Friday, March 31, 2017

Life Theatrical Review. (Beware - Creature Spoilers)

Life exceeded my expectations despite the imagined story pitch of Alien meets Gravity. The film's creature is arguably as perfect an organism as the Alien in that it can survive in a vacuum for a limited amount of time, seems impervious to harsh changes in atmosphere. In extreme cases it can hibernate infinitely. The description is basically a mass of brain, eye like sensory perception and muscle. It also seems to evolve in whatever environment it finds itself in and like the Alien is capable of comprehending human technology enough so that it can move a lever or whatnot. The growth is exponential and it clearly operates on a survival by any means, like the xenomorph. The creature design is also quite believable. Scientists have speculated that over time, the octopus could evolve into a sentient species so long as it can control the environment to ensure it's survival as a species. That is something that human beings do that makes us different from other known native life forms on Earth. The characters are developed enough to feel for them and understand why they make the decisions they do even when they are not fully thought out because like all humans, they have faults and they react emotionally. This was moved up to a March release and I think that was a good idea because it feels more like a winter release and given the competition, Life has a better chance at reaching an audience than in a crowded summer season. I only hope they don't produce a sequel. What was said was all that needed to be said and while exploring the creature would be interesting, I think a sequel would likely cheapen the effect of this movie in a way that the Species sequels just cheapened the popcorn Geiger designed humanoid alien fun of the first film. Life is in theaters globally at the time of this posting.

(C) Copyright 2017 By Mark A. Rivera.
All Rights Reserved.

Cool pics from Ridley Scott's Alien Covenant.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

DC All Access - March 30, 2017.

FLASH: Abra Kadabra Attacks
The heroes of #DCTV are facing some pretty big dilemmas this week. But if you're wrangling with the dilemma of whether or not you should watch, Hector and the good people of DC All Access are here to help with previews of this week's new episodes of The Flash, Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow. Plus, we talk singing super heroes in response to last week's Flash/Supergirl musical. But don't worry, we don't do any singing ourselves.

Before the heroes of The Flash, Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow face Savitar, CADMUS and the Legion of Doom, they'll have to get through us—DC All Access! In today's all new episode, we talk to Melissa Benoist, Grant Gustin, Brandon Routh, Candace Patton, David Harewood and Legends of Tomorrow Executive Producer Phil Klemmer about what they have planned for their season finales. Plus, Dan DiDio discusses this week's Hanna-Barbera/DC Universe crossovers and we look ahead to this week's WonderCon and Fan Expo.

TITANS: Justice League Team Up

The Titans must team up with members of the Justice League in the absolutely essential Titans Annual #1. In this DC All Access comics clip, we talk to Titans writer Dan Abnett about what sets this annual apart from typical ones, including how it will impact the Titans series going forward, what it has in common with a classic Grant Morrison story and whether it ties in with the mysteries of Rebirth.

Off The Cuff Look At Lootcrate And Lootpets Primal Collection.

Off The Cuff Post Unboxing Of LootAnime Future Collection.

Now on TV and Online: America ReFramed | Enter The Faun (WORLD Channel)

In Honor of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Check local listings for broadcasts all week on WORLD Channel & stream free online now through June 25.

Enter The Faun is the culmination of an intensive two-year collaboration between veteran choreographer, Tamar Rogoff, and a young actor with cerebral palsy, Gregg Mozgala. Their creative exploration led them to discover that his diagnosis and physical limitations were not necessarily fixed and immutable. Challenging the boundaries of medicine and art, as well as the limitations associated with disability, Tamar and Gregg opened the door to new and endless possibilities. 
Read Co-Director Daisy Wright's reflections on making Enter The Faun in her blog post "Sometimes The Impossible Just Isn't" on POV's Documentary Blog.

