The Chicago area is home to some really cool theaters – and The Patio Theater is one of them. Next month – on Saturday, March 9th – The Patio hosts a Triple Threat triple bill featuring a CHUD-friendly roster of the films of Albert Pyun.
Heller says of the venue, “The Patio theatre is a really cool old movie palace that was recently re-opened and they’ve just begun restoring it. (Owner) Dimitri Kouvalis just purchased a state-of-the-art digital projector.”
Digital projection obviously allows a greater flexibility with regard to what can be screened, and will allow new personal cuts of Pyun’s films to be presented to the Patio’s audience during the festival.
Scheduled for screening that night are Nemesis – a very unique tech-noir action-thriller that plays in the Blade Runner/RoboCop/Terminator sandbox, but adds its own subtle and interesting character stuff, as well as a welcome change of scenery (the juxtaposition of hardcore high-tech with lush jungle environs is ripe for thematic exploration) – and it plays on some of the same philosophical ground the Matrix films stomped around on – but since Nemesis is an Albert Pyun film, I can promise you that there will be 100% fewer interminable dinner parties.
Nemesis features some absolutely kickass action sequences, and a great cast – including the immortal Brion James, Cary Tagawa, Thom Matthews, and Jack Deth himself – Tim Thomerson.
The version of the film screened here will feature new effects sequences and footage rarely seen in America – and since I believe the film to be one of Pyun’s absolute finest (I own it on multiple formats – including laserdisc), I can’t wait to see this composite cut.
Also on deck is the Jean Claude Van Damme vehicle Cyborg – presented here from Pyun’s last completed cut before asshat producers monkeywrenched him. The film was originally conceived as a rock opera of sorts, and the studio objected to Pyun’s editorial flourishes and his original score. Now we get to see what he had in mind before he got robbed of final cut.
“The version of Cyborg we’re showing is Albert’s Director’s Cut,” Heller explains. “However, anyone who has seen this already through Albert (via DVD from his personal website) will quickly notice that he has polished it…It’s still sourced from a workprint, but the version you will see at the Patio will be high resolution and much better quality.”
Making its Chicago debut is Pyun’s labor-of-love spiritual sequel to Walter Hill’s cult classic Streets of Fire. Michael Pare assumes the mantle of Tom Cody once more in Road To Hell.
Streets of Fire is seriously and sincerely one of my absolute favorite films in the history of films. I own an HD-DVD player just so I can watch this movie once a month in High Definition (dear Universal, please employ me to curate a Special Edition Blu Ray of Streets of Fire. I will go Michael Felsher all over this thing. I will work for a place to sleep and some Del Taco), so the idea of seeing Pare don the duster once more is tantalizing. I’ll take it wherever I can get it.
As if all of this weren’t intriguing enough, Pyun will be in attendance to talk cinema and sign autographs for fans.
“Albert will be at the show selling posters, DVDs, Blu Rays, and soundtracks courtesy of Howlin’ Wolf Records – and he’ll be signing for free.”
Heller has put together one hell of an inaugural event here, but he’s already looking to the future – the Triple Threat is something he wants to return to.
“If we can succeed with this event, I hope to share Albert’s movies with other cities…I’ve also just contacted the folks who hold the rights to Evil Dead, tons of Fulci movies, and Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox. I’m going to go back and forth with horror and ‘80s flicks. My next dream triple feature would be Runaway, Wanted Dead or Alive, and Black Moon Rising.”
So…hell yeah, then? Hell yeah! I’ll be there. If you’re in the area, you should be there too.
Saturday, March 9th. 7:00PM at the Patio Theater. Mark it and ‘member.
Tickets for the event are available through EVENTBRITE. Click that.