In association with Rialto PicturesA SALUTE TO AVCO EMBASSY PICTURESA weekend tribute to the distributor responsible for helping to make such directors as John Carpenter, Joe Dante, David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam and Wes Craven household names, by releasing some of the best — and most enduring — action, fantasy and horror films of the ’70’s and ’80’s!Eight films projected from original 35mm release prints, plus a rare collection of Avco Embassy trailers before each film! Don’t miss it!
Friday, June 26th – Psychotic Killers and Bronson!
RIDER ON THE RAIN (1970)- Here’s Charles Bronson at his brutal best, in one of his best starring roles! Made just before becoming a superstar in Hollywood, with films like DEATH WISH and MR. MAJESTK, Bronson made this superior thriller with leading French film director Rene (PURPLE NOON) Clement, that was perhaps inspired by the popular Italian Giallo thrillers. After a nasty home invasion, where a woman kills her attacker and hides the body, a mysterious man who seems to know all about her crime shows up to intimidate and haunt her. This unforgettable film (said to be the inspiration for The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm”) has been unjustly obscure for much too long! Do yourself a favor and check out this ultra-rare screening! Bronson himself wanted to remake this one years later with Cannon.
ROAD GAMES (1981)- Before helming the underrated first sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, Richard Franklin directed this quirky homage to the master of suspense. A lonely trucker hauling freight along the highways of the Australian outback strikes up a friendship with a lovely hitchhiker while a nationwide manhunt is on for a serial murderer leaving victims at out-of-the-way rest stops and motels. Are the duo on the trail of the killer, or is their imagination just getting the better of them? A white-knuckle exercise in cinematic suspense, starring the always likable Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis (during her Sceam Queen phase) and famed Australian stunt man Grant Page.
VICE SQUAD (1982)- Season (ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK) Hubley stars as a woman trying make a living as prostitute to support herself and her young daughter, when she’s forced by Vice Squad detectives to act as bait for a crazed killer pimp who goes by the name of Ramrod (played with gusto by Wings Hauser). Wings Hauser’s over-the-top performance as a brutal psychopath in this film (he also sung the theme song!) resulted in being type cast for many later roles. Directed by Gary (DEAD AND BURIED) Sherman, from a screenplay co-written by Robert Vincent (ANGEL, WONDER WOMEN) O’Neill. Photographed by John (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THE SHINING) Alcott!
Saturday, June 27th – Snake, Zombies and Satan!
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)- When the president’s plane goes down in a NY turned maximum security prison of the future, the world’s only hope of rescuing him is Snake Plissken, a disgraced war hero and known outlaw badass. John Carpenter’s stunning, dark sci-fi action-thriller favorite returns for those — like us — who just can’t get enough of it!
DEAD AND BURIED (1981)- From a screenplay by the creators of ALIEN, Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett! The town of Potters Bluff is a nice place to live, but you would never want to go there. This sleepy little coastal community hides a horrible secret, and visitors are brutally murdered — but that’s only the beginning! Gruesome and creepy, this little chiller directed by Gary (RAW MEAT) Sherman, was a big influence on Edgar Wright’s THE WORLDS END!
FEAR NO EVIL (1981)- Bullying the weird kid in high school can be a big mistake, especially if that kid turns out to be the reincarnation of Lucifer himself! A stylish and atmospheric first feature from director Frank LaLoggia. Featuring music by The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, The Boomtown Rats and Talking Heads!
THE MANITOU (1978)- Who do you turn to when you have a lump on your back that keeps growing… and growing and growing? Tony Curtis, playing a debonair psychic, that’s who! And when that growing lump turns out to be a stunted reincarnation of a demonic Native American spirit, you may need more than Curtis’ seances and parlor tricks to save you! William (GRIZZLY, DAY OF THE ANIMALS) Girdler’s movie of Graham Masterson’s novel is gloriously tongue-in-cheek, and a whole lotta hokey fun. Co-starring Susan Strasberg, Burgess Meredith, Michael Ansara and Felix Silla (that little guy who played Ewoks, Twiki from BUCK ROGERS, and one of those creatures from the original DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK!).
THE HOWLING (1981)- After a harrowing, near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a news woman, taking advice from her psychiatrist, heads off to a mountain retreat for some relaxation, and things get much hairier from there! Joe Dante’s film of John Sayles’ adaptation of Gary Brandner’s book is a scary-fun throwback to Universal monster movies, with a sleazy edge. The literally show-stopping transformation effects by Rob (THE THING) Bottin were a marvel of the time, and are still amazing today.
Author: Ryan Silberstein
Ryan has been writing thoughtful film reviews and pop culture commentary on and off for over a decade. He spends his days at a company named one of the best to work for in the Philadelphia area. His other interests include comic books, coffee, experimental beer, discovering new music, and books.