Last week turned out to be an exciting one for fright fans in NYC. Our screening series, DreadVision, hosted two separate celeb-packed events.
On Tuesday (6/27) at the gorgeously refurbished Quad, DreadVision presented (along with genre superstore Forbidden Planet), a retro showing of the 1973 miniseries Frankenstein: The True Story.
Director Sam Irvin (Guilty as Charged, Elvira’s Haunted Hills, Full Moon’s Oblivion) has made it his life’s passion to champion this old NBC miniseries. He edited this spring’s Little Shoppe of Horrors magazine #38, which boasts an exhaustive book-length examination of this Jack (Damnation Alley) Smight-directed telefilm (and Guillermo del Toro favorite!). For a post-screening Q&A, Irvin welcomed to the stage the late Smight’s son, Alec (a successful producer/director in his own right); Little Shoppe essayist James Anthony Phillips (expert on Frankenstein: The True Story composer Gil Mellé) and Montreal film archivist Philippe Spurrell, who supplied the rare gore-enhanced 16mm Frankenstein print.
Besides Irvin’s unbelievable anecdotes, surprising subtext revelations and fascinating background on the production, Smight recalled fun stories of watching the lavish London lensing take place. Phillips told the audience to write to their favorite soundtrack companies to release a Frankenstein: The True Story music CD (the composer’s widow holds the masters), while Spurrell discussed how he obtained the one-of-a-kind print by trading with a movie collector in Australia! See here for more on Irvin’s obsession, and buy the mammoth mag here.
Image Credit: Adam Lee Price
On Friday night (6/30) DreadVision offered the NY premiere of Austin Reading’s Darkness Rising at the IFC Center with the director attending. During the late-night Q&A, Reading noted that he shot his haunted-house-movie-with-a-twist in just 11 days! His buddy, Ted Raimi, later came in for a day of pickups. Reading and writer Vikram Weet drew inspiration from the cosmic horror works of H.P. Lovecraft, and Weet’s screenplay initially drew the attention of Renny (Deep Blue Sea) Harlin and Josh (Chronicle) Trank. The house used in the low-budget film previously served as the funeral home in “Six Feet Under”!
Darkness Rising plays for the next week at IFC (get tix here here), and you can also find it via the usual streaming suspects.
Stay tuned for news of more DreadVision movies, including a special bi-coastal screening on July 31st in NY and LA!
Image Credit: Matt Kiernan