Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn’s Frank Henenlotter Retrospective Starts Today!

Frank Henenlotter’s classic Basket Case was recently given a 4K restoration by the Museum of Modern Art, and the 30th anniversary of Henenlotter’s Brain Damage is coming up.

It’s with this in mind Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn will be bringing together all of Henenlotter’s films, including the rare short Slash of the Knife for a Frank Henenlotter retrospective starting today.

In addition, Henenlotter will curate a sidebar of films that have influenced him as part of Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn’s weekly series Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday, and Henenlotter will appear in person for all shows.

Below you can find a full rundown of the films playing along with Henenlotter’s curate sidebar flicks, and a trailer showcasing the retrospective series. After looking all of that through below make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn’s Frank Henenlotter retrospective starts today!

Basket Case 4K Restoration
Tuesday, April 3rd @7:00PM
Dir. Frank Henenlotter
Starring: Beverly Bonner, Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith

Museum of Modern Art 4K Restoration. Duane Bradley has a relationship with his twin brother that most people would consider odd – after all, Duane was born with his brother Belial growing out of his right ribcage. Yes, it’s disgusting – that’s what their father thought too, so he hired some shady doctors to sever the boys’ ties. But what happens now that the Bradley boys are all grown up…? Henenlotter’s feature debut is the most bizarre tale of brotherly love ever committed to celluloid and serves as a beautiful time capsule of NYC in all of its early-80s scum and glory – seeing the streets as they were then is worth the price of admission alone. Its long-lasting 1980s stint as a real-deal NYC Midnight Movie cemented its status as a bonafide cult classic. Henenlotter in person; preceded by “Slash of the Knife,” a rare short film by Henenlotter.

Basket Case 2 + 3 (Double Feature!)
Thursday, April 5th @7:00PM
Dir. Frank Henenlotter
Starring: Annie Ross, Beverly Bonner, Kevin Van Hentenryck

Basket Case 2: Kevin Van Hentenryck returns as Duane Bradley, still toting around that big ol’ basket. This time he escapes the confines of the concrete jungle for a nice relaxing stay with Granny Ruth (legendary jazz vocalist Annie Ross, of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross). Granny Ruth has a soft spot for nature’s special ones, and she knows that other folks don’t share her point of view. So she’s worked hard to secretly operate a safe haven for freaks – *lots* of freaks – and lovingly takes Duane and Belial under her wing. But, as outsiders get wind of who might be hiding out at Granny Ruth’s, the boys’ sibling rivalry kicks into high gear again and the real freakshow begins. Henenlotter in person.

Basket Case 3: The Progeny marks the second writing collaboration (after Frankenhooker) for Henenlotter and his friend Robert “UncleBob” Martin. The two hit it off after Bob’s legendary tenure editing Fangoria Magazine, leading to his penning the Brain Damage novelization. Both of them liked their over the top gore as much as they liked lunatic gags, and the last entry in the Basket Case series is certainly the most insane. We’ve learned from the previous entries that Belial can have romantic feelings and make love … and in this installment, we find out if he can be a father! Duane, Granny Ruth, and her family of freaks are back too, trying their best to defend themselves from a meddlesome local sheriff. Rarely if ever screened since its original release! Henenlotter in person.

Tuesday, April 10th @7:00PM
Dir. Frank Henenlotter
Starring: James Lorinz, Joanne Ritchie, Patty Mullen

Wanna date!? Dolloped in 42nd St. sleaze, coated in bright purple slime, Frankenhooker is Henenlotter’s twist on Bride of Frankenstein. It’s the weird tale of Jeffery Franken (James Lorinz), a med school drop out who tragically loses his bride-to-be (Patty Mullen) in a remote-control lawnmower accident. Using his uncanny scientific know-how, he devises a grisly way to get her back – and why not give her a better body this time? Although it’s very much a comedy, Frankenhooker famously pissed off the MPAA and was ultimately released unrated. Perhaps the Supercrack was too much for them? Henenlotter in person.

Brain Damage
Wednesday, April 11th @7:00PM
Dir. Frank Henenlotter
Starring: James Lorinz, Joanne Ritchie, Patty Mullen

Considered by many hardcore Henenlotter fans to be his finest, Brain Damage is a wild, yet cohesive patchwork of addiction-fueled mania, set in the disgusting glory of late-80s NYC. Brian meets Aylmer, a mysterious, ancient, snake-like (ok, phallic) parasitic creature that lives off of brain juice, which it consumes by poking a fang into the host’s spine. The reward (or bait) that Aylmer offers for his meals is an overpowering color-soaked mind-trip that proves to be quite addictive. Gory, goopy, and hilarious, Brain Damage is also somehow personal and touching. It’s perhaps the best example of Henenlotter’s extraordinary ability to make us sympathize with characters who are insurmountably separated from society by deformity and dementia. Featuring spectacularly funny (and uncredited) voice work from none other than John Zacharley! Henenlotter in person.

