Saturday, December 27, 2008

The 2009 Schedule

Our eyes may not be the same after tonight's 3-D marathon. We made it through the cheesiness of The Mask, and I'm actually proud to say folks stuck through Comin At Ya! in it's entirety. I think everybody's eyeballs deserved a break after that feat, so we called it a night without exploring the 3-D reinvention of Night of the Living Dead.

We also announced the official 2009 schedule, which tentatively calls for:

January 24

February 21

March 21

April 25

May 23

June 20

July 18

August 22

September 19

October 24

November 28

December 26

In addition, we've finalized our first Wednesday night selection for 2009 - Joss Whedon's Firefly & Serenity. That will run for 8 weeks. Before we're done, we'll pick our next selection and announce that here.

Wishing you all a fantastic remainder of 2008 - we can't wait to see you in the new year!

John & Vonna

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We're Comin At Ya in 3D!

Next Saturday is our 3-D Movie night. We'll be starting right around 6pm, so feel free to get here a little early to pick out a pair of anaglyphh glasses for the night.

We'll be showing an early 3-D shocker, an example of the 80s 3-D revival, and a contemporary feature.

First up is The Mask, a Canadian chiller from 1961 that I think it's acceptable for all ages. That said, the tagline was "The management is not responsible for nervous breakdowns!" and we'll stick to that.

Next up is the wild Euro-western Comin At Ya from the 1981. This one was rated R. It's tagline was "The Management Is Not responsible For Where The Screen Ends And You Begin!" If that's the best they could come up with, perhaps they'll understand if we stop this one before it's over.

Finally, we've got the 2006 entry Night of the Living Dead 3D. Here's your one and only chance to see Sid Haig in 3D, in this laughable reinvention of the classic film.

To kick things off, I'm planning to have brief tributes to Forrest J. Ackerman and Bettie Page, who we lost since the last event. That and a few new interesting trailers, and we'll have copies of the 2009 schedule to hand out as well.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and we hope to see you one last time before the New Year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Psychotronix Rocks Redux

Back in June, Bob and Ari invited Vonna and I to the KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival at Foothill college. We had a blast, and did a write up to try and give you a sense of the experience.

Well, it's back this Saturday, this time at DeAnza college, and there's no way we'd miss it.

Let us know if you're interested in joining us, or get more info here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

John remembers Forrest J. Ackerman (1916-2008)

As it would have appeared in his own magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, Prince Sirki has taken our beloved Uncle Forry from us.

Now, we can look back on his 92 years and celebrate a full life, particularly for someone unknown to the general public, but revered to generations of monster fans everywhere. It's not hyperbole when you read the list of names influenced by this one man: Ray Bradbury, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg. And that's just the tip of the titanic iceberg.

As a child of the Star Wars generation, I was born a few years too late to be considered a Monster Kid. In fact, if not for my brother Joe being 4 years older, the tail end would have completely missed me. Fortunately, I was instead exposed to classic monster movies on Creature Features, Aurora model kits and a variety of Universal Monster toys at a young, impressionable age.

Fans of Famous Monsters of Filmland would probably argue that by the time I stumbled across my first issue, #149 with a Battlestar Galactica cover, the magazine was well past its prime. I still recall stumbling across it in the magazine rack at the Fry's food store where I did the weekly grocery shopping with my Dad. (For those keeping score, yes, it's the same Fry's food store where we bought our first public domain VHS copy of Night of the Living Dead years later for the insanely reasonable sell-through price of $14.99).

Read a hundred stories of fans first encounter with the magazine, and they're almost identical. The magazine reached out to us. Our friends weren't into the same things as we were, and yet now we had proof that we weren't alone. There were others out there with similar passions. It spoke to us in a way no others had. It not only validated our interest in fantastic films, it relished in it unabashedly.

Readers of FM were aware of Forry's amazing collection, housed in his Ackermansion near Hollywood. And while ALL of us dreamed of someday visiting, I can proudly say I did. It was not in its heyday - years of allowing fans into his home unfortunately resulted in certain relics disappearing. But what remained was still amazing, if somewhat haphazardly preserved and presented.

Peter dragged me out there on our annual trek to Los Angeles back in 1994, and we subsequently ran into Forry at the paperback show we attended in subsequent years. I'll never forget after touring the house, we were told we could go through the shelves of books that Forry was selling. A mix of desire and also a sense of obligation to give something back, I searched the book racks for something appropriate. While most of the items for sale were not of particular interest, I settled on an old, hardcover copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula. It didn't matter what he would charge, it just seemed to be the most appropriate thing to commemorate my visit. I asked him if he would sign it for me, and he graciously inscribed it "John, From Bram Stoker Admirer Forrest J. Ackerman". Forry owned a copy of Dracula signed by Bram Stoker (not to mention Bela Lugosi's Dracula cape and ring) so this inscription seemed very appropriate to me.

It has been some time since I last saw Forry, and I had been following the news of his declining health for the past month or so. Along with the rest of his fans, I was pleased he was around long enough to celebrate his 92nd birthday. And while it's always sad to lose someone you admire, it wouldn't be fair to ask for much more out of life. As long as we remember him, he'll never truly be gone.

So why am I taking all this space to talk about Forrest J. Ackerman, you ask? Without him, there would be no Slaughtered Lamb Cinema. I could go into a lengthy butterfly wings flapping explanation for that - but take my word for it. It's absolutely true. I'm thankful that Forry's influence reached me.

One of my favorite quotes of his can be paraphrased as "what's the point of having such a collection if not to share it." What's the point, indeed. That's why we hope we'll see you well into the 2009 season and beyond.

Thanks Forry.