Friday is off to a great start with screenings of several preternatural films at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. There better not be any vampires in the audience (unless they are the sparkly kind or plan to spend the day in the Chinese Multiplex 1) because the preternatural screenings start at 10 a.m. with The Constant Nymph. You’ll have time for a leisurely lunch before The 7th Voyage of Sinbad gets underway at 3:45 p.m. followed by The Little Shop of Horrors at 7 p.m. Don’t even think of making it an early night or you’ll miss the midnight showing of The Tingler.
Although not widely known, The Constant Nymph is among the best preternatural films even made. Joan Fontaine is the doomed heroine in one of the most alluring love triangles you’ve never heard of. A young romantic with considerable spiritual gifts, Tessa, Fontaine’s character, is caught between Charles Boyer and Alexis Smith in this classic film from 1943. One of the most romantic scenes ever caught on film occurs when Tessa listens to the premiere of a poem written for her by Boyer. The Constant Nymph screening begins at 10 a.m. at the Chinese Multiplex 1.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad brings together the musical genius of Bernhard Hermann and the special effects genius of Ray Harryhausen. Reportedly Hermann’s favorite of the four films the two would work together on, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad , which audiences first discovered in 1958, includes such preternatural stars as a giant cyclops, a two-headed roc, ambulatory skeletons and even a fire-breathing dragon! What more could any preternatural film fan ask for? The 7th Voyage of Sinbad screening begins at 3:45 p.m. at the Chinese Multiplex 3.
What’s more preternatural than a man-eating plant? The Little Shop of Horrors was a surprise hit when it debuted in 1960 this comedy-horror has become a preternatural legend in its own right. The plot is simple, so simple it was allegedly conceived while writer Charles B. Griffith and producer-director Roger Corman were drunk. Essentially, a shy shop assistant raises a carnivorous plant that eventually consumes his life and shop. The screening for The Little Shop of Horrors begins at 7 p.m. at the Chinese Multiplex 1. As an added bonus for preternatural fans, director Roger Corman will be attending the screening.
There is a long-standing tradition of showing horror films at midnight matinees. Vincent Price stars in The Tingler, a 1959 classic which looks for the source of fear itself. Director William Castle was famous for his movie gimmicks, everything from a flying skeleton (EMERGO!) to ghost viewers (ILLUSION-O!) to wired seats (PERCEPTO!) Tonight’s screening will be just as interactive as Castle intended, being produced by Bruce Goldstein (who will be attending as well). This special screening of The Tingler begins at midnight at the Egyptian Theater.
That’s today’s preternatural film line-up at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles. There are of course, many other films and events taking place from the screening of The Godfather and Spartacus at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to a look at the best trailers ever made at Club TCM to appearances by screen legends Peter O’Toole, Kirk Douglas, Mickey Rooney and Jane Powell. Stay tuned to the Preternatural Post for more on this weekend’s screening schedule of preternatural films at the TCM Classic Film Festival!
Oh, and just to get you in the mood…here’s one of our favorite songs from the 1986 version of The Little Shop of Horrors (from Robonhigh on YouTube)