Something Wicked This Way Comes (KID POWER! Book Launch screening) ("Main event : Book Launch for SPECTACULAR OPTICAL BOOK ONE: KID POWER!")
Book Launch for SPECTACULAR OPTICAL BOOK ONE: KID POWER!
35mm Archival Print!
WINNER: Best Fantasy Film, Best Writing, Saturn Awards 1984
“In its descriptions of autumn days, in its heartfelt conversations between a father and a son, in the unabashed romanticism of its evil carnival and even in the perfect rhythm of its title, this is a horror movie with elegance” – Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN TIMES
“A lively, entertaining tale combining boyishness and grown-up horror in equal measure” – Janet Maslin, NEW YORK TIMES
There’s a chill in the air and shadows grow longer. Autumn has arrived the sleepy, uneventful Green Town, Illinois of yesteryear. A foreboding storm is rolling in across the sky, and with it comes a traveling circus train, its cargo a cavalcade of mystery and menace. Dark’s Pandemonium Carnival has come to town. Its sinister ringmaster conspires to threaten the gentle townsfolk with a most diabolical weapon — their own darkest secrets. The evil cloaking Mr. Dark and his coterie of creepy carnies contrasts with the boyish pluck and good-heartedness of 12-year-olds Will and his best pal Jim, whose mischievous curiosity will set them on a perilous path…
From its opening shot of a midnight locomotive chugging inexorably straight at the audience — an ominous echo of one of cinema’s earliest thrill riffs — the 1983 screen adaptation of the late Ray Bradbury’s book establishes itself as a resonantly archetypal motion picture, a cornerstone classic of the dark fantasy genre. A potent blend of fear and wonder, the master fantasist’s 1962 novel offered a profound reflection on good and evil, destiny and agency, innocence lost and wisdom gained. The dark-carnival theme has been explored elsewhere — notably in George Pal’s delightful SEVEN FACES OF DR. LAO (1964), and of course the TV series CARNIVALE — but Bradbury’s take is unequivocally its most essential telling. Jack Clayton’s film adaptation carries over the dread that pervaded Bradbury’s American gothic tale, making SOMETHING WICKED one of Disney’s edgiest offerings, though it never loses sight of its truest intentions — celebrating the brief window of wonder that only childhood affords, and the redeeming power of love, learning and reconciliation.
Child actors Vidal Peterson and Shawn Carson form a strong core to the story’s unfolding, surrounded by an adult cast including Jason Robards, Diane Ladd, Royal Dano, exploitation queen Pam Grier in an eerily wordless role, great big little guy Angelo Rossito (FREAKS, MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME) and a young but intensely promising Jonathan Pryce (BRAZIL, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN) as the diabolical Mr. Dark. Itself a surreal reflection of a time gone by (that maybe never really was), SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES has retained a grip on the imagination that transcends the three decades elapsed since its release. We invite you to join us for one more malevolently merry ride with Dark’s Pandemonium Carnival!
Fantasia is proud to host the world premiere launch of Spectacular Optical’s first anthology book, KID POWER! — all about cool, tuff and inspiring kids in cult film and television. Co-edited by Kier-La Janisse and Canuxploitation’s Paul Corupe and featuring writing by a diverse array of genre film criticism’s most unique voices, Kid Power! covers the gamut fromTHE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION to THE ABC AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL and the dark side of Disney. And tons more! The launch will be accompanied by a rare 35mm screening of SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (1983) and a FREE cereal buffet! Growing up, did you ever sit in front of a TV, a 16mm school projector or a VCR and come under the hypnotic spell of the tuff, sassy, cool and inspiring kids that you saw on the screen? Perhaps you grinned as Jacob Two-Two stood up to The Hooded Fang, thrilled as Hawk Jones grabbed a small arsenal to take down some gangsters or cringed as a bespectacled Scott Baio got stoned? We certainly looked up to many of these pint-sized tots, tweens and teens, and chances are you did too. That’s why we’re devoting the first anthology in the new Spectacular Optical book series, KID POWER!, to this inspiring world of kid cult classics from North America, the UK, Australia and beyond. From the 1940s antics of Curley and his Gang to the overwrought denim-clad melodrama of THE ABC AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL, from the surreal fantasies of THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION to the pre-teen bloodsucking dramedy of THE LITTLE VAMPIRE, KID POWER! is a heavily illustrated collection of film writing by a diverse array of some of genre criticism’s most unique voices. Contributors include author/film producer Zack Carlson (DESTROY ALL MOVIES!! THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO PUNKS ON FILM and THE AMERICAN SCREAM), FANGORIA Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander, underground comic legends Rick Trembles (MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY) and Robin Bougie (CINEMA SEWER), Canuxploitation.com’s Paul Corupe, film scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (RAPE REVENGE FILMS: A CRITICAL STUDY) performance artist/pop culture historian Robert Dayton (Canned Hamm, The Canadian Romantic), film programmers Bret Berg (CineFamily), Jesse Hawthorne Ficks (MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS) and Briony Kidd (Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival) and writers Owen Williams (EMPIRE) and Cheryl Singleton (FANGORIA) as well as Spectacular Optical Editor-in-Chief Kier-La Janisse (HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN). PLUS! cover and key art by Portland-based illustrator/graphic artist Austin Sellers.
— Rupert Bottenberg