Thursday, October 7, 2010

Whats On starting October 7

Red EagleThe Siamese Dark Knight!

Chiang Mai movies beginning Thursday, October 7, 2010


… through Wednesday, October 13

by Thomas Ohlson


Best Bets: Eternity.  Red Eagle.  The Owls of Ga'Hoole   


Hype for Red Eagle! Well, why not?


This is Issue Number 49 of Volume 5 of these listings.


EU Film Festival in Bangkok: Oct 21 to 31.

1st Doi Saket International Film Festival: Oct 23 to 30. Film list now available:   

EU Film Festival in Chiang Mai: Nov 4 to 14. On the grounds of the “140-years Old Lanna Ancient House” on Charoen Prathet Road, between the Chedi Hotel and the small Iron Bridge. Open air, free.

World Film Festival in Bangkok: Nov 5 to 14.

Bangkok International Film Festival: Nov 19 to 29.

Luang Prabang Film Festival in Luang Prabang: Dec 4 to 11. Open air, free, 30 films.


There’s a fairly comprehensive list at the link above of the films to be shown at the 1st Doi Saket International Film Festival. It’s being held in various locations in the Chiang Mai-Doi Saket areas, October 23 to 30. A majority of the 110 films are short – only a few full length. All are free.


Now playing in Chiang Mai    * = new this week

* Red Eagle / In See Dang / อินทรีแดง: Thai, Action/ Thriller – 2 hrs 15 mins – Ananda Everingham puts on a red mask and gets into action in Red Eagle / In See Dang, the re-launch of an action franchise from the 1950s and '60s that starred the legendary leading man Mitr Chaibancha. Wisit Sasanatieng (Fah Talai Jone, Mah Nakhon) directs this highly anticipated, wildly hyped movie. The story: Set in 2016, Bangkok is a city threatened by crime, corruption, and a deadly nuclear project that is about to be built. In the midst of the dismay, a mysterious hero called Red Eagle steps forward to eliminate the evildoers. But he has to face his dangerous enemy Dark Devil, the elite killer hired to hunt him. Sort of a Thai Dark Knight. Rated 18+ in Thailand.

Forty years ago tomorrow, on October 8, 1970, Thailand’s greatest action star ever was filming a dangerous stunt involving a helicopter, off the beach at Pattaya. His name was Mitr Chaibancha and he died that day, in a horrendous freak accident, in front of a crowd of onlookers, and the nation of Thailand was stunned. Now, the film that was being shot that day is the basis for a new version of the story, and the beginning of a reworking of the very successful film series from the 1950s and 60s, Red Eagle, and starring the leading Thai actor of our time, Ananda Everingham. (Yes, I know, technically not Thai, but we’ve managed to forget that.)

I’m going along with the hype – well, why not! Looks like a good flick. But even more importantly, and sadly, it looks like it will be the end of the studio career of one of my all-time favorite Thai directors, Wisit Sasanatieng, after making only four feature films. One of his films that the Bangkok film reviewer Wise Kwai is wild over, called Tears of the Black Tiger, was I feel confident the one film that hooked Wise Kwai on Thai films in the beginning, and decided him on his career as resident expat Thai film expert. For me, the favorite is Citizen Dog, which for me is a joyous experience unlike any other. Whenever I feel low and down in the dumps, I put on the DVD of this film and sing along to the marvelous opening sequence, and everything is cheery again. I love the film, and its terrific color and wild imagination.

Not that Wisit plans to quit moviemaking, but he says he just has to go “independent” to make the films he wants to make, which means he’s not going to have the money to make these garish, expensive wonderments.


* Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (3D): US/ Australia, Animation/ Adventure/ Fantasy – 1 hr 30 mins – A new animated feature that has gotten wide-ranging applause and accolades for its cutting-edge animation, and inventively superb use of 3D. It’s about a young barn owl who is kidnapped by the owls of St. Aggie's, ostensibly an orphanage, but actually where owlets are brainwashed into becoming soldiers. Our hero escapes to the island of Ga'Hoole, to help its noble owls fight the army being created by the wicked rulers of St. Aggie's. Shown only at Airport Plaza, and in both a 3D and a 2D version. Please take note: the 3D is real 3D, and apparently a step forward in the art. I’m looking forward to seeing it opening day, and I’ll let you know what I think. Mixed or average reviews: 52/55 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes consensus: Say what you will about Zack Snyder, but few would deny his strength as a visual stylist. The director of 300 and Watchmen returns with Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, and the critics say this CGI family flick looks remarkable, but gets bogged down by its generic storytelling. Legend tells the tale of a young owl who dreams of becoming a great warrior, but runs (ahem) afowl of his tribe's hated enemies; he must complete an incredible journey in order to defeat them. The pundits say Legend is beautiful to look at, utilizing 3D technology to create a lush, tactile effect. However, others feel the plot is strictly pro forma, and its central conflict isn't particularly rousing.

