While most students begin their weekend fun on Friday, the Bundy Museum starts it four hours earlier. Until Nov. 28, the Bundy will be screening cult classic movies Thursday nights at 8 p.m.
If you’re familiar with cult movies, then you’ll be delighted to partake in the carnival atmosphere spawned by the ridiculousness on-screen. Cult movies evolve from obscure films that resonate with a small group outside the mainstream. These followers obsessively engage in repeated viewings and cast into cinematic infamy what would otherwise be forgotten.
“Cult movies are hidden gems rescued from the trash heap of American cinema,” said Nick Rubenstein, the curator of the event series and a graduate student studying business at Binghamton University.
Film, music, art, beer and camaraderie are the backbone of Cult Movie Thursdays. September’s cult theme is sci-fi and monsters, which included “Godzilla” (1956) and “Plan 9 from Outer Space”” (1959) earlier in the month.
This Thursday, Bundy will be screening “Forbidden Planet,” a quintessential sci-fi cult classic. The 1956 film follows a starship crew that falls victim to the perils of the outer realm. Preposterous? Perhaps, but such propensity earned the film its notoriety.
In addition to the movie, Rubenstein plans to present curated trailers of monsters and galactic warfare and demonstrate a keystone instrument to sci-fi soundtracks, the theremin (think eerie tones emanating from UFOs). The theremin is the only instrument that can change pitch and volume without physical contact. Its exhibition is bound to strike up audience interaction — hands off!
The North Brewery in Endicott sponsors Cult Movie Thursdays, meaning beer is included and spirits are elated. Each week will feature a new brew, allowing participants to gain a taste for the good stuff.
Meanwhile, Paul Flatfish, a local artist from the Shaman’s Den, sits at his working table with the classic artist necessities: cigarettes, beer and Sharpie. Flatfish designs posters and T-shirts for each week’s movie.
Michael Hodon, a junior double-majoring in history and economics, won a poster in the raffle at last week’s “Godzilla” screening. Although cult movies are not his typical choice of film, he marveled at the event.
“The trailers say, ‘This will excite you! This will shock you!’” Hodon said. “It didn’t do any of that, it just made me laugh. The movies are a relic you can appreciate, especially if you go with the right group of people.”
This Thursday, sit tight, because you’ll be in for the space ride of your life. You’ll laugh until you cry, you’ll make inappropriate remarks to your neighbor. The spirit of cult movies involves audience participation, so loud wisecracks at the screen are encouraged.
“It’s the absurdity of the film that helps bond people together,” Rubenstein said.
Screenings are located in the Annex Room behind the Bundy Museum, 127 Main St. Admission is $6. There’s no cure for a week of periodicity like a hearty dose of obscurity!
’50s Sci-fi/Monster flicks
Sept. 26: Forbidden Planet (1956)
Haunted House movies
Oct. 3: House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Oct. 10: House of Usher (1960)
Oct. 17: The Haunting (1963)
Oct. 24: The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Halloween: Night of the Living Dead (1968)/Dawn of the Dead (1978) double feature — with a zombie costume contest!
Nov. 7: Fantastic Planet (1973)
Nov. 14: The Holy Mountain (1973)
Nov. 21: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
Nov. 28: Off for Thanksgiving