Retrofantasma | Carolina Theatre | Special Events | Indy Week

Special Events

Retrofantasma

When: Fri., Sept. 17, 7 p.m. 2010

A personal tale: Both films at tonight's double feature crossed paths with the lives of my parents. The first, 1982's Swamp Thing, was being filmed in Charleston while my parents were visiting; they were not exactly fans of director Wes Craven's resulting film, where scientist Alec Holland (Ray Wise) gets blown up and emerges from a swamp chemically altered into moss-man Dick Durock. Based on the classic DC horror superhero created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson (and revitalized after this film by Watchmen and V for Vendetta creator Alan Moore), it's a fun piece of camp horror with some nifty effects, not the least of which is Adrienne Barbeau. And this is the European cut, with extra scenes and extra Barbeau! Ooh la la, indeed.

The second film, 1986's King Kong Lives, has a more direct, and far stranger, familial connection. Producer Dino De Laurentiis had Screen Gems set up in Wilmington and employed some old friends of my mom to help build a special effect for the film: an enormous monkey heart used in Kong's reanimation. The resulting film fared even worse than the 1976 De Laurentiis remake of King Kong, despite the presence of Linda Hamilton shortly after The Terminator. The Razzies loved this one. But enjoy the nostalgia and the fake monkeys anyway.

The double feature is $8 for both films.—Zack Smith

Price: $8

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