Our Picks of Melbourne’s ASTOR THEATRE Third Quarter Calendar!
Melbourne’s prestigious ASTOR THEATRE unveiled their third quarter calendar for 2017 this morning and it’s a right corker! Bursting with some of the best repertory programming Australia’s ever seen, the calendar runs from Sunday July 16th through Saturday October 6th. To make your life easier and as genre-packed as possible, we’ve put a together a hit list of everything you need see!
Monday July 17th 7:30PM
Despite being a critical and financial failure upon release, Paul Verhoeven’s SHOWGIRLS has gone on to become one of the most beloved cult films of all-time and apparently one of the highest-selling DVDs for its studio, MGM. Celebrate the twentieth anniversary of this largely misunderstood masterpiece of pure excess, it’s more than just meat and potatoes, it’s a brown rice and veggie buffet! Leave your inhibitions at the door and experience the sensation of Showgirls Las Vegas, the pleasure capital of the world, where stardom can be found…at a price. Fuelled by naked ambition, Nomi Malone (Elisabeth Berkeley) is willing to pay that price, working as a stripper and lap-dancer in the seedy back room of the Cheetah Club. She is soon discovered by Cristal (Gina Gershon), the seductive star of the biggest, sexiest show in Vegas, who, together with her lover Zack (Hyle MacLachlan) gives her a chance to fulfil her wildest dreams. Behind the glamour lies a sordid side of the nightlife, full of traps set with lust and jealousy. Enter the world of Showgirls, it’s hot, it’s wild, it’s wicked. It’s the ultimate fantasy.
Saturday July 22nd 12:30PM
All four of George Miller’s MAD MAX films in one sitting, dystopia ahoy! MAD MAX: Set in the near future of a bleak, dystopian and impoverished Australia that is facing a breakdown of civil order primarily due to widespread oil shortages. Central to the plot is a poorly-funded national police unit called the Main Force Patrol (MFP), which struggles to protect the Outback’s few remaining townspeople from violent motorcycle gangs. The MFP’s ‘top pursuit man’ is a young police officer, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), badge number MFP4073. MAD MAX 2 THE ROAD WARRIOR: Max joins forces with nuclear holocaust survivors to defend an oil refinery under siege from a ferocious, marauding horde that plunders the land for gasoline. MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME: Max stumbles onto a desert city in the post-apocalyptic world that is built on the principle of unbridled, cutthroat capitalism where anything–even a human life–can be bartered. Caught in a power struggle between the city’s two rulers, Max breaks the one inviolable rule of a city with no other rules when he refuses to kill. MAD MAX FURY ROAD: return to the world of the Road Warrior, Max Rockatansky. Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max (Tom Hardy) believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa (Charlize Theron). They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.
Monday July 31st 7:30PM
THE THING + VIDEODROME
What do you get when you take John Carpenter’s chilling sci-fi THE THING and add David Cronenberg’s pulsating body-horror nightmare VIDEODROME? A magnificent double-feature of auteur-ist proportions that’s not to be missed! THE THING: In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Once unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror and becomes one of them. VIDEODROME: David Cronenberg’s diabolical invader is a television show that seduces and controls its viewers. Featuring rock star Deborah Harry (in her first major film) as a kinky hostess, James Woods as a cable programmer looking for the ultimate in viewing thrills, and special make-up effects by Oscar-winner Rick Baker.
Monday August 7th 7:30PM
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET + SCREAM
A Wes Craven double for the ages…all ages…well maybe not all ages but spanning generations! That’s right, Craven’s two films despite being over twelve years apart are among the most highly influential genre films of their respective decades and now you can catch them back-to-back! A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: Nancy is having nightmares about a frightening, badly-scarred figure who wears a glove with razor-sharp “finger knives”. She soon discovers that her friends are having similar dreams. When the kids begin to die, Nancy realizes that she must stay awake to survive. Uncovering the secret identity of the dream killer and his connection with the children of Elm Street, the girl plots to draw him out into the real world. SCREAM: Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has a lot on her plate. Its hard enough to be a teenager coming of age in todays world, let alone have a boyfriend (Skeet Ulrich) with raging hormones, a father whos life is one business trip after another – and still feel healthy when your mother was brutally murdered one year ago. Just when things start to be getting back to normal for Sidney and her friends, the small town of Woodsboro is once again plagued by a killer. Someone who is taking their love of scary movies one step too far. To survive they must follow the golden movie rules – don’t answer the phone, don’t leave the house, but most of all don’t SCREAM.
Saturday August 12th 9:30PM
MIFF SCI-FI MARATHON
Currently the programming details of this overnight event are under-wraps and won’t be announced until Monday July 10th when MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival) reveal their 2017 festival line-up but we’re confident that this will be an absolute banger! Stay tuned as we’ll be reporting the line-up the day the program is released.
