Garland Cultural Arts Kicks off Its Inaugural IT CAME FROM TEXAS Film Festival in Fall 2023

 

It Came From Texas City of Garland

Two weeks following the reopening of the Downtown Square, the Plaza Theatre in Garland (521 W. State Street) will host its first film festival, IT CAME FROM TEXAS Film Festival. Festivities kick off on Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29 will be full of b-movies that spent their time at the drive-ins around the country in the 1950s and ’60s. Sponsored by the City of Garland and Garland Cultural Arts, the event is a first for the city.

“With a nod to the old Dallas Producers Association fundraisers, It Came From Dallas from 2005-’17 that Gordon Smith and I worked on together, all of the elements were right there to make this a state-wide celebration of many of Texas’ best features through the years as well as some of the campy, quirky, at times cringe-worthy fun films of days gone by. We are grateful to the City of Garland and the Garland Cultural Arts team for cheering on this quirky effort so joyfully,” said Kelly Kitchens, film festival director. “While future IT CAME FROM TEXAS Film Festival will feature films in various genres and eras all made in Texas, this inaugural Festival pays homage to the horror/Sci-Fi films that went to the drive-in theaters in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.”

THERE’S A B-MOVIE FILM HISTORIAN CATEGORY?

Gordon K. Smith, the unofficial film historian specializing in B-movies made in Texas, brings his deep-dive knowledge to this effort.

“We have a carefully curated collection of horror and Sci-Fi B-movies made in Texas that have all become cult classics thanks to decades of drive-in, TV (including “Mystery Science Theater 3000”), home video and web showings. It’s a rare chance to celebrate some movies you may have grown up with on your TV at home and see them on a big screen with fellow fans and learn some fun facts about how they got made across Texas.  This is the perfect way to spend your Halloween weekend!” Smith exclaimed.

CULT CLASSIC FOREVER CHANGED THE HORROR GENRE

Seeing the horror films of the 1950s and ‘60s, audiences will see the stark difference between those movies and the Spotlight film of the festival, TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. Celebrating its 49th anniversary this year, CHAIN SAW gained a reputation as one of the most influential horror films for future genre films.

John Bloom (AKA Joe Bob Briggs) wrote in Texas Monthly, Nov 2004

“TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE was the first real ‘slasher’ film, and it changed many things—the ratings code of the Motion Picture Association of America, the national debate on violence, the Texas Film Commission, the horror genre—but it remained a curiously isolated phenomenon. The film itself, involving five young people on a twisted drive through the country, is a strange, shifting experience—early audiences were horrified; later audiences laughed; newcomers to the movie were inevitably stricken with a vaguely uneasy feeling, as though the movie might have actually been made by a maniac….”

UNCOVERING INFLUENTIAL FAN INSPIRING FANS

Filmmaker Joe O’Connell’s 2020 documentary focuses on one one of those “maniacs” who formed the look and feel of TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, Robert A. Burns. RONDO & BOB, screening right before TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, focuses on Art Director Bob Burns, the horror film legend who created the look of the seminal film. 
Burns was obsessed with the 1930s and ‘40s B-Movie actor Rondo Hatton (AKA The Creeper), an average man whose face was transformed into a distorted mask by acromegaly.

The film celebrates the true, deep fandom of Bob Burns for Rondo Hatton and in turn, reflects on TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE fans.

GARLAND HIGH SCHOOL IB SHORT FILMS PROGRAMMED 

Sprinkled in with three of the film slots will be short films made by the students of the Garland High School Reel Owl Cinema film program. Reel Owl Cinema (ROC) will begin its 19th year a little differently. Having received an invitation to participate in the IT CAME FROM TEXAS Film Festival, the students’ first project will be to create horror, campy horror, or just campy films. The program has always had a horror component including the history of the horror genre and discussing and viewing horror films, but they have never specifically had a horror project.

“The kids are excited, and we are proud to be invited to participate in our first City of Garland film festival to premiere these films. Over the years, we have partnered with several film festivals both in North Texas and internationally, so we are so glad to showcase 45 minutes of our student’s films to a hometown crowd,” said Thomas Schubert, ROC Film Department Head.

“To have IT CAME FROM TEXAS Film Festival invite our program to participate is such an honor.  It validates the program at the highest level of community support.  Thanks to everyone from the city to the organizers working on the Festival for supporting us with this privilege,” Schubert concluded.

QUIRKY CONTENT CONTINUES

The final night of the festival won’t be a quiet one. That’s because the Festival will close things out with a live riff on one of Texas’ biggest and baddest Monster Movies with Texas’ only interactive movie mocking comedy troupe. The Mocky Horror Picture Show (mockyhorror.com) performs regularly at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, and they’ll close out the IT CAME FROM TEXAS Film Festival with a live riff of Ray Kellogg’s 1959 cheesy horror classic THE GIANT GILA MONSTER in which (wait for it) a giant gila monster (actually, it’s a Mexican beaded lizard) wreaks havoc on a small town. The titular monster shares the spotlight with B-movie staple, Don Sullivan; France’s 1957 Miss Universe contestant, Lisa Simone; and Dallas radio legend, Ken Knox.

Mocky Horror stars comedians Liz Barksdale, Danny Gallagher and Albie Robles riffing on movies in the theater for a live audience, and the fun doesn’t stop there. Timed prompts appear on the screen with instructions for the audience to do or say things at just the right time. The comedians provide props for the audience to make fun of the movie with them!

