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Moriarty’s One Thing I Love Today! Joe Dante At The New Beverly!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. It’s funny... since I started doing this column a few weeks back, I’ve been getting more oddball things sent to the house, more books, even a few games. And I’ll give it all its day in court as I’m putting these together, but today... today, it’s all about where I’m going to be this evening, and what I’ll be watching. The New Beverly has gotten very aggressive in its programming in the past six months or so, hosting mini-festivals where filmmakers like Eli Roth and Edgar Wright have been able to program their own line-ups. Both of those fests were ridiculous fun, and now, the one and only Joe Dante has stepped up for DANTE’S INFERNO, a string of double-features over the next week and a half that sounds like a blast from end to end. Tonight, I’ll be there to see Edgar Wright introduce Joe before screenings of MONDO CANE and ZULU. MONDO CANE was a sort of a shock documentary, released in the early ‘60s, and it was a huge hit at the time, inspiring knock-offs and imitations, movies that were basically the 2 Girls 1 Cup of their era, but there’s a weird subcurrent that the films are essentially “sophisticated” culture rearing back in horror when confronted with “the rest of the world.” ZULU is a great big bad-ass action epic about the British fighting the natives, with a strong performance from a young Michael Caine. 100 soldiers versus 4000 Zulu warriors. What’s not to like? I’m not sure how I’ll juggle my various commitments for Thursday and Friday, but I’ll figure it out, because I’m absolutely determined to see Dante’s HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD back-to-back with the Isaac Hayes film TRUCK TURNER. Then on April 13th, 14th, and 15th, Dante’s screening THE SADIST and THE PRIVATE FILES OF J. EDGAR HOOVER. THE SADIST stars Arch Hall Jr. as a super-creep who traps some kids in a junkyard and then plays headgames with them for a few hours, and Dante’s going to have legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond there to talk about his work on the nearly-forgotten B&W film. It’s the second feature, the J. Edgar Hoover movie, that’s got me crazy. I love Larry Cohen films. Q THE WINGED SERPENT. GOD TOLD ME TO. Come on… those are great movies. They embrace their budget, and they embrace their genre, and for a while, Cohen was rock-solid every single time. Right in the middle of that era, he made this expose on J. Edgar Hoover, and I’ve never seen it. Little wonder. It’s never been on any home video format before, and it sounds fascinating. Made in 1976, the film positively IDs CIA agent Mark Felt as “Deep Throat,” something that wasn’t verified until almost 30 years later. It’s also shot on location, using real FBI lobbies and real FBI offices, but Cohen managed to do that without any permits, making it doubly impressive that he even used Hoover’s real home in his movie. THE TOMB OF LIGEIA, WRONG IS RIGHT, BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW, HORROR EXPRESS... it’s an eclectic, fun line-up of stuff that Dante’s always probably thought didn’t get a fair shake the first time around. The biggest event of the whole festival, in my opinion, is the closing night screening of THE MOVIE ORGY. What’s that? I’ll let Dante explain in his own words: April 22 THE MOVIE ORGY This the first, one nite only public showing in many years of my first project. In 1968 when "camp" was king, Jon Davison and I put together a counterculture compendium of 16mm bits and pieces (tv show openings, commercials, parts of features, old serials etc.), physically spliced them in ironic juxtapositions and ran the result at the Philadelphia College of Art interspersed with parts of a Bela Lugosi serial. The reaction was phenomenal. This led to THE MOVIE ORGY, a 7-hour marathon of old movie clips and stuff with a crowd-pleasing anti-war, anti-military, anti-establishment slant that played the Fillmore East and on college campuses all over the country for years -- always the one print, viewed through a haze of beer and controlled substances. We called it a 2001-splice odyssey. We kept adding and subtracting material over time so this, alas, is not the original version-- it's the later cutdown, running a mere 4 hours and 19 minutes! But it's still a pop time capsule that will bring many a nostalgic chuckle from baby boomers and dazed expressions of WTF?! from anyone else. Admission to THE MOVIE ORGY is FREE, so buy plenty of concession stand items! Even after reading a few descriptions, I have no idea what this is actually going to be, but I’ll turn out to support Dante, to support The New Beverly, and to support the recently-revitalized revival scene in LA. Hope to see you there.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • April 9, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST



    Again. Not that it matters. Oh, if only my life had true meaning.

  • April 9, 2008, 7:45 a.m. CST

    go back to your old team

    by just pillow talk

    I'm sure you have something left in the tank for the playoffs...

  • April 9, 2008, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Actually, It Sounds Very Cool But . .


    Way too far away from me. No film fests at the Highland Quartet cinema in Memphis? No?

