The phrase "Italian film" might sound all snooty and cultured. But for those looking for a little more thrill and a lot less class, Italian sleaze always works. The likes of greats like Dario Argento and Mario Bava paved the way for many a filmmaker, but don't forget Demons, made by Bava's son Lamberto -- a cult classic that has stuck with fans of the horror genre.
For many, Demons holds a special place on the favorites list. After all, a movie about a bunch of people who get trapped in a theater with demons that kill and possess is enough to make any genre fan interested, especially those who haven't had the chance to experience it. For Gutter Films founder Joey Halegua, it's enough to screen the film for free to all those interested in celebration of his birthday.
"Demons is one of my favorite horror films, period. It's amazing on so many levels; make-up, music, style, setting, kitsch," he says about the film, which he saw for the first time at The New Beverly theater in Los Angeles. "It's a very meta experience to be in a theater watching a film about a group of people in a theater watching a film."
It's that notion of sharing the experience of watching this kind of film with others that makes Gutter Films' new screening locale the perfect place.
In addition to monthly b-movie and cult classic screenings at The LAB Miami, Halegua is happy to kick off regular screenings at South Beach's 1930 Social Club. The notion of having the screenings take place in a bar works well to establish a socially conducive venue for the screenings. And what better way to celebrate both a birthday and a new partnership than pizza, cocktails, blood, and an '80s flick? Not many that we can think of.
More importantly, though, holding these screenings offers Gutter Films, and Halegua as a cult-film programmer in Miami, a chance to represent Florida and show people films they would have otherwise never heard about. "We've shown films like Miami Connection, Blood Freak, Satan's Children, Frogs, Shockwaves, and God's Bloody Acre that were all made in Florida," he says. "I think that the audience really vibes off of that."
With the band Goblin, led by composer Claudio Simonetti (who provided much of the music for Demons), having recently performed at Grand Central, Bava's film makes for a well-timed choice. So for those interested in a drink and a free cult film to watch with a bunch of like-minded folk, Gutter Films and 1930 Social Club have got just the thing on Monday night.
Demons shows at 1930 Social Club (1930 Bay Rd.) on May 19 at 9:30 p.m. Visit gutterfilms.com.