead- a good match with Shivers for kind of a 1-2 horror punch.
Twilight Zone- Nightmare At 20,000 Feet- classic TV, classic Shatner and a blast to see with the 'thon crowd.
World Without End- good solid fifties sci-fi. I'd forgotten how it just sort of ends with no return for our heroes to warn of the future danger.
Little Shop of Horror- Dick Miller and Jack Nicholson really still steal this film but it's an enjoyable short classic even though the music was too loud.
Surprise Feature Film- I love this film and also love the idea of a surprise film each year. Did not know it'd be so divisive though. But it's all in the mind y'know.
Army of Darkness- just caught the ending, not one of my favorites but still very enjoyable. Too bad we couldn't show the original ending.
20 Million Miles To Earth- shows how good effects can really carry a mediocre film. Harryhausen's Ymir is such a screaming good monster.
Looper- left early even though I had enjoyed this film it's one where the plot twists made it very enjoyable but the second time they're still the same twists.

Theme this year could be considered 'time travel' OR 'stop motion animation'.
Getting really sick of the door joke from the crowd, mostly because their are ALWAYS doors in EVERY movie. At least the name 'Mark' is only in SOME films. 
 

I can't complain but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far.
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Reply #3 - Feb 20th, 2018 at 5:59pm

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Some random impressions of SF43:

* Overall great audience and lineup of films!

* None of the fantasy / horror / surprise movies were individually a bad choice but as a whole collection seemed like overkill for a sci-fi event.  Hopefully the borderline or non-SF stuff will go down to 1-2 films next year.  Dunno if all of these were a coincidence or maybe the organizers seeing the popularity of some of the 24 horror marathons out there and trying to pull in that audience.  Either way it was too much.

* Been forever since I last saw BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.   Ernest Thesiger as Doctor Pretorius was my probably favorite performance in any of the films.  He steals every scene he appears in, even with a giant green monster on the other side of the table.  I ordered the Blu-Ray restoration to watch this one again.

* MARJORIE PRIME was a bummer.  But a good bummer.

* No one in our party thought that was a live human playing during THE LOST WORLD.  I assumed after ALGOL went away and this majestic, continuous sound surrounded us for 90 mins that it must have been a soundtrack.  Wow!  This was one of the worst films shown but maybe my favorite experience.

* This was my fifth thon but first up in the balcony.  After SF43 I may never go back to the floor - the less crowded atmosphere and great view is a better fit.

* "Door!" was way, way overplayed.  It is simply befuddling anyone still found that funny after the first couple of times, much less after 15 hours of it.

* Shatner gets such a bad rap.  He was never a bad actor.  Pretty much everything he has ever been has been vastly improved because of his participation.  Just watch this episode and imagine it without him - few actors could sell this ridiculous situation as convincingly.  My favorite TZ is "Nick of Time", basically because it's a total Shat Show.   Wink


Can't wait till next year!
 
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Reply #4 - Feb 21st, 2018 at 1:42am

L.A. Connection   Offline
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Adding this from a post in a different thread to keep all the post-mortems in one place - Admin

Christopher Dunn wrote on Feb 19th, 2018 at 3:03pm:
Had a good time at the marathon. This year was my 23rd consecutive year with my friend. I did feel this year was a bit 50's/60's heavy with practically no modern films in the entire lineup. I do hope future years spread it out a bit more across the decades. There were only two films from this century this year - Looper and Marjorie Prime I wish there would have been a few more. See you next year!


 
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Reply #5 - Feb 21st, 2018 at 8:45pm

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Krypto wrote on Feb 20th, 2018 at 5:59pm:
* No one in our party thought that was a live human playing during THE LOST WORLD.  I assumed after ALGOL went away and this majestic, continuous sound surrounded us for 90 mins that it must have been a soundtrack.  Wow!  This was one of the worst films shown but maybe my favorite experience.

Thank you! I was the human who accompanied THE LOST WORLD and I thoroughly enjoyed creating live improvised music for this pioneering epic. We were going to run ALGOL up until the day before, when the switch was made to the most recent LOST WORLD restoration, which had something like 10 minutes of newly recovered footage that I'd never seen before. That's what keeps it interesting! Thanks to the organizers for inviting me once again to contribute to the Marathon, and to attendees for being such a great audience. Hope we can run more silents (including ALGOL) at future 'Thons. I'll continue to advocate for Fritz Lang's late silent lunar voyage epic WOMAN IN THE MOON (1929), as it's more sci-fi than his earlier METROPOLIS (1927). Yes, it's nearly three hours long, but I can think of no better setting for this film to be screened than Boston Sci-Fi Marathon. And next year (2019) will be the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing...