Spark dialogue around Enter The Faun and share this public media program as part of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month through your networks via calendar listings, e-blasts, and social media - feel free to use and customize these sample posts below:

“I was completely blown away by the power of his physicality.” -choreographer Tamar Rogoff. @EntertheFaun explores a unique collaboration between longtime choreographer Tamar Rogoff and Gregg Mozgala, an actor with cerebral palsy. Watch their amazing story unfold with free streaming on @AmericaReFramed:
#cerebralpalsy #bodyscripting #Dance

#CPawarenessmonth w/ @EntertheFaun - broadcasts all week on @WorldChannelPTV & free streaming @AmericaReFramed: 

Cartoon Network Announces New Content Slate for 2017-18 Upfront Season

ATLANTA –  Cartoon Network, the global kids brand and leading choice for the mobile-first generation of plurals, announced a holistic slate of content for the 2017-18 upfront season that will provide something new to fans every day, across a wide spectrum of platforms. 


As Turner’s youngest and one of the portfolio’s most immersive brands, Cartoon will deliver even greater content experiences that drive engagement across all screens and connects to the way their fans are consuming.  Today, Cartoon announced a new slate of content including six new series and seven returning hits, as well as more than 20 original mobile and console games.


Long acknowledged for being in the forefront of bringing together premium content, fan experiences and technology, Cartoon’s success extends beyond television screens into the digital and mobile space with a growing and diverse multiplatform portfolio.


o   Cartoon is the #1 VOD choice across all of television. 

o   Cartoon has five of the top 10 animated series for Kids.

o   Cartoon has amassed a robust digital and mobile portfolio of 44 apps, approaching nearly 150 million worldwide downloads.

o   A roster of more than 400 free-to-play online games with the Game Creator franchise, generating more than 2 billion global game plays life to date.

o   Cartoon’s Emmy winning flagship app will get an expansion to Chromecast later this year and at least nine more games being added to its slate, plus two integrated game consoles.


“As kids’ viewing habits have evolved, Cartoon Network has always been there with them,” said Christina Miller, President Cartoon Network-Adult Swim-Boomerang. “From their first experience with a Kids network website and video app; to their first series VR game; and most recently, their first app to use ACR, we are keeping our sole focus on them as they inspire us to reimagine television.”

“Cartoon Network has cracked the code on how a leading media brand can engage with fans through true total consumption,” said Donna Speciale, President of Turner Ad Sales.  “Whether it’s VOD or gaming, or everything in between, plurals are connecting with this brand globally in ways most media brands haven’t yet experienced. That presents an incredibly powerful opportunity for our advertising partners this Upfront.”  

Following are details of Cartoon Network’s programming and mobile and gaming slate for the 2017-18 season:




·        Apple & Onion – Being new and naïve to the ways of the “big city of sophisticated food” doesn’t stop the wide-eyed enthusiasm of the lovable buddies Apple and Onion who are destined to find their way and make lots of friends on their incredible adventure of life. The friendship comedy is created by George Gendi (The Amazing World of Gumball).


·        Craig of the Creek – At the Creek, the rules of the outside world don’t apply in this kid utopia of untamed wilderness where Craig and his two best friends have ventured and tribes of children reign over tree forts and dirt bike ramps. The adventure series is created by Matt Burnett and Ben Levin, formerly from Steven Universe.


·        Summer Camp Island – Having completed a momentous and critically acclaimed run at this year’s most notable festivals including the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, this wildly imaginative animated series, based on the original Cartoon Network short, will continue unfolding the mysteries that Oscar and his best friend Hedgehog encounter at a magical summer camp. The series hails from creator Julia Pott (Adventure Time).


·        OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes – Cartoon Network powers up a world of original heroes across the TV and gaming landscape together with the greenlight of this action-packed comedy followed by the console and PC game jointly developed with indie video game studio Capybara games. The knockout series is inspired by creator Ian Jones-Quartey’s childhood and follows the heroic feats of K.O., an endlessly optimistic boy attempting to level up to be the best he can be in a dynamic universe of heroes, friends and challenging foes. The series builds onOK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo, the network’s first original standalone mobile game and was developed from a pilot that was part of Cartoon Network’s Emmy Award-winning shorts program.


