Film

Confessions of an Opium Eater + The Fool Killer

 
 
Mon, Aug 22, 2016
  • 4:30PM
  • 8:30PM
 
 
LOCATION:
 
RUN TIME: 199min total with intermission
GENERAL ADMISSION: $14
MEMBERS: $7 (free for Level 4 and above)
 
 
 
 
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Monday August 22, 2016
Performances no longer available.
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Confessions from an Opium Eater

Directed by Albert Zugsmith
With Vincent Price, Linda Ho, Richard Loo
1962, 85min, 16mm

 

This avant-pulp oddity—very loosely based on the novel by Thomas De Quincey—stars an improbably cast Vincent Price as a 19th-century adventurer caught up in a Tong war as he drifts through the opium den underworld of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Director Zugsmith churned out exploitation cheapies in between producing masterpieces like Touch of Evil and Written on the Wind.

“Albert Zugsmith’s shining moment in an amiably disreputable career that nonetheless included producing pics by Douglas Sirk, Orson Welles, and Jack Arnold. Leave your P.C. notions at the door—only Fu Manchu is missing from this hypnotically retrograde yellow peril hallucination starring Vincent Price and half the Asian actors in Hollywood. One of the weirdest and most surreal B pictures ever, full of sheer, ingenuous and possibly unintentional pop-poetry.” —Joe Dante

 
The Fool Killer

Directed by Servando González
With Anthony Perkins, Edward Albert, Dana Elcar
1965, 99min, 16mm

 

This haunting, darkly poetic pastoral follows a runaway boy (Albert) as he wanders the post-Civil War countryside of the American South, along the way befriending a disturbed veteran (Perkins) who may be an ax murderer. In its spellbinding evocation of a child’s point of view, Mexican director González’s unsung sleeper has an eerie, folkloric power reminiscent of The Night of the Hunter.

“Filmed in Knoxville, Tennessee by Mexican director Servando Gonzalez (Yanco) and scripted by the writers of The Pawnbroker, this forgotten indie played a scant 500 bookings in the South and was sent directly to TV two years later. Shell-shocked amnesiac Civil War vet Anthony Perkins may or not be the eponymous Fool Killer of legend who strikes down sinners with his axe. Atmospheric, creepy, and strikingly directed, this compelling American Gothic is the next best thing to The Night of the Hunter and doesn’t deserve its longtime obscurity.” —Joe Dante

 
 
 
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