Hollywood Theater Unleashes Zombie Classics For Film Series

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This month, the Hollywood Theater launch a new program focused on the undead. The Zombie Night series will include four notable films from the 1970s and 1980s, including Shock Waves, Zombie, Dead and Buried, and Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. See schedule and details below:

September 10th

Shock Waves

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Visitors to a remote island discover that a reclusive Nazi commandant has been breeding a group of zombie soldiers.

October 21st

Zombie

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A doctor searches for the cause and cure of an undead epidemic in Italian director Lucio Fulci‘s beloved 1979 work. The unofficial sequel to Dawn of the Dead goes by many titles, including Zombie 2: The Dead are Among Us, Zombie Flesh Eaters, and Woodoo.

November 5th

Dead and Buried

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The sheriff of a small coastal town discovers the connection behind a local coroner and a string of tourist murders.

December 3rd

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things

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This ultra low-budget horror comedy follows six friends who dig up a corpse named Orville and use it in a satanic ritual to raise the dead. Director Bob Clark went on to helm a long and varied list of movies, including Porky’s and A Christmas Story.

The Zombie Night screening of Shock Waves will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $5 to $8 and are available for purchase at Showclix or at the door.

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WQED Highlights Filmmakers Corner For First Ever Movie Night

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The WQED program Filmmakers Corner is a weekly broadcast focused on showcasing local talent and film production students. On September 2nd, the studio will host an outdoor movie night featuring independent works from the show and other Pittsburgh film organizations.

The evening will include the animated short Lightheaded by 13 Films, and the short documentaries Throne by Nathan Osche and Of Duckpins and Destinies by Andy Kelemen and Mike Rubino. Also screening are films from the Game Changers Project, the Pittsburgh Filmmakers selection Apes, entries from the 2015 Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project, and a making-of short about Rick Sebak‘s latest nationally-broadcast special.

The WQED Movie Night will take place at 7 p.m. in the studio parking lot. Guests may bring their own chairs and snacks. No alcohol permitted. Space is limited, so those interested in attending are encouraged to send an RSVP to mseate@wqed.org.

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Neo Trash Video Can’t Get Enough Of ‘The Stuff’ For Bad Movie Bingo

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The 1985 horror film The Stuff  became an enduring cult hit with its B-movie sensibilities and critique on corporate greed and consumerism. On September 1st, Neo Trash Video will pay tribute to the Reagan Era favorite with Bad Movie Bingo at The Smiling Moose.

Written and directed by Larry Cohen, The Stuff follows David “Mo” Rutherford (Michael Moriarty), a former FBI agent tasked with investigating the origins of a wildly popular and heavily marketed dessert product. As he delves deeper, he discovers the seemingly harmless treat is actually an alien substance that turns people into deadly zombie-like creatures. Aided by an ad executive (Andrea Marcovicci) and a ruined junk food mogul (Saturday Night Live‘s Garrett Morris), Rutherford sets out to destroy The Stuff before it’s too late.

The Bad Movie Bingo screening event will begin at 9 p.m. and includes an Are you a Stuffy? contest during intermission, as well as movie trailers, music videos and more. A grand prize drawing will take place at the end of the night. Guests can also enjoy the Smiling Moose’s Stuff cocktail to complement the film. The event is free and open to the public.

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Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittsburgh – September 2015 Edition

Mistress America – Manor Theatre

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In writer/director Noah Baumbach‘s newest film, Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a lonely college freshman in New York, having neither the exciting university experience nor the glamorous metropolitan lifestyle she envisioned. But when she is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke (Greta Gerwig) – a resident of Times Square and adventurous gal about town – she is rescued from her disappointment and seduced by Brooke’s alluringly mad schemes. Mistress America opens on September 4th at the Manor Theatre.

Z for Zachariah – Hollywood Theater

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In the wake of a nuclear war, a young woman (Margot Robbie) survives on her own, fearing she may actually be the proverbial last woman on earth, until she discovers the most astonishing sight of her life: another human being. A distraught scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor), he’s nearly been driven mad by radiation exposure and his desperate search for others. A fragile, imperative strand of trust connects them. But when a stranger (Chris Pine) enters the valley, their precarious bond begins to unravel. Z for Zachariah opens on September 4th at the Hollywood Theater.

Goodnight Mommy – Hollywood Theater

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In the heat of the summer lays a lonesome house in the countryside where nine year old twin brothers await their mother’s return. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before and the children start to doubt whether this woman is actually who she says she is. What ensues is a terrifying observational struggle with fatal consequences on par with The Shining and Dead Ringers. Goodnight Mommy opens on September 25th at the Hollywood Theater.

