Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Creature Feature Live! The Night a Nebraskan Classic Returned

By Jason Burns

On January 29, Aksarben Cinema presented Dr. San Guinary's Creature Feature Live! the first of what they hope will be a monthly event. For their first show, they did the 1957 Sci-Fi classic 20 Million Miles To Earth, starring William Hopper, Joan Taylor and Thomas Browne, directed by Nathan Juran, with visual effects by Ray Harryhausen. The movie is about the return of the first U.S. spaceship from Venus that crash lands in the Mediterranean Sea. The only survivor, Col. Robert Calder (Hopper), is rescued by local fishermen where they find out that a creature they brought back called Ymir has escaped and heading towards Rome.

Almost expected this being the first Creature Feature they had a few bugs to work out. The start time was supposed to be 10:30PM but people weren't let into the theater until 10:40 and then they had some problems with the timing of the show. The event was set up like the old Dr. San Guinary T.V. show where they had an opening host segment to introduce the movie. Local film historian Bruce Crawford read a brief acknowledgement from Ray Harryhausen and also had some actors perform a short sketch. As the night went on, they stopped the film in different places to do some more sketches and got smoother with the transition between film and sketches. After the movie, they moved the props out to the lobby, where they set up a met and greet with the actors and had photo ops.

Over all, it was a fun time, and I'm looking forward to future shows. Aksarben Cinema promises that they are working on other events similar to the Creature Feature and they announced that the next Creature Feature, on February 26, is going to be the original 1933 King Kong. The first show was sold out, so if you want to go to the next one, you might want to look into buying your tickets early.

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