AFI Preview September 19-November 26 - page 10-11

Tickets & Full Schedule at
Daily Listings: 301.495.6700
October 20–November 26
Horror ’73: An
Annus Horribilis
at 40
Sun, Oct 20, 9:20; Wed, Oct 23, 9:00
Obsessed with the possibility of life after death, a dying
millionaire funds an expedition to the “Mount Everest of
haunted houses,” the Belasco Mansion. The team is led by
paranormal researcher and physicist Dr. Barrett (Clive Revill),
and includes his wife Ann (Gayle Hunnicutt) and two psychic
mediums—spiritualist Florence (Pamela Franklin) and cynical
Ben (Roddy McDowall), the lone survivor of a disastrous
previous exploration. Barrett has developed a machine that
can absorb the stray electromagnetic energy he believes
“ghosts” really are—but is his science any match for the
murder, madness, angry furniture and erotically charged forces
on the loose?
DIR John Hough; SCR Richard Matheson, from his novel “Hell House”;
PROD Albert Fennell, Norman T. Herman. UK, 1973, color, 95 min. RATED PG
Mon, Oct 21, 9:00; Thu, Oct 24, 9:00
Reeling with grief after losing their young daughter in a drowning
accident at their English country home, architect John Baxter
(Donald Sutherland) and wife Laura (Julie Christie) decamp to
Venice for a church restoration job and a much-needed change
of scenery. But in the labyrinthine streets of this ancient city,
strange visions of a red-cloaked figure—their daughter?—and
the unnerving pronouncements of two creepy old sisters have the
couple on edge, and contemplating the supernatural. Nicholas
Roeg’s landmark film, a spellbinding cinematic experience,
was controversial in its day for both its frank sex scenes and its
innovative, complex editing structure.
DIR Nicholas Roeg; SCR Allan Scott, Chris
Bryant, from a story by Daphne du Maurier; PROD Peter Katz. UK/Italy, 1973, color, 110 min. RATED R
Sun, Nov 17, 11:00 a.m.; Thu, Nov 21, 9:30
Scientist Peter Cushing's discovery of an ancient skeleton may
just be the incarnation of evil that can provide an antidote to
man's worst instincts. But Christopher Lee, warden of the local
madhouse, has other ideas. Word to the wise: don't inject your
daughter with blood extracted from ancient corpses. "The best
'something-evil-shows-up-in-England-in-a-box' film ever made!"
–George Murer.
DIR Freddie Francis; SCR Peter Spenceley, Jonathan Rumbold; PROD
Michael P. Redbourn. UK, 1973, color, 94 min. RATED PG
Sat, Nov 2, 11:30; Sun, Nov 3, 9:20
Director Paul
Morrissey takes on the
horror genre to exploit
its exploitativeness,
resulting in an absurdly
funny, ambivalently
sexy and exceedingly
gory horror-comedy.
The one and only Udo
THE WAVES) plays the role of Baron Frankenstein—now
married (to his sister!) with children (little creeps)— who spends
way too much time in his lab. He has successfully created a
beautiful woman and hopes to transplant the brain of lusty
peasant Joe Dallesandro for her mate. See it on the big screen
in all its tasteless glory.
DIR/SCR Paul Morrissey; SCR Tonino Guerra, Pat Hackett;
PROD Andrew Braunsberg, Lou Peraino, Carlo Ponti, Andy Warhol. Italy/France, 1973, color, 95
min. RATED R

Sun, Nov 3, 5:00; Thu, Nov 7, 7:15
Ripped from the terrifying pages of EC Comics, this underrated
horror omnibus is the semi-sequel to TALES FROM THE CRYPT.
In a London office building, five men hop on an elevator, only
to be let out in the basement and trapped in a mysterious room.
While they wait for rescue, the conversation turns to dreams as
each man shares his horrifying recurring nightmares. Filled with
murder, curses, vampires, voodoo—and insurance scams—you
won’t soon forget these fiendish tales. One memorable segment
stars a pre-DOCTOR WHO Tom Baker as a wronged painter,
with the power to make the subjects of his portraits suffer with
the flick of his brush.
