Lately, I have been frequenting the Coral Gables Art Cinema for some of their after hours showings. The after hours are hosted by the Secret Celluloid Society and usually start around 11:30 p.m. As the name may imply, the movies they show are older and/or rare movies on 35mm film.  The Celluloid Society also goes out of their way to make the shows interactive.

 

 
Hedwig and the Angry Inch

The first movie I was able to check out was Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  My friends told me it was a fun musical.  Oh boy, was it an interesting musical.

The movie is about Hedwig, a transsexual rocker who is touring the US with her band.  She tells her life story from when she was a young boy in Berlin to how she got to the US in her current situation.  Her band is basically following the same tour dates of Tommy Gnosis, her former flame who stole her songs. The movie has humor, heartache, great music and great costumes.

As a special treat, the Celluloid Society was able to get Stephen Trask (the song writer of the movie) and a guest singer to perform before the screening.  Not only that, we had a sneak peek behind the scenes of the Broadway musical and cast.  At the end of the night we also were given free Hedwig shot glasses.  It was definitely a fun and different movie going experience.

Little Shop of Horrors

I remember I had seen Little Shop of Horrors when I was little.  But for the life of me, I could not remember anything about it other than there was a big talking plant in it.  So my friends and I decided to go see it.  It was a much darker movie than I remember.

The story revolves around Seymour Krelborn, a nerdy florist.  He works at a failing flower shop along with Audrey his co-worker and love interest.  After a miserable day of no sales, they suggest to Mr. Mushnik (the owner of the shop) that they put a unique plant he bought and has been taking care of at the front window display.  He calls the plant Audrey II, and business starts booming once they put it on display. Unfortunately, Seymour finds out the plant can only stay healthy and growing by drinking human blood.  As the plant grows in size, it becomes more and more blood thirsty and the dilemma ensues.

Steve Martin plays the role of Audrey’s antagonistic and abusive dentist boyfriend.  And there are also other cameos from famous comedy actors.  The music is fun and the characters are silly and exaggerated.  You can tell this was at one point a stage musical.

Once again, the Celluloid Society made the show interactive and their crew acted out some of the scenes, along with the help of a cute Audrey II puppet.  The version of the film we saw that night had the original ending.  In this version, Audrey II ends up being cloned from its cuttings and they take over the city.  Even the military seems helpless against the plants.  I can see why the ending was changed to a happier ending.

House



House was another movie I had no idea what I was getting into.  Just watch the trailer below and you will see what I mean.  Before the movie started, the Celluloid Society had up on the screen a electronic/new wave group inspired by the movie.  I expected this to be a scary Japanese horror movie from the 70’s.  What I saw felt like it may have been a bad adaption of a manga or anime.

The story centers around a young girl named Oshare a.k.a. Gorgeous, and her friends.  (Yes, they all have nicknames.  My favorite was Kung fu).  Oshare is expecting to spend her vacation with her dad, but is really distraught to find out they will be joined by her father’s new fiance.  This prompts her to write to her estranged aunt, and asks her if she can come stay with her instead.  Her aunt quickly replies that she has been waiting to hear from her, and she is more than welcome to come stay with her.  So Gorgeous and her friends decide to go to her aunt’s house since their plans were also canceled. At her aunt’s house, they catch up, and the girls start settling in.  Unfortunately, strange things start happening and one by one, the girls start disappearing.

I kept hoping the movie would get scary at one point or another, but it just kept being silly.  For example, their chaperon gets left behind because he trips and gets a bucket stuck to his butt.  Also, along the way, the girls meet a very strange watermelon salesman. The scary parts just ended up being wacky and the out dated special effects did not help.  I saw one review where it compared the movie to Scooby Doo.  I can see how they can make the comparison.  So I guess you can tell, I didn’t like it.  If you are into weird, wacky movies, or even anime, you might like it.  However, I was disappointed it wasn’t scary.  In the end, I guess you can describe it as a comedy horror movie.

Overall, I recommend you check out the after hours shows at the Coral Gables Cinema.  For the month of October they will be showing more horror flicks you can check out.  The Secret Celluloid Society makes sure to put effort into making the screenings fun and unique.  Whether the movies are older, not well known, or foreign, it’s always a good time.