by Curt Holman
For three weeks (June 13-July 3), Georgia State University's Cinefest will present the Super! Mega! Summer Cine Science Fiction Fest. The line-up runs the gamut from silent genre classics to cheesy recent fare, but most of them should be rousingly fun on a big screen. Cinefest's sci-fi selection includes:
Plan 9 From Outer Space : A colorized version of director Ed Wood's notorious tale of "grave robbers from outer space!" One of the most watchable and amusing terrible movies ever made, immortalized in Tim Burton's Oscar-winning film Ed Wood.
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra: Director Larry Blamire's attempt to make a schlocky 1950s sci-fi adventure. Not as fun as the real thing.
Westworld: Snappy 1973 action flick in which the denizens of a robotic amusement park go on a rampage and begin killing the guests. Parodied on "The Simpsons" episode about Itchy and Scratchy Land.
Logan's Run: This 1976 film offers a vision of the future that promises to be hilariously dated, although the premise, in which a perfect society kills off its airheaded citizens when they reach 30 years old, should still have some metaphoric weight.
Flash Gordon: Jaw-droppingly campy space opera from 1980 that tries to cash in on the success of Star Wars by offering galactic derring-do, kitschy costumes and the music of Queen.
Tron: Jeff Bridges plays a video game designer who gets drawn into a world inside a game. The 1982 visual effects should look fascinatingly primitive by today's CGI standards, but the film has a devoted cult following. (Dad's Garage Theatre has even held "dramatic readings" of its script.)
Spaceballs: I remember hating Mel Brooks' Star Wars spoof when it came out in 1987, but given the way similar parodies have proliferated across Youtube and the blogoshere, maybe it was ahead of its time.
Metropolis: This genuine Fritz Lang classic from 1926 about class warfare in a dystopian future is one of the first and more influential science fiction films ever made.
Fantastic Planet: One of the true oddities of the sci fi canon, this animated French film from 1973 depicts humanity as both pets and pests to gigantic blue aliens. I saw it theatrically when I was a kid, and was completely freaked out by it.
For more titles and show times, check the Cinefest web site.