House of Psychotic Women

 

Cinema is full of neurotic personalities, but few things are more transfixing than a woman losing her mind onscreen. Horror as a genre provides the most welcoming platform for these histrionics: crippling paranoia, desperate loneliness, masochistic death-wishes, dangerous obsessiveness, apocalyptic hysteria. Using a heavily autobiographical perspective to explore the heavy stew of female neurosis found in horror and exploitation films, author/film programmer/Cinefamily friend Kier-La Janisse has just published a film criticism tome for the ages: “House of Psychotic Women” (published by FAB Press.) In this incredible new work, anecdotes and memories interweave with film history, criticism, trivia and confrontational imagery to create a reflective personal history and examination of female madness — both onscreen and off. The publication of this eminently readable volume is the launching pad for a film series we’ve been very excited about quite some time, as it gives us the chance to weave together many various strands of the horror canon into one beautiful layer cake of crazy.

 

We’re thrilled to not only have Kier-La’s curatorial guidance (honed at such great places as the Alamo Drafthouse, as well as Canada’s Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre, POP Montreal and the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival), but also Kier-La in person for the Feb. 1st show of 3 Women and the Feb. 5th show of Play Misty For Me! For more info on, and to order a copy of Kier-La Janisse’s “House Of Psychotic Women”, click here!

 

BUY TICKETS ($12/free for members. Showtimes subject to change):
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OUT OF THE BLUE (new 35mm print! For synopsis/trailer, click HERE)
Friday, February 15th: 7:20pm, 9:45pm
Saturday, February 16th: 7:30pm
Sunday, February 17th: 7:45pm
Monday, February 20th: 7:45pm
Tuesday, February 19th: 7:30pm
Wednesday, February 20th: 10:30pm
Thursday, February 21st: 10:30pm

 

NEXT OF KIN (archival 35mm print from Australia!)
Saturday, February 23rd: 9:45pm
Monday, February 25th: 10:00pm
Tuesday, February 26th: 10:00pm

 

3 WOMEN: Friday, 2/1, 8:00pm (Kier-La Janisse in person!)
MARNIE: Saturday, 2/2, 8:30pm
PLAY MISTY FOR ME: Tuesday, 2/5, 7:30pm (Kier-La Janisse in person!)
SECRET CEREMONY: Friday, 2/8, 10:00pm
THE BROOD: Friday, 2/8, midnight
FULL CIRCLE (aka THE HAUNTING OF JULIA): Saturday, 2/9, 7:30pm
TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME: Tuesday, 2/12, 8:00pm
BORN INNOCENT: Tuesday, 2/19, 10:00pm
DER FAN: Thursday, 2/21, 7:30pm (director in person!)
LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH: Friday, 2/22, midnight
MADEMOISELLE: Saturday, 2/23, 7:00pm
THE MAFU CAGE: Wednesday, 2/27, midnight

 

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “House of Psychotic Women”!

 

The Mafu Cage

Carol Kane is kompletely krazy!
mafucage_website
2/27/2013 - MIDNITE

Meshing together the Gothic leanings of Grey Gardens’ shut-in vibe and the angle of feminist power that appeared in such ‘70s genre fare as The Stepford Wives or Daughters of Darkness, this thoroughly bizarre but unforgettable slice of psychological terror sports a shockingly high-caliber cast, and an even more out-there premise. In a remote, decrepit mansion decked out like an African jungle, astronomer Lee Grant tends to her younger sister Carol Kane: a who’s been allowed to grow up without any societal restrictions. After flinging her inner rage on her pet orangutans, Kane sets her crazy-ass sights on the dude trying to woo her sister! As rad as they are, The Mafu Cage’s impossible-to-predict twists are no match for the power of Kane’s gutsy performance; after striking great supporting roles in overground fare like The Last Detail and Dog Day Afternoon, here she seizes the lead role with her teeth and runs completely wild, delivering a quiveringly mad, scary, and oddly touching turn unlike just about anything else put on film.
Dir. Karen Arthur, 1978, 35mm, 102 min.