 

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FILM FESTIVAL SCHEDULE:

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28

11 am – Double Feature ($10 individual tickets)

ZONTAR: THING FROM VENUS (1967)

Director: Larry Buchanan

Filmed in Dallas

A misguided scientist enables an alien from Venus named Zontar to come to Earth to help solve man’s problems. However, Zontar has other ideas. Stars John Agar.

 

MANOS: HANDS OF FATE (1966)

Director: Harold P. Warren

Filmed in El Paso and Ysleta

While on a desert excursion, a family encounters cultists who use human hands as sacrificial offerings to their god.

 

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3 pm – RONDO & BOB (2020) ($10 individual tickets)

Director: Joe O’Connell (in attendance)

Filmed in Austin, Taylor, Los Angeles and Tampa, FL

Robert A. Burns, art director on the original TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, was obsessed with actor Rondo Hatton (AKA The Creeper). Burns was average looking but brimming with odd creativity. Hatton, who suffered from acromegaly, had a strangely unique appearance but was a regular guy. In RONDO & BOB, their two stories intersect.

https://www.RondoAndBob.com/

Post-screening Q&A with RONDO & BOB writer/director/producer, Joe O’Connell. This block includes student films from Garland High School’s ‘Reel Owl Cinema.’

 

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7 pm – THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974) ($15 individual tickets)

Rated: R

Director: Tobe Hooper

Filmed in Bastrop, Round Rock, Watterson and Leander

The 49th anniversary of this iconic horror film follows a group of friends who visit an old farmhouse where they are abducted and tortured by a family of cannibals. This block includes student films from Garland High School’s ‘Reel Owl Cinema.’

THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE Trailer:

 

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9:30 pm – Special Father and Son Double Feature ($10 individual tickets)

DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT (1974)

Rated: R

Director: S.F. Brownrigg

Filmed in Tehuacana

This independent horror film follows a nurse hired to work in Stephens’ Sanatorium, a psychiatric asylum where the patients torment her.

DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT infamous trailer is about half footage from THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT due to having the same distributor, released on a double bill with it):

 

DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT 2 (2015)

Rated: R

Director: Tony Brownrigg

Filmed in Tehuacana

Forty years after patients and doctors of the Stephens Sanitarium were murdered, the only survivor returns to discover that the ghosts of the past still haunt the building and its new inhabitants.

DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT 2 writer/director, Tony Brownrigg is the son of S.F. Brownrigg, director of original DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT. These two films will be shown as a double feature for the first time. This film screens courtesy of RDM Pictures.

 

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29

11:30 am – Double Feature ($10 individual tickets)

BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER (1960)

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer

Filmed in Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth; Eagle Mountain Marine Corps Air Station; and Fair Park, Dallas

An experimental pilot testing a rocket-powered craft finds himself in the future, among a society devastated by a plague.

 

THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN (1960)

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer

Filmed in Fair Park, Dallas and Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts

A notorious thief assists and eventually faces off with a former military officer who plans to conquer the world with an army of invisible soldiers.

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3 pm – Double Feature ($10 individual tickets)

ATTACK OF THE EYE CREATURES (1967)

Director: Larry Buchanan

Filmed in Dallas

A flying saucer invades Earth and releases multi-eyed alien creatures that terrorize a teenage couple.

 

THE KILLER SHREWS (1959 1h9m)

Director: Ray Kellogg

Filmed in Dallas and on Lake Dallas

When a ship lands on an isolated island, the crew discovers a mad scientist has been experimenting on shrews, which terrorize the researchers. Stars James Best, Ken Curtis, Ingrid Goude, and Gordon McLendon.

 

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7:30 pm – Mocky Horror Picture Show live riffing of THE GIANT GILA MONSTER (1959) ($15 individual tickets)

Director: Ray Kellogg

Filmed in Dallas and on Lake Dallas

A live-riffing movie comedy show! Mocked by Danny Gallagher and his fellow mockers Liz Barksdale and Albie Robles, this campy classic follows a mechanic and street racer as they work to stop a giant lizard from destroying the town. This block also includes student films from Garland High School’s ‘Reel Owl Cinema’ and a costume contest.

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IT CAME FROM TEXAS Film Festival

The First Annual Camp Classics

 

WHAT:

City of Garland’s Cultural Arts presents It Came From Texas Film Festival

Double features, campy classics and Texas-sized horror – 11 Texas Made films return to the Big Screen.

 

ADMISSION – PASSES and TICKETS:

Festival passes go on sale starting Monday, August 14, 2023.

Available online at http://GarlandArts.com

Early Bird Pass:  $50 – Good through September 15

Festival Pass:  $60 – September 16 to October 28-29

Individual Tickets:  $10-$15

Senior/Student Individual Tickets: $7-$12

(Full value of individual tickets is $80)

Festival Pass Perks:

Limited Availability
Early admission
Commemorative Poster
Discounts from participating businesses
WHEN and WHERE:

Oct 28-29, 2023

The Plaza Theatre on the Downtown Square

521 W. State Street

Garland, TX 75040

Connect with IT CAME FROM TEXAS: #ItCameFromTXFF

https://garlandarts.com

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