Kool Kats of the Week: WOLVERTON Co-Writers Michael Stark and Terrell T. Garrett Get Adventurous in Turn of the Century London Where the Science of H.G. Wells Goes Head to Head with the Mysterious

Posted on: Jun 13th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Michael Stark, former screenwriter for Disney and Universal Pictures and current purveyor of rare horror and sci-fi books (Burnt Biscuit Books) “in the shadows of Pinewood Studios,” and Terrell T. Garrett, screenwriter, reside south of the Atlanta Airport, a.k.a. “Hillbilly Hollywood.” Having written several screenplays together, they decided to take an artistic leap and are currently in the process of producing their first comic, “WOLVERTON: THIEF OF IMPOSSIBLE OBJECTS, along with artist Derek Rodenbeck. Initially slated for the big screen but not quite making it past Hollywood’s current aversion to original works, WOLVERTON was revived as a self-published comic book and labor of love for Stark and Garrett. This action-packed story entangles Jack Wolverton, gentleman thief, within a wicked supernatural web, and “Only he can save the world’s most powerful artifacts from getting into the wrong hands.” While their tale takes place in turn of the century London and Wolverton holds H.G. Wells’ science in high esteem, as opposed to the superstition-riddled occultish general population, “Wolverton isn’t exactly steampunk,” tweeted Stark. “He’s more Schvitz Punk!” The premier issue is finished, however, Stark and Garrett made a decision to add four previously cut pages back in before it goes to the printers, so all you retro-fabulous turn of the century comic-loving kiddies will have more action-packed goodness when it hits the shelves!

Stark and Garrett’s home-grown labor of love is being crowd-funded by a Kickstarter campaign, in part to cover printing costs (28 full-color pages with a 5000 copy run!), but also to put feelers out to gauge interest in their project. They are offering many enticing perks for backers, including digital and hard copies, exclusive signed prints and the chance for a few lucky folks to get drawn and/or written into the action. So come on out and be a part of WOLVERTON history and snatch up an adventurous perk or two via the Kickstarter campaign available through July 6! Check out the full range of rewards here!

ATLRetro caught up with Michael Stark and Terrell T. Garrett to gab a bit about their upcoming comic,  writing for the Hollywood machine; and why going with crowd-funding made sense for this project. While you’re takin’ a gander at our little Q&A, why not take a peek at the teaser trailer and a wee history of WOLVERTON here.

ATLRetro: How did you and your co-writer, Terrell T. Garrett, come up with the idea of “Wolverton?” What inspired the tale and why set the story in turn of the century London?

Michael: I had an old script about a gentleman thief that I pitched to Sean Connery’s company before he did ENTRAPMENT. I wanted to dust it off, but Terrell yawned, finding the trope a bit old-fashioned. So, out of the blue I blurted out: “What if we set it in Edwardian England and he only stole magical objects like the Monkey’s paw?” Suddenly, my writing partner leaned in, very interested, and we knew we had a great idea.

(l-r) Co-Writers Terrell T. Garrett and Michael Stark

Can you tell our readers a little about the creative team behind WOLVERTON?

Michael: I was making a good living writing in Hollywood in the ’90s without actually having anything produced. Those days have changed. The new normal is free options and free rewrites which is why I started looking at trying a different format. Our artist, Derek Rodenbeck, was an army vet whose testimony of overcoming great tragedy with his art really moved us. We think we found a very talented, young man.

Terrell:  I’m currently adapting Alistair MacLean‘s novel, FEAR IS THE KEY, for the big screen. In fact, most of the stuff I’ve written has been in the screenplay format except for a few short stories here and there and a novel that I’m working on at a glacial pace. I’m also a new father.

What is it about the “gentleman thief” trope that inspires you to create a character like Jack Wolverton?

Michael: We were getting known in Hollywood for writing wild set pieces.  I wanted to do something that mixed action with the wit and sophistication of a Preston Sturges or an Ernst Lubitch film. The Gentleman Thief trope fit both worlds perfectly.

We see that you and Garrett worked together on several screenplays, and that you’ve optioned a few to Universal and Disney. Comics and film are similar in that they both rely on dialogue, action and visuals to deliver an awe-inspiring story. As a screenwriter and now a comic book writer, what would you say are the biggest differences between the two, and the challenges of each?

Artist Derek Rodenbeck

Michael: I thought it would be pretty easy to transpose the script into comic book format. I was dead wrong! Especially because modern comic books like modern screenplays have far less text in ‘em than when I was a kid. So, even after we basically locked the book, I’m still calling the letterer and asking if we can fit in a new bit.

Can you tell our readers what drew you to screenwriting, and who would you say are your most inspirational screenwriters/films?

Michael: Thank God for PBS in the 70s.  I saw a Francois Truffaut and Luis Bunuel film festival when I was 10 years old and knew then I wanted to be a screenwriter. Not a director ’cause I looked lousy in jodhpurs. At NYU, I mentored under three Academy winning screenwriters: Ring Lardner JR (MASH, WOMAN OF THE YEAR), Waldo Salt (MIDNIGHT COWBOY, SERPICO) and Ian Hunter, who could tear apart and fix just about anything.