Watch an excerpt from “The Mafu Cage”!
YouTube Preview Image

Next Of Kin (2/26, 10:00pm)

Archival 35mm print from Australia!
nextofkin_website
2/26/2013 - 10PM

Super-rare archival 35mm print, flown in all the way from Australia! One of the great treasures of the ‘70s/’80s Ozploitation wave, Next Of Kin expertly blends threads of ghost story, psychological thriller, giallo and the inherent spooky elements of the desolate Outback to create one of Australia’s most criminally underseen genre films. Bolstered by a superb slice of driving film score work from ex-Tangerine Dream member Klaus Schulze that’s both ethereal and pulse-pounding, we follow a young woman who, after inheriting a large rural estate that doubles as a rest home, starts to experience terrifying visions straight out of her deceased mother’s diary. As director Tony Williams effortlessly glides us around the cavernous confines of this abode with an eerie Steadicam eye, one might catch echoes of The Shining — but Next of Kin holds more in common with early Michael Mann efforts like The Keep, as it balances its arch Gothic trappings with a beautifully naturalistic backdrop. And, in its final fifteen, Williams turns on the burn to blast-level, delivering one of the greatest batshit-crazy finales you’ve never seen. YOU’LL REALLY WANT TO CATCH THIS.
Dir. Tony Williams, 1982, 35mm, 89 min.

Watch the trailer for “Next Of Kin”!

Next Of Kin (2/25, 10:00pm)

Archival 35mm print from Australia!
nextofkin_website
2/25/2013 - 10PM

Super-rare archival 35mm print, flown in all the way from Australia! One of the great treasures of the ‘70s/’80s Ozploitation wave, Next Of Kin expertly blends threads of ghost story, psychological thriller, giallo and the inherent spooky elements of the desolate Outback to create one of Australia’s most criminally underseen genre films. Bolstered by a superb slice of driving film score work from ex-Tangerine Dream member Klaus Schulze that’s both ethereal and pulse-pounding, we follow a young woman who, after inheriting a large rural estate that doubles as a rest home, starts to experience terrifying visions straight out of her deceased mother’s diary. As director Tony Williams effortlessly glides us around the cavernous confines of this abode with an eerie Steadicam eye, one might catch echoes of The Shining — but Next of Kin holds more in common with early Michael Mann efforts like The Keep, as it balances its arch Gothic trappings with a beautifully naturalistic backdrop. And, in its final fifteen, Williams turns on the burn to blast-level, delivering one of the greatest batshit-crazy finales you’ve never seen. YOU’LL REALLY WANT TO CATCH THIS.
Dir. Tony Williams, 1982, 35mm, 89 min.

Watch the trailer for “Next Of Kin”!

Next Of Kin (2/23, 9:45pm)

Archival 35mm print from Australia!
nextofkin_website
2/23/2013 - 9:45PM

Super-rare archival 35mm print, flown in all the way from Australia! One of the great treasures of the ‘70s/’80s Ozploitation wave, Next Of Kin expertly blends threads of ghost story, psychological thriller, giallo and the inherent spooky elements of the desolate Outback to create one of Australia’s most criminally underseen genre films. Bolstered by a superb slice of driving film score work from ex-Tangerine Dream member Klaus Schulze that’s both ethereal and pulse-pounding, we follow a young woman who, after inheriting a large rural estate that doubles as a rest home, starts to experience terrifying visions straight out of her deceased mother’s diary. As director Tony Williams effortlessly glides us around the cavernous confines of this abode with an eerie Steadicam eye, one might catch echoes of The Shining — but Next of Kin holds more in common with early Michael Mann efforts like The Keep, as it balances its arch Gothic trappings with a beautifully naturalistic backdrop. And, in its final fifteen, Williams turns on the burn to blast-level, delivering one of the greatest batshit-crazy finales you’ve never seen. YOU’LL REALLY WANT TO CATCH THIS.
Dir. Tony Williams, 1982, 35mm, 89 min.

Watch the trailer for “Next Of Kin”!