Collider, Steve Weintraub: Since the 3D revolution began, the studios have tried to screw us for more money on post converted 3D movies. As most of you have seen firsthand, post conversion looks horrible and it’s absolutely not worth the money. I cite Clash of the Titans, Alice in Wonderland, and The Last Airbender as examples of bad post conversion.

So why am I talking about 3D and post conversion? Because I caught a screening of Zack Snyder’s Legend of the Guardians in IMAX 3D and thought the 3D looked great. If you weren’t aware, Snyder made the movie in 3D, so it’s no surprise the 3D is well done. Actually, the opening shot of an Owl flying and the Warner Bros. logo sets the stage quite well. Since I constantly bash post conversion, I wanted to take a moment to remind you to support 3D when it’s done right. And although I didn’t think the movie was perfect, the animation is amazing as almost every shot is like a painting come to life. I definitely think it’s worth catching this weekend. And if you do…needless to say, make sure to see it in 3D! 

* Grown Ups: US, Comedy – 1 hr 42 mins Grown Ups, starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade, is a comedy, or so it wishes, about five friends and former teammates who reunite years later to honor the passing of their childhood basketball coach. I can’t imagine why anyone would deliberately want to see this picture. It’s pretty ugly, full of pretty ugly Americans, living ugly lives, tearing each other down in typically American ways. Enough, one could say, to re-emphasize why one would prefer to live in Thailand. Looks sort of like home movies of the people involved. I find no real humor in it at all. But, it’s up to you. Apparently, there are some people who actually like the humor of Adam Sandler. This makes me grieve for the future of humanity. Generally unfavorable reviews: 30/33 out of 100.

News of the World, Robbie Collin: It is, literally, no laughing matter.

Film4, Simon Jablonski: A puerile extended in-joke between Adam Sandler and friends.


Detective Dee / Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame / D-Project / Di Renjie / 狄仁杰之通天帝国: China/ Hong Kong, Action/ Crime/ Thriller 2 hrs – When the mysterious deaths of a series of loyal subjects threaten to delay the 690 A.D. inauguration of Empress Wu Zetian, she summons the infamous Detective Dee back from an exile into which she cast him.. She appoints him Chief Judge of the Empire, a prestigious position that he had declined when she had offered it to him eight years ago. Starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung Ka Fai. Based on the Chinese folk hero Di Renjie, who was one of the most celebrated officials of the Tang Dynasty, and popularized in the West by a series of detective novels written by Robert Van Gulik, who called him "Judge Dee.” A co-production between China and Hong Kong, the film was directed by Tsui Hark, and nominated for the Golden Lion at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Shown in a Thai-dubbed version only, and only at Airport Plaza.

Slant, Fernando F. Croce: Decades after reinvigorating Hong Kong's martial-arts market, Tsui Hark has lost none of his flair for genre spectacle in this elaborate, breathlessly paced Wuxia whodunit. Something of a political fairy tale (as in Tsui's earlier films, it could easily open with "Once upon a time in China..."), the story is set in 687 A.D. as the emperor's widow (Carina Lau) is about to become the country's first female ruler. With her coronation and the construction of a towering Buddha statue in her honor drawing near, court officials begin to inexplicably and horribly burst into flames. Divine intervention or seditious conspiracy? Detective Dee (Andy Lau) is recruited to find out, with a beautiful warrior (Li Bingbing) by his side and hordes of kung fu foes before him. Sammo Hung's choreography, with fight scenes shot as cartwheeling flurries of gold, blue, and crimson, is just one of the pleasures in a film that also includes shapeshifting heroines, talking stags, a toppling colossus, cheesy digital compositions, and wacky exchanges ("What's a Phantom Bazaar?" "It's a spooky pandemonium!"). Ripping fun.