 
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Reply #6 - Feb 22nd, 2018 at 4:02am

L.A. Connection   Offline
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Jeff Rapsis wrote on Feb 21st, 2018 at 8:45pm:
Krypto wrote on Feb 20th, 2018 at 5:59pm:
* No one in our party thought that was a live human playing during THE LOST WORLD.  I assumed after ALGOL went away and this majestic, continuous sound surrounded us for 90 mins that it must have been a soundtrack.  Wow!  This was one of the worst films shown but maybe my favorite experience.

Thank you! I was the human who accompanied THE LOST WORLD and I thoroughly enjoyed creating live improvised music for this pioneering epic...



Human? I'll need proof of that, Jeff! That was beyond most human ability! Great, great time with your score. Glad we got to chat, albeit briefly. Thank you, again!
 
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Reply #7 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 2:08pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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While I prep my full reaction to this year's 'thon, some notes on what has been written:

Dinsdale wrote on Feb 20th, 2018 at 11:12am:
Had a good time as usual, could have done without the horror heavy theme this year. ...
Gort Shorts winner, a great addition to the 'Thon, hope it becomes an annual event.
Surprise Feature Film- love the idea of doing this every year, I do not need to know what films are showing, didn't know back in 1979 when I started attending this event. I just know that the crowd is great and that I will have a great time no matter what is shown.


Agree on all counts. Maybe even add the runner-up in the shorts category? Maybe not every year, but, yes, a Surprise Film once in a while might be cool

da_Bunnyman wrote on Feb 20th, 2018 at 4:31pm:
Gort Shorts Winner- good idea bringing the best short from the festival.
The Lost World- ...the musical accompaniment was truly awesome.
Surprise Feature Film- I love this film and also love the idea of a surprise film each year. Did not know it'd be so divisive though. But it's all in the mind y'know.
Getting really sick of the door joke from the crowd, mostly because their are ALWAYS doors in EVERY movie. At least the name 'Mark' is only in SOME films. 


Agree on the shorts. Rapsis is awesome. Surprises can work, but, as with this year's selection, can be a double-edged sword if a good chunk of the crowd isn't pleased with it. Yeah, the 'Door' thing was out of hand. Maybe an announcement about that is in order next year.

Krypto wrote on Feb 20th, 2018 at 5:59pm:
* None of the fantasy / horror / surprise movies were individually a bad choice but as a whole collection seemed like overkill for a sci-fi event.  Hopefully the borderline or non-SF stuff will go down to 1-2 films next year. 
* No one in our party thought that was a live human playing during THE LOST WORLD.  I assumed after ALGOL went away and this majestic, continuous sound surrounded us for 90 mins that it must have been a soundtrack.  Wow!
* This was my fifth thon but first up in the balcony.  After SF43 I may never go back to the floor - the less crowded atmosphere and great view is a better fit.
* "Door!" was way, way overplayed.  It is simply befuddling anyone still found that funny after the first couple of times, much less after 15 hours of it.
!

Agree on too much fantasy and horror - should be a spice and not the meal. Again, Rapsis is raptuous. I've explored the balcony before for a film or two, but, as a film purist, I hate the steep angle. I'm sure it has a different vibe of its own.
The Door thing must die

Jeff Rapsis wrote on Feb 21st, 2018 at 8:45pm:
tI'll continue to advocate for Fritz Lang's late silent lunar voyage epic WOMAN IN THE MOON (1929), as it's more sci-fi than his earlier METROPOLIS (1927). Yes, it's nearly three hours long, but I can think of no better setting for this film to be screened than Boston Sci-Fi Marathon. And next year (2019) will be the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing...


We actually DID book WOMAN a few years ago, but, the length was a deal killer. I have seen it once with a live score (theremin) and it is, indeed, quite the experience. I know there are shorter versions out there, but, not restored editions. The film purist in me hates to see butchered versions, but, 3 hours is a huge chunk of time when folks are already sitting there for 21 other hours. Maybe, the Somerville could run this the Saturday before the event full length?

Christopher Dunn wrote on Feb 19th, 2018 at 3:03pm:
I did feel this year was a bit 50's/60's heavy with practically no modern films in the entire lineup. I do hope future years spread it out a bit more across the decades. There were only two films from this century this year - Looper and Marjorie Prime I wish there would have been a few more.