·        Ben 10 –  The newest show coming out of the highly successful franchise has launched multiple animated series, and numerous animated and live-action movies. Playmates Toys serves as the worldwide master toy partner for the new Ben 10 with a full line of toys based on the show that will include a range of figures, playsets, and role-play items set to launch at retail globally this fall. The wild adventures begin debuting Monday, April 10 and will introduce fun loving, 10-year-old, Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen, and Grandpa Max, as they traverse the country during summer vacation. Once Ben finds the Omnitrix, a mysterious watch that transforms him into 10 different heroic aliens, a world of extraterrestrial superpowers opens to him, which kids of all ages will admire. Ben 10 is created by and executive produced by Man of Action Entertainment.


·        Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs The mouth-watering animated comedy series premiered earlier this month and is based on Sony Pictures Animation’s highly successful 2009 global featureCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and subsequent, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. The TV series is produced in association with DHX Media, Sony Pictures Animation and Corus Entertainment.




·        We Bare Bears – The BAFTA Award-winning series created by Daniel Chong stacks up a third and hilarious season. In the newest season, Grizzly (Eric Edelstein), Panda (Bobby Moynihan) and Ice Bear (Demetri Martin) meet up with favorite friends and frenemies voiced by Patton Oswalt, Charlyne Yi, Jason Lee, Ellie Kemper and Cameron Esposito. The adorable baby bears add more hijinks and commotion to the delight of fans. Festive holiday specials and new guest appearances by comedian Ron Funches and notable voice actor John DiMaggio round out the season as the Bears continue their comedic adventures around the Bay Area and beyond. 


·        The Powerpuff Girls – The Emmy nominated series is back and kicking off a second season featuring all-new characters and specials, plus action-packed battles between the superhero sisters and fan-favorite villains HIM and Mojo Jojo. The newly reimagined series is executive produced by Nick Jennings and co-executive produced by Bob Boyle, and will continue to further Cartoon Network’s commitment to STEAM education with two additional themed episodes this season. The wildly successful online Powerpuff Yourself avatar maker, which reached over 12 million fans at its launch, has now been updated so even more fans can see themselves as a real Townsville superhero. The original series was created by Craig McCracken.


·        Mighty Magiswords – Recently picked up for a second season, Mighty Magiswords will expand on Prohyas and Vambre’s epic adventures as they embark on more hilarious quests in pursuit of the latest and greatest Magiswords to add to their coveted collections. Created by Kyle A. Carrozza, Mighty Magiswords is comprised of a rich hub of more than 500 pieces of original content including interactive shorts, narrative vlogs and a multitude of immersive digital games and apps.


·        Adventure Time – The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning show is back with an eight-part miniseries of epic proportions later this year. Fans will be just as surprised as Finn to discover what happened to the kingdoms of Ooo while he was away at sea. This next miniseries comes fresh off the heels ofAdventure Time: Islands, which reached almost four million people. The series is created by Pendleton Ward and executive produced by Adam Muto.


·        Steven Universe  Friendships are tested as the saga continues in this Emmy-nominated series, created by Rebecca Sugar. The show returns with new adventurous story arcs and specials, in which fans will meet more Gems, spend time with the Diamonds and gain insight into the ever-mysterious Gem Homeworld while the series’ titular hero Steven Universe will grow as a leader. Steven Universe is lauded for having a voice of inclusion, and was recently nominated for its first GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Comedy Series category.


·        Teen Titans Go!  Season four of the hit series continues and get ready for the show’s 200th episode as Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg prepare to save the world in a special, two-part episode. Audiences are also in for an egg-ceptional treat in a spring special featuring the mythical Tooth Fairy who tries to take over the holiday from the Easter Bunny. Series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. 


·        The Amazing World of Gumball This BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning series from Cartoon Network Studios EMEA conjures up a new Halloween special and continues warm-hearted adventures including an episode with live-action puppets with the energetic and fearless blue cat—Gumball—and his idiosyncratic family, the Wattersons.