Saturday Killer / Mue Puen Dao Phra Sao / มือปืน ดาว พระ เสาร์: Thai, Action/ Comedy 1 hr 50 mins – The film revolves around a troublesome gunman who kills for money to cure his impotence, and a mysterious girl he has a crush on but whose heart he can never seem to win. This is the middle film in a trilogy of crime films, Friday Killer, Saturday Killer, and Sunday Killer, all with well-known comics paired up with popular leading ladies. Saturday Killer is being released first because Friday Killer was deemed too downbeat to start off with. The trilogy marks a return to the hitman genre for Yuthlert Sippapak, a prolific genre-hopping filmmaker who made his debut with 2000's comedy-action-drama Killer Tattoo. 18+ in Thailand.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec / Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec / พลัง อะเดล ข้ามขอบฟ้า โค่น 5 มหาภัย: France, Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy/ Mystery – 1 hr 45 mins – This version English dubbed (over French – i.e., their mouths are pantomiming French, what you hear is English) with Thai subtitles. An adventure written and directed by Luc Besson set in the early part of the 20th century, and focused on a popular novelist and her dealings with would-be suitors, the cops, monsters, and other distractions. Adapted from what is said to be an extremely popular comic adventure series written and illustrated by French comics’ artist Jacques Tardi. The film is set in the carefree world before World War I, where Adèle Blanc-Sec, an intrepid young writer, will go to great lengths to achieve her goals, even sailing to Egypt to get a mummy. At Airport Plaza only.

Pleasant pictures, pleasant story, pleasant costumes, nostalgic times, a “carefree world.” You, or your children, might find it enjoyable enough. Originally in French, this is an English-dubbed version, apparently one of many languages into which it has been dubbed. (Even Thai.) But as you know, the French love to dub, and yet have always been sloppy about it. Throughout its film history, even French films shot in French were dubbed in French, sometimes by the original actors, but as often not. And never very carefully. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone. At any rate, here the lips are never in synch with the words you hear in the film. If that bothers you, then this will bother you a great deal. As for Adèle, I don’t know whose voice we’re hearing, but it’s not a well-trained voice, rather grating and irritating, and cannot keep up with Adèle’s fast-paced speech pattern. Her voice dubbing is the worst in the film, very bad indeed, but most of the others were exceptionally well-matched and well-executed.

All in all an extremely strange film.

Eternity / Chua Fah Din Salai / ชั่วฟ้าดินสลาย: Thai, Drama/ Romance – A class act in many ways, and always-solid Thai filmmaking. It’s one of the most interesting Thai movies to come along in some time, for a number of reasons. Based on a revered and classic Thai novel of 1943, the film depicts a forbidden love story in which adulterous lovers are physically chained together for all eternity. Starring Ananda Everingham. In Thai only (no English subtitles) at Vista; English subtitles at Airport Plaza. 

Resident Evil: Afterlife (now 2D): UK/ Germany/ US, Action/ Horror/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – 1 hr 37 mins – The series continues. This time, in a world ravaged by a virus infection turning its victims into Zombies, Alice (Milla Jovovich), continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets a new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes which takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive they find the city is overrun by thousands of Undead. Rated R in the US for sequences of strong violence and language. Generally unfavorable reviews: 37/39 out of 100. No longer being shown in real-for-goodness 3D; now only in a 2D version, and at Airport Plaza only., Brian Orndorf: It’s a polished effort, but astoundingly joyless and deathly dull, which seems par for the course when it comes to the “Resident Evil” movies.


Scheduled for October 14

RED: US, Action/ Comedy – 1 hr 51 mins – When his idyllic life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive.RED,” by the way, stands for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.” Starring Bruce Willis, and as they say “Still Armed. Still Dangerous. Still Got It.” Also with Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Karl Urban, and Mary-Louise Parker. “Frank, Joe, Marvin and Victoria used to be the CIA's top agents - but the secrets they know just made them the Agency's top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-up in government history. (Summit Entertainment) - Early reviews: Generally favorable: 70 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, RED is an explosive action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich), and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA’s top agents – but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

Charlie St. Cloud: Based on an acclaimed novel, Charlie St. Cloud is a romantic drama starring Zac Efron as a young man who survives an accident that lets him see the world in a unique way.


