XTRO // Friday, October 12, 2012 // Midnite
Nightmare City: A Video Nasties Celebration
Ultra-rare 35mm print from Down Under — possibly the last known surviving print in the world! Both a gooey, twisted freak-out and a fevered potpourri of concepts, Harry Bromley Davenport’s notorious XTRO is a must-see for all fans of crazy shit. Playing out like a “best-of” the science fiction and horror genres, the film focuses on a young boy who witnesses his father being abducted by a light from the sky. Three years later, that light returns and plants a seed in the ground. That seed grows into a horrible creature. That creature then impregnates a woman. That woman then gives birth to a fully-formed version of the father, just as we last saw him. And that’s just the set-up! Cue the truly insane E.T.-ripoff-by-way-of-Carrie, balls-to-the-wall, family-drama-cum-outer-space-splatter stuff to follow! Technically, XTRO never officially landed on the Video Nasties list, but the film has famously been presumed to be for decades, and for good reason: Roger Ebert began his review of the film by stating that “XTRO is an ugly, mean-spirited and despairing thriller that left me thoroughly depressed.” So — that’s a bad thing?
Dir. Harry Bromley Davenport, 1983, 35mm, 84 min.
$12, Free For Members
www.cinefamily.org Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036
Wicked Little Field (1983) was part of the wave of so-called video nasties that clogged rental shelves in the early 80s. It still maintains a small but dedicated cult following for its lovingly crafted practical effects and unrepentent cheesecake shots. Also, check out that 1983 joystick!
EDIT: By website, we’re obviously talking about Arpanet.
The UK in the eighties and nineties was not a good place to be a horror film fan, the movies horror fans love became the subject of blame for all manner of crimes and social ills which resulted in an incredible amount of censorship.
This documentary chronicles the years in which police seized video tapes, fans created their own black market, people where jailed and the media actually blamed horror movies for murder.
A shameful time for censorship, and a great subject for a documentary.