Mademoiselle

Jeanne Moreau as a lustful, rural madwoman!
mademoiselle_website
2/23/2013 - 7PM

Full-time school teacher and part-time practitioner of the finer points of arson, the title character of Tony Richardson’s perversely pleasurable 1966 mad-woman mystery Mademoiselle is one of the era’s most complex feminist creations. When a series of “natural disasters” begin to plague an idyllic French village, the affected townspeople immediately accuse an immigrant Italian laborer of the crimes. Unbeknownst to all, however, is the ambiguous motivations of a local elementary teacher pushed to psychosexual extremes by thwarted desire and lustful impulse. As the mentally unstable Mademoiselle, legendary French actress Jeanne Moreau (in one of her best and most underseen roles) is at once mysterious and malicious, proceeding stoically but with an unstoppable, unexplained passion. Equal parts brooding, Bergman-like biblical allegory and prickly, Polanski-like pulp parable, Mademoiselle is a stunningly shot, psychologically provocative work from the subversive European cinema renaissance of the 1960s.
Dir. Tony Richardson, 1966, 35mm, 105 min.

Watch the trailer for “Mademoiselle”!

Let's Scare Jessica To Death

The rare post-hippie 1971 creepfest!
letsscarejessica_website
2/22/2013 - MIDNITE

One of the great creepfests to indelibly burn itself into the brains of all insomniacs who watched late-night creature feature television in the ‘70s and ‘80s, John Hancock’s unheralded gem uses post-Sixties malaise to brilliant effect. An “unreliable narrator” tale a la Polanski’s Repulsion, the film concerns itself with the re-unraveling of an ex-mental patient (Zohra Lampert) when she, her husband and his hippy friend buy an isolated New England home in an effort to “live off the land”. Once they’re introduced to a free-loving stranger (the supremely sexy and spooky Mariclaire Costello) who brings with her lust, terror and death — the burn gets turned up to 11! Wisely foregoing onscreen violence in favor of some outstanding dread, this master class in hippie burnout horror is made extra-palpable by its positioning in the aftermath of the “free love” era, as our terrified heroine is not only spooked by what could possibly be zombies/vampires, but also the consequences of amorphous sexual pairings. Let’s Scare Jessica To Death rarely screens in public; don’t miss your chance to be supremely skeezed-out in glorious 16mm!
Dir. John D. Hancock, 1971, 16mm, 89 min.

Watch the trailer for “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death”!
YouTube Preview Image

Der Fan (director Eckhart Schmidt in person!)

German New Wave teen psychodrama!
derfan_website
2/21/2013 - 7:30PM

“Imagine a John Hughes vehicle with Michael Haneke in the driver’s seat and you’re getting close.” — Spectacle Theater

An utterly decimating study in the depths of teenage obsession, bathed in a glimmering pool of ice-cold synths, Der Fan sports the youngest protagonist in our “House of Psychotic Women” series, but perhaps one of the most fucked-up and deadliest! Filmed just after the equally heavy German teens-outta-whack epic Christiane F., Der Fan is the sweet and simple story of Simone (a freakishly amazing Désirée Nosbusch), a pubescent celebrity stalker who crushes hard on “R”, a distant, Gary Numan-esque pop star (played by the real-life leader of NDW synthpop group Rheingold.) When her overzealous puppy love turns to disillusionment with both “R” and the music biz, it’s time to hide the kitchen knives, for a bloodthirsty Simone comes out swingin’. Decked out with an astounding shock ending, toe-tapping tunes and a kick-ass amount of great atmosphere, this violent ode to New Wave teenybopper angst was never released stateside, so come be one of the first Angelenos ever to ever catch this doozy on the big screen! Director Eckhart Schmidt will be here in person for a Q&A after the film!
Dir. Echkart Schmidt, 1982, digital presentation, 92 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Der Fan”!

