Weird Wednesday Rocks in July and August


ritz-ext2 by David Hill Photo on FlickrMaybe it's because they're charging admission now, but the Weird Wednesday lineup for July and August looks even better than usual, with several "classic" exploitation movies scheduled. I was able to go to Weird Wednesday in May to see Pam Grier in Coffy -- and yes, I stayed awake for the entire movie so I feel confident I could do it again, although not every single week.

If you haven't been to Weird Wednesday before, the screenings are weekly at midnight at Alamo Ritz, and admission is a mere $1. The films I'm about to list are an excellent introduction to the ongoing series.

Psych-Out -- Wednesday, July 8
Director Richard Rush has made some very entertaining movies -- I'm quite fond of Freebie and the Bean (which incidentally you can get now on DVD through Warner Archive) and The Stunt Man. My first Weird Wednesday was Hells Angels on Wheels. This 1968 film is his entry in the psychedelic Sixties drug-movie genre, and while it's not his top work, it's worth watching as a curiosity.

Susan Strasberg plays a deaf girl who immerses herself in the Haight-Ashbury scene to find her brother, played by Bruce Dern, and is torn between rivals Jack Nicholson and Dean Stockwell. The cast also includes Henry Jaglom, Adam Roarke, Garry Marshall, and veteran stuntman Gary Kent. And -- wait for it -- it was produced by Dick Clark. Lars also reminds me, in his summary, that it was photographed by Lazslo Kovacs. Check out the Alamo page for a trailer. Aren't you intrigued?

O.C. and Stiggs -- Wednesday, July 22
I haven't yet seen this 1985 Robert Altman movie, which is billed as a teen comedy. Yes, Altman made an Eighties teen comedy, adapted from an issue of National Lampoon, and what more could tempt you to check out this film? Go read Lars' description of the film, including the amazing cast, and you'll suddenly have an urge to stay up late next month. I know I do.

The Muthers -- Wednesday, August 5
I caught this film at Best of QT Fest -- remember QT Fest? Don't you wish more were on the horizon? But I also remember that when Quentin Tarantino talked about this film, he had to keep asking Lars for actress's names and other details. So I don't think we're suffering from experts on exploitation films at Alamo. The Muthers is a Filipino exploitation film from 1976 about female pirates, one of whom is Jeannie Bell (TNT Jackson), who end up in a women's prison on a dangerous tropical island. Lars agrees with me that this is a pretty silly film, but fun on that level.

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow -- Wednesday, August 12
It's a kung-fu film from 1978 starring Jackie Chan. What else do you need to know? Okay, Lars says that "the kung-fu fights in this movie are among the best you'll ever see." And you know Jackie Chan will add some comic elements too.

Choose Your Own Weird Wednesday -- Wednesday, August 26
Lars pulls out three movies from the Alamo vaults and the audience picks which one to show. Which three? You'll have to show up to find out. This could end up being entertaining, educational, or excruciating ... perhaps all three.


[Photo credit: "ritz-ext2" by David Hill Photo. Found on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]