Some of the 2017 highlights include:


·        The Powerpuff Girls LEGO DIMENSIONS – LEGODIMENSIONS, the LEGO toy and videogame hybrid, is adding The Powerpuff Girls to its roster with a new Team Pack and Fun Pack. The Team Pack features Blossom and Bubbles minifigures, and the Fun Pack completes the team with Buttercup. Both packs give access to the Townsville Hub area where players can fly around Townsville and see sights like Pokey Oaks elementary, City Hall, Rainbow Land, the Pickle Museum and of course the girls’ home base complete with Professor Utonium’s lab.


·        Steven Universe: Save The Light –  Developed with renowned hit maker Grumpyface Studios, this is a new console game with an original story crafted by Steven Universe series creator Rebecca Sugar. The RPG console game is a sequel to the 2015 hit mobile title, Attack the Light and is expected to launch this summer.


  • OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes – This action brawler console and PC game with RPG elements is set in the outrageous world of the upcoming animated series OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes created by Ian Jones-Quartey. It is developed by award-winning Capybara Games and arrives later this fall.


·        Ben 10: Up to Speed – Ben 10: Up to Speed is a runner that follows Ben Tennyson as he goes on the best summer vacation ever with his Grandpa Max and cousin Gwen. He discovers an alien artifact called the Omnitrix that allows him to transform into powerful alien heroes. Playing as Ben and his various alien alter egos, gamers will save the world by stopping evildoers, from giant robots to menacing magic users. 


·        Glitch Fixers-The Powerpuff Girls – Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup continue to save the day in the latest Cartoon Network mobile game, Glitch Fixers. Based on the popular episode “Viral Spiral,” Glitch Fixers is a turn-based puzzler that takes gamers on a wild digital ride. Using virtual command blocks, Bubbles is tasked with helping Blossom and Buttercup escape the internet and defeat the evil Amoeba Boys through the power of coding.    


·        Surely You Quest – As part of a connected hub that includes the linear series Mighty Magsiwords, the newest mobile game links to another integrated app MagiMobile, to give fans access to their Magiswords and allow them to expand their collections. Gamers can use the swords they previously earned in MagiMobile for gameplay in Surely You Quest, and the more fans watch and engage with MagiMobile, the more options they will have for battles in the game.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Pretty Little Liars: The Seventh and Final Season" Available on DVD on July 25, 2017



Freeform’s #1 Original Series Reveals Its Biggest Secret




Includes All 20 Episodes, the Special Episode “Pretty Little Liars: A-List Wrap Party," Nine Exciting New Featurettes, and Deleted Scenes


"A”vailable on DVD on July 25, 2017


Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Series Will Also Be Available Day-And-Date and Will Contain All 161 Episodes From All Seven Seasons 


BURBANK, CA (March 29, 2017) – After seven incredible seasons, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group marks the end of an era with its final installment of the suspenseful and seductive series with the release of Pretty Little Liars: The Seventh and Final Season on DVD July 25, 2017Pretty Little Liars stars Troian Bellisario (Lauren, JAG), Ashley Benson (Spring BreakersPixels), Tyler Blackburn (Ravenswood), Lucy Hale (Scream 4, Privileged), Ian Harding (Addiction: A 60’s Love Story), Shay Mitchell (Aaron Stone), Andrea Parker (Desperate Housewives, Less Than Perfect), Janel Parrish (Celeste and Jesse Forever, Bratz) and Sasha Pieterse (Heroes, X-Men: First Class).The four-disc set contains all 20 episodes from the seventh season, the special episode “Pretty Little Liars: A-List Wrap Party," plus nine all-new featurettes and deleted scenes. Pretty Little Liars: The Seventh and Final Season is priced to own at $49.99 SRP.


