The Alamo Drafthouse has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the greatest movie theaters in the history of mankind…or at least the history of movie theaters. With their signature events, ample food and drink selection, and strict no-talking policy, they make obsolete all tawdry multiplexes and completely redefine the movie-going experience. Here’s what they’re up to this week!
Fiesta Gardens, Austin
Eastside Movies in the Park: Muppet Treasure Island, July 14, 8:30 p.m. For all of Austin’s spectacular outlets for pure movie geekdom, the one thing we are woefully lacking is a drive-in. I mean come on, the city that brought us the temple of cinephilia that is The Alamo Drafthouse, and we can’t get one lousy drive-in? That’s why I love the Rolling Road Show and Movies in the Park, it’s a handy substitute for our drive-in deficiency. This week, you can see my favorite adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Suck it, Treasure Planet.
Andy Griffith Memorial: A Face in the Crowd, July 14, 2:45 p.m. Whether you knew him from Mayberry, the home of otherworldly friendliness, or his standup comedy, Andy Griffith redefined the term "American institution." Though he lived a long, celebrated life, his recent passing nevertheless leaves a palpable gap in our collective hearts. Guided by the great Elia Kazan, A Face in the Crowd will show you a side of Griffith’s talent you never imagined.
Masters of the Universe, July 15, 7 p.m. Zzang!!! What’s wrong with Gary Goddard’s adaptation of the cartoon/toy line Masters of the Universe? Besides despite being just that, absolutely nothing! It’s a sweaty, cheese-slathered, face-palming fantasy romp with a supremely unnecessary inter-dimensional fish-out-of-water storyline. Dolph Lundgren brings exactly as much intelligence to He-Man as that character deserves. Say what you want about the rest of the movie, but Frank Langella’s Skeletor is genuinely spectacular and the core concept was strong enough to be cribbed by Marvel’s Thor movie.
Terror Tuesday: Halloween III: Season of the Witch, July 17, 10 p.m. Unfairly maligned as the worst of the Halloween franchise, SotW is a creepy, cult-worshiping horror flick whose only mistake was being saddled with the words “Halloween” and “three.” Despite the lack of a certain stoic, Shatner-mask-wearing maniac, Halloween III is legit eerie and features one of the most horrific kid deaths you’ll ever see, and I know you’ve seen a bunch. The film also boasts '80s horror mainstay and mustachioed man-god Tom Atkins. I implore you to put the rest of the series out of your mind and let the tinny sounds of the Silver Shamrock theme song brainwash you into total fandom.
Graveyard Shift: From Beyond, July 14,10 p.m. I love horror films, but sometimes they’re just too…I don’t know…normal? Everything seems to fit into nice little tropes and conventions. Then there’s Stuart Gordon and his H.P. Lovecraft adaptations. The collaboration between two artists from different eras both bent on plumbing the very depths of madness and the limits of human imagination yielded the deliciously twisted From Beyond in 1986. Re-Uniting Re-Animator’s Jeffrey Combs and the swelteringly beautiful Barbara Crampton, From Beyond is a sinister, sticky, and altogether psychotic mad scientist tale you can’t afford to miss.
Blood Thirsty Thursday: Friday the 13th Part 3 3D, 7/12 7:30 p.m.; 10:30 p.m. If you happened to catch Avatar or, you know, go to the movies once in the last three years, you may be picking up on the fact that 3D has made a comeback. Yet with every ego-stroking blue kitty alien and clashing titan, it’s becoming more and more clear that we have gotten away from the true purpose of the medium: seeing severed parts of teenagers fly at the screen. Horror is where 3D was born, and the Alamo is throwing it one hell of a homecoming. One of the best Friday the 13th sequels, the extra-dimensional third installment will be presented in the old school, polarized 3D…Real D got nothing on that popped out eyeball.