The Case For (and Against) Sci-Fi Comedies

We tackle one of the most controversial sub-genres.

5 Actors Who Needed The Money

5 Things You (Maybe) Didn't Know About Escape From New York

I was never a huge fan of the movie, but then I saw it at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with a big noisy crowd. The scratched-up print was a hit with the rowdy audience. I loved it.

Attack of the Super Plants!

A lovely visit to my favorite garden -- the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

I didn't mention it in the video, but the Garden is where I proposed to Rebecca. I had wanted to get down on one knee and say "Engagment ring, do your thing!" -- a hilarious reference to the short-lived Thing cartoon, in which teenager Ben Grimm would touch his magic ring and say "Thing Ring Do Your Thing!" and turn into The Thing (from the Fantastic Four.) I chickened out. But she said yes anyway.

Monster Self-Defense

This is not self-defense for monsters, rather it is a guide to defending yourself against monsters. Sorry, monsters.

Related videos:

our interview with George Romero

and our look at Return of the Living Dead

Everything You Wanted to Ask About the Sci Fi Screening Room, But Were Afraid to Know...

January’s HULK Night! featured nearly every version of the animated Hulk (1966 - 1996), plus clips from the 1977 pilot movie and the climax of 1990’s Death of the Incredible Hulk. Our feature presentation was Metamorphosis, an amazing 1979 live-action episode packed with glam rock, death fantasies, an indictment of the music industry and an LSD freak-out (Banner hallucinates that his alter-ego is chasing him across the desert, only to morph into a stoned Hulk!) Live entertainment included Hulkus (Hulk haikus) and a Hulk piƱata smashed by an actor as the Green Goliath.

Thanks everybody who came out to KISS NIGHT!
For March’s KISS Night! Kevin (and co-host Rob Gorden) donned face-paint to present the 1978 made-for-TV movieKISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. The screening included clips of Gene Simmons in the futuristic thriller Runaway (1984). Audience members were challenged to a beer-guzzling contest against Rob’s robot-clone. Kevin read KISS-ku (KISS haikus.) The after-party included KISS make-overs, a KISS tribute Band (Creatures of the Night), a costume contest and DJ Joey Nova.

In April, Kevin and co-host Raven Snook covered themselves in glitter for THE APPLE Night! The feature film, The Apple, is a flamboyant, dystopian Adam & Eve story set in a nightmarish future of 1994 (as imagined in 1980.) Raven led the crowd in a sing-a-long and gave an audience member a futuristic glam-rock make-over. After the screening DJ Joey Nova hosted a glam-rock party at Beauty Bar with apple-flavored drink specials, glitter manicures and lots of David Bowie music.

May welcomed BATMAN Night!, showcasing everything from the 1943 serial to 1998’s New Adventures of Batman (with an animated version of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight.) The feature presentation was a rare 1978 Challenge of the Superfriends episode where Batman and friends get turned into Hobbit-like trolls. Co-host Nick Nadel interviewed Batman Strikes writer Matthew K. Manning. Kevin shared poetry as he’d collected over 400 original Batman Haikus for the event. (He hopes to publish a Bat-ku page-a-day calendar.) There were Batman-themed trivia games and a dramatic reading of fan fiction. The after-party, at The Hangar Bar, served Batman-inspired cocktails.

Die hard fans turned out for June’s ROCK & RULE Night! when Kevin (and co-host Dekker Dryer) screened 1983’s Rock & Rule. The film was preceded by a retrospective on Nelvana animation (including the Boba Fett cartoon sequence in The Star Wars Holiday Special and clips from The Care Bears Movie.) Trivia prizes included CDs by artists from the movie, including Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. DJ Joey Nova kept the evening going with an all-night after-party at Beauty Bar.

DAMNATION ALLEY Night! was a September screening of the second-greatest fantasy film from 1977, Damnation Alley. The post-apocalyptic adventure paired Jan Michael Vincent with George Peppard and futuristic Winnebago known as The Landmaster. Clips included an episode of ARK II and the episode of Get a Life where Chris faces off against Paperboy 2000 (a paper-delivery robot played by the Landmaster.) The evening featured only one haiku (about George Peppard’s moustache) because Kevin had never seen the movie before.

October’s FRANKENSTEIN Night! was a 3-hour bonanza starting with a video cavalcade including clips from Frankenstein Vs. Baragon (1965) Blackenstein (1972) and Thomas Edison’s original 1910 Frankenstein. Tom Carrozza sang Mel Torme’s "Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives" and Marian Brock read an epic poem about the Creature. Kevin showed a 1976 view-master reel and Maura Madden (author of Crafternoon) provided tips for Halloween crafts and costumes. The video show was followed by the Quicksilver Radio Theater Company’s 60-minute adaptation of Mary Shelley’s original novel.

November was BIGFOOT Night! a delightful evening which brought out skeptics and honest-to-God Bigfoot fans. Co-host M. Sweeney Lawless treated the crowd to eyewitness accounts, original folk art and M&Ms. We screened clips from Bigfoot: Man or Beast?, The Legend of Boggy Creek, Bigfoot & Wildboy and the episode of The Six Million Dollar Man featuing Andre the Giant as the Bionic Bigfoot. (This is widely regarded as the best episode in the series. No duh!) Our feature presentation was the award-winning short film Skunk Ape!? Special guests included lecturer Doug Skinner and Australian journalist Dan Ziffer. M. Sweeney Lawless put together a kick-ass booklet of bigfoot haikus, true stories and fun-facts. That alone was worth the price of admission (it was $7 for believers, $10 for non-believers.)

Watch this clip.

Upcoming Shows:

In December Raven Snook returns to co-host SCI FI MUSICALS Night! It’s a collection of songs and clips from Sci Fi Musicals ranging from Phantom of the Paradise (1974) to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog (2008). The evening will celebrate the best numbers from cult favorites like Forbidden Zone (1980) and Xanadu (1980) to lesser-known films like the Alan Arkin super-hero parody The Return of Captain Invincible (1983) and the Pia Zadora-Craig Sheffer oddity Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1987). Plus TV clips like the episode of Buck Rogers that featured space rockers Andromeda -- and the overlooked Donnie and Marie Star Wars Special.

2009 will include: