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Grisly cult flicks take center stage in the annual Shaun Luu Horror Fest
The sixth edition of the Shaun Luu Horror Fest is organizer Jeff Meyer’s annual tribute to his departed pal Luu, a monster-movie maven and singer for the hardcore outfit Word As a Virus, who succumbed to brain cancer at age 22 in June 2005. The festival has steadily morphed with each successive year, adding more features to the 35mm menu as well as daylong music performances from grindcore maniacs, with proceeds this year benefitting both the Golisano Children’s Hospital at University Hospital, 1 Children’s Circle (off Irving Avenue) and the Westcott Community Center, 826 Euclid Ave.
The octogenarian actor-director takes center stage in the so-so documentary The Eastwood Factor
Clinton Elias Eastwood Jr. turns 80 years young on Monday, May 31, providing a good enough reason for cable’s Turner Classic Movies to devote a day’s worth of programming to hail the actor-director’s considerable output, with everything from seminal spaghetti westerns to the adventures of Los Angeles police inspector Harry Callahan’s magnum-toting anti-hero. A new documentary titled The Eastwood Factor (Warner Home Video; 88 minutes; unrated; 2010) will also be broadcast on TCM as part of the festivities, but alas it’s more of a mixed bag that only tells part of the story.Clint clips: Above, Eastwood’s defining role as Dirty Harry; below, the cast of Hang ’Em High in an amusing publicity shot, with Inger Stevens, Eastwood, Pat Hingle, Ed Begley and Arlene Golonka. Facing pager, Eli Wallach with Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; Eastwood with Richard Burton in Where Eagles Dare; and the 1967 advertising campaign with Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef in For a Few Dollars More.
The new Nightmare on Elm Street is little more than ho-hum horror
Freddy Krueger is back on the big screen, at least according to some new advertising campaigns that tout the slasher remake A Nightmare on Elm Street (New Line/Warner Bros.; 97 minutes; R; widescreen; 2010). But the plain and simple fact is that, 26 years after his debut, the madman with the red-and-green sweater and razor-tipped gardening gloves never really left.
The 95-year-old silent Birth of a Nation is still generating heated hubbub
Jerkz N Da Hoods: The KKK come to the heroic rescue in The Birth of a Nation.
The Capitol Theatre in nearby Rome has been specializing in 35mm screenings of vintage movies over the last decade, showcasing a wide roster of classics starring everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Charlie Chan, James Bond to James Stewart and Joan Blondell to Jean Arthur, all with much gratitude from statewide cineastes who head to the Mohawk Valley bijou.
Watching the detectives: Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Music Box Films; 147 minutes; unrated; widescreen; 2010). Swedish journalist Stieg Larson wrote a trio of unpublished thriller novels, then dropped dead in 2004, so he wasn’t around to bask in the afterglow when his trilogy, devoted to corporate evil in high places, vaulted onto the national bestseller lists. (Hell, even Target is selling the tomes.) Tattoo is the first movie adaptation of the threesome, and has already raked in a bumper crop of box-office kroners in its homeland, as well as various cinema awards.
This Is It (Columbia; 111 minutes; PG; 2009). Insights regarding the enigma-as-musician Michael Jackson are at a premium in this quasi-concert flick that doubles as a semi-documentary, with its videotaped sequences culled from hours of rehearsals for what was billed as Jackson’s final tour—until his June 2009 death literally stopped the show. Any clues that this would have been Jackson’s last earthly hurrah, however, won’t be found here. For a moonwalking, crotch-grabbing 50-year-old King of Pop who can still hit the woo-hoo high notes, he looks vital, healthy and in exuberant spirits. That alleged Doctor Feelgood accused of contributing to Jackson’s too-early exit should be sweating bullets big time.
Zombieland (Columbia; 88 minutes; R; widescreen; 2009). The carnivorous undead have been such stalwart go-tos in recent terror flicks that itís something of a miracle that this frequently outrageous horror-comedy from first-time director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick manages to be fresh and inventive, not the same old cup of meat.†
Bad hair day: Bruce Willis in Surrogates, now on DVD from Touchstone-Disney Home Entertainment.
Roll out the barrels: John Travolta in From Paris With Love.