The best way to ensure that cinemas show stuff you like is to simply, well, pay to see the stuff you like at cinemas. This doesn’t just encompass new films, but cool old stuff as well. If there’s a market for classic films on the big screen, exhibitors will show them – it’s a money game. Me, I like cool old movies, and I want to see more of them theatrically, which brings us to this.
Hoyts have been running a series of beloved older films under the banner Pop Culture Classics. It’s been bafflingly under-promoted; I only stumbled across the program by accident, and it’s my job to keep an eye on this stuff. The films cover a wide range of genres, with stuff ranging from The Breakfast Club to An American Werewolf in London, and if the ’80s are a touch overrepresented, that just indicates that we’re all a lot older than we ever expected to feel.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that I went along to the screening of American Werewolf last month, which Hoyts managed to balls up entirely. A combination of technical SNAFUs and some poor customer service resulted in no screening and a lot of unhappy customers. Having said that, everyone drops the ball sooner or later, and I’m willing to believe that it was an isolated incident, even if only because giving Hoyts a second chance gives me the opportunity to see my favourite horror film of all time on the big screen.
John Carpenter’s The Thing is a stone cold classic. Forget the largely pointless recent premake, this is the real deal. It’s got the lot: body horror courtesy of Rob Bottin’s physical effects, which still look good thirty years later; a drum-tight script packed with paranoia; a haunting score by Ennio Morricone, and an amazing, testosteriffic cast featuring the likes of Donald Moffat, Richard Masur, Wilford Brimely, Keith David, and Kurt frickin’ Russell.
It’s a stunning piece of horror cinema, and it’s screening once only at Hoyts Carousel on Friday, August 31st (I’m sure at least some of my audience are too far away from Perth for this to matter to them, but screw it – this one’s for my sandgroper peeps). I’m gonna be there, and you should be too. It’s a great film, and by voting with your wallet, you’re helping to ensure that more films of its kind get a shot at being re-released in theatres.