LAist Film Calendar 09/22-09/25: John Carpenter, Alfred Hitchcock & Horrible Movie Night

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THE THING courtesy Universal Pictures

Halloween may be over a month away, but it's never too early to binge on good horror movies. John Carpenter's The Thing (the original, not the forthcoming prequel) is one of the best. Like its amorphous alien threat, the chiller effortlessly shifts species, melding nihilistic science fiction, gory action, human drama & truly twisted creature effects that are still scary as hell nearly 30 years on.

Carpenter's crown jewel is the first of what he dubs "The Apocalypse Trilogy," which also includes 1987's Prince of Darkness & 1994's In The Mouth of Madness. Unlike other trilogies, there are no shared characters or continuing story. It's a thematic collection, orbiting around prophecy, paranoia & mutual destruction. Each film profiles a valiant struggle to contain evil within before it consumes the entire world. But when friend becomes foe becomes fear, the best our heroes can hope for is to look the monster in the eye before it tears them apart. Saturday, the Aero presents a rare 35mm screening of all three films together, with the Master of Horror himself providing the introduction.

Just when all seems lost, a one-in-a-million cinematic discovery reminds us that miracles do happen. Last month we celebrated the re-emergence of Alfred Hitchcock's long-lost 1924 film The White Shadow. While Hitchcock didn't direct the silent melodrama, he's credited with writing, editing, assistant direction, set design & probably did craft service, too. The Academy presents the first American screening of the film in nearly 90 years tomorrow, in association with the New Zealand Film Archive (who provides two other equally rare shorts for the program). Like many films of its era, The White Shadow is sadly incomplete. Oscar-winner Eva Marie Saint (who appeared in Hitchcock's North by Northwest) will describe the missing reels after the screening.

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THE WHITE SHADOW courtesy the National Film Preservation Foundation

For a palate cleanser (or is it clogger?), Horrible Movie Night continues to spotlight films which should have stayed lost. The torture-porn-cum-improv-comedy show turns two this month and celebrates with Godfrey Ho's Catman. For those unfamiliar with Ho, his films were literally a dime a dozen: one ultra-low-budget production would be cleaved into countless retitled & unrelated Hong Kong releases. Catman purports to be about a Satanist-busting secret agent who gains superpowers after a radioactive cat scratch. Who knows what the hell this footage was originally supposed to be?

For a truly diabolical double, the Horrible Movie Night crew pairs Catman with the Burt Reynolds / Judd Nelson after school special Shattered: If Your Kid's on Drugs. As with previous programs, audience interaction is key: bring your best zingers & you may win a prize! At the very least, bring a few extra bucks to get hopped up on sugar or dropped down on adult beverages.

Full list appears below. See you at the movies!

All Week
Archie's Final Project (2009) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Berlin '36 (2009) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3) (Laemmle's Town Center 5)
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011) (Nuart Theatre)
Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3)
Circumstance (2011) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
The Hedgehog (2009) (Lammle's BLVD)
Higher Ground (2011) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3)
House of Boys (2009) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
In Search of God (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Jane's Journey (2011) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Mausam (2011) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7)
Mozart's Sister (2010) (Lammle's BLVD)
My Afternoons With Margueritte (2010) (Laemmle's Playhouse 7) (Laemmle's Town Center 5)
Our Idiot Brother (2011) (Laemmle's Playhouse 7) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Pearl Jam Twenty (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Programming the Nation? (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Puncture (2011) (The Landmark)
Restless (2011) (Regent Theatre)
Senna (2010) (Regent Theatre) (Laemmle's Fallbrook 7) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Special Treatment (2010) (Laemmle's Music Hall 3)
There Was Once (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
To Catch A Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks On America (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
We Were Here (2011) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
The Weird World of Blowfly (2010) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)

Thursday 9/22
A Barefoot Dream (2010) (Korean Cultural Center)
Contagion (2011) (Arclight Sherman Oaks) (21+ show)
Echoes of Silence (1965) (Echo Park Film Center)
The Hollies: Look Through Any Window 1963-1975 (2011) (w/ Hollies members Graham Nash & Allan Clarke & the film's producers) (Aero Theatre)
I Don't Know How She Does It (2011) (Arclight Beach Cities) (21+ show)
It Came From Kuchar (2009) / George Kuchar's NYC Shorts (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (The Celluloid Sins of George Kuchar)
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) / He Ran All the Way (1951) (New Beverly Cinema)
The PhD Comics Movie (Ramo Auditorium @ Caltech)
Silent Souls (2010) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
Straw Dogs (2011) (Arclight Sherman Oaks) (21+ show)
The White Shadow (1924) (w/ Eva Marie Saint) (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)

