Gabba Gabba Hey! New 35mm Print of Rock ‘n’ Roll High School at the Music Box – Feb. 25 @ 7pm!

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60613
Tickets: $10

Monday, February 25 @ 7:00 PM
Directed by Allan Arkush • 1979
In a just world, the punk iconoclasts in the Ramones would have been offered as many starring vehicles as Elvis and the Beatles combined. Alas, we’re left with only a single, perfect example in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, the Roger Corman-produced youthsploitation effort pitched for Cheap Trick but gloriously retrofitted for the brothers from Queens. Riff Randell (erstwhile scream queen P.J. Soles, solidifying cult icon status) is the biggest Ramones fan at Vince Lombardi High School, but her plan to liberate her dance-crazy classmates with tickets to see the band is put in danger when the dictatorial new school principal Evelyn Togar (underground darling Mary Woronov) declares a moratorium on rock ‘n’ roll. Like an issue of Mad Magazine come to life, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School never relents in its wall-to-wall silliness, a cyclone of bad puns, dopey sight gags, and exploding mice capable of pummeling even the stoniest audience member into caws of ecstatic laughter. By the time the film crescendos with the Ramones blasting through five full live numbers in the span of time most movies would devote to two, you’ll also be ready to declare yourself a teenage lobotomy. (CW)
93 min • New World Pictures • New 35mm from Jon Davison and the Academy Film Archive, permission Criterion Pictures, USA
Short: “Total Control” (Chris NyBy, 1979) – 11 min – 16mm from USC School of Cinematic Arts
109 min • MGM • 35mm from Park Circus

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
co-presented by CHIRP Radio 107.1 FM

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701  W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, February 27 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by William Castle • 1961
With all due respect to Roger Ebert, you have to wonder how he can see cinema as an “empathy machine” when the transcendently cruel Mr. Sardonicus exists. In the remote, fictional Eastern European province of Gorslava, horrific tales of the masked Baron Sardonicus proliferate as a parade of young peasant women enter his manor, never to be seen again. Enter Sir Robert Cargrave, invited to Castle Sardonicus by his old flame (who happens to now be the Baron’s wife) to cure the Baron of the mysterious, gruesome ailment driving his fatal experiments on the local maidenry. A salacious, sadistic gothic horror show that plays like the missing link between Browning and Bava, Mr. Sardonicus is also as ghoulishly pleasurable a film as director William Castle ever made, a barrage of Addams Family-caliber antisocial humor guaranteed to leave a grotesque rictus grin plastered across your face. Never one to turn down a gimmick, Castle ends the film with a “Punishment Poll,” ostensibly ceding to the audience whether or not the villainous Sardonicus will be granted benevolent mercy in the film’s final minutes. Given the wickedness of the preceding 87, we’re pretty sure we know how the vote will go. (CW)
90 min • Columbia Pictures • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory
Preceded by: William Castle Trailer Reel – 10 min – 35mm

Check of the rest of the season here!

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