Saturday, November 3, 2012

Phil attends the Midnites for Maniacs "CELEBRATE THE END OF DAYS" Triple Feature at the Castro Theatre-Nov. 2, 2012

Hello again folks from San Francisco! Yup, I'm back up here to attend the Midnites for Maniacs triple feature at the historic Castro Theatre. Hosted by Jesse Hawthorne Ficks, the theme for the show was the appropriately titled "Celebrate the End of Days." The theatre screened three classic films that showcased the end of mankind as we know it. Plus all three movies were the original 35mm film prints! As always, Jesse handpicked some awesome trailers to show. So let the apocalypse begin!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1991)
The first film shown was the groundbreaking 1991 sci-fi/action film TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY. Written and directed by James Cameron (TITANIC, AVATAR), the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger  as our favorite terminator model, the T-800, who travels back in time to protect the young John Connor (Edward Furlong), who will become the destined leader of mankind in the year 2029. Along with John's mom Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), they must prevent Judgement Day from happening, all the while dogging the lethal, shape shifting T-100 terminator (Robert Patrick).

I saw the film when it first came out. I was only 18 years old and the film was nothing like I've ever seen before! First off, the special effects were very cutting edge, thanks to the folks at George Lucas' Industrial Lights and Magic. The T-100 could do anything: it could walk through bars, take the form of anything it touches, form cool and deadly knives and other stabbing weapons! Now back then, computer graphics and effects weren't the norm back then. When a scene calls to blow up a building, they blew up a real building! Nowadays that would be a CGI shot! Not back then, when filmmaking was at times very dangerous! Real people doing death defying stunts, like driving a motorcycle through a second story glass window heading towards a hovering helicopter! But what also made it a hit was Cameron's script! While action packed, it also contained a deep and personal message of family, friends, and the belief of goodness and hope in mankind. Also you can find in the script a message of importance, that no matter who you are now, you can make a difference in the world. The film was to theaters by Tri-Star/Carolco Pictures on July 7, 1991. The film's budget was an astounding $94,000,000, but it went on to gross a staggering $519,843,345!! This beautiful 35mm print came from Ficks own personal collection!! He also screened the trailer for the film that was originally part of the show but had to cancel: Kathryn Bigelow's 1995 film STRANGE DAYS.

Click here to view the film's original trailer.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2010)
Film number two was director Christopher Nolan's 2010 mind bending action/thriller INCEPTION. The film's about Dom Cobb (Leonardo Di Caprio), a highly skilled thief in the art of extraction: stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state. This has caused him to become an  international fugitive which has caused him to flee the states and leave behind his family. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. This one last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception: he must plant an idea in the mind of corporate business Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) to dispve his family's company. With the help of his team members Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Ariadne (Ellen Page), Eames (Tom Hardy), Yusuf (Dileep Rao), and the man who hired him Saito (Ken Watanabe), he must successfully complete the job so he can return home to see his children.

With special effects straight out of the MATRIX trilogy, Nolan uses it to help tell his story, instead of letting it control the film. In order to enter the the different levels of the subconscious, Nolan creates his dream realms with the notion that, while it's only a dream, the ramifications can be as deadly as the real world. His philosophy is to respect the dream, because no matter what you're trying to bury deep within, it will always resurface in your dreams. The dream and the subconscious are bound together, forever in a circle that will either a positive or negative chain reaction. The film was originally released by Warner Brothers on July 16, 2010. Before the film, Ficks screened the trailers for next month's M4M show: 1988's HAIRSPRAY, 2000's BRING IT ON, and 1989's KICKBOXER.

Click here for to view the film's original trailer.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1982)
The third and final film of the night was the underrated and amazing HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH. In the film Tom Atkins plays Dr. Daniel 'Dan' Challis, who suspects the "Silver Shamrock" company (the makers of the hottest selling Halloween masks) after a man is murdered in his hospital. Soon his daughter Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin) and Dan take a trip to the town where the factory resides and find out much more then they could have bargained for, especially when Dan meets the president of the company Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy), who revels to Dan the true purpose for his masks.r

The film was completely bashed when it came out. For one thing, it had nothing to do with the previous films and there was no Michael Myers in it. After the ending of the second film, the producers decided to keep the name and go ahead with the series making each new installment a different story revolving around the Halloween season. Now that was a very cool idea, one that could theoretically work these days. However, at that time the movie was a complete failure because it was a HALLOWEEN film with no Myers. This is a real shame because the film is entertaining as hell. Atkin's Dan character is a doctor who specializes in love, since he's the biggest and oldest flirt ever. Seeing him in bed with Nelkin is enough to give you nightmares. Plus this is the only film where a womanizing doctor can be a alcoholic and still be the "Good Guy!" O'Herlihy is great as our villain, who also represents the 80's corporate greed mentality and the fear of Big Brother is watching you. The film was released to theaters by Universal Pictures on October 22, 1982. The movie was just recently released on Blu-Ray and DVD by the folks over at Shout Factory! So do yourself a favor and check out this film! It's definitely worth watching!

Click here to view the film's original trailer.

And another Midnites for Maniacs show has come and gone! The next show will be on December 7, 2012 and it will be the last show for 2012! So mark this date on your calander and come on out to the City by the Bay and join in on this movie magic and fun! To learn more about Midnites for Maniacs, visit their website at To view upcoming shows at the Castro Theatre, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

1 comment:

  1. Loved Terminator 2, hated Inception and Halloween 3 was a bust for me. Although Michael Myers did make an appearance in it: He walks down the stairs as the original Halloween movie is advertised on TV. Jamie Lee Curtis also had an appearance as the phone opperator's voice and Nancy Loomis, who was Annie in the first and second film, made an appearance at the beginning.

    There's your random useless facts for the day/night : ) Glad you enjoyed yourself