... and looking forward

Oct 28 or Nov 25: The Social Network: US, Drama/ History – By David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Zodiac, Panic Room). A story about the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook. Studio synopsis: “On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history... but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications.

Oct 28 (Thailand): Hereafter: US, Thriller – A supernatural thriller centered on three people -- a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy -- who are touched by death in different ways. Matt Damon, directed by Clint Eastwood.

Nov 18: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I: UK/ US, Adventure/ Fantasy/ Mystery – Voldemort's power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to finish Dumbledore's work and find the rest of the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But little hope remains for the Trio, and the rest of the Wizarding World, so everything they do must go as planned. The first of the two-part conclusion to the series; Part II due in July of 2011 – both directed by David Yates, who has directed the last two Harry Potter films. Both of the concluding movies (Part I and Part II) will be shown completely in 3D and in IMAX 3D.

Nov 25: Let Me In: UK/ US, Drama/ Fantasy/ Horror/ Romance/ ThrillerA bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian. Chloë Grace Moretz (one of the nice things about the movie Kick-Ass; she played Hit Girl) stars as Abby, a mysterious 12-year-old who moves next door to Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a social outcast who is viciously bullied at school. In his loneliness, Owen forms a profound bond with his new neighbor, but he can't help noticing that Abby is decidedly weird! I’m really looking forward to this.

The original Let the Right One Inis a terrific 2008 award-winning Swedish film, and will be playing at Film Space on Saturday evening, October 30. I love the original, and they’re saying the remake is terrific too! For sure, it’s got an exciting and intriguing trailer, which you can see here. Rated R in the US for strong bloody horror violence, language, and a brief sexual situation. Generally favorable reviews: 78/79 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes: Similar to the original in all the right ways -- but with enough changes to stand on its own -- Let Me In is the rare Hollywood remake that doesn't add insult to inspiration.


* = Coming soon

AF = Alliance Française; FS = Film Space; GF = Gay Film Series


At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm


The Alliance Française shows its series of French films in a small room in their building at 138 Charoen Prathet Road. The building is directly opposite Wat Chaimongkhon, near the Chedi Hotel. Tell your taxi "Samakhom Frangset" and/or "Wat Chaimongkhon." A contribution of 30 baht is requested; you pay outside at the information desk of the Alliance Française proper.

On Friday, October 8, 8 pm:  Adorable Menteuse / Adorable Liar (1961) by Michel Deville – 1 hr 45 mins – France, Comedy. English subtitles. B&W.

With Marina Vlady, Michel Lonsdale, Macha Meril, Jean-Marc Bory.

Marina Vlady plays the role of an 18 years old chatter-box who can't help telling a lie every 5 minutes. When she falls in love with an older man, she vows to reform and speak only the truth. But her reputation precedes her…

– Alliance Française description

“This light romantic comedy has the allure and feel of New Wave cinema but is actually pretty inconsequential besides the works Truffaut and Godard.”

© James Travers 2000


On Friday, October 15, 8 pm: L'armée des ombres / Army of Shadows (1969) written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville – 2 hrs 30 mins – France/ Italy, Drama/ War. English subtitles. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 86 out of 100.

With Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani.


In 1942 during World War II, a few men and women risked their lives to liberate France. The “Shadows Army” is an evocation of an important period of the “Resistance” such as J.P. Melville experienced himself.

– Alliance description

Well-known for his influential crime films (Le Samourai, Le Cercle Rouge), director Jean-Pierre Melville explores the lives of French Resistance fighters in his moody World War II masterpiece, Army of Shadows. Restrained and controlled, the film follows Philippe Gerbier (Lino Ventura) and other members of the underground as they carry out clandestine missions against Nazi occupiers. And while there are some exciting scenes (air drops, escape attempts), the film largely avoids action-film histrionics. Its tone is a subdued one and tension results from its quiet moments, interrupted by brief, jarring violence. This is appropriate, given the film's subject matter. Silence is the guiding principle of espionage and the film's look--bruised and penumbral--reflects the tenuous position of its characters, who live divided, imperiled existences. There is no glib heroism in Army of Shadows; there are only people living through untenable situations, acting as is necessary and sacrificing, perhaps, everything.


