A Double Feature from Hell! The Gamma People and The Beginning of the End — Always Scarier in 35mm

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30pm

Directed by John Gilling • 1956
When the last car of a passenger train serendipitously wanders into Gudavia, a fictional European country whose borders have been closed to the rest of civilization for years, two reporters (Paul Douglas and Leslie Phillips) find themselves on the cusp of the biggest news story of the decade: a crazed dictator is melting the minds of local urchins with gamma rays. The only problem is that there’s no way out of Gudavia, and now who will cover the music festival in Salzburg? A terrific blend of odd-couple antics, cold war paranoia, squealing terror, and bizarrely picturesque location photography, The Gamma People is a strange and compelling piece of science fiction pulp. (JA)
79 min • Warwick Film Productions • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory


Directed by Bert I. Gordon • 1957
… meanwhile, back in Chicago, Dr. Ed Wainwright (Peter Graves) accidentally feeds some radioactive goo to a family of locusts, who acquire a taste for human flesh. Almost overnight, the Chicago suburbs are demolished by swarms of grasshoppers bigger than the Abominable Snowmonster, and they’re closing in on Michigan Avenue. It’s like Days of Heaven, only BIGGER. This was the second directorial effort of rear-projection master Bert I. Gordon (aka Mr. BIG), whose other larger than life films include King Dinosaur, Earth vs. the Spider, and Empire of the Ants, and while these films (for better or worse) tend to defy analysis, there’s no denying the hypnotic call of the thirty-foot grasshopper. Don’t get eaten. (JA)
76 min • AB-PT Pictures Corp • 35mm from private collections

10B BotE

Still quivering? Come back next week for a whole different kind of terror!

M (1951) Directed by Joseph Losey Shown from left: David Wayne. Janine Perreau

Wednesday, November 6 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Joseph Losey • 1951
Long before Gus Van Sant reinterpreted Psycho and Chris Rock revamped Eric Rohmer’s Chloe in the Afternoon, Wisconsinite neophyte Joe Losey embarked on the unenviable task of remaking Fritz Lang’s 1931 Weimar masterpiece M in postwar Los Angeles. With two defiantly liberal feature films and a handful of “Crime Does Not Pay” shorts to his name, Losey received the commission after Lang turned down the remake offer from fellow Hollywood émigré Seymour Nebenzal, who had also produced the original. (If anything, M reminds us that it’s the producer, not the director, who holds the lion’s share of power in Hollywood.) This version follows the plot of the original fairly closely, with David Wayne taking over Peter Lorre’s child-killer role and investing the character with a seething air of pathetic repression. When LA’s top cop (Howard Da Silva) initiates a dragnet to catch the killer, the underworld takes matters into its own hands. With noir-tinged paranoia and beautiful location photography in now-vanished working class neighborhoods, Losey’s M easily holds it own. Ironically oblivious to the movie’s anti-mob mentality message, morality crusaders managed to ban M in eight states on account of its salacious content and the Communist sympathies of several key contributors. Long out of circulation after the producer’s short-term distribution deal with Columbia Pictures lapsed, M has been meticulously restored by the Library of Congress (KW)
Introduced by Tom Gunning, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago
88 min • Superior Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Harold Nebenzal

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.