The Understated: Ragtag Lost Gems series – January schedule

So, I just finalized my Lost Gems screening schedule for January. each screening takes place on Sunday evening at 9:30 p.m. at the Uprise bar adjoining Ragtag Cinema and is free and open to the public. These listings will go up on the Ragtag site soon, but for now you can find them here.

January 2, 2011, 9:30 p.m.: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE (1987, 83 min.)

What better way to kick off 2011 than with a screening of ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE aka THE EDGE OF HELL, the film about a Canadian heavy metal band who travel to an isolated farmhouse to record their new album? so far, so good, except the farmhouse is built on a portal to hell and the members of the band find themselves forced to do battle with Satan’s minions, and ultimately Satan himself! Starring Jon Mikl Thor of the real life Canadian heavy metal band Thor, who also wrote, produced and performed all the music (obviously), and directed by the great John Fasano, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE brilliantly fuses my two favorite things in the world: 1980s Canadian heavy metal bands and low budget monster horror. the result is absolutely one of the greatest movies to drink to that you will ever see, with the best climax of any film ever. With an acknowledged cult following online, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE might be one of the more “mainstream” films I will ever program, but it’s totally worth it for the chance to show this astoundingly great film in its ideal venue: one that serves beer. Tip generously, kids.

I’m not sure if a trailer exists, but you can watch a short, spoiler-free clip from the film below:

January 9, 2011, 9:30 p.m.: THE JANITOR (2003, 92 min.)

In 2003, Los Angeles filmmakers Andy Signore and TJ Nordaker, seemingly inspired by 1980s Troma films, set out to make a horror comedy about an office custodian who is pushed too far and begins murdering his co-workers. Unfortunately, they only had about $3,000 to realize their vision. the result is THE JANITOR, a genuinely hilarious independent comedy packed to the brim with gore and nudity. Never heard of it? well, that’s because you’re ignorant, and also because it was only briefly released on DVD by a company that quickly let it go out of print. We will be screening a rare copy obtained from the filmmakers themselves. Don’t miss it! please note, THE JANITOR is probably best viewed with mitigated sobriety. accordingly, series manager/bartender Bill and I will be inventing a drink special for this screening, the Janitor cocktail. But really it’s just cheap vodka mixed with turpentine. Don’t drink it, you’ll get sick.

Also, please note, while it’s intended for laughs, THE JANITOR is filled with violence and nudity, like I said. 18+ only, please. Sorry, kids. I’ll finally show JUMANJI next month, I promise.

Trailer below:

January 16, 2011, 9:30 p.m.: DEATBEAT AT DAWN (1988, 80 min.)

Easily one of the most completely insane independent American films ever made, DEADBEAT AT DAWN provides everything you could possible want from a motion picture within its first five minutes, then crests to a climax of insane awesomeness that will have you leaping to your feet and cheering. But you won’t be cheering the film; you’ll be cheering yourself for being smart enough to read my listings and then going to see this movie. It’s a fine distinction. Jim Van Bebber, who also wrote, produced, directed and performed all of his ridiculously unsafe stunts, plays the lead role of Goose, the leader of a Dayton, Ohio street gang called the Ravens. When Goose’s girlfriend is murdered by members of a rival gang, he goes on a berserk vengeance spree against pretty much every other criminal in Dayton. Van Bebber and his crew set out to make an action film with almost no resources, and the result is outright amazing. One of the greatest midnight movies of all time, DEADBEAT AT DAWN has been long out of print on home video. if you miss this rare DVD screening, all of your friends who came will try to describe the film to you, then realize the impossibility of conveying its manly greatness and just walk away, shaking their heads. Likely, they will never speak to you again.

Please note, DEADBEAT AT DAWN is an absurdly violent motion picture that features a good share of nudity as well. 18+ only for this screening!

Trailer below:

January 23, 2011, 9:30 p.m.: THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB (1993, 60 min.)

One of the most extraordinary films absolutely no one has seen, THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB is gruesomely dark retelling of the classic fairy tale set in a squalid, hellish vision of London filled with hideous insects, creepy puppets and twitching filth. most impressively, every single thing in the film is stop motion animated, including the live actors, who posed frame by frame to deliver their unnerving performances. the result is a visually stunning, surprisingly affecting masterpiece that has inexplicably gone almost completely under the radar in this country. Fans of experimental animation auteurs such as Jan Svankmajer and the Brothers Quay will have a new favorite film within the first ten minutes. You have never seen anything like TOM THUMB, and since the DVD has been out of print for almost a decade, if you don’t come to this screening, you probably never will.

I couldn’t find an official trailer for THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB, but some kind soul has helpfully loaded the entire movie to YouTube, so you can watch the first sixth of it below, if you want:

January 30, 2011, 9:30 p.m.: MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO (2008, 75 min.)

In an era inundated with slasher parodies and retro thriller throwbacks, the bizarre independent comedy MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO went almost completely under the radar upon its release, despite actually bringing something new to the genre. the film follows a group of friends who travel to an isolated cabin, have sex, and then find themselves getting picked off one by one by a mysterious killer. Sure, sounds familiar, but MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO has a few surprises up its sleeve, none of which I would consider spoiling. You’ll just to see it for yourself, but the film had me laughing out loud at its various twists. Recommended for slasher fans and also everyone else.

Rumor has it, MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO writer-director Drew Barnhardt is planning to shoot his next feature in Columbia, MO, working with one of the producers of A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE! if that happens, and if he’s in town, then I will find some way to force him to be at this screening. He’ll be the quiet guy who sits at the bar, doesn’t introduce himself to anyone, and then leaves before the closing credits roll.

Trailer below:

The Understated: Ragtag Lost Gems series – January schedule


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