In season six, the series leaped forward five years, when a shocking event brought the girls — now young women — together again, back in the town of Rosewood, to face a new threat. Now, in the seventh and final season of the most trend-setting series ever, the girls band together to unearth answers to the last remaining secrets and take down “Uber A” for good in the most surprising and romantic season yet.


Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Series will also be available on July 25 on DVD. The set will retail for $209.99 SRP, representing a substantial savings over purchasing all seven seasons individually.


“It’s been an unbelievable seven season run for the Pretty Little Liars, with over 1 million DVDs sold nationwide," said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. "With over an hour and a half of bonus content, the devoted fan base for the phenomenal franchise is going to love this final installment to complete their Pretty Little Liars library."


Pretty Little Liars is Freeforms #1 series in all Households, Total Viewers, Teens & Female Teens, and Adults & Women 12-34, 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. Season 7 is averaging 2.2M viewers⃰, and the show won the 2016 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Drama; it was nominated for the same award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 winning in 2012, 2015, 2016. The series also won six 2016 Teen Choice Awards, including a win for Choice TV Show – Drama for the series.

*Source: Nielsen National TV View, Live + 7 Day Ratings Excluding Repeats, Specials, and <5 Telecasts; Season To-Date = 5/30/16-12/18/16 

Based on the series of books by Sara Shepard, Pretty Little Liars is from Alloy Entertainment, Long Lake Media and Russian Hill Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television. The executive producers are I. Marlene King (Just My Luck, If These Walls Could Talk, Now and Then), Oliver Goldstick (Ugly Betty, Lipstick Jungle), Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Gossip Girl), Joseph Dougherty (thirtysomething, Saving Grace) and Charlie Craig (The 100Rizzoli & Isles,The X Files).




·         Inside the PLL Sheets               

·         That PLL Boy is Mine 

·         A PLL Proposal

·         A Surprising Mary Drake

·         Hot for Haleb 

·         Say I Do

·         The Final Sendoff From Rosewood

·         A.D.: The Ultimate Suspect

·         Thank You to Fans

·         Pretty Little Liars: A-List Wrap Party (Special)

·         Deleted Scenes





1.    Tick-Tock, Bitches

2.    Bedlam

3.    The Talented Mr. Rollins

4.    Hit and Run, Run, Run!

5.    Along Comes Mary

6.    Wanted: Dead or Alive

7.    Original G'A'ngsters

8.    Exes and OMGs

9.    The Wrath of Kahn

10. The Darkest Knight

11. Playtime

12. These Boots Were Made for Stalking

13. Hold Your Piece

14. Power Play

15. In the Eyes Abides the Heart

16. The Glove that Rocks the Cradle

17. Driving Miss Crazy

18. Choose or Lose

19. Farewell, My Lovely

20. Till DeAth Do Us Part (2hrs)  



Street Date: July 25, 2017

Running Time: Feature Approx 924 min., Special Features: Approx. 90 min.

Price: $49.99 SRP

4 DVD-9s

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen

Dolby Surround 5.1 (English)

Check out the official trailer for the upcoming RocketJump series Dimension 404

Check out the official trailer for the upcoming RocketJump series Dimension 404 premiering exclusively on Hulu on 4.04. Dimension 404 is a six-episode sci-fi/anthology series narrated by Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and starring Lea MicheleJoel McHaleConstance WuSarah HylandMegan MullallyPatton OswaltAshley RickardRobert BuckleyLorenza IzzoMalcolm Barrett and many more. 

Synopsis: In the darkest depths of cyberspace, there is another world. A lost dimension, home to wonders unseen, terrors unspeakable, and stories unlike any ever told. Dimension 404 is a science fiction anthology that explores the wonders - and terrors - of our digital age. From outrageous horror comedy to mind-bending action adventure, each episode tells a weird and wild sci-fi tale where the twist ending... is just the beginning. Do not click back. Do not reload. You have reconnected... to Dimension 404.