Bad Biology
Monday, April 16th @9:30PM
Dir. Frank Henenlotter
Starring: Anthony Sneed, Charlee Danielson

The trademarks of Henenlotter’s best work are all over Bad Biology: physical deformity, intense sexual problems, hilariously over-the-top dialogue, and of course, unrequited love. Underneath all the flesh and blood Henenlotter always has some sort of heartache and bittersweet, missed romantic opportunity. Jennifer (Charlee Danielson) is an insane, sociopathic sex fiend, destined to never find “the one”, and Batz (Anthony Sneed) is a nervous loner who’s shut himself off from society … both happen to have genital afflictions that make other “body horror” films play like they’re PG-13! Punctuated with an aggressive hip-hop score from the film’s co-writer R.A. The Rugged Man, Bad Biology was Henenlotter’s triumphant return to filmmaking after the 16-year hiatus following Basket Case 3. Talk about making up for lost time – many hardcore Henenlotter fans consider it his finest. Henenlotter in person; preceded by “Slash of the Knife,” a rare short film by Henenlotter.


Sidebar of Henenlotter’s Favorite Films

The Quatermass Xperiment (aka The Creeping Unknown); Also Screening as Part of the Terror Tuesday Series)
Tuesday, April 3rd @9:30PM
Dir. Val Guest
Starring: Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean, Richard Wordsworth

Nigel Kneale’s science fiction serial “The Quatermass Experiment” was a sensation when it appeared on the BBC in 1953, and its popularity led to an early form of Hammer Studios making a feature version for worldwide release. American audiences saw it as The Creeping Unknown, and met Professor Bernard Quatermass for the first time through actor Brian Donlevy. Following a mysterious accident with early rocket travel, it seems that the lone surviving astronaut from the trip might be carrying a new, dangerous kind of disease. Don’t be mistaken. This isn’t some snoozy SF talkathon – Kneale’s story is infected with radically weird concepts, culminating in some of the decade’s wildest screen gross-outs. Die-hard Henenlotter fans will instantly recognize the influence of this early chapter in what we now call “body horror.” Introduced by Henenlotter as a sidebar to a retrospective of his work.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (Also Screening as Part of the Weird Wednesday Series)
Wednesday, April 4th @9:30PM
Dir. Walerian Borowczyk
Starring: Howard Vernon, Marina Pierro, Patrick Magee, Udo Kier

Frank Henenlotter’s adoration of cinema knows no bounds. But while one might easily guess his favorites include slimy monster movies and Hammer films, the inclusion of Borowczyk’s traditionally ignored take on the Robert Louis Stevenson story might be a surprise. Derided as horror trash by some and as merely pornography by others, Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne has remained painfully obscure since its release. Forced to see it on a grainy VHS bootleg, Frank cherished the tape for years until only recently when Arrow Video restored the film for their immaculate blu ray release. Starring Udo Kier, this fever dream retelling is immersed in a trippy electronic score, and like much of Borowzyk’s best work challenges the confines of narrative storytelling and filmmaking alike. At its core lies a profound and devious concept, wherein uncensored exploration of gender identity clashes with classical horror tale codes in a storm of bloodshed and raw lust. Introduced by Henenlotter as a sidebar to a retrospective of his work.

The Brides of Dracula (Also Screening as Part of the Terror Tuesday Series)
Tuesday, April 10th @9:30PM
Dir. Terence Fisher
Starring: Freda Jackson, Martita Hunt, Peter Cushing

At the impressionable age of ten, a young Frank Henenlotter was dropped off for the day at his local movie theatre in Lynbrook Long Island. The Brides of Dracula might have seemed like an average monster movie at the time, but what the film laid out bare for Frank and many others was a combination of sex and horror from which cinema could never recover. Hammer regular Terence Fisher offered up a fascinating sequel to Horror of Dracula that while featuring the inimitable Peter Cushing as Van Helsing would *not* feature Christopher Lee as the Count. In his absence, what better than a to-this-day alarming bevy of ample-chested vampire brides to sell tickets? By today’s standards it may seem tacky and fueled by that distinct, horny brand of British ribaldry, but you can’t argue with the results. The Brides of Dracula is one of Hammer’s finest, a classic; and the inspiration for Jess Franco himself to make The Awful Dr. Orloff, released only two years later. Introduced by Henenlotter as a sidebar to a retrospective of his work.

The Awful Dr. Orloff (Also Screening as Part of the Weird Wednesday Series)
Wednesday, April 11th @9:30PM
Dir. Jesus Franco
Starring: Diana Lorys, Howard Vernon, Perla Crista

One of Frank Henenlotter’s most cherished directors is the Spanish maverick Jess Franco. But the affair didn’t begin on 42nd St., on VHS, or because of some fanzine writer. Not by far – Franco’s first horror film was released in America as The Awful Dr. Orloff, and (like The Creeping Unknown and The Brides of Dracula, also in this series) screened at Frank’s childhood movie theatre in Lynbrook, Long Island! The twisted blend of a gruesome mad doctor’s obsessions with an air of lusty European sensuality still seems surprising today, almost resembling a Sexploitation remake of Eyes Without a Face. Introduced by Henenlotter as a sidebar to a retrospective of his work.


Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn’s Frank Henenlotter retrospective starts today!

For more info click HERE.



Sign up for The Harbinger a Dread Central Newsletter