When: Fri., Aug. 24, 7 p.m. 2012
Prepare for the most mind-blowing Retrofantasma ever, both figuratively and literally. Yes, it's a double feature of 1981's Scanners and 1980's Altered States, two films that are among the many reasons I've never had to take psychedelic substances in my life. Scanners' tale of psychic mutants is one of the many highlights of Canadian director David Cronenberg's body-altering-filled career (including the current Cosmopolis) and features one of his most memorable scenes, involving a head that goes boom. You might have a similar experience upon seeing this.
Its companion, Altered States, answers the question, "What if Network's dialogue-loving master screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky wrote an existential sci-fi/ horror tale, and gonzo British director Ken Russell directed it?" The result was not exactly a marriage made in heaven (Chayefsky took his name off the final product), but damned if you'll see another movie dealing as seriously with concepts of evolution, existence and human consciousness with this much violence and nudity. Mushrooms and other substances are not provided.—Zack Smith