Monday August 14th 7:30PM
RE-ANIMATOR + BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR
Stuart Gordon’s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s RE-ANIMATOR remains one of the sharpest, goriest and brilliant genre films thirty-two years on since its release and what better way to see it than on the big screen with Brian Yuzna’s sequel BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR. RE-ANIMATOR: When medical student Dean Cain (Bruce Abbott) advertises for a roommate, he soon finds one in the form of Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs). Initially a little eccentric, it some becomes clear that West entertains some seriously outlandish theories – specifically, the possibility of re-animating the dead. It’s not long before Dean finds himself under West’s influence, and embroiled in a serious of ghoulish experiments which threaten to go wildly out of control. BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR: It’s been 8 years since the Miskatonic massacre. Unperturbed by the disastrous outcome of his previous meddling with the dead, Dr. West (Jeffrey Combs) continues his research into the phenomenon of re-animation; only this time, he plans to create life – starting with the heart of his young protégé Dan’s dearly deceased, Meg Halsey. Surely nothing could go wrong?
Monday August 21st 7:30PM
FREAKS + PINK FLAMINGOS
An unholy union of two of cinema’s enduringly shocking films back-to-back, Todd Browning’s controversial 1932 outsider opus FREAKS and John Waters’ 1972 transgressive black comedy PINK FLAMINGOS. FREAKS: Set in a travelling circus, works as an old-fashioned morality play against avarice. Browning used a collection of handicapped actors and performers for the circus community, which initially welcomes the beautiful trapeze artist Cleopatra into their group when she marries midget circus owner, Hans. However, as it becomes clear that Cleopatra is only after Hans’ money, and is conducting an affair with the strongman, the close-knit clan of ‘freaks’ plan a revenge. PINK FLAMINGOS: Divine is Babs Johnson, a trailer park bon vivant who proudly claims the title “The Filthiest Person Alive”. She’s the envy of every neighborhood degenerate and it isn’t long before another couple sets their sights on Divine’s legacy, in the proud American tradition, competition forces each contender to outdo the other.
Saturday August 26th 12:00PM
MELBOURNE MOVIE MARKET
While not cinema per se, it is Melbourne’s quarterly must-not-miss cinephile event in a buy, sell and swap fiesta! Formerly FITZROY FILM FAIR, the MELBOURNE MOVIE MARKET makes its debut at the ASTOR THEATRE and you can guarantee we’ll be there repping our home entertainment wares at well-below retail prices!
Friday September 1st 7:30PM
A GHOST STORY + MYSTERY TRAIN
A brilliant pairing of cinematic poems with regard to spaces, journey and spirit, both spectral and subsisting. A GHOST STORY: Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Academy Award-winner Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Academy Award-nominee Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life’s ineffable questions and the enormity of existence. MYSTERY TRAIN: A Japanese couple arrive on a pilgrimage to Elvis’s hometown of Memphis, an Italian woman accompanying her dead husband receives messages from the King, while an ex-pat Englishman loses his job and his wife in the same day. One night in Memphis, the heart and soul of America, these three sets of parallel lives intersect at the seedy Arcade Hotel manned by the legendary Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
Monday September 11th 7:30PM
ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 + THE MAN FROM HONG KONG
John Carpenter’s brooding exercise in mounting tension meets Brian Trenchard-Smith’s explosion of full-tilt action in this rare big screen presentation of two mid-seventies classics. ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13: Isolated and cut off from the city inside a soon-to-be-closed L.A. police station, a group of police officers and convicts must join forces to defend themselves against the gang called Street Thunder, who have taken a blood oath to kill someone trapped inside the precinct. THE MAN FROM HONG KONG: When Hong Kong Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu) travels to Sydney to interview drug trafficker Win Chan (martial arts star and director Sammo Hung) he is flung into an international investigation destined to test his mettle and might. Teaming up with Aussie Detectives Gross (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and Taylor (Roger Ward), Fang soon discovers a cunning connection between Win Chan’s drug imports and larger-than-life local gangster Jack Wilton (George Lazenby). Determined to get his man, Fang will stop at nothing – bringing all manner of mayhem to the streets in a full-on fist fighting spectacle of explosive proportions.
Monday September 25th 7:30PM
POLTERGEIST + POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE
It’s here! Steven Spielberg’s…oh wait, Tobe Hooper’s 1982 original POLTERGEIST and its effects-driven 1986 follow-up, POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE together in a double-feature. POLTERGEIST: When Steve Freeling moves his family into a new house in the development where he is the top homes salesman, it looks like things are going well for him and his family. But as his wife, Diane, and his children, Dana, Robbie and little Carol Anne, begin to unpack and settle in, strange things start happening. Almost playful at first, a mysterious force begins stacking chairs on the kitchen table, or making objects slide across the floor. But the ghostly antics soon turn terrifying as the house, or something in it, starts attacking the Freeling family, and Carol Anne is abducted by evil spirits still trapped on Earth, looking to use her innocence to get into the afterlife. POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE: The Freeling family is trying to grapple with the devastation wrought by the ghosts and ghouls that destroyed their lives. Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), and their kids, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) and Robbie (Oliver Robins), have been reduced to living in the home of Diane’s mother, Jess (Geraldine Fitzgerald) because the insurance company refuses to believe what happened to their house. The Freelings are unfortunately unable to escape patches of unholy ground living in a house that is just as haunted as the last. The evil spirit of the mad cult leader Kane (Julian Beck) has returned in an effort to kidnap Carol Anne. After realizing what’s happening, the Freelings call upon the psychic medium Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein) for help, and are aided by a benevolent Native American spiritualist, Taylor (Will Sampson).
Visit the official ASTOR THEATRE site for session details and ticketing!