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[whitespace] Ghouls on Film

The freaks come out at night at two local cinema events

By Richard von Busack

CHRISTMAS MAY BE TOO COMMERCIAL, and Thanksgiving may be too greedy, but the expansion of Halloween from one evening to a week of horror can never seem like too much of a good thing. Among the local events are two free tales of terror.

If you missed Burning Man, make up for it at cine16 this Thursday. Cine16 celebrates four years of free 16mm cinema with a screening of the wildly original 1973 British horror movie The Wicker Man. Remembering the central image of this horror film, a towering wooden figure, it now becomes clear why the stick doll that advertised The Blair Witch Project looked so ominous.

The Wicker Man, a barely released but extremely potent horror film, concerns a modern-day island off the coast of Scotland that, shall we say, doesn't conform to the laws of the Church of England. As the Byronic Lord Summerisle, a country squire and high priest, Christopher Lee gave a favorite performance--as grandly sexy as his fine impersonation of Count Dracula. Highlights are a seduction scene, with Britt Ekland trying to vamp a naive policeman through the wall of his room. The tune she sings is as odd as anything Björk ever warbled. The tune was recently covered by the Sneaker Pimps. Internet rumor has it that Rod Stewart tried to buy up the prints of The Wicker Man after he saw his wife Ekland's performance here. Cine16 is held on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7pm in the basement of the Agenda Lounge, 399 S. First St, San Jose. Admission is free. Their website is at www.cine16.com.

You know, when Wisconsin's own Ed Gein was boiling his mom's heart on the stove, he probably never guessed that someday he'd be the inspiration for everyone's favorite Alfred Hitchcock film. Psycho concerns the mother complex of young Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins. It's a film memorable for a number of reasons: Hitchcock's visual finesse, especially in the shower sequence; Bernard Herrmann's innovative string-section music; and lastly, and most importantly, is Perkins' Norman. Only Peter Lorre was better at putting a murderous double-edge on politeness. If there's one thing that makes Psycho so much better than any of its disposable imitators--including the already-forgotten remake--it's that the other directors didn't have Anthony Perkins to work with. The outdoor screening of Psycho at sundown Friday, Oct. 27, concludes the Gypsy Cinema series at the grounds of History Park, 1600 Senter Rd, San Jose. Bring your own chairs, but no outside food and drink. For those who would prefer to spend the night locally, there are many convenient motels nearby.

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From the October 26-November 1, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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