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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Northwest News

Tampa Pitcher Show hosts cult movie series

Tribune correspondent
Published:
CARROLLWOOD -

At independent- and corporate-owned movie theaters, a cult movie screening often means some artsy, slow-moving, esoteric, surreal foreign film.

But Cult Movie Mania’s “Screaming Cinema Series 2013,” gives viewers some of the above as well as plenty of blood, cuts and non-stop violence on the screen, series organizer Andy Lolino said.

For the second year, the Tampa Pitcher Show, 14416 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., will host the independent film series. The first leg begins April 26 and is scheduled to run until Aug. 30, but Lolino said he may extend it. During that time, at least 10 films by local, national and international directors will be shown, most of which are known more for horror-slasher effects than they are for deep prose or seductive scripts. Included in the series are Cannes and Sundance film festival selections.

The series starts with 2003’s “The Manson Family” and a preview of “Gator Green.” Director Jim Van Bebber from Greenville, Ohio, spent 10 years making “The Manson Family,” a cross between fictional story and documentary of the crimes of Charlie Manson. Bebber is scheduled to make a personal appearance at the showing.

The first leg ends July 5 with Davie Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis,” a 2012 movie about a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager's odyssey in a limousine with characters that tear his world apart.

Lolino, who organized the series with Andrew Allan, said the idea stemmed from his website, Cult Movie Mania. With the help of The Tampa Pitcher Show’s owner, Wayne Valenti, Lolino got the film series rolling in 2012. He said last year’s shows averaged 40 to 50 viewers per show, causing him to want him to continue to fill a void of cult movies shown in Tampa theaters.

This year, Lolino, of Clearwater, moved the show times from Thursdays to Fridays, hoping to draw larger crowds. He said the nights will be hosted by Tampa’s Wynkoop and web personality Natalia Nocturna, as well as appearances by directors and question-and-answer sessions.

“Some of the movies we select encompass everything, from art house aesthetics to horror and gore, all in the same movie,” he said. “People can expect the unexpected and see some great films you won’t find anywhere else on the big screen.”

Valenti, who opened The Tampa Pitcher Show in 1982, said he was encouraged to bring the cult movie series to his theater by the successes of audience-participation movies like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Clue” and “Princess Bride.” He said people who like those movies tend to appreciate the underappreciated in film.

“A lot of the people that come for these (audience participation) events like the cult movie genre,” he said. “We’re also giving local, independent directors a venue to show their works; we’re a base for independent film during this series.”

Other first series’ screenings include: Don Coscarelli’s “John Dies at the End” (2012) on May 10; Joel Wynkoop’s “Lost Faith” (1992) on May 31; Richard Bates Jr.’s “Excision” (2012) on June 7; and Vito Trabucco’s “Bloody Bloody Bible Camp” (2012) on June 21. Each showing will also include short films, trailers, prizes and trivia.

Lolino said the schedule is subject to change so viewers should call the theater or check the website for updates.

“The Screaming Cinema Series 2013” tickets are $8 and the theater features a restaurant and full bar. For information, call (813) 963-0578 or see www.cultmoviemania.wix.com.

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