Melbourne film enthusiasts are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to special cult film screenings. For example there is the regular Freaky Fridays film program at The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), which includes upcoming screenings of celebrated British zombie flick Colin (2008) and the French zombie action/thriller La Horde (2009). Also the horror continues with the Melbourne Horror Film Society film program held at 1000 Pound Bend.
The Palace Westgarth also presents a film program entitled Cult Vault. This regular Friday night event, presents more mainstream fare, when compared to the cult film programs presented by ACMI, Cinema Nova and The Astor Theatre.
Each month has a special theme and the upcoming March 2011 film program is subtitled 'Strange Neighbourhoods' - which instantly reminds me of the top-charting Ghostbusters theme and film titles such as The Burbs (1989) and Arlington Road (1999).
Likewise the film program, under the banner of 'Strange Neighbourhoods' is certainly eclectic;
The controversial Michael Powell psychological thriller Peeping Tom (1960) is the first title of the film program - it screens on the 4th of March, 2011. Peeping Tom was recently reevaluated by The Guardian, as it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.
Peeping Tom was a film which was met with hostility by the British press upon its 1960 release; one of the most famous reviews of the era was written by Derek Hill of the The Tribune(29th April 1960), who opened his critique with this defiant statement;
"The only really satisfactory way to dispose of Peeping Tom would be to shovel it up and flush it swiftly down the nearest sewer. Even then the stench would remain"
However these days Peeping Tom is often referred to as a 'British Masterpiece' and Martin Scorsese and his editor Thelma Schoonmaker restored the feature to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its release in 2010. Scorsese who has praised the feature on numerous occasions - stated the following about the misunderstood film at the special BAFTA screening in November 2010;
"In our society today, in the era of YouTube and surveillance, it is even more relevant. The morbid urge to gaze needs to be thought about today."
The following week on the 11th of March 2011, the 1982 horror film Poltergeist is screening. Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, this feature, which along with its sequels Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) and Poltergeist III (1988), continues to be regarded as 'cursed.' The Poltergeist curse was explored in a The E! True Hollywood Story special;
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) will screen on the 18th of March, 2011. It is a remake of the 1956 film of the same name. The film stars Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy and Art Hindle.