Wednesday, August 30, 2017

It might seem the Pacific Northwest is entering a new circle of Hell, but Horror/Sci Fi/Fantasy fans will find some cool ways to beat the heat this week!

I know it's almost a tradition in the Pacific Northwest to complain about the heat, but this year has tested even the most sun loving residents in the area.  Here in Portland, we'll be seeing a few more days of temperatures climbing to 100 degrees F, making many of us looking forward to the first days of cool, wet rain.

Yep, this looks like Portland right about now.
We really need some rain soon!

But don't worry, Horror/Sci Fi/Fantasy fans, this edition of the Weekly Update is here to help you find fun ways to beat the heat.  I've listed pub trivia nights, cons and lots of movies to help you find a place with AC.  If you still want some outdoor activities, I've included a few movies in local parks, and a great double feature at the 99W Drive In in Newberg, OR, this weekend.  Whether you want to keep enjoying the heat or hide somewhere cool, you'll find something in the list below!

On the Horror/Sci Fi/Fantasy Calendar, I've added the October schedule for The Academy Theater in Portland, OR, which ends the month with a great double feature by the late Tobe Hooper, as well as a screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Columbia City's Ark Lodge Cinemas on September 21.  And you'll want to keep checking back as THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR draws near for all the latest events and films coming our way!

On the Open Audition page, I've listed more haunted attractions in the Northwest looking for help.  And the Corn Maze and Haunted Attractions pages have the latest details on the spooky events coming in the next two months.

If you'd like your event to be listed on The Shadow Over Portland, just email me at, or message me on Facebook, provide me with all the details, links and any artwork for the event, and that's it.  Listings on the site are FREE!  You just have to let me know you want to reach Pacific Northwest Horror/Sci Fi/Fantasy fans, and I'll do the rest!!

And please help spread the word!  Should you attend any of the events listed here, let the organizers know you read about it at The Shadow Over Portland!!

Buy Tickets Now!

Fabio Frizzi returns to The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) with a new "composer's cut" of his score to Lucio Fulci's classic, The Beyond, tonight at 6 and 8 pm.  Frizzi and his ensemble will perform live during the film, preserving the dialogue from the original uncut masterpiece.  Tickets are now on sale at The Hollywood Theatre website.


The latest Celluloid Spotlight series at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) is Kubrick on Film, which kicks off on Friday, September 8, at 7 pm with a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey in GLORIOUS 70mm!  An addition screening takes place at 2 pm on Sunday, September 10.  Tickets are on sale now!  For more details, and a link to advance ticket sales, visit The Hollywood Theatre website.

UPDATE: Friday's screening is sold out.


The NW Film Center (screenings take place in the Portland Art Museum Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave in Portland, OR) has added two additional screenings of the 35mm, uncut version of Suspiria.  The new showtimes are at 9:15 pm on Friday, December 1, and 7 pm on Sunday, December 3.  Additional tickets for the Saturday, December 2 screening have also been released.  The initial ticket release sold out in two days, so BUY YOUR TICKETS ASAP!  For more details and a link to advance ticket sales, visit the NW Film Center website.

UPDATE: The showing on Saturday, December 2, is sold out once again.


Wyrd War presents the digitally restored official theatrical re-release of Rawhead Rex at 9:30 pm on Saturday, September 23, at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR).  This film, based on a Clive Barker story, has been hard to see, so don't miss the opportunity to watch it on the big screen.  Advance tickets are now on sale at The Hollywood Theatre website.


Jim Henson's dark fairy tale movie The Dark Crystal plays through August 31 at The Academy Theater (7818 SE Stark St in Portland, OR).  Showtimes are available at The Academy Theater website.


The 1973 sci fi thriller Westworld, the inspiration for the HBO series, screens this week at the Laurelhurst Theater and Pub (2735 East Burnside St in Portland, OR) through Thursday, August 31.  The film stars Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Yul Brynner as the robotic gunslinger in black. Head to the Laurelhurst Theater website for more details and showtimes.


The Dragonfly Cinema (822 Bay St in Port Orchard, WA) will also screen Night of the Living Dead in tribute to the late George Romero today through Tuesday, August 29.  Check the Facebook Event Page for showtimes.

August, 2017

Wednesday, August 30

It's time once again for Monster Roulette at The Joy Cinema and Pub (11959 SW Pacific Highway in Tigard, OR).  Yes, tonight's Weird Wednesday feature is will be chosen out of the Mystic Pumpkin!  It could be good, could be awful, but it will have a monster!!  The festivities start at 9:15 pm and, as always, admission is FREE, but you must be 21 or older to attend.  And be sure to help The Joy keep Wednesdays WEIRD by purchasing some tasty treats and beverages at the concession stand.  For more details, visit The Joy Cinema website.

Thursday, August 31

Spend An Evening with Sean Astin tonight at Urban Grace, The Downtown Church (902 Market St in Tacoma, WA) at 8 pm.  Austin will discuss and take audience questions about his Hollywood career (The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Strain) and his passion and advocacy for various causes.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Northwest Spay and Neuter Center.  For more details and advance ticket information, visit the Eventbrite link or the Facebook Event Page.


A digitally remastered version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind will play at theaters across the nation, in celebration of its 40th Anniversary, through September 7.  Visit the Fandango website to find screenings in your area.

September, 2017

Friday, September 1

Portland Movies in the Park presents Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tonight at Mt Scott Park (SE 74th and Reedway St in Portland, OR) at dusk.  The music of Rogue Bluegrass Band starts the event at 6:30 pm.  The parks are tobacco free zones and dogs must be on a leash.  For more details on this event, and other Movies in the Park, visit the City of Portland website.  Remember, the event can be cancelled due to rain.


The 99W Drive In Theatre (Highway 99 in Newberg, OR) is showing Back to the Future, followed by Jaws, through Sunday, September 3.  The weather should be GREAT for a trip to the drive in, so don't miss this great double feature.  For more details, visit the 99W Drive In Facebook Page.

Saturday, September 2

A fun and sexy homage to your favorite princesses, villains and enchanted animals, the Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway in Vancouver, BC) presents the Dysfunctional Disney Cabaret.  The show features burlesque, circus acts, singing, drag and comedy designed to turn the Magic Kingdom topsy-turvy!  You must be 18 or older to attend.  For more details, including a list of performers and advance ticket sales, visit the Facebook Event Page.


Red Castle Games (6406 SE Foster Rd in Portland, OR) hosts NERD CAMP Night Out: Amazons Unite tonight from 6 to 11:59 pm.  This women only event features a comedy show, speed friending, tabletop gaming and roundtable discussions.  Beer, wine and cider will be sold, but the pizza is FREE!  So is admission, but you are asked to donate some feminine hygiene products to SnowCap Community Charities.  For more details, visit the Facebook Event Page.


Bacon Strip, recently voted the best drag show in Seattle by Seattle Weekly, presents Sci Fi: Queens in Space at 8 pm (doors open at 7 pm) at The Conservatory (5813 Airport Way S in Seattle, WA).  The event is for those 19 and older, and promises fun, mayhem and bacon!  For more details, including a list of performers and a link to advance ticket sales, visit the Facebook Event Page.

Sunday, September 3

While the film does have a ghost, testifying at a trail concerning his death through a medium, the Japanese classic Rashomon is more a tale of how a person's self interest colors their telling of an event.  Akira Kurosawa crafts a wonderfully puzzle of a story, which changes as each person relates their version of a murder.  You can check it out at the Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway in Vancouver, BC) at 7:15 pm tonight.  For more details, check out the Facebook Event Page.


The dark high school comedy Heathers, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, plays tonight at the Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway in Vancouver, BC) at 9:30 pm.  For more details, and a link to advance ticket sales, visit the Facebook Event Page.


The Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway in Vancouver, BC) screens The Girl Without Hands, an animated film based on a Brothers Grimm story, tonight at 5:15 pm.  The film also plays at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, September 6.  For more details, and a link to advance tickets sales, visit the Facebook Event Page.


The Zymoglyphic Museum (6225 SE Alder St in Portland, OR) is open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm.  For all the details, visit the Facebook Event Page.

Monday, September 4

By Crom, celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Conan the Barbarian at McMenamins Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan St in Portland, OR).  The film plays through Sunday, September 10 (which will be a Sunday Bloody Mary Sunday screening).  For all the details, including showtimes and a link to advance ticket sales, visit the Facebook Event Page.

Tuesday, September 5

The Horror Brew Pub Quiz takes place at 7:30 pm tonight at Home, A Bar (719 SE Morrison St in Portland, OR).  Get your team together for a chance to win gift certificates, or try scoring a horror prize in the raffle!  For all the details, vist the Facebook Event Page.

Friday, September 8

The Rose City Comic Con has expanded into a three day event, running through September 10 at the Oregon Convention Center (777 ME Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Portland, OR).  Currently scheduled guests include James O'Barr (creator of The Crow), Burt Ward (Robin on TV's Batman),  John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Rose McIver (iZombie) and "Weird Al" Yankovic.  More details, including guest announcements, are coming soon, so check back here later, or visit the RCCC Official Website or the Facebook Event Page closer to September.

UPDATE: Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, Longmire) is scheduled to attend.


The City of Tigard, Oregon, presents Movies in the Park: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at Cook Park (17005 Southwest 92nd Ave in Tigard, OR).  The event starts at 5 pm, with the movie beginning at dusk.  You are asked to bring school supplies to donate to the Tigard/Tualatin School District.  For more details, visit the Facebook Event Page.


The Celluloid Spotlight screening at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) of 2001: A Space Odyssey in GLORIOUS 70mm, has sold out. 


Spend an evening with the creatures of the night at the Greenlake Bat Watching, tonight near the Bathhouse Theater on the northwest side of Green Lake (address listed is 7312 W Green Lake Dr N in Seattle, WA).  The event runs from 6:30 to 10 pm, so dress appropriately.  The viewing will take place rain or (moon)shine.  For more details, visit the Facebook Event Page (for the August 24 watching event).


Robert Zemeckis' dark comedy Death Becomes Her will play at McMenamins Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan St in Portland, OR) through Wednesday, September 13.  For additional details, including showtimes and a link to advance ticket sales, visit the Mission Theater website.


Fang-O-Rama: A Vampire Variety Show! hits the stage at Crush Bar (1400 SE Morrison St in Portland, OR) tonight at 9 pm.  The show features the creatures of the night performing drag, comedy, burlesque, singing, dancing and more!  Tickets are only $10 for this 21 and older show.  For more details, including a list of performers, visit the Facebook Event Page.

Saturday, September 9

Wizards Assemble are hosting a Harry Potter Pub Crawl in Portland, OR, starting at 4 pm.  Of course you should wear a costume, especially for the Best Dressed Competition.  The wizard party bars and clubs will not charge group members a cover, and themed drinks will be on some menus.  Other events include a House Sorting and Graduation Certificate at the end of the crawl (should you make it to the end!).  Registration information and other details will be posted on the Facebook Event Page on Monday, July 17.

Sunday, September 10

The first annual Gothic Garage Sale and Community Costume Sale takes place from 11 am to 6 pm today at The steep and thorny way to heaven (SE 2nd and Hawthorne in Portland, OR).  For more details, including information on purchasing vendor space, visit the Facebook Event Page.


Celluloid Spotlight: Kubrick on Film continues at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) tonight at 8 pm with a screening of The Shining in GLORIOUS 35mm!  For more details, and a link to advance ticket sales, visit The Hollywood Theatre website.