Can't disagree. I would like to see a more even distribution as well.


 
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Reply #8 - Feb 24th, 2018 at 3:46pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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Could it already be nearly a week ago? Like a dream.

First, I want to thank everybody involved for putting on the show from Ian, DDK and the Somerville staff, Garen, Harry, Frank & Fran, my L.A. Connection team and to all my friends and those of you Messageboard mates. Thanks!
After a lull the last few years in audience participation, there was, perhaps, Too Much this year - especially, the annoying 'Door!' thing which persisted loooooooong after it was amusing. Possibly, it was the familiarity with too many movies on the schedule that encouraged the yahoos in the audience to chatter incessantly? The crowd quelled later on, but, the perfect balance of excitement and respect for the movies, was off.

On to the movies:

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS -  The film really holds up. You see all the Spielberg traits developing here that have, for good and not so great, been maintained. Some of the family stuff in the middle does drag and the acting of Dreyfuss' kids is pretty amateurish. Still, the flaws are glossed over by the combination of optimisim, terrific acting by the leads, Trumbull's extraordinary pre-CGI effects, Williams' music and the gorgeous first contact end sequence - the best of its kind on celluloid. Even if you don't know about Truffuat's career, his casting was a stroke of genius - kind, inquisitive and a calming presence. My two favorite bits with Dreyfuss: Stealing a peak to the skies as he's kissing Garr on the roadside; And, that final determined push to make it up the mountain to his destiny below.

TIME MACHINE - Still a fine example of late 50s/ early 60s sci-fi. HG Wells purists don't care for the liberties it takes with the novel, but, for George Pal, this is still a pretty pessimistic view of the future of man. Some of the effects don't hold up, but, the design of the title contraption is lovely, as is Alan Young's performance as Filby.

7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD - Colorful and rousing adventure tale, if off-topic. The Harryhausen creature effects set it apart from the usual sword & sandal Saturday matinee epic. Kerwin Matthews' acting is stronger than I remember, and Torin Thatcher makes a good heavy. Have always loved Herrmann's theme music.

Haley (Short) - Agree with those that wouldn't mind seeing a short or two from the Fest every year. As to the short itself? Well made, certainly, and not without interest, but, it doesn't really lead very far. Tastes are different, of course, but I have a hard time believing this was the very best short shown at the Fest.

LOST WORLD - 3rd marathon visit. All with live music, but, with respect to his predecessors, Jeff Rapsis' score tops them all. There are some prolonged sequences, but, it's still a solid silent, propelled into a Marathon highlight by Rapsis.

MARJORIE PRIME - Skipped much of this to celebrate my core four's 30th straight marathon together at Orleans. The audience seemed to enjoy it, if not overly so (it's not that kind of picture). Here's my full review: http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1503944740

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN - No matter how many times I see it, this still remains one of my all time faves. It's truly one of the great creations of Hollywood's early golden era. Concise, orginal, thrilling and hugely entertaining. The blood & thunder horror stuff works on that level, but, it's the subversive wit that takes it to another strata with it's sly invocation of a Christ analogy and gay innuendo. As I said to a Marathoner - with apologies to GODFATHER II - BRIDE is the greatest of all sequels.

THEY CAME FROM WITHIN - Well, we proved one thing with our double bill with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - times have Definitely changed in Marathon-land! What was once too much for some to take - is now somewhat commonplace. Somewhat. After some frankly pretty dull passages, the last 20 minutes or so, are still pretty subversively shocking - those forbidden rooms in THE SHINING can't compare to some of the scandalous images here. Early Cronenberg is an acquired taste. Instead of looking at each individual film, it may be best to look at his full filmmography. THEY CAME was his full feature (following two extended shorts) and his unease shows with pacing and script issues. But, you could see his body horror themes progressing until they culminated in his remake of THE FLY. Also, those decrying it as misogynistic are misreading Cronenberg's intentions - he was an equal opportunity offender, and, if anything, he was portraying pansexuality.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - Part II of the experiment recreating the events of 40 years prior at SF/3 (see note #28 here: http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1319772249). Like much of THEY CAME, NOTLD can seem almost tame in comparison to what is out there now - even on weekly TV! And, for much of the film you see very little. It is only from the point of the BBQ teen couple feast to the bitter ending that the shock level is amped to 'modern standards'.  And, like THEY CAME, those last 20 minutes or so are still pretty frighteningly subversive. A couple of things struck me upon viewing it on the big screen for the first time in years: 1. The use of grungy B&W photography really heightens the realism. One must keep in mind that most people still had B&W TVs when this was made, so this is how they viewed the news - be it Vietnam, riots and the 60s assassinations. 2. Even though Romero and his Producers claim that casting Jones as the lead was purely based on acting ability, and not a comment on race, the racial parallels are still stunning. To see a black man take charge and give a white man quite the beat-down must have been quite appalling to some moviegoers. And, that ending - GET OUT has nothing on that.