New Stills from Netflix's THE DISCOVERY - Launching March 31

In the near future, the world is off-balance. People have gained a specific knowledge, and death has lost meaning, due to a breakthrough scientific discovery by Dr. Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford): There is now definitive proof of an afterlife. While countless people have chosen suicide in order to "re-set" their existence, others go on, trying to decide what it all means. Among them is Dr. Harbor's son Will (Jason Segel), who has arrived at his father's isolated compound with a mysterious young woman named Isla (Rooney Mara). There, they discover the strange acolytes who help Dr. Harbor with his experiments. They are all looking to Dr. Harbor for meaning. Can Will and Isla find peace - in this place, or on the other side?

Premiere DateMarch 31, 2017
Distributor: Netflix 
Directed by: Charlie McDowell
Written by: Charlie McDowell & Justin Lader
Starring: Robert Redford, Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Jesse Plemons & Riley Keough
Runtime: 101 minutes

Storm King Comics Winning Awardable Notoriety

Storm King Comics Winning Awardable Notoriety

(Hollywood, CA-March 29th, 2017) Award winning publisher Storm King Comics has been on a role achieving critical acclaim and recognition in multiple markets. After winning their second  Ghastly award for  John Carpenter's Tales for HalloweeNight Volume 2 for Best Anthology,  they have been nominated as finalists in multiple categories in the 19th annual  Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. John Carpenter’s Asylum Volume 2 is a finalist in the Graphic Novels & Comics Category and John Carpenter’s Tales for a HalloweeNight Volume 2 is  a finalist in both the Graphic Novels and Comics Category as well as the Anthologies category. You can see a list of all of the finalists at

“Choosing finalists for the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, but the choice was more difficult this time around due to the high quality of submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “Each new book award season proves again how independent publishers are the real innovators in the industry.”

Storm King CEO Sandy King Carpenter remarked “Every single one of our graphic novels have  seen recognition in both the horror market and in the book trade.  As a John Carpenter brand I am so pleased that we are still impressing our core fans after all these years. To do the same outside the market is just icing on the cake.”

INDIES finalists are moved on to final judging by an expert panel of librarians and booksellers curated specifically for each genre and who will determine the books who will be named Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award winners. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners, and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017.

Fans of Storm King Comics can stop by and congratulate them in person at  booth # 418 at C2E2   in Chicago April 21st-April 23rd. John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction: Vault #1 hits stores in July.


About Foreword: Founded in 1998, Foreword Magazine, Inc, d.b.a Foreword Reviews is an independent media company featuring a Folio:Award-winning print magazine, stable of e-newsletters, and an online platform. Foreword exclusively covers small, university, and independent (non “Big 5”) publishers, the books they publish, and the creators they work with. Foreword is based in Traverse City, Michigan, USA, and has employees and writers all over the world.

About Storm King Productions:
Storm King Productions is headed up by writer producer powerhouse Sandy King Carpenter. Storm King focuses on artistic storytelling in all forms. Their flagship comic book title John Carpenter’s Asylum has become a global fan favorite. Storm King Comics is a division of Storm King Productions.

Phoenix Forgotten | Official Trailer

In Theaters Friday, April 21st

Cast: Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez, Justin Matthews, Luke Spencer Roberts
Director: Justin Barber
Writers: T.S. Nowlin and Justin Barber
Producers: Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin, Ridley Scott, Mark Canton, Courtney Solomon
Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi, Horror, Drama
Studio: Cinelou Films

Based on the shocking, true events of March 13th, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon became known as "The Phoenix Lights", and remains the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history.

Phoenix Forgotten tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night, and were never seen again.  Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed...


Larry Cohen's New York May 6 & 7

Larry Cohen's New York

May 6 & 7

The Quad's pocket retrospective celebrates genre master Larry Cohen's homegrown films with Cohen in person at select screenings. Actor Eric Bogosian in person following the screening of Special Effects

Series includes the director's "Whisper" cut of his warped 1976 sci-fi oddity, God Told Me To

Irrepressible and prolific, writer-producer-director and native New Yorker Larry Cohen is a true original. Over the course of 60 years in film and television, he has become a master at taking ingenious premises and using them to playfully subvert and rethink genre movies of all stripes, with mischievous social commentary always in the mix. Here we focus on seven films shot on his home turf, in which the city becomes a playground for his idiosyncratic cinematic genius and outrageous high-concept imagination.