TV TUESDAYS: Linda Blair in "Born Innocent"

Linda Blair as a delinquent badass!
borninnocent_website
2/19/2013 - 10PM

“Whether she’s carving her initials in her forearm with a heated bobby pin or slapping a schoolmarm upside the head, [Linda] Blair lends a natural believability” — Kindertrauma.com

One of the most notorious TV movies ever broadcast, starring Linda Blair, straight from her humongous success in The Exorcist! After routinely running away from a dismal home life, the court sees it fit to toss 14-year-old Chris (Blair) into girls’ reform school purgatory. Once she’s immediately savaged upon arrival by the hardened hordes of teen troublemakers, Blair takes on the long journey to herself become a manipulative sociopath that can rival with the best of them. Best known for the single most boundary-pushing act of violence shown on network television at the time — Blair’s shower rape at the hands of villainous rivals wielding a toilet plunger — Born Innocent is a much more complex, rewarding viewing experience than its exploitation elements might suggest: its rendering of the disorienting boredom, arbitrary rules and heinous humanity present in the juvenile court system presents one of the most realistic portraits of teens-in-captivity you’ll likely ever see. AND IT’S TOTALLY BADASS.
Dir. Donald Wrye, 1974, 16mm, 98 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Born Innocent”!

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (encore show!)

Laura Palmer revealed!
firewalkwithme_website
2/12/2013 - 11PM

“I couldn’t get myself to leave the world of ‘Twin Peaks’. I was in love with the character of Laura Palmer and her contradictions: radiant on the surface but dying inside. I wanted to see her live, move and talk.” — David Lynch

His most crazed sensorial thrill ride next to Eraserhead, Fire Walk With Me finds David Lynch expounding upon the wildly popular cult television hit Twin Peaks in directions even more unpredictable, sensual and downright scary than fans of the show could’ve ever imagined. In this out-there prequel, Lynch primarily focuses on the final days of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), and the harrowing, incestuous abuse she suffers at the hands of her father Leland (a bone-chilling Ray Wise) — but, of course, since it is a Lynch film, there’s a wealth of exciting surprises: labyrinthian asides featuring the series’ regulars, a whole bunch of faces new to the scene (Harry Dean Stanton, Chris Isaak, Kiefer Sutherland, David Bowie), and the most evocative, emotional film score of Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti’s entire career. As the lynchpin (no pun intended) of the whole Twin Peaks mythos, Sheryl Lee perfectly balances both the fragile and dark, dangerous sides of Laura Palmer, as both personas tragically collide on an operatic scale. Plus, Lynch shows that he could’ve had a brilliant bizarro-world career as a horror director, for Fire Walk With Me contains enough sharply-executed dread to rival established genre masters. A fascinating coda to one of TV’s greatest cult creations.
Dir. David Lynch, 1992, 35mm, 135 min.

Watch the trailer for “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”!
YouTube Preview Image

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Laura Palmer revealed!
firewalkwithme_website
2/12/2013 - 8PM

“I couldn’t get myself to leave the world of ‘Twin Peaks’. I was in love with the character of Laura Palmer and her contradictions: radiant on the surface but dying inside. I wanted to see her live, move and talk.” — David Lynch

His most crazed sensorial thrill ride next to Eraserhead, Fire Walk With Me finds David Lynch expounding upon the wildly popular cult television hit Twin Peaks in directions even more unpredictable, sensual and downright scary than fans of the show could’ve ever imagined. In this out-there prequel, Lynch primarily focuses on the final days of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), and the harrowing, incestuous abuse she suffers at the hands of her father Leland (a bone-chilling Ray Wise) — but, of course, since it is a Lynch film, there’s a wealth of exciting surprises: labyrinthian asides featuring the series’ regulars, a whole bunch of faces new to the scene (Harry Dean Stanton, Chris Isaak, Kiefer Sutherland, David Bowie), and the most evocative, emotional film score of Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti’s entire career. As the lynchpin (no pun intended) of the whole Twin Peaks mythos, Sheryl Lee perfectly balances both the fragile and dark, dangerous sides of Laura Palmer, as both personas tragically collide on an operatic scale. Plus, Lynch shows that he could’ve had a brilliant bizarro-world career as a horror director, for Fire Walk With Me contains enough sharply-executed dread to rival established genre masters. A fascinating coda to one of TV’s greatest cult creations.
Dir. David Lynch, 1992, 35mm, 135 min.

Watch the trailer for “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”!
YouTube Preview Image

Full Circle (aka The Haunting of Julia)

Mia Farrow as the ultimate spooky lady!
fullcircle_website
2/9/2013 - 7:30PM

Within the first five minutes of Full Circle, Mia Farrow has already accidentally killed her daughter and been committed for psychological observation — how’s that for express service! This undeservedly obscure third entry in Farrow’s “spooky lady trilogy” (along with Secret Ceremony [also screening in this series], and Rosemary’s Baby) is a gracefully understated and meditative super-slow-mo burn. After her hospital release, the post-traumatic Julia severs all ties to her former life, leaving behind uptight husband Keir Dullea and moving into a creepy old townhouse — one which she may or may not be sharing with a spectral housemate. Glazed with beautiful soft-focus cinematography, an incredible synth-drenched score and a persistent atmosphere of muted terror, Farrow’s investigation of the haunting smartly takes the heavily psychological “Don’t Look Now” route, as Full Circle uses the lingering presence of the ghost as a chilling metaphor for Farrow’s unresolved guilt. A sterling example of the type of eerie mood piece they just don’t make anymore, and that’s a FACT.
Dir. Richard Loncraine, 1977, DigiBeta, 98 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Full Circle (aka The Haunting Of Julia)!

The Brood

The Cronenberg killer kid klassik!
brood_website
2/8/2013 - MIDNITE

NOTE: our showtime of The Brood will actually start at 12:30am. Building upon the incredible little ouevre he had made for himself with Shivers and Rabid , Canadian master David Cronenberg rounded out the Seventies with the film that really knocked him into the horror stratosphere: The Brood. What on the surface seems like an “evil kid” movie in the Bad Seed mold is in fact a scathing indictment of the era’s self-help “Me Generation”, as we follow the institutionalized travails of crazed mom Samantha Eggar and the estranged husband trying to pry their daughter away from the influence of a therapist/guru (played with scene-stealing relish by Oliver Reed.) As the film builds to one of the most unforgettable “holy shit” climaxes in cinema history, Eggar’s fantastic slow-burn performance becomes an outward manifestation of the frustrations, fears and abject horror surrounding Cronenberg’s real-life divorce at the time — and remains one of the most malevolent portrayals of female evil in the genre. Don’t miss the opportunity tear the membrane sac off of mommy’s little monster in glorious 35mm!
Dir. David Cronenberg, 1979, 35mm, 92 min.

Watch the trailer for “The Brood”!

Secret Ceremony

A pulsating ball of Pinter-esque discomfort!
secretceremony_website
2/8/2013 - 10PM

A psycho-sexual pendulum that swings violently between Greek tragedy and V.C. Andrews-grade high camp, Secret Ceremony is a perfect late-’60s relic: dark, sumptuous, lyrical, and often completely bananas. The film’s central pairing is incredible to witness: Elizabeth Taylor is a damaged, regal hooker ostensibly adopted as a replacement mother by heiress/waif Mia Farrow, who plays her role with delicious perversity and a frighteningly childlike manner. The folie a deux begins the moment Taylor is pulled in to Farrow’s gorgeous, sprawling London mansion (the true third main character in the film: a designer’s wet dream that houses a palpable, sinister history of death, incest, and betrayal). Within moments of meeting, the two women fuse into a makeshift family, as they slip into mutually-enabled insanity, role-playing their respective traumas — and within hours, they’re cackling and crying hysterically together in a bathtub, comparing the sounds they make during orgasm. Co-starring a grotesquely nonchalant Robert Mitchum, and directed by unending aplomb by Joseph Losey (Boom!, Accident, The Servant), this pulsating ball of Pinter-esque discomfort cannot be missed.
Dir. Joseph Losey, 1968, 35mm, 109 min.