  • April 9, 2008, 8:09 a.m. CST

    One Thing I Hate Today

    by georges garvaren

    Not being able to see these films on a lovely & large screen.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:12 a.m. CST

    I love Joe Dante!

    by DerLanghaarige

    Underrated director with unfortunately not too much luck lately, like so many other great directors from the 80's.<br> I even think he has a better knowledge about these old movies, that we all know these days as "Grindhouse", than Tarantino. (At least it's more fun to listen to listen to Dante, when he talks about them.)

  • April 9, 2008, 8:14 a.m. CST

    by DerLanghaarige

    Joe Dante, John Landis, Edgar Wright and others speak audio commenteries for old movie trailers (Just in case you haven't heard of it yet).

  • April 9, 2008, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Considering that probably only about 3%

    by Sith Witch

    of this site's readership lives near L.A., it makes many many a fanboy cry.Dante should beam it live via satellite to college campuses across the country.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Dante is the man!

    by filmcoyote

    I met him a few times for interviews and once invited to a special theatre projected screening of his first Masters of Horror show a few years back, he was incredibly friendly and gracious and was good enough to humour a so-called professional who has a geek-on for his films. Seriously, Matinee, Gremlins, Explorers, InnerSpace, Howling - the man was a cinema god, wish he could get funding easier today.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    I watched Small Soldiers again the other day.

    by Knuckleduster

    It's awesome.

  • April 9, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Isn't this the second thing that you love today?

    by seppukudkurosawa


  • April 9, 2008, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Joe's new project?


    Wish I could be there. Small matte of an Atlantic between us. BUT.. please ask about whether he's managed to get 'The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes' up and running (Corman biopic). And for those needing Dante fix; try the Trailers from Hell site. Great fun!

  • April 9, 2008, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Watched Innerspace last week

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Still one of the most entertaining films i've ever seen. And Gremlins and Explorers are immortal. And his Twilight Zone segment is way cool too. Hope to see a new movie soon Joe!

  • April 9, 2008, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Mondo Cane

    by BGDAWES

    Ahhhh Mondo Cane. What a milestone of trash cinema. Could it be said that Prosperi and Jacopetti are responsible for planting the seeds that eventually grew into the trash reality 'shock' TV we see today? <br> <br> Incidently, Prosperi and Jacopetti let pretty provacative lives. I think one of them was accused of pulling a Polanski and the other was involved in a terrible car crash while driving under the influence. <br> <br> I wound up renting 'Goodbye Uncle Tom' after I saw it played at BNAT a couple of months ago. What a horrible film (of course though, I watched every minute of it).

  • April 9, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Trailers From Hell

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Amazing website, thanks for the heads up guys!

  • April 9, 2008, 10:31 a.m. CST


    by Motorvatin still great. My Dad showed it to me when I was 9 or 10 and I was later disappointed that more mainstream movies weren't as crazy. Did it flop initially at the box office?

  • April 9, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST


    by Osmosis Jones


  • April 9, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST

    This is a column?

    by LaudnerGomez

    Who knew unbridled bragging could be considered classic journalism?

  • April 9, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    No Gremlins??

    by Corterville

    That's my all-time favorite movie!

  • April 9, 2008, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Crowd sucked for Grindhouse night last night

    by BitterMan23

    During blood diner they were OK, but a. half of the place left afterwards, and b. some broad kept talking back to the screen during Scream Bloody Murder, to the point where Brian (or Eric, i forget which ones which) had to come down and tell her to be quiet. I hate people that don't "get" it when they go there. There's a big difference between laughing at the movie and trying to make everyone laugh at your comment concerning the movie. Especially when the comments aren't even remotely funny. <br> <br> That said, thanks Mori for drumming up interest in the Bev and supporting it. It's been my favorite place in LA almost since I moved here and I try to get there as often as possible, I wish more would do the same.

  • April 9, 2008, 7:27 p.m. CST


    by proper

    Nice 1 for the trailers from hell link,watched a couple,I think I'll rinse them all out tonight.The animation on the front screen scared the crap out of me as I'd been listening to vintage hardcore beforehand,I'm off to email them about that now :).

  • April 9, 2008, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Just watched "Blood On Satan's Claw"

    by SpanksterOfLove

    the other night on TCM. It was GREAT! Go see it NOW. Wish I was in LA to see "The Movie Orgy". Man, I never get invited to orgies.

  • April 9, 2008, 10:13 p.m. CST

    The Jack Putter defects

    by Osmosis Jones


  • April 10, 2008, 1:15 a.m. CST


    by The Burgomeister

    I hear you, dude. That woman was so fucking annoying I wanted to strangle her. I almost couldn't take it anymore. Her comments weren't even remotely close to jokes. She just seemed to be describing what was onscreen through some sort of beer/crazy person goggles.

  • April 10, 2008, 12:25 p.m. CST

    by AlwaysReturns