It’s… alive! Creatures of the Night returns
It was December 1970 that arguably saw the birth of the modern phenomenon of ‘midnight movie’ screenings, when Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Mexican acid-trip western El Topo (1970) was booked for the Elgin Cinema in New York City. It immediately became a counterculture hit, running continuously for seven days a week until the end of June 1971.
Of course there are earlier and more recent examples of this genre scattered throughout the history of cinema, and understandably, given the delicious subjectivity with which we passionately enjoy these films, it’s also the most diverse. The genre encompasses cult, horror, experimental, obscure, amateur, low budget and other unimaginably strange films, amongst many others.
Many of the films we’ll screen for our Creatures of the Night strand will be amongst the most (in)famous ever made, while others will have only slowly leaked into the mainstream, or remain in relative obscurity. Whichever is the case, there they are, lurking in the rich, fertile soil of cinema, waiting to be unearthed, disinterred, and celebrated.
We're very excited to be resurrecting Creatures of the Night with a very special screening of The Shining on Saturday 8th July at 21:00. We'll be joined by designer Craig Oldham, who has recently published The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting with Rough Trade, alongside Village Books. Craig Oldham's Q&A will be hosted by Farran Golding.
Our hugely beloved and ever-living Creatures of the Night strand may itself have laid dormant over the last few years, but in the meantime, Leeds has cultivated a brilliantly energetic network of DIY film exhibitors who, like a gang of over-excited villagers, have carried the torch. It’s with this sense of comradery and curiosity that we revive Creatures of the Night at the Hyde Park Picture House.
“Come. It is time to keep your appointment with the Hyde Park Picture House.”
Creatures of the Night will begin its second life as a monthly Saturday night strand and will have something for everyone: for the fanatics, for the adventurous, or for the simply inquisitive.
We’ll also be collaborating on special future screenings with local and national genre enthusiasts, including the Evolution of Horror podcast, Thought Bubble, What the Film Club, Queer Fear and many more to be announced, so we encourage you to keep your eyes well and truly peeled!
Sharing is caring, and we encourage our Creatures of the Night audience to share their favourite cult curiosities with us, so if you tell us yours on Twitter and Instagram, or Letterboxd, you might soon get it seen on the big screen! To get you started, I’ll tell you a few of mine -
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920), Häxan (1922), Freaks (1932), Kwaidan (1964), The Saragossa Manuscript (1965), The Swimmer (1968), Lucifier Rising (1972), Hausu (1977), Possession (1981), The Boxer’s Omen (1983), Kin-dza-dza! (1986), Santa Sangre (1989), Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (1997), Songs from the Second Floor (2000), Funky Forest (2005), Blood Tea and Red String (2006), Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010), Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari (2012), Kothanodi (2015), Violence Voyager (2018), November (2017), The Lost Okoroshi (2019) …and on... into the night…