At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm


October is “The Month of Undead Returnsat Film Space.


Film Space is to the right and in the back of the CMU Art Museum, in the Media Arts and Design building across from the ballet school. Showings are in a classroom on the second floor or on the roof, weather permitting. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave at least 20 baht. Well worth supporting. All films not in English are shown with English subtitles.

At Film Space Saturday, October 9, 7 pm:  Flesh for Frankenstein / Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1973) directed by Paul Morrissey, written by Paul Morrissey and 3 others 1 hr 35 mins – US/ Italy/ France, Drama/ Horror/ Sci-Fi – In French and English, with English subtitles as needed. In Serbia, Baron Frankenstein lives with the Baroness and their two children. He dreams of a super-race, returning Serbia to its grand connections to ancient Greece. In his laboratory, assisted by Otto, he builds a desirable female body, but needs a male who will be superbody and superlover. He thinks he has found just the right brain to go with a body he's built, but he's made an error, taking the head of a gay aesthete. Meanwhile, the Baroness has her lusts, and she fastens on Nicholas, a friend of the dead lad. Can the Baron pull off his grand plan? He brings the two zombies together to mate. Meanwhile, Nicholas tries to free his dead friend. What about the Baron's children? Rated R in the US. Generally favorable reviews: 67 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes Synopsis: Udo Kier is the Baron Frankenstein, attempting to create a new race of humans out of body parts. He wants to mate his male creation to his female creation so he figures he needs the brain of a real lady's man. By mistake, he beheads a man about to enter a monastery to become a monk. The creature shows no interest in his female companion, but the Baron's sex starved wife shows interest in him. He ends up killing her – squeezing her to death while they are performing sex. In the finale, the Baron has his hand smashed off by an iron gate and a spear struck through him with his liver dangling on the end. This film is filled with lots of soft core porn, nudity, and splatter.

My Reviewer: Stuart McLean: I've never seen Flesh for Frankenstein before, let alone uncut and uncensored. I guess I expected it to be a hybrid of Hammer Horror and Warhol Factory camp trash, particularly with Factory director and screenwriter Paul Morrissey in the driving seat. Something along the lines of The Rocky Horror Show perhaps, with a touch of Carry on Screaming thrown in for good measure. A perfect excuse for some gothic transexuality perhaps?

I was surprised then to discover a movie that was possibly more akin to euro-horror trash (Jess Franco, Jean Rollins) and Hammer/Amicus material than to previous Factory output.

This might be explained in part by the cloudiness surrounding the making of the movie. It's now understood that whilst Andy Warhol's name was added to the production credit, his in-house Producer-Director Morrissey may have had less input to the production than the credits might have us believe. Rumors abound that this (and companion movie 'Blood for Dracula' filmed immediately after this picture) were directed by horror genre director Antonio Margehriti's.

It's a cannily shot period piece, crafted in traditional film language, and rather cleverly put together for 3D viewing, with all the added technical challenges that this brings. This probably goes some way to explaining the exponential leap of technical proficiency between this and previous Morrissey movies Flesh, Trash, and Heat, filmed primarily in Manhattan loft spaces with a hand-held. Don't expect anything like that here.

To be fair, there are some familiar Morrissey themes here, and there's no doubting Morrissey's creative input into the screenplay, casting and so on. Despite being typical risqué early seventies horror, with sex and death in equal measure, there is something slightly depraved at its heart. There was certainly enough here to keep the censors unhappy until it was finally released uncut in 1992 after years of dispute.

Filmed in Italy, the locations, the props, the décor, the sets, and the cast are all visually perfect. It's also well shot, with some imaginative and technically adept cinematography which, once again, may come as a (pleasant) surprise to those who take their expectation cues from the Warhol's tenuous association (via Morrissey) with the movie.

Morrissey favorite and visually striking Joe Dallessandro is predictably cast here as a country stud who's role is principally an aesthetic one, though he does provide an erotic diversion for the Baron's wife/sister (it's never clear as she is referred to as both in different dialogue.

Udo Kier is brilliantly cast as the crazed Baron Frankenstein, with an accent not unlike Arnie's, managing to just stop short of complete comedy in a way that works in the context. His most memorable moment is perhaps the notorious necro lovemaking scene where he opens the stitches of his female monster and lovingly caresses her innards. (Subject to the censors scalpel until relatively recently).