Twilight Zone - Still amazed how a a 60 year old TV show projected via BluRay can look superior to feature films shot and projected on Digital/DCP. Love TZ, but, it's time to show something else in this time slot. That said, "Nightmare" is a doozy of an episode!

WORLD WITHOUT END - After sitting through a mini-horror marathon, this cheezy bit of B Movie sci-fi was a welcome respite with it's space-ships, time travel and mutants! Hard to believe they would spend the money on color and cinemascope and yet not be able to come up with anything better than that spider! And, ever the hack, Director Bernds just lets the widescreen frame linger as the lifeless hunk of rubber just lays there! No great shakes, but, an ok bit of low budget nonsense.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - Pretty much a perfect bit of Z grade cult movie gold. Infamously shot in 2 1/2 days this one takes its delicious one-joke premise to absurd heights. Full of throwaway bits, fun cameos (Dick Miller! Jack!) and inspired lunacy. Is it a great film? Of course not, but, who woulda thought that this miniscule masterwork would become known not only as Corman's best film as a Director - but, the inspiration for a hugely successful musical play and a big budget Hollywood remake?

SURPRISE FILM - I like the film. I love the band and most of the songs. But, this was the big surprise? At least it could have been a sci-fi movie. And, one with a plot. Oh, well, the restoration looked nice off a BluRay (at times, the BluRay projection looked better than the official studio DCPs - go figure!) and you could groove to the songs and watched the pop art visuals. Too bad the dispensaries weren't opened yet.  Cool

ARMY OF DARKNESS - time for breakfast and some catching up with some folks in the lobby. Another off-topic flick. A unnecessary repeat from an earlier 'thon and a 'plot' that, as my Dad would proclaim: "That movie is a stupid!"

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH - Yeah! Sci-Fi! This Harryhausen effort holds up pretty well. The story is trivial, but the Ymir is a marvellous creation. The Italian setting gives it a flavor that sets it apart from many a monster on the loose yarn. And, if you can place yourself in the mind of a 10 year old back in 1957, it's fairly scary to boot.

LOOPER - A repeat viewing isn't very kind. The holes in the plot (and the idiocy of the basic premise) really glare upon reflection. I don't care how "really illegal" time travel is - why send back people back? Toss in random telekenisis, absurd makeup on Gordon-Levitt (they couldn't find ANYone that looked more like Willis?) and obvious borrowings from the Terminator series and you have a pretty dumb violent flick. An enjoyable dumb violent flick, but pretty silly nonetheless (and, bonus Emily Blunt points!). Still, after all the non-Sci-Fi stuff, it was a fun ender for the 'thon.

Again, thanks to everybody involved. See you next year!
 
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Reply #9 - Feb 26th, 2018 at 7:36am

i am kirok   Offline
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replace "little shop of horrors" "they came from within", "7nth voyage of sinbad" with 3 of the following and you have got an outstanding marathon...
collosal
curse of the demon
the book of eli
star trek 5 where no man has gone before
terminator 3

and next marathon i intend to hiss the door snark out of existence.
 
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Reply #10 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 10:50pm

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doh! one of my buds reminded methat I didn't do a review of the marathon!

Better late than never.

ok. I gotta say it. I was disappointed. Really disappointed! way too much filler crap! How are they bookin things? Throwing darts at a list of scifi horror and anything fantasy related at all? yellow blank blank super secret WTF?? Who picked that? Some drunken hippie?

There were some good movies like Close Encounters, time Machine and Looper. Harryhausen is always cool to see on the big screen even if 7th voyage has little to do with scifi. 20 millon miles woulda been enuff.

I love my horror movies. But, around Halloween - not the marathon! Bride of Frankenstein is awesome! So is Night of th e Living dead - but, NOT at the marathon!

And, could people PLEEZE let the whole DOOR thing go away?! once in is sorta funny, 100 times aint!

I don't want to sound like a total tool. I still like seeing the crowd. The gathering. the someriville folks are great peeps. I still enjoyed myself. But, please enuff with the filler crap next year.

Can we pleez have SCIENCE FICTION MARATHON next time?

See ya all there

 
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