The Ambulance

Larry Cohen, 1990, U.S., 95m, 35mm
Sunday, May 7

Cohen once again imbues the benign and everyday things with menace as Eric Roberts gives new meaning to the term “ambulance chaser” when he tries to find out why Janine Turner never made it to the emergency room after she’s whisked away by ambulance following a collapse. James Earl Jones is on hand as the requisite skeptical cop. Print courtesy of The Academy Film Archive

Black Caesar

Larry Cohen, 1973, U.S., 87m, 35mm
Saturday May 6

Football star turned blaxploitation fixture Fred Williamson stars in Cohen’s inspired remake of Little Caesar, in which a Harlem youth ascends from shoeshine to mob overlord, with the action set to an irresistible original soundtrack by James Brown. As brutal a work of social realism as it is a cracking entertainment.

God Told Me To

Larry Cohen, 1976, U.S., 96m, 35mm
Saturday May 6

A way-out mash-up of detective mystery, horror and science fiction elements, with a twist that gives new meaning to the word transgender. With panic in the streets, guilt ridden Catholic cop Tony LoBianco goes down a rabbit hole investigating a series of mass killings whose culprits (including kill-crazy cop Andy Kaufman!) share only one motive: we refer you to the title. Print courtesy of The Academy Film Archive

Legend has it God Told Me To was originally to be titled Whisper, with Bernard Herrmann set to compose the score. Cohen produced and screened an advance cut of the film (for one week only at a theater in Oregon) as a means of getting a tax credit. Herrmann passed away shortly following and the film was recut for its theatrical release. This original print, the Whisper cut, has never been seen in New York before.

New York premiere of director’s “Whisper” cut
With Larry Cohen in person

Perfect Strangers

Larry Cohen, 1984, U.S., 91m, 35mm
Saturday May 6

Liquid Sky star Anne Carlisle becomes romantically involved with a hitman intent on murdering her son, witness to a contract killing. Made back to back with Special Effects and similarly drawing on the ambience of mid-’80s downtown, Cohen’s film is a typically efficient thriller with a feminist bent and his customary gallery of sharply drawn side characters. Print courtesy of The Academy Film Archive  

With Larry Cohen in person


Larry Cohen, 1982, U.S., 93m, 35mm
Sunday May 7

Death from above! New York is terrorized by a flying menace and jittery thief Michael Moriarty knows where it nests. Meanwhile cop David Carradine suspects the man-eater is the reincarnation of Mexican god Quetzalcoatl, summoned by a spate of sacrificial murders. An old school monster movie with a modern sense of humor and amazing aerial shots of early ’80s Manhattan. Print courtesy of The Academy Film Archive

With Larry Cohen in person

Special Effects

Larry Cohen, 1985, U.S., 106m, 35mm
Saturday May 6

A twisted take on the downtown ’80s, with sleazy Hollywood washout Eric Bogosian sleeping with and then murdering actress wannabe Zoë Tamerlis Lund (of Ms. 45 fame) and then using a lookalike (Lund again) to make a movie reconstruction of his crime. A sly tribute to Vertigo and clever send-up of De Palma–esque cinematic self-reflexivity. Print courtesy of The Academy Film Archive

With Larry Cohen and Eric Bogosian in person

The Stuff

Larry Cohen, 1985, U.S., 87m, 35mm
Sunday May 7

“Are you eating it or is it eating you?” went the tag line to Cohen’s satiric takedown of junk-food culture and Corporate America. Industrial spy Michael Moriarty is hired by ice cream manufacturers to discover the secret of an addictive new dessert that’s putting them out of business and discovers that… it’s alive! Print courtesy of The Academy Film Archive

With Larry Cohen in person