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January 5th, 2004

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01:58 pm - It's Marathon Time
A little under two months to go now before the 29th annual 24-hour Boston Science Fiction Marathon takes place on President's Day weekend. Some of you may remember my nearly 10-year obsession with this tradition and some of you have gone along with me. It's fun.

This year marks another milestone for the marathon; it's moving theaters again. No longer will the Coolidge Corner play host to the Marathon, and while I'm not sure the full details of why, it appears there may be a bit of bad blood between the organizers and the Coolidge management now. (At least one person on the message board is referring to the place as "The @?$#! Coolidge".) It makes me sad because part of my love for the Marathon was directly reserved for the theater itself and the uncomfortable seats and the big beautiful auditorium in some state of renovation or another, and the balcony landing where you could crash if you were tired, and the McDonald's right across the street that opened at 6 AM on the dot and you bet some years if the movie playing was bad enough I'd wait in the theater lobby until I saw them open the doors and dash over for my food. But if they weren't willing to come to terms with what the Marathon organizers needed, so be it.

And the Marathon will survive, as it has survived several other venue changes in the past. It started out as a special event called "It Came From The Orson Welles" at the Orson Welles Cinema, which was located just outside Central Square in Cambridge. When the Orson Welles burned down in 1986 the marathon was moved to the Somerville Theater in Davis, and then to the Coolidge in 1989. And now we go to the Dedham Community Theater, out in the sticks as far as public transportation is concerned (there was talk of a shuttle bus between the Forest Hills T stop and the theater for marathoners, that would be helpful) and also bereft of the kaleidoscope of culinary options (yes, I said kaleidoscope, shut up, I haven't had my coffee yet and I can't cause I ran out of filters) that Coolidge had to offer. But the Dedham does have the Museum of Bad Art in the hallway leading to the men's room so that'll be a pleasant diversion.

And the first few films on the schedule have been announced:

28 Days Later
Hopefully a late-night option so I can sleep through it if I want. They're good at scheduling zombie movies for the zombie hours between midnight and 6 AM.

Alien: The Director's Cut
I have an aversion to seeing this film. I don't know why. I can't remember the last time I saw it all the way through. I've watched the other films in the series OK but this one just eludes me. Maybe this will be my Ordeal this year.

The Giant Claw
No idea, but IMDB seems to indicate it's a late 50s schlocky film with overtense narration and bad-looking monsters and stock footage to pad things out. Now this is my kinda thing.

Godzilla vs MegaGuirus
A Godzilla film made in 2000 that's better than Godzilla 2000? Well sign me up.

Oh, this looks bad. This looks really bad. All about people vying to get 3D hentai smut and access to an S&M website that promises pain to order. Uh huh. And the film's PR people themselves say the film "... proves most compelling when it feels the least coherent or grounded in reality." Listen, if I wanted a good freaky-deaky ungrounded-in-reality technological thriller that dabbles in a little S&M on the side, I'd go watch Videodrome.

Oh, yes. 1965 film featuring William Shatner. In Esperanto. With subtitles. That Incubus. This one's gonna test the Marathon audience something fierce. I can't wait.

Garen, the coordinator, says he's also putting on the 3 Stooges feature "Have Rocket, Will Travel" (didn't we see that one a few years back?) and select episodes of a 1930s serial but he didn't say which, and -- this is what got me up and excited -- an actual Krazy Kat cartoon from the 30s, obstensibly a spoof on the "March of Time" newsreel series featuring Krazy Kat reporting from the far-flung future of 1995.

Holy shit.


He also mentioned three other films that he should be able to officially announce soon -- in his words, "...one is a rediscovery of a 60's TV show, one is a tale about Robots, one is a genre gender bender."

I'm gonna guess the first one is that Thunderbirds remake. That's gonna cause howls.

The second one I don't think would be the new I, Robot, because the release date on that is Summer 2004. And he never said these were new releases anyway, just films he had to wait on a bit before confirming they're in. And even then, some years we get surprised. One year a distributor gave the Marathon the film cans for the 1957 Roger Corman film Not Of This Earth but inside was the 1988 remake starring Traci Lords. So Garen shrugged, and we shrugged, and we watched it. And it was pretty darn bad. But that's how the Marathon goes!

Tickets are still available and are $45. They'll be $55 the day of the showing. Come on. You know you want to do this.

(12 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:January 5th, 2004 07:02 pm (UTC)
Calliope of food options.
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2004 07:03 pm (UTC)
The all-you-can-eat buffet at Circus Circus, perhaps?
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2004 09:23 pm (UTC)
I don't think there *IS* a buffet at Circus Circus. The closest thing to a calliope-type here in town would be the Rio.

On another note, would the Luxor have a Ankh-you-can-eat?
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2004 07:13 pm (UTC)
If I lived in Boston, I'd so go to this.
Sounds awesome.
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2004 07:37 pm (UTC)
Life Aims:

1) ride RolelrCoaster with Spatch
2) Go to Movie Marathon with Spatch

ps: watch 28 days later, s'good (I did a review on Brunch, somewhere).
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2004 11:03 pm (UTC)
You can't have those, they are mine.

[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2004 11:30 pm (UTC)


I think I ask for everyone within driving range: will there be beer?
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2004 05:24 am (UTC)
No glass bottles allowed in the theater, but I don't see why you couldn't bring in a six of cans. They sound like soda when opened in the dark.

One year I made the acquaintance of a nice lady who had copious amounts of other stuff and we'd sneak out to her car during slow moments and partake. That was a Marathon to remember, if only I could.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2004 09:20 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm intruiged. I'll see how money and time are come February. Would be a good excuse to get out of the house...and combo it up with that arcade we were talking about hitting.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2004 10:30 am (UTC)
That sounds awesome. A bucket of popcorn with the approximate volume of a baby's bath and maybe a packet of Minstrels*.

If it wasn't for this bloody big ocean that's in the way....

*Not sure if you get Minstrels outside Britain - like giant brown M&Ms but with much better chocolate. (No, not Smarties, which are pastel M&Ms with crap chocolate.)
Date:January 6th, 2004 02:02 pm (UTC)

Keith Hopkins

Oooh. Smarties. I've had those. They ARE nasty. I'll look for Minstrels the next time I'm in the UK.

And it's refreshing that you understand popcorn. My Brit buddy thinks it's an abomination.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2004 05:49 pm (UTC)
But Smarties can also double for makeup if you're in need of pink or purple eyeshadow!

Fidhfidh showed me!

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