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Fantastic, frightening cinema abounds! 

Over a dozen horror & sci-fi films to be screened locally this month

WANNA SEE SOMETHING REALLY SCARY?

Then you’re in luck for the next five weeks, as two local independent film societies and one corporate-owned cineplex are offering movie lovers a whopping total of 14 different horror and sci-fi flicks — all on big screens (including the largest in Savannah) for one show only each.

The titles range from such well-known fare as 1956’s timeless outer-space update of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Forbidden Planet (starring a pre-deadpan Leslie Neilsen) and Alfred Hitchcock’s B/W suspense classic Psycho to ultra-rare or long-forgotten productions such as 1977’s post-modern vampire tale Martin (from Night of The Living Dead’s George A. Romero) and 1973’s unnerving made-for-TV thriller Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark, soon to be remade by Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro.

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Here's the amazing original trailer for PSYCHO:

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Here's the original trailer for George A. Romero's MARTIN:

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In between those two extremes, one will find an acclaimed new documentary on sci-fi author and social critic Harlan Ellison (who penned standout TV episodes of Star Trek and The Twilight Zone plus many novels and short stories), Stanley Kubrick’s controversial adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, and Deranged considered the most faithful depiction of ‘50s grave robber and serial killer Ed Gein, whose exploits also inspired The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Silence of The Lambs.

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Here's the original trailer for THE SHINING:

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Here's the original trailer for DERANGED:

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The Savannah Film Society’s Meaghan Walsh (Managing Director of the Lucas Theatre), says they’ve been working on their “Sci-Fi Weekend” for about five months, and feel their films illustrate the evolution of cinematic sci-fi.

“We figured Forbidden Planet was a great example of what we now consider camp,” she explains. “It’s fun and silly, yet you can absolutely see the influence it had on Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek.”

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Here's the original trailer for FORBIDDEN PLANET:

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Village of the Damned is the opposite. It’s a well-wrought picture with paranormal elements that takes itself quite seriously — and is far better than John Carpenter’s remake.”

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Here's the original trailer for VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED:

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Walsh says the SFS really scored, though, when it nabbed Dreams With Sharp Teeth (the Ellison doc.).

“It’s only been shown a handful of times,” Walsh enthuses. “This is a really special opportunity to see one of the best-reviewed films of its type made this year.”

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Here's the original trailer for DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH:

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Wynnsong 11’s Manager Michael Pimentel has high hopes their Thursday night Fright Fest will draw decent crowds — even at his suburban location near Georgetown. Every film in their lineup is considered a classic of its genre, even if that genre is ‘80s slasher films (i.e., My Bloody Valentine and the original Friday The 13th).

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Here's the trailer for the Special Director's Cut of THE EXORCIST:

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Here's the original trailer for FRIDAY THE 13TH:

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Obscurity, however, is the name of the game for the Psychotronic Film Society, which revels in unearthing little-known and/or infamous gems at its regular Wednesday night screenings at the Sentient Bean on Forsyth Park. Most of their October lineup (including the 2000 Japanese zombie epic Wild Zero starring garage band Guitar Wolf and the BBC-made A Warning To The Curious — called “an unparalleled masterpiece of eeriness”) have not been shown publicly in the USA for decades, if ever.

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Here's the original trailer for WILD ZERO:

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Better yet, unconventional concessions (i.e., beer and wine at the Lucas and organic soups, salads, sandwiches and pastries at the Bean), make cinematic events at those venues more unique for local crowds.

Hopefully, all these screenings will do solid business, encouraging more conceptual bookings of this kind.

Trailers at connectsavannah.com.

Savannah Film Series Sci-Fi Weekend @ The Lucas Theatre (Tix: $8, $6 for seniors/military, $4 w/SCAD ID):

Oct. 2, 8 pm - Dreams With Sharp Teeth (Harlan Ellison doc.); Oct. 3, 8 pm, Forbidden Planet; Oct. 4, 7 pm, Village of The Damned (1960) - Info: lucastheatre.com

Psychotronic Film Series @ The Sentient Bean (all shows 8 pm, Tix: $5):

Oct. 1 - Deranged - The Ed Gein Story; Oct. 8 - Wild Zero; Oct. 15 - George Romero’s Martin; Oct. 22 - Double Feature: A Warning To The Curious + Dark Intruder; Oct. 29 - Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark - Info: myspace.com/psychotronicfilms

Wynnsong 11 (all shows 7 pm, Tix: $5):

Oct. 2 - The Exorcist (Director’s Cut); Oct. 9 - Psycho (1960); Oct. 16 - The Shining; Oct. 23 - Friday The 13th; Oct. 30 - My Bloody Valentine

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Jim Reed

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