Fathom Events brings Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan into theaters to celebrate the film's 35th Anniversary.  The event will include a screening of the director's cut and a special introduction by William Shatner.  To locate a theater near you, and to buy advance tickets to the event, visit the Fathom Events website.  The film will be screened again on Wednesday, September 13.


After a year of great horror films and discussion, Shriek: A Women of Horror Film Class offers a night of 80s punk fashion, zombies and heckling at Naked City Brewery and Taphouse (8564 Greenwood Ave N in Seattle, WA) tonight.  Get ready for the Shriek Heckle Night: The Return of the Living Dead tonight starting at 6:30 pm.  This is a 21 and older event.  For all the details, and a link to advance ticket sales, visit the Facebook Event Page.


The latest Celluloid Spotlight series at The Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland, OR) is Kubrick on Film, screens 2001: A Space Odyssey in GLORIOUS 70mm at 2 pm.  Tickets are on sale and will most likely sell out!  For more details, and a link to advance ticket sales, visit The Hollywood Theatre website.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

RIP, Tobe Hooper

I entered a wonderful time in my life during 1979.  I was out of high school and enrolled at a community college in Vancouver, WA.  My fellow students were more interested in learning that forming cliques, sports were not the normal focus of attention and I was accepted as a fan of horror and fantasy films.

And, as a horror fan, I was finally old enough to see R-rated movies.  My parents felt viewing such films would be detrimental to my emotional development.  To be fair, I do not feel any ill will towards their decision, as they did what they felt was right for me as a child, something every parent wrestles with.  And they did let me watch horror films when and if it came appeared on broadcast television in an edited form.  Anyway, I met several new friends with similar interests and, to my delight, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came to the local tri-cinema that year.

I knew what the film was about, and seen a few pictures from it.  Though my parents would not take me to such films, I could read anything I wanted, including horror magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria.  So I was aware of the basic plot and the fate of some of the teens who run afoul of a cannibalistic family deep in Texas.  Full of confidence that my knowledge about the film would shield me from being frightened, as the magazines called it one of the most horrifying films ever made, a friend and I split a pizza, downed a pitcher of beer each (things were a bit more lax back then), than walked into the theater.

And for the next 84 minutes, I encountered the cinematic equivalent of being hit in the face with a shovel.  Repeatably.

I'd seen a few slasher films before, where you knew the characters were doing something that would incur the killer's wrath.  But this was the first horror film where they weren't engaged in behavior leaving them open to an attack, or doing the wrong things at the wrong time.  Everything seemed so real, so documentary-like.  And damn, the movie was the most brutal I'd ever seen, despite the lack of gore.

Since that night in the theater, I became a fan of Tobe Hooper's work.  I saw TCM2 on video (that one never came to a local theater), transfixed by the over-the-top insanity and sexual innuendos.  As a young man, I loved Lifeforce for obvious reasons, but was also engaged with the energetic, maniacal story unfolding on the screen.  And let's not even get into Salem's Lot, one of the scariest made-for-TV movies to grace the tube.

Of course, the roller coaster ride that was Poltergeist always leads to the controversy of who really directed the film.  For me, I can see the "Spielbergian" touches in the family interactions with each other and their neighbors.  But the maniacal, wild moments, of which there are plenty, came straight from Hooper.

His films are a wild, crazy ride on a broken down carnival house of horrors.  The story might not make sense, but the intensity he brought to a film, his ability to make the nonsensical probable while the projector is running, makes his work a tribute to insanity brought to life.  That was Hooper's gift to me.  Watching his films, I had no choice but to believe such possibilities. 

What makes his films work so well is that, after the credits roll, one can laugh at being fooled into considering such madness might be happening in your town.  But Hooper plants the seeds of doubt in your mind, and you likely spent the drive home wondering if you might fall into the hidden madness that he brought to life in the theater.

RIP, Mr. Hooper.  I'll never forget the night I first saw your vision of insanity within the rational world.  And I'll always remember that feeling every time I re-watch one of your films.