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Exhumed Films presents
Ghoulies, Dungeonmaster & Trancers: An Empire Pictures Marathon!
Saturday, February 25 at 7:30 PM - 11:59 PM
International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Admission $20/$15 IHP members
-- Doors at 7:00, movies at 8:00
Last spring, Exhumed Films hosted an all-day Empire Pictures
marathon, and it was so much fun that we had to unearth some
more of our favorites! Throughout the 1980s, Empire Pictures
unleashed some of the most outrageous and iconic genre films
into theaters worldwide. Although low on budget and sometimes
churned out in assembly-line fashion, Empire Pictures releases
were always clever, creative, and—perhaps most
importantly—profitable. Join us for a triple-threat of freaky
features from producer Charles Band’s legendary label!
1985 / 35mm / Dir. Luca Bercovici / 81 min.
Hot on the heels of Joe Dante’s summer of ’84 hit GREMLINS came Empire’s take on a similar scenario: co-written and directed by genre actor Luca Bercovici (FRIGHTMARE, PARASITE, SPACE RAIDERS), GHOULIES would go on to become a smash hit--allegedly raking in over $30 million dollars—thanks in large part to a clever ad campaign and special effects artist John Carl Buechler’s charmingly low-budget creations. The ominously named Jonathan Graves (Peter Liapis) inherits his deceased father’s mansion, only to discover that his Satanic sire still has a little life left in him. Before long, demonic incantations are recited and gruesome ghoulies are wreaking havoc on Graves and a houseful of his hard-partying pals. Also featuring David Lynch regular Jack Nance (ERASERHEAD), rocker Michael Des Barres, and a pre-“Law & Order” Mariska Hargitay.
1984 / 35mm / Dir. David Allen, Charles Band, John Buechler, Steven Ford, Peter Manogian, Ted Nicolau, Rosemarie Turko / 73 min.
Never one to pass up an opportunity to cash in on an existing property, Empire Pictures founder and impresario Charles Band took his sci-fi/fantasy anthology RAGEWAR and retitled it THE DUNGEONMASTER to capitalize on the success of the roleplaying game “Dungeons and Dragons.” THE DUNGEONMASTER tells the story of a brilliant computer programmer named Paul Bradford, who has created a powerful, nearly sentient computer he calls X-CaliBR8. This attracts the attention of an ancient evil sorcerer (Richard Moll), who views Paul as a foe worthy of his genius. The wicked wizard kidnaps Paul’s girlfriend and forces the plucky programmer (and his capable computer) to overcome a series of deadly challenges in order to win back his best gal. It took seven directors—including Charlie Band himself—to make this masterpiece, so you know it’s got to be good. Metal fans: prepare yourself for an amazing cameo by Blackie Lawless and the legendary band W.A.S.P.
1985 / 16mm / Dir. Charles Band / 76 min.
Our final feature of the evening, Charles Band’s TRANCERS, plays like an amalgam of BLADE RUNNER and THE TERMINATOR, with zombies thrown in for good measure. Tim Thomerson is 23rd century cop Jack Deth, who is hunting the evil criminal Whistler--a man with the ability to turn people into mindless zombie-like minions called “Trancers.” When Whistler manages to escape his grasps by travelling back in time, Deth follows his nemesis back to the 20th century, where he teams up with a cute punk rocker (Academy Award winner Helen Hunt!) to stop Whistler and the Trancers once and for all!