The Last Winter
Larry Fessenden, USA/Iceland, 2006, 35mm, 101m
In an isolated Alaskan base near the Arctic Circle, a team of oil prospectors begrudgingly tolerate the presence of two scientists sent by the team’s corporate bosses to assess the environmental impact of the exploratory drilling project. As an eco scientist (James Le Gros) and a roughneck oil boss (Ron Perlman) butt heads, the team slowly begins to unravel as one by one its members realize that… there’s something out there. With its linking of the supernatural to nature and landscape,The Last Winter builds upon Larry Fessenden’s 2001 Wendigo, and expands the canvas for the director’s distinctive brand of unnerving, mood-driven horror. An IFC Films release.
Tuesday, November 3, 7:00pm (Q&A with Larry Fessenden and special guests)
Mickey Keating, USA, 2015, DCP, 75m
Although Mickey Keating’s Darling, like his Pod from last year, is set mostly within the confines of one home, it is a genuinely New York film—and the city has never felt so ominous or alienating. The title character (an entrancing Lauren Ashley Carter) is hired by a kooky women (Sean Young!) to act as caretaker of a sprawling apartment building with a notoriously haunted history, where she proceeds to have a Repulsion-style psychological meltdown (black and white included). The film’s barebones approach yields considerable rewards, as audiences embark on an emotion-shaking surreal journey—and possible revenge mission—with a young woman who becomes more and more unhinged. Larry Fessenden, whose Glass Eye Pix produced the film, appears briefly as a policeman.
Tuesday, November 3, 9:45pm (Q&A with Mickey Keating)
James Whale, USA, 1931, Blu-ray, 70m, FREE
In conjunction with Lincoln Center’s campus-wide Halloween celebration for kids—and our closing-night presentation of Bernard Rose’s new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic—we offer a free screening of the one of the greatest, most influential monster movies ever made, in the Amphitheater of the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Essential viewing for audiences of all ages—and vital in the education of the next generation of horror fans—this beloved tale of the mad scientist who creates a monster has gone down in cinema history for its iconic Boris Karloff performance, groundbreaking makeup, and, of course, the immortal line, “It’s alive!” The same can certainly be said for James Whale’s film, still magical and moving after all these years. A Universal Pictures release.
Saturday, October 31, 12:00pm*
*Venue: The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater
Terence Fisher, UK, 1964, 35mm, 83m
Hammer’s dream team reunites with the late, great Christopher Lee (playing the good guy for a change) joining forces with co-star Peter Cushing and Hammer’s master director Terence Fisher for this visually striking gothic horror mystery that transports one of the most memorable monsters from Greek mythology to turn-of-the-century middle Europe. Lee plays Professor Meister, who travels to the village of Vandorf to investigate a series of deaths in which the victims are turned to stone. Accompanied by the son of the latest victim, Meister is met with a frosty reception by the village doctor (Cushing) and the local police Inspector (Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor Who). While his traveling companion and the doctor’s assistant (First Leading Lady of British Horror Barbara Shelley) fall for each other, Meister begins to suspect that the good doctor knows more than he’s letting on…
Sunday, November 1, 1:00pm
Corin Hardy, Ireland/UK, 2015, DCP, 97m
In this excitingly distinctive variation on the man-versus-nature setup, a scientist is sent to rural Ireland to explore a tree-fungus infestation deep in the forest, bringing along his wife, dog, and newborn baby—which only heightens the tension. Disregarding the brusque warnings of the townspeople and an alarming early discovery, the family decides to stay put. And as can be expected, things go very, very wrong—especially when the titular woodland creatures come out to play. Employing impressive old-school effects, Irish director Corin Hardy has crafted an intense, folklore-steeped monster-movie tour de force that never loosens its grip. An IFC Midnight release.
Saturday, October 31, 7:00pm (Q&A with Corin Hardy)
Nick Robertson, Australia, 2015, DCP, 90m
Not to be confused with Robert Clouse’s 1977 when-animals-attack classic (which screened as part of last year’s Scary Movies), Nick Robertson’s directorial debut The Pack does feature killer canines, but their prey here is a family of four—already battling assorted harsh realities—who must rely on their own ingenuity to survive a night of sheer terror, as they are relentlessly stalked by ravenous dogs on their remote Australian farm. The film is horror of the most jarring, edge-of-your-seat kind, with the added bonus of a cast of characters actually worth rooting for.
Sunday, November 1, 9:00pm
Juan Piquer Simón, USA/Spain Puerto Rico, 1982, 35mm, 89m
Little Timmy’s toys include a naughty, naughty jigsaw puzzle and an axe, with which he gave his mother 40 whacks. Forty years later, a black-gloved killer is chain-sawing nubile coeds across a college campus and taking pieces (wink, wink) for nefarious purposes. One of the most insanely over-the-top films ever made, Pieces is packed to the gills with atrocious over-dubbed dialogue, amazing gore, stunning camerawork and murder set pieces, terrible cops, terrible tennis players, terrible tennis-playing cops, and even a completely random kung-fu fight. Co-written by Joe D’Amato, the film’s script defies any sense of narrative logic, yet this cult classic from Spanish director Juan Piquer Simón (whose Slugs we will also be screening) is a sublimely sleazy, entirely entertaining exercise in melding giallo and American slashers that begs to be watched again and again. And now’s your chance to see it on the big screen in glorious 35mm.
Sunday, November 1, 5:00pm
Juanfer Andrés & Esteban Roel, Spain, 2014, DCP, 91m
Montse (Macarena Gómez, the bewitching star of Scary Movies 7 selection Sexykiller) has spent much of her prime tending to her younger sister Nia (Nadia de Santiago) after their mother dies and their father runs off. Agoraphobic and severely anxiety-ridden, she connects to the outside world only through the now-grown Nia, and when she takes in their hunky upstairs neighbor, Carlos, who’s been injured in a fall, her fragile state unravels further and her neuroses turn monstrous. She keeps Carlos drugged and bedridden—à la Misery—and as his wounds fester, he must figure out an escape, as Montse is driven ever closer to absolute madness. Produced by Álex de Iglesia, this unpredictable, impeccably directed period piece—set in 1950s Madrid—is a claustrophobic nightmare, unfolding largely in the sisters’ apartment and within the dark abyss of insanity. But despite the cruelty Montse inflicts, as reality encroaches on her carefully protected nest, she demands empathy, thanks in large part to Gómez’s powerhouse performance.
Monday, November 2, 7:00pm
Juan Piquer Simón, Spain/USA, 1988, digital projection, 89m
A small New England town (filmed somewhere in Spain) is beset by a plague of garden-variety carnivorous slugs. Everyman hero Mike Brady is a county health inspector who seems mad at the world as gastropods chew through his town and the local sewer management officials, zoning commissioners, and land developers do nothing to help him save it. After all, who could believe his wild theory about killer slugs? The insanity of the concept is even lampshaded in the film, with a character quipping, “What’s next? Demented crickets?” Featuring a smorgasbord of slug-on-human violence, mid-coitus slug sneak attacks, explosive greenhouses, geysers of blood, and demented dialogue, Slugs is a rare and forgotten gem of the nature-gone-wild variety. The director’s equally insane Pieces will show in this year’s Scary Movies as well.