Proper Cult Films Getting Proper Re-Releases In UK Cinemas

evil deadI’m not a fan of the “novelty night out” approach to rep cinema. Here in the UK we have such things as Jameson’s Cult Film nights or Secret Cinema and no matter how good a film they choose, they then go and prioritise silly larking around to actually presenting the film properly.

I don’t care if there’s a bunch of bored actors standing around in a rented location, trying to coerce me into feeling “immersed.” I want to see the films projected properly, at the best possible quality. That’s going to take a cinema screen, not a quickly erected set up in Battersea Power Station under London Bridge.

So hats off to Vue Cinemas for their retro-program Back in Vue, kicking off tonight. They’re starting with the director’s cut of Little Shop of Horrors, so we’re not even limited to cult favourites back on the big screen – this is a film that was never given a cinema release in the first place.

The first time you could see the Director’s Cut of Little Shop was when the Blu-ray came out in the US last Summer. I’ve got it here, and I can tell you that the original ending, the way Frank Oz wanted to finish the film, was a lot braver than the release version. I’d spoil it to say more, but I love it.

I wish I could actually get along to see it tonight, projected, and with an audience.

And there are other films in the series that are well worth a watch too. Next week is the original Evil Dead, them come Labyrinth, Stand By Me, Bonnie and Clyde, Trainspotting and A Clockwork Orange, all of them “digitally remastered.” I’d personally skip only Trainspotting out of that lot.

I attempted to find out exactly what “digitally remastered” means in this case, and couldn’t, but expect a 2K DCM presentation – ie. what you get with almost every new release at almost all chain and high street cinemas these days.

I’m totally behind this initiative. I’m disappointed that each film will only be screening once, but at least it will be in a number of Vues, across the country, and not just in London, as is so often the case. Here’s hoping it’s a success too. We could see a resurgence of repertory cinema, and ever growing, diversifying program, if we just turn out to support it.

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