DIR Roy Ward Baker; SCR/PROD Milton Subotsky, from stories by
Al Feldstein and William M. Gaines; PROD Max Rosenberg. UK/US, 1973, color, 83 min. RATED R
Tue, Nov 5, 9:00; Thu, Nov 7, 9:15
When a military plane crashes in Evans City, Pennsylvania,
a mysterious toxin seeps into the water supply, turning the
small-town residents into big-time killers. The biological
weapon, codenamed “Trixie,” leaves its victims either dead or
psychologically deranged. Vietnam vet David and his pregnant
wife Judy must escape the military-enforced quarantine, the
crazed townsfolk and a band of rednecks to get to safety. Five
years after NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, George Romero
crafted another powerful allegory about government cover-ups
and conspiracies in the shadow of Watergate and several high-
profile environmental disasters.
DIR/SCR George Romero; SCR Paul McCollough;
PROD A. C. Croft. US, 1973, color, 103 min. RATED R
Fri, Nov 8, 9:15; Thu, Nov 14, 9:00
In the Deep South of the 1920s, young Lila Lee (Cheryl
“Rainbeaux" Smith) receives a desperate letter from her ne’er-
do-well father and, leaving the care of Rev. Mueller (Blackburn),
goes to look for him in the mysterious town of Astaroth.
Menaced by a pack of beastly vampires in the swampy woods
outside of town, Lila is rescued by the regal Lemora (Leslie
Gilb), who welcomes her to her mansion. But Lemora, despite
her beauty and grace, is a vampire, too, less monstrous than
the swamp-dwellers but even more dangerous. And she has
taken an intense interest in Lila’s fate.
DIR/SCR Richard Blackburn; SCR/PROD
Robert Fern. US, 1973, color, 85 min. RATED PG
Sun, Nov 10, 9:45; Mon, Nov 11, 9:45
A visual punchline in Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL—Alvy Singer’s
suspicions about a sinister L.A. lurking beneath the shiny surface
are confirmed by a theater marquee running this film—MESSIAH
OF EVIL is fascinatingly of its time. Made on the cheap by
Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, USC film school grads steeped
in American counter-culture and European New Wave cinema,
the frankly confusing story (extensively reworked in the editing)
about flesh-eating zombies in a coastal California town and the
prophesied return of a satanic figure, the Dark Stranger, is short
on genuine scares but long on bizarre atmosphere.
DIR/SCR Willard
Huyck; SCR/PROD Gloria Katz. US, 1973, color, 90 min. RATED R
Fri, Nov 15, 9:15; Mon, Nov 18, 9:35
Forced to participate in a gang rape, the highly suggestible,
mother-fixated Terry Lambert (John Savage) returns home from
a stint in prison. He’s welcomed home with open arms by his
domineering mother (Ann Sothern). After an offhand remark
by his mother blaming Terry’s sentence on the victim, who lied
about some crucial evidence, and his attorney’s failure to get
him off, Terry tracks down and murders them both. His mother’s
smothering love has made Terry a killer—and it may be the only
thing that can stop him.
DIR Curtis Harrington; SCR Tony Crechales; SCR/PROD George
Edwards. US, 1973, color, 95 min. RATED R
Sat, Nov 16, 11:00 a.m.; Wed, Nov 20, 9:15
Victorian scientist and amateur photographer Sir Hugo
Cunningham (eminent Shakespearean Robert Stephens) has a
morbid fascination with death, taking photos of the deceased
at the exact moment they pass on. His photo documentation
reveals a mysterious blur escaping the newly dead—scientific
evidence of the soul, or “asphyx” as he terms it—which, if
trapped, could ensure immortality. Striking visuals by Oscar-
winning cinematographer Freddie Young (DOCTOR ZHIVAGO,
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA) lend class to a film Variety declared
a “thinking man’s horror film.”
DIR Peter Newbrook; SCR Brian Comport, story by
Christina and Laurence Beers; PROD John Brittany. UK, 1973, color, 83 min. RATED PG
Fri, Nov 22, 3:30; Sat, Nov 23, 11:00 a.m.; Sun, Nov 24,
11:00 a.m.; Mon, Nov 25, 5:00; Tue, Nov 26, 5:00
New York, 2022: Ecological disaster has struck. The world is
overheated, overpopulated, mostly unemployed and underfed.
