When: Sat., April 28, 7 p.m. 2012
With all the John Sayles retrospectin' going on over in Durham, it should be noted that one of his earliest and most underrated works screens as part of this Cinema Overdrive double feature. Admittedly, 1980's Alligator is one of the cheap exploitation films he scripted for cash to fund his groundbreaking ensemble indie cinema, but it's still a sight more entertaining than several of his more serious works. It pits Robert Forster against an alligator that was flushed down the toilet, grew up in the sewer and is now very mad. Deliberately goofy, with even the characters aware of the absurdity of the situation, Alligator remains one of the best of the many Jaws knockoffs that populate the SciFi—sorry, "SyFy"—channel to this day. We're looking at you, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.
Alligator is paired with another cult classic, 1988's Pumpkinhead, the directorial debut of special effects maestro Stan Winston. The great craggy-faced actor Lance Henriksen plays a farmer who turns to a witch for vengeance after his son gets killed. As you might figure, that doesn't go well. Barely released in theaters, Pumpkinhead became a hit on video, inspiring a slew of sequels. The Pumpkinhead creature has even inspired its own action figure, which is how you know you've made it in America these days. The double feature starts at 7 p.m. with Pumpkinhead, costs $5.50, and did we mention there should be some classic trailers too? —Zack Smith