Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Name of The Game is KILL!

One of my favorite things about living in LA is all the movie theaters willing to play weird crap. You have to be choosy when it comes to picking your cult items.

You could end up with gold:

or garbage

But sometimes the choice is made for you. Occasionally a title will just sound too mind blowing to pass up.

Last week while on the phone -
Dad: Are you at home?
Me: No, driving over to a movie theater.
Dad: That's fun. What are you seeing?
Me: Old horror film from the 60's.
Dad: What's it called?
Me: (Long pause) The Name of The Game is Kill!
Dad: Oh.

THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL! I can't just pass that up, leave it alone. What if it never gets a DVD release? I'd go to my grave wondering just what a film with a title that good could possibly be about!

The Silent Movie Theater (yes, the movies have sound*) was a packed house, with a mob of people resorting to sitting in the aisles.

The movie details the exploits of a Hungarian immigrant hitchhiking his way through the US who ends up embroiled in some family drama involving three crazy sisters and their mother who run a gas station in the middle of nowhere. It seems as though the patriarch of the family disappeared years earlier but no ones account of what happens seems to add up.

Honestly no film could match that title, not even one featuring this dance number:

or the now immortal line "Father used to write the loveliest of poems about midgets with eye problems."

I'd love to talk about the shock ending but:

However while the film didn't light the world on fire the fact that the cinematographer was in the audience and participated in a Q& A moderated by Joe Dante (huh?) happened to be Vilmos Zsigmond was worth the price of admission. I had no idea the Oscar award winner had anything to do with a curio like this and it was pretty cool to see him talk about how much of a dick the director was**

The screenwriter was also in attendance and discussed how he had written the original draft when he was 19 and the project had been passed around for years, ending up in the hands of John Frankenheimer and Roman Polanski (who added the immigrant part) . Since he was paid every time the story was optioned the writer lived off The Name of The Game is Kill! for a decade! Man, I HAVE to be doing something wrong.

With that out of the way I have high hopes for Biredemic...

*They USED to only play silent movies but the theater is now run by the good folks behind Cinephile video, the best video store in all of LA.

**Impatient, the director jumped up to removed a low hanging board that was interfering with a shot...only to misjudge where a grip was standing and to accidentally drive a nail from the board into the gentleman's skull.

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