Filmed By Bike Festival Pedals Into Hollywood Theater

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Founded in 2003, the Portland, OR-based festival Filmed By Bike has celebrated bicycling with an annual competition featuring short films from around the world. On August 28th and 29th, Pittsburgh will join in on the fun when the Hollywood Theater – along with BikePGH, WQED and West Liberty Cycles – presents a selection of the event’s best entries as part of Bikefest 2015.

The theater will screen Filmed By Bike’s Bike Love program, which offers 11 films ranging in length from one minute to 16 minutes, including an in-depth profile on bicycle repair in Havana, Cuba and a look at three women touring Oregon. The event will also showcase two locally produced WQED documentaries, Big Savage Tunnel and Dirty Dozen. Big Savage Tunnel recounts an early obstacle on the Great Allegheny Passage trail, while Dirty Dozen follows one of Pittsburgh’s most challenging biking routes.

The Filmed By Bike Festival at Hollywood Theater will kick off on August 28th at 6 p.m. with a reception sponsored by West Liberty Cycles, followed by the films at 7 p.m. Screenings will also take place on August 29th at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bike to the event or take the T. Tickets are $8 general admission, $5 for BikePGH members, and are available for purchase at Showclix.

Hollywood Theater Spotlights Local Filmmakers For Double Feature

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On August 27th, the Hollywood Theater will showcase local independent filmmakers with an exclusive double feature.

Directed by Clarion University alum Joe Bucci, and based off a play by Derrick Shane, The Painter follows Iris, a young artist who can only work under the influence of heroin. When he meets and falls in love with Lily, he becomes torn between telling her his dark secret, and continuing his habit in order to finish his masterpiece.

Also included is writer/director Ian Altenbaugh‘s short Transience, a dark comedy about a mysterious man who awakens bruised, bloodied, and suffering from amnesia.

Doors for the event open at 7 p.m. followed by the screenings at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Films contain mature content.

City Of Asylum To Screen ‘Persepolis’ For Silenced Films Series

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The Pittsburgh-based non-profit City of Asylum provides sanctuary to writers exiled under threat of death, imprisonment or persecution in their native countries. The organization also hosts the Silenced Films series, which celebrates films banned or censored in their country of origin. On August 21st, the ongoing event will continue its mission with a screening of the acclaimed animated feature Persepolis.

Based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, the 2007 film focuses on a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The expansive story follows Marjane from her childhood witnessing the fundamentalists take power, to her lonely, rebellious adolescence attending school in Austria, to adulthood, when she chooses to return to her homeland. Along the way, she finds solace in forbidden Western music, including punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden, and speaks out against the tyranny surrounding her. However, as extremism becomes more prevalent, she faces the difficult decision to either stay and risk dying for her beliefs, or leaving her beloved family forever.

The film drew complaints from the Iranian government and was initially banned in Lebanon after some clerics deemed it “offensive to Iran and Islam.” In 2011, the owner of a Tunisian television station was tried and ordered to pay a fine for airing the film.

The Persepolis Silenced Films event will take place at 7:30 p.m. A live poetry reading by Persian Pittsburgh will precede the screening. BYOB. Admission is free, but due to limited seating, guests must RSVP at the City of Asylum website. The Silenced Films series is co-presented by Silk Screen.

Screenwriter Pays Tribute To Local Tradition With ‘The Cookie Table’

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Weddings are occasions bursting with drink, food, and, of course, cake. But Pittsburgh receptions offer something more in the cookie table, a regional staple providing guests with piles upon piles of homemade goodies. The tradition will feature prominently in a new short about a less than blissful matrimony.

The Cookie Table recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for its upcoming production. Described as a “docu-dramedy,” the film focuses on a bride’s disastrous decision to trade in the cookie table for a sushi bar. Carnegie Screenwriters member, Beth Rohach, became inspired to write the script after her friend shared a story about the custom’s unique origins.

“When I researched it further, I found that it is thought to have started back in the days of the depression when money was tight and families wanted to help defray the cost of the wedding,” says Rohach in an email interview. “Today, being asked to bake for a wedding is an honor, and, in a way, brings the couple’s families together to be included in the wedding.”

Rohach, who had a cookie table at her own wedding, wanted to capture the family’s role in the beloved practice, as mothers, cousins, and siblings are often tasked with whipping up dozens of such specific treats as Lady Locks, Pizzelles, apricot and nut kolache, nut rolls, pecan tassies, and thumbprints. Her story has already struck a chord with locals.

“We had a seated reading for The Cookie Table, and actually had a cookie table at the reading, too,” says Rohach. “It was a lot of fun, and many members of the audience had stories about cookies and wedding to share after the reading. Some people have even asked why we haven’t had a film about cookie tables made in Pittsburgh already.”

