Stay Safe This Halloween … Beware of Stephanie Rothman’s The Velvet Vampire – Rare 35mm Screening

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2


Tuesday, October 25 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Stephanie Rothman • 1971
Inspired by the overwhelming response to last season’s screening of The Student Nurses, we’re joyously digging deeper into the career of Stephanie Rothman, the only woman who ascended to the director’s chair at Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. Working on a miniscule budget with no stars and only an exploitation-ready title to goose the picture’s box office appeal, Rothman crafted a slow, kinky nightmare for the Southern California yuppie set. Wannabe hipsters Susan and Lee Ritter (Sherry DeBoer and Michael Blodgett) wander into the Stoker Gallery in LA and meet cute with the mysterious Diane LeFanu (Celeste Yarnall). She invites the couple to her home in the Mojave Desert for the weekend, curiously failing to warn them about the prospect of psychotronic trips and undead swinging. Beautifully lensed by Daniel LaCambre (one-time cinematographer for Eric Rohmer and Jean Eustache, embarking on the first of four films he would shoot for Rothman), The Velvet Vampire was nevertheless greeted as run-of-the-mill sex schlock, receiving a one-paragraph notice in the New York Times that concluded: “It is to be recommended only if you can see it at the New Amsterdam on 42d Street, where audiences loudly, freely, and obscenely associate with the action on the screen.” (KW)
80 min • New World Pictures • 35mm from Private Collections, permission Criterion Pictures, USA

Preceded  by: “Halloween Safety (Second Edition)” (Coronet Films, 1986) – 16mm – 14 min

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