The masses subsist on the Soylent Corporation's bland
processed food, while the privileged pay exorbitant amounts for
even a small taste of natural foods. Jaded cop Charlton Heston,
called on to investigate the murder of Soylent exec Joseph
Cotten, at first just enjoys making himself at home in the rich
man's world of entitlement, high above the teeming masses. But
the secrets he uncovers lead to one of the screen's most wicked
revelations. Edward G. Robinson, in his final role, turns in a
moving performance as Heston's best friend.
DIR Richard Fleischer; SCR
Stanley R. Greenberg, from the novel “Make Room! Make Room!” by Harry Harrison; PROD
Walter Seltzer, Russell Thacher. US, 1973, color, 97 min. RATED PG
New 35mm Print, Restored Director’s Cut!

Sat, Nov 9, 9:15; Tue, Nov 12, 9:00
Originally looking to capitalize on the success of BLACULA,
this bloodthirsty combo of horror and Blaxploitation wound
up aiming higher and evolved into an art-house thriller about
addiction, culture clashes and moral redemption. Dr. Hess
Green (Duane Jones, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) is a
well-respected anthropologist who comes under the spell of an
ancient African dagger and soon thirsts for blood. But eternal
life comes at a cost, something Hess discovers when he falls in
love with Ganja (Marlene Clark). Drastically recut by its original
studio, the uncut version can now be seen in this beautifully
restored print.
DIR/SCR Bill Gunn; PROD Chiz Schultz. US, 1973, color, 110 min. RATED R.
Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from
The Film Foundation.
Sat, Nov 16, 9:15; Wed, Nov 20, 6:30
(Montgomery College Show)
Savaged by theater critics throughout his career,
Shakespearean ham
actor Edward Lionheart
(Vincent Price) fakes
his suicide to return
as a vengeful ghost,
doing in his critics one
by one with murder
methods quoted from
the Bard’s plays. Price
kills—onstage and
off—in this wry camp
classic, abetted in
his skullduggery by
loyal daughter Diana
Rigg; the excellent cast
includes Robert Morley,
Jack Hawkins, Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews, Joan Hickson and
Price's future wife Coral Browne.
DIR Douglas Hickox; SCR Anthony Greville-Bell;
PROD John Kohn, Stanley Mann. UK, 1973, color, 104 min. RATED R
Fri, Nov 22, 9:30; Sat, Nov 23, 7:45; Sun, Nov 24, 4:45
A remote Scottish isle inhabited by neo-pagans practicing
fertility rites and sexual magic provides the setting for one of
the coolest, creepiest cult classics from the 1970s, written by
Tony Award winner Anthony Shaffer (SLEUTH). Devout, uptight
constable Edward Woodward comes to Summerisle following
an anonymous tip about a missing girl but is puzzled by the
islanders’ seeming lack of concern, truly alarmed by their beliefs
and oblivious to the danger he’s in. Sexy Britt Ekland dances up
a storm, and horror film icon Christopher Lee clearly relishes his
role as Lord Summerisle, the dandyish local noble. With Ingrid Pitt
and Diane Cilento.
DIR Robin Hardy; SCR Anthony Shaffer; PROD Peter Snell. UK, 1973,
color, 88 min. RATED R
Sat, Oct 26, 12 midnight; Thu, Oct 31, 9:30
Scotland Yard uncovers a satanic cult whose members include
cabinet officials and powerful peers, with plans to unleash a
super strand of the bubonic plague upon humanity. Consulting
with occult expert Prof. Lorrimer Van Helsing (Peter Cushing),
assisted by his lovely granddaughter Jessica (Joanna Lumley),
the Yard investigates a reclusive real-estate developer named
D. D. Denham—Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) in disguise.
Cushing and Lumley’s sleuthing duo is reminiscent of 1960s
TV hit THE AVENGERS, if not DOCTOR WHO—screenwriter
Don Houghton was a veteran of the series—and Cushing had
himself played the Doctor in two movie versions.