Friday 9/23
Batman (1989) / Batman Returns (1992) (w/ producer Michael Uslan) (Aero Theatre)
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011) (w/ special guests at the 7:30pm show) (Nuart Theatre)
Caddyshack (1980) (Regency Academy) (Insomniac Cinema Midnight Movie)
Donnie Darko (2001) (Nuart Theatre) (Cine-Insomnia Midnight Movie)
Go West Young Man (1936) (Old Town Music Hall)
It Came From Kuchar (2009) / George Kuchar's San Francisco Shorts (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (The Celluloid Sins of George Kuchar)
The Oregonian (2011) (L.A. Premiere w/ writer-director Calvin Reeder) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (Friday Night Frights)
Puncture (2011) (w/ actor Chris Evans at the 7:30pm show) (The Landmark)
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) (New Beverly Cinema) (New Beverly Midnights)
The Soft Skin (1964) / The Woman Next Door (1981) (New Beverly Cinema)
There Was Once (2011) (w/ director Gabor Kalman at the 5:30pm show) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
X: The Unheard Music (1986) (w/ special guests) (Echo Park Film Center) (We Hate Everything Including This Film Series)

Saturday 9/24
7 Lucky Ninja Kids (1989) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (Everything Is Terrible!) (Mondo Kiddo)
Cab 57 (20 (free event) (Downtown Independent)
Catman (1990) / Shattered: If Your Kid's On Drugs (1986) (Horrible Movie Night) (The Complex Theater)
Cinema Indigene (Echo Park Film Center)
E. T. (1982) (w/ DJ Cut Chemist) (Hollywood Forever Cemetery) (Cinespia Screenings) (Summer Series)
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
George Kuchar's San Francisco Shorts (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (The Celluloid Sins of George Kuchar)
George Kuchar's NYC Shorts (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (The Celluloid Sins of George Kuchar)
Go West Young Man (1936) (Old Town Music Hall)
Private School (1983) (New Beverly Cinema) (New Beverly Midnights)
Puncture (2011) (w/ actor Chris Evans at the 7:30pm show) (The Landmark)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (live cast Midnight Show) (Art Theatre of Long Beach)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (Sins O' The Flesh Midnight Show) (Nuart Theatre)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (Midnight Insanity Midnight Show) (South Coast Village Regency Theaters)
Sins of the Fleshapoids (1965) / Corruption of the Damned (1965) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre) (The Celluloid Sins of George Kuchar)
The Soft Skin (1964) / The Woman Next Door (1981) (New Beverly Cinema)
There Was Once (2011) (w/ director Gabor Kalman at the 5:30pm show) (Laemmle's Sunset 5)
The Thing (1982) / In the Mouth of Madness (1995) / Prince of Darkness (1987) (w/ John Carpenter) (Aero Theatre)
The Whistleblower (2010) (Laemmle's Royal Theatre)

Sunday 9/25
The Big Sleep (1946) (The Bay Theatre)
Bringing Up Baby (1938) (free event) (Hammer Museum) (Family Flicks)
Frida (2002) (w/ costume designer Julie Weiss) (Aero Theatre)
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010) (weekend morning show) (Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex)
Go West Young Man (1936) (Old Town Music Hall)
Raft of the Medusa (1980) (UCLA Film & Television Archive @ Hammer Museum) (Slovenia Begs to Differ)
The Red Shoes (1948) / Black Narcissus (1947) (Egyptian Theatre) (A Production of the Archers: The Films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)
Red State (2011) (w/ Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman) (New Beverly Cinema)
Steven Spielberg's "1941" (1979) (w/ co-writer Bob Gale & actors Nancy Allen & Eddie Deezen) (Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre)
Vital Signs: The Videos of Dani Leventhal (Echo Park Film Center) (Los Angeles Filmforum)