When: Fri., April 6, 7 p.m. 2012
Huzzah for science fiction films of the 1950s! When they weren't predicting mankind's destruction from giant-sized animals created by atomic fallout, they were darn good at pitting us against aliens there to either teach us life lessons or destroy us all. You'll get a double-dose of that with this Retrofantasma installment. First is 1955's This Island Earth, which pits the wonderfully named Rex Reason against a big-brained mutant creature from an alien civilization on the verge of total collapse. Unfairly used as the object of mockery in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, it is a touchstone of sci-fi films, referenced everywhere from E.T. to songs by The Misfits and GWAR.
It's followed by another favorite from that era, the 1953 version of H.G. Wells' classic The War of the Worlds, in which deadly stop-motion Martians threaten all mankind with their heat rays. The scenes of devastation remain highly effective, perhaps even more so than Steven Spielberg's 2005 remake. It's a rare chance to see two sci-fi classics in 35mm format, and we're informed the print of This Island Earth comes from the Warner Bros. archives and is likely to be in near mint shape. Tickets to the 7 p.m. double-feature are $8 —Zack Smith