Terrell: I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker when I saw JURASSIC PARK when I was 14 years old. Something about the collective awe in the theater and seeing all the names in the credits made me realize I wanted to be a part of the movie magic. My favorite screenwriters and filmmakers who inspire me are Walter Hill (ALIEN franchise), James Cameron, Jane Goldman (KICK-ASS), Frank Darabont (THE MIST), Dan Gilroy (NIGHTCRAWLER), Joe Carnahan (THE GREY), Bryan Fuller (HANNIBAL TV series), Jon Spaihts (DOCTOR STRANGE, PROMETHEUS) and Diablo Cody (JUNO).

Of course we have to know, as a native Long Islander, what made you fly south, and what is it about Atlanta that’s kept you around for so long?

Michael: That is a very long and surreal story, but basically I was given a month to live a decade ago and went on a spiritual journey that ended up with this nice, Jewish kid from Long Island becoming a minister in a small, rural GA church. That of course would make a good screenplay, but I strictly believe in never writing about your own life. Oh, yeah, I didn’t die BTW.

Most kids (and now adults, as the guilty pleasure no longer carries the negative geek stigma) can’t wait to get their grubby little hands on the coolest of the cool comics. What comics were your favorite growing up and what are your favorites now?

Terrell:  I grew up reading Chris Claremont X-MEN comics and the ’90s issues of THE NEW MUTANTS. PREACHER and Neil Gaiman‘s SANDMAN blew my teenage mind. These days, I’m enjoying Alan Moore‘s PROVIDENCE, Brian K. Vaughan‘s SAGA and Matt Fraction‘s ODY-C.

MichaelTeam Marvel and mind warping EC reprints. Now anything by Alan Moore.

WOLVERTON began as an original screenplay and was then regenerated into a comic book. Can you tell us a little about that process and whether seeing it drawn on the page in color helps visualize how it will look on the big screen?

Michael: The screenplay was a director’s wet dream with action scenes that were beyond hyper kinetic. Derek did a great job capturing that energy on the page. Even Wolverton’s hair is constantly in motion.

Any plans to take the tale back to Hollywood after its success as a comic book?

Michael: Well, there was just a huge bidding war over a friend’s graphic novel, so, yes! Hollywood is more interested in acquiring existing material than original screenplays. Maybe they’ll come to us this time if the comic book is successful.

Why a Kickstarter campaign for WOLVERTON? What are the advantages of taking the crowd-sourcing route?

Terrell: We chose Kickstarter because it just felt logical. A lot of creatives have used the crowd-sourcing platform and have found success, especially in the realm of comics. We figured it was worth a shot. Not only to hopefully cover the cost of printing, but to see if people would be interested in our little story.

You’ve put together some great bonuses for investors, ranging from digital and hard copies to exclusive signed prints and the chance to get drawn into the action (Exciting!). What can folks looking to invest via Kickstarter expect to get when they back your comic?

Terrell: Backers can, firstly, expect a fun adventure story full of cool visuals, sparking dialogue and great characters.  Secondly, for the backers who dish out a little extra, they can expect to see their likeness or the name of their business in comic book form or own exciting and original artwork. Thirdly, they can know that they invested in a story with little risk, and have contributed to the dream of a brand new father.

Can you give us five things you’re into at the moment that we should be watching, reading or listening to right now— past or present, well-known or obscure?

Terrell:  Nonfiction Book: MIND HUNTER: INSIDE THE FBI’S ELITE SERIAL CRIME UNIT by John E. Douglas. Podcast: LIMETOWN. Podcast: THE BLACK TAPES. Science Fiction Book: RED RISING by Pierce Brown. Novella: “Agents of Dreamland” by Caitlin R. Kiernan.

Michael: I’m cycling through John Ford westerns and Jeeves and Wooster books at the moment. I’m not sure what I’ll spit out after that combo meal. Although, Terrell and I already wrote a script about Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Victorian London.  That may be our next comic book.

Any advice for writers and/or artists out there on putting together and publishing their own comic books?

Terrell:  Treat the artist as your collaborator. Be patient with the process. Never give up.

Michael: Who knew sticking it to the man – the man being Hollywood – would be so damn expensive. Many people I went to film school with are now editors at Marvel and DC. Some even started their own publishing companies. I knew if I asked for their advice, they’d probably talk me out of it and I didn’t want to be talked out of it.

Getting back to why we’re here chatting you up, WOLVERTON, and the comic book’s Kickstarter campaign! Without giving too much away, what can you tell our readers a little about the comic?

Michael:  Here’s how we pitched it to Hollywood. In turn of the century London, Jack Wolverton, gentleman thief, specializes in stealing the arcane, the accursed and the occult. With war about to break out, only he can stop the world’s most powerful artifacts (The Monkey’s Paw, The Hope Diamond and the Portrait of Dorian Gray) from falling into the wrong hands! Think Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

And last but not least, how many issues are planned and how can our readers snag up their very own copies?

Michael: We are printing up 5,000 copies and you can get a copy before anyone on the planet does by backing us now. If the ship carrying them through the high China Seas isn’t attacked by pirates, expect a summer release.

All photos courtesy of Michael Stark and Terrell T. Garrett and used with permission.