The Germanic baron is obsessed with creating a superior master race (a familiar theme?) and, having created a female creature (the beautiful but speechless Dalila di Lazzarro) he decides it’s time to build it a mate – a neat reversal of the Browning 'Bride' movie.

Looking for an amorous and potent male he spots a farm laborer coming out of a brothel, where the women inside are seen to be screaming, presumably in ecstasy (though actually at a rat). Murdering the farmer, the Baron and his crazed assistant take his severed head to attach to the body that they have already prepared, little knowing that the farmer is in fact an impotent, disinterested monk, turning the whole diabolical experiment into a diabolical failure. ...

From here on in the film degenerates into a darkly comic blood bath.

There is nothing particularly spooky about the movie. It tends towards the darkly comic though never enough to have you chuckling aloud. It's also visually sick, though all the blood and guts (literally) look far too post-office red to be real. I

At Film Space Saturday, October 16, 7 pm:  Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) written and directed by Don Coscarelli – 1 hr 32 mins – US, Comedy/ Fantasy/ Mystery – In English. Elvis and JFK, both alive and in nursing homes, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy. Rated R in the US for language, some sexual content, and brief violent images. Mixed or average reviews: 56/60 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: Elvis Presley is still alive, now in his late sixties, but confined to a rest home in Texas. Here, he recounts how he escaped fame with the help of an impersonator--now left to wonder what could have been, all the while trying to battle the soul-sucking mummy, Bubba Ho-Tep, who enters the rest home at night and consumes souls.

BBC, Jamie Russell: A fiendishly funny comedy horror.

Cinema Crazed, Felix Vasquez Jr.: An original horror movie worthy of your attention; original horror movies are hard to come by these days...

At the Gay Film Series


Films with a gay theme shown every two weeks, with very limited seating, in a private home. Reservations a must to attend films in this series. To reserve: send email to:, mark in subject area “reserve” with the number in your party. For example, “Re: reserve 2.” To be placed on the mailing list for advance notice of movies just put in the subject line: “mailing list.” 

Sunday, October 10, 7 pm:  Maurice (1987) directed by James Ivory – 2 h

rs 20 mins – UK, Drama/ Romance Two male English school chums find themselves falling in love at Cambridge. To regain his place in society, Clive gives up his forbidden love, Maurice (pronounced "Morris") and marries. While staying with Clive and his shallow wife, Anne, Maurice finally discovers romance in the arms of Alec, the gamekeeper. Written from personal pain, it's E.M. Forster's story of coming to terms with sexuality in the Edwardian age. Generally favorable reviews: 74/70 out of 100. Reservations a must.

We will show the movie promptly at 7:00PM as it's 140 minutes. After, we'll have a discussion over coffee, tea, or whatever. Bring snacks such as cookies, cake, etc. to share. There will only be 8 people and you must reserve. This is on a first come first serve basis.

Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: The second of the three Merchant/Ivory films adapting E.M. Forster novels (between A Room with a View and Howard's End), Maurice deals with a theme few period pieces dare mention--a young man's struggle with his homosexuality. It's not just a gay coming-of-age story, however. The hero wrestles with British class society as much as his personal and sexual identity.

The film opens on a stormy, windswept beach, as an older man awkwardly instructs young, fatherless Maurice Hall (James Wilby) in the "sacred mysteries" of sex. The same turbulent, wordless struggle with passion lasts throughout this slowly evolving, beautifully filmed story. Novelist E.M. Forster's brainy, British melodrama hinges on choice and compulsion, as the pensive hero falls for two completely different men. First comes frail, suppressed Clive (Hugh Grant), who wants nothing more than classical Platonic harmony... and a straight lifestyle. (Grant's performance is so convincing, one wonders how he ever became a heterosexual sex symbol.) After Clive's wedding, Maurice turns to hypnosis to cure his unspeakable longings. Unfortunately, his "cure" is interrupted by Clive's lustful, brooding, barely literate gamekeeper Scudder (Rupert Graves), a worker more at home gutting rabbits than discussing the classics. Maurice's love for a "social inferior" forces him to confront his illicit desire and his ingrained class snobbery. --Grant Balfour

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