DIR Alan Gibson; SCR
Don Houghton; PROD Roy Skeggs. UK, 1973, color, 87 min. RATED R
Sun, Oct 27, 9:00; Wed, Oct 30, 9:15
Brian De Palma’s first thriller combines multiple Hitchcockian
homages with a nasty knack for horrifically creative screen
homicide—a template to which he would return again and
again over the length of his career. Margot Kidder plays
Danielle, a glamorous model-actress who was separated from
her conjoined twin, Dominique, only after reaching adulthood.
But sibling bonds—especially this one—die hard. Journalist
Jennifer Salt witnesses Danielle—or was it Dominique?—
murdering her date in the window across from hers; failing
to convince the police of what she saw, she and private eye
Charles Durning begin an investigation of their own.
De Palma; SCR Louisa Rose; PROD Edward R. Pressman. US, 1973, color, 93 min. RATED R
Uncut Version!
[I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale]
Fri, Nov 1, 11:30; Mon, Nov 4, 9:40; Wed, Nov 6, 9:15
This controversial film from giallo
specialist Sergio Martino (THE
THE DARK) marks a key transition
point from the genre’s roots in crime
fiction and mystery to proto-slasher
cinema, larding on ever-more
gruesome killings, gore and sexual
content. After the murder of three
undergrads rocks their campus,
best friends Jane (Suzy Kendall)
and Danni (Tina Aumont), seeking
peace and quiet, leave campus
for the countryside and a visit to the villa of Jane’s art history
professor. But the ski-masked killer, realizing that Jane was a
witness to his crime, follows the girls there.
DIR/SCR Sergio Martino; SCR
Ernesto Gastaldi; PROD Carlo Ponti. Italy, 1973, color, 92 min. RATED R
1973 was a landmark year for horror cinema
NOW), but many fascinating titles released that year
are known today only through home video viewing
or by reputation, if at all. The Horror ‘73 series offers
fans of the genre an opportunity to see nearly 20 of
these innovative and diverse experiments in screen
terror in their proper setting—a dark theater—with
many titles screened from rare archival prints.
AFI Member passes accepted at all films in the
Horror '73 series.

Sat, Nov 23, 11:05 a.m.; Sun, Nov 24, 9:30;
Mon, Nov 25, 9:20
Charles Fengriffen (Ian Ogilvy)
brings new bride Catherine
(Stephanie Beacham) home to
his ancestral family mansion,
once the site of an unspeakable
debauchery. There, on her
wedding night, Catherine is
raped by a spectral presence,
and left in a state of hysteria.
Unable to help, the family doctor
(Patrick Magee) summons an
expert, Dr. Pope (Peter Cus
hing), who recognizes the telltale
signs of “sexual relations with
demons” when he sees them.
Lurid, and often laughably
contrived (many characters are done in just as they’re about
to reveal some secret), the film nonetheless boasts an excellent
cast and an impressively psychotic finale.
DIR Roy Ward Baker; SCR Roger
Marshall, from the novel “Fengriffen” by David Case; PROD Milton Subotsky, Max Rosenberg. UK,
1973, color, 91 min. RATED R
Sat, Nov 23, 9:45; Tue, Nov 26, 9:20
In this inspired homage to 1970s-era Italian horror filmmaking,
English soundman Gilderoy (Toby Jones) takes a job at the
gloomy Berberian Sound Studio in Italy doing sound editing for
THE EQUESTRIAN VORTEX, a depraved giallo about Satanic
doings at a girls’ school. He gets to work recording actresses
belting out operatic screams and sound techs quashing a
cornucopia of vegetables, all in an effort to simulate the most
convincing sounds of terror and grievous bodily harm. But
the intensity of the work begins to take a toll on Gilderoy’s
fragile psyche. “Seriously weird and seriously good.” –Peter
Bradshaw, The Guardian.
DIR/SCR Peter Strickland; PROD Mary Burke, Keith
Griffiths. UK, 2012, color, 92 min. NOT RATED
Courtesy of
Courtesy of Joseph Brenner Associates Inc.
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Courtesy of IFC Films
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1,2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9 12-13,14-15,16
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