Cinematheque wraps up genre fest this week

Tonight is a double bill of British Horror: HORROR HOTEL (akak CITY OF THE DEAD) and DEVIL DOLL, starting at 8:00pm. I haven’t seen the later, but the first is a wonderful piece of atmospheric horror, with the greatest ending I have ever seen in a horror film.

Thursday offers a two sleazy slices of Euro-trash from cult director Jess Franco: VENUS IN FURS and THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF. Thursday, starting 8pm. I’ve never understood the appeal of Franco. As one of my friends said to me once, “You know, I never used to be able to watch Franco, but now…” To which I replied, “Yeah, and I never used to drink Thunderbird.”

Friday night it’s a triple bill: THE WEREWOLF, THE BLACK SCORPION, and MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS, starting at 7:30pm. The second film is not very good dramatically, but it does offer stop-motion effects from Willis O’Brien, the man who brought the original King Kong to life.

Saturday is your chance to see the U.S. debut of ULTRAMAN MEBIUS AND ULTRA BROTHERS, starting at 6pm. Ultraman is sort of the Japanese equivalent of Superman – an alien, posing behind a secret identity, who fights giant monsters, a la Godzilla. There have been several television series and movies featuring different versions of the character, and 2004’s ULTRAMAN: THE NEXT was not bad, so this might be worth checking out.

After that it’s ’50s sci-fi with NVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (the 1956 original) and FIEND WITHOUT A FACE (the one with the tiny crawling brains). Show starts at 8:30pm.

The final screenings are a pair of classic films based on the work of Jules Vernel: 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA and THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. Saturday, showing Sunday at 7:30pm. The first is Disney’s triumphant masterpiece, loaded with production values and a great performance by James Mason as Captain Nemo. The second is not quite as grand, but it does offer stop-motion monsters courtesy of Ray Harryhausen.

Get more infor at the Cinematheque’s official website for the Egyptian Theatre.