SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE
1983 / 35mm / Dir. Lamont Johnson / 90 minutes
This mash-up of space opera heroics and MAD MAX inspired post-apocalyptic mayhem might not be the most original science fiction film of all time, but SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE does distinguish itself from other derivative genre efforts by containing some pretty impressive depth 3-D cinematography. It also boasts an interesting pedigree, as it was produced by Canadian comedy wunderkind Ivan Reitman (GHOSTBUSTERS) and co-written by Reitman’s pal Len Blum (MEATBALLS, STRIPES, HEAVY METAL). SPACEHUNTER follows the adventures of Wolff (Peter Strauss), a roguish space pilot who intercepts a distress signal indicating that the survivors of a crashed starliner—who also happen to be beautiful and female–are being held prisoner by the mutated warlord Overdog (iconic baddie Michael Ironside). It’s up to Wolff and a plucky young orphan (Molly Ringwald) to enter the wasteland known as “The Zone” in order to rescue the captives from the clutches of the malevolent mutants!
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III 3-D
1982 / 35mm / Dir. Steve Miner / 95 minutes
While not necessarily the best installment in the series, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III is arguably the most influential slasher sequel of all time due to its introduction of the iconic hockey mask that would soon become a horror movie hallmark. Moreover, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART IIIfeatures some of the most entertaining 3-D gags in cinema history, including an impressive assortment of deadly weapons protruding from the screen. The story is nothing new: unstoppable killer Jason Voorhees, apparently recovered from his injuries at the end of the last film, finds a new slew of torpid teens to terrorize. Rarely screened in its original 3-D format, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III is an entertaining departure from the predictability of the average slasher movie.
1983 / 35mm / Dir. Joe Alves / 99 minutes
Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of the novel JAWS is one of the most harrowing movies ever made, and was a colossal critical and box office smash that indisputably changed cinema forever. Its first sequel, however, JAWS 2, was a pale imitation of the original classic that underwhelmed audiences and seemingly closed the door on future follow-ups. But when the new wave (ha-ha) of 3-D movies in the early 1980’s started making big bucks, Universal decided it was time to bring Bruce the Shark back to the surface for hopefully another feeding frenzy. Thus was born JAWS 3-D, a paradox of a movie that manages to be a further blight on the pristine legacy of the original while simultaneously winning over viewers with its goofy, charming 3-D shtick. JAWS 3-D loosely ties itself to the previous films by centering on the adult sons of Roy Scheider’s character Chief Martin Brody. Michael Brody (now played by Dennis Quaid) and his girlfriend Kay (Bess Armstrong) are employees of Sea World (!) who must contend with yet another massive great white shark that has somehow infiltrated the park’s waterways. Together with Michael’s younger brother Sean and park director Calvin Bouchard (the always entertaining Louis Gossett Jr.), Michael and Kay must find a way to protect the guests and fend off the fearsome fish!
1983 / 35mm / Dir. Richard Fleischer / 89 minutes
Director Richard Fleischer had a long and varied career in Hollywood: the son of animation pioneer Max Fleischer, Richard Fleischer made a name for himself by tackling films in disparate genres. He directed historical epics (THE VIKINGS, BARABBAS) fanciful science fiction favorites (Disney’s 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, SOYLENT GREEN), action movies (MR. MAJESTYK, TORA! TORA! TORA!) and even musicals (the infamous remake of THE JAZZ SINGER starring Neil Diamond). At the end of his career, however, Fleischer found himself cranking out B-movies for Dino De Laurentis, including AMITYVILLE 3-D, yet another third entry in a series attempting to capitalize off of the 3-D craze. The “true” story of the Lutz family from the original AMITYVILLE HORROR film is abandoned in favor of a stand-alone tale: an investigative journalist (Tony Roberts) who specializes in exposing hoaxes turns his attention towards the infamous Amityville home. Before long, however, weird occurrences, a spate of “accidental” deaths, and a conspicuous pit to hell in the basement lead him to suspect that there may be something supernatural happening after all. Keep an eye out for a young Meg Ryan in one of her first film roles.
LOVE IN 3-D
1973 / 35mm / Dir. Walter Boos / 93 minutes
We end the marathon with our guiltiest pleasure of all: LOVE IN 3-D is a German sexploitation film from Walter Boos, director of the notorious “Schoolgirl Report” movies. LOVE IN 3-D follows the same format as that saucy series: numerous vignettes—some humorous, some “cautionary”—focus on the sexual foibles and failings of lusty German men and women. This time, however, the added magic of 3-D brings the titillation to previously unseen levels. Audiences can expect assorted naughty bits popping off of the screen, as well as good old fashioned and wholesome 3-D gags that make LOVE IN 3-D one of the most unusual and entertaining movies in the sexploitation genre!