Melissa Martin will direct and produce the film, with Laurie Smith-Greene acting as the cinematographer. As for the cast, Rohach revealed that local actress Lynn Franks will play Mary Therese, the mother of the groom, Lonnie Jantsch will play the role of Aunt Mary Celeste, and area comedian and journalist Mike Buzzelli will play cousin Stanley. Several actors and actresses are also being considered for the bride and groom.

Rohach adds that, depending on how well fundraising goes, they hope to start shooting sometime in late summer or early fall.

Spirit Lodge Welcomes Undead For ‘Meltdown’ Release Party

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Last fall, the locally produced zombie feature Meltdown made its Pittsburgh premiere at Southside Works Cinema. On August 2nd, the film’s cast and crew will host a party at Spirit Lodge celebrating the film’s distribution sale and national release.

Influenced by Shaun of the Dead and Mad Max, the zombie comedy follows Zeke (Robert McMurray), Callie (Alicia Marie Marcucci), Les (Seth Gontkovic) and Hunter (Mulliken) on the eve of Hunter’s 29th birthday as they share in a few drinks on a seemingly dull day in their hometown of Somerset. The day takes a turn for the worse as everyone they have ever known are suddenly transformed into aggressively murderous flesh eating freaks. The four comrades are forced to hack and slash their way through the reanimated corpses of their closest friends and loved ones, only to find themselves on the precipice of a post apocalyptic wasteland littered with monsters and the looming threat of their fellow survivors.

Meltdown was picked up by Gravitas Ventures, a leading distribution company that specializes in bringing independent features to VOD and DVD. The film will hit VOD platforms this fall, and become available for purchase nationwide on DVD at the beginning of 2016.

Jake Mulliken, a professional actor and former educator who directed, produced, and stars in the film, branched into filmmaking after moving to Pittsburgh from California. He organized the event as a way to both showcase Meltdown and pay tribute to his adopted city.

“The purpose of this event is to not only highlight the success of my film, but more importantly to highlight the fantastic talent and members of the Pittsburgh independent film community, as well as the strong independent and entrepreneurial spirit inherent in Pittsburgh,” says Mulliken.

The evening will include a screening, as well as food, drink, and merchandise provided by local vendors. Guests can enjoy beverages from Allura Wine Group, fine meats from Butcher on Butler, and Japanese cuisine from Umami PGH, as well as peruse artwork from Cheryl and Billy Holford of Night Gallery and zombie goods from House of the Dead. There will also be a set from DJ Desus and live music from the band Barbara Perfect, who appeared in the film.

The Meltdown release celebration will begin at 7 p.m. with the film screening at 10 p.m. An afterparty will follow. Admission is $5 and includes the film screening, entrance to the afterparty, and a drink voucher.

Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittsburgh – August 2015 Edition

Tangerine – Harris Theater

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It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee (newcomer Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend (James Ransone) hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the working girl and her best friend, Alexandra (newcomer Mya Taylor), embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles, including an Armenian family dealing with their own repercussions of infidelity. Tangerine opens on August 14th at the Harris Theater.

The Boy – Hollywood Theater

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It’s the summer of 1989. Nine-year-old Ted Henley (Jared Breeze) and his father John (David Morse) are the proprietors of The Mtn. Vista Motel, a crumbling resort buried in the mountains of the American West. Since Ted’s mother left, John has drifted into despondency—becoming a living ghost, haunting the motel—leaving Ted to fend for himself. In this isolation, unchecked by the bounds of parenting, Ted’s darker impulses begin to manifest. The arrival of a mysterious drifter, William Colby (Rainn Wilson), captivates young Ted and the two form a unique friendship – setting the stage for Ted’s final, unnerving metamorphosis. The Boy will screen from August 18th through August 20th at the Hollywood Theater.

Turbo Kid – Hollywood Theater

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In a post-apocalyptic parallel future of 1997, an orphaned teenager called The Kid (Munro Chambers) scavenges the Wasteland searching for relics from a better time. During one of his expeditions he meets Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), a mysterious girl with a rather large secret. As their relationship deepens, they accidentally run afoul of Zeus (Michael Ironside), the self-proclaimed leader of the Wasteland. Zeus, a sadistically droll maniac who murdered The Kid’s parents, now controls the Wasteland’s most precious commodity: fresh water. When Zeus’ gang kidnaps Apple, The Kid joins forces with Frederick, the laconic leader of the legendary Arm-Wrestling Clan. Armed with little more than blind faith and an ancient turbo-charged weapon, The Kid must fulfill his ultimate destiny: destroy Zeus, avenge his parents’ death and get the girl of his dreams. Turbo Kid opens on August 28th at the Hollywood Theater.