Watch the trailer for “Secret Ceremony”!
YouTube Preview Image

Play Misty For Me (Kier-La Janisse in person!)

A Mack truck load of bat-shit insanity!
playmistyforme_website
2/5/2013 - 7:30PM

Hold onto your hats, as well as your shoes, socks and any other loose items of clothing that could potentially fly off your body, for the outrageous awesomeness of Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut Play Misty For Me packs the mighty punch of a Mack truck — one bundled out with an ultimate load of crazy. The potent antecedent to later stalker slashers like Fatal Attraction, this noir-ish potboiler transposed to the smooth Seventies confines of Carmel, CA centers on the lopsided obsessive relationship between Clint Eastwood as a Rod McKuen-esque jazz radio DJ/ladykiller, and Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter as a rapidly obsessive Clint Eastwood killer. In a fantastically juicy, shriek-laden, zero-to-six-thousand portrayal of total madness, Walter is easily one of the most bat-shit insane of all the Psychotic Women in this series, and her character’s hazy navigation of the era’s swingin’ sexual mores is a joy to behold. As well, Eastwood’s iconic tight-lipped gruffness makes his Don Juan the perfect victim, as he never diffuses each deadly situation by actually speaking his mind. A meticulous powderkeg with an unending well of fuzzy period detail, Play Misty For Me is a great time out at the movies. “House of Psychotic Women” author Kier-La Janisse in person!
Dir. Clint Eastwood, 1971, 35mm, 102 min.

Watch the trailer for “Play Misty For Me”!
YouTube Preview Image

Marnie

Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery and Hitchcock!
marnie_website
2/2/2013 - 8:30PM

Marnie brings Tippi Hedren back into harm’s way via Hitchcock, but rather than being at the mercy of lethal feathered friends, this time she’s prey to the most unconventional marriage of the century. A shifty grifter, Marnie makes her money by role-playing, stealing it from unsuspecting corporate offices — that is, until a rich, young Sean Connery, fascinated with her, offers her a most unusual arrangement: if she agrees to let him study her ways like a lab animal, he won’t turn her in. While Hedren had already undergone an excessive amount of physical and psychological anguish during the shooting of The Birds, Hitch’s legendary attempts to mind-game his actresses reached a zenith here, as Hedren constantly seems to be in the grip of a psychosexual fever dream. As well, Marnie’s aversion to the color red recalls Gregory Peck’s similar affliction in Spellbound, but here the Freudian analysis has been dropped in favor of a probing look at two deeply twisted individuals whose only hope is to heal each other. A fascinating late-period entry in Hitchcock’s iconic body of work.
Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1964, 35mm, 130 min.

Watch the trailer for “Marnie”!
YouTube Preview Image

3 Women (archival 35mm print, Kier-La Janisse in person!)

Archival 35mm print!
3women_website
2/1/2013 - 8PM

“Maybe the reason I’m doing all this is so I can get a lot done before they catch up with me.” — Robert Altman

THIS IS YOUR NEW FAVORITE FILM, featuring one of Sissy Spacek’s greatest performances, Shelley Duvall’s absolute best performance, and the most intrepid vision of Robert Altman’s prolific body of work. In an underpopulated California desert town, the naive southern waif Pinky Rose (Spacek) idolizes and befriends her fellow nurse, the would-be sophisticate and “thoroughly modern” Millie Lammoreaux (Duvall). When Millie takes Pinky in as her roommate, Pinky’s hero worship evolves into something more supremely sinister than either could have anticipated. Audacious, consciousness-expanding visuals abound, as 3 Women careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal — with the audience never quite knowing if the film’s “reality” will bend or shatter, all while Altman sprinkles in his trademark dry wit and devastating character studies. A priceless freakout snapshot of Carter-era Americana blanketed by an unforgettable score from avant-garde composer Gerald Busby, 3 Women remains one of Altman’s greatest achievements, and is the perfect way to open this film series. “House of Psychotic Women” author Kier-La Janisse in person!
Dir. Robert Altman, 1977, 35mm, 124 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of Fox Archive)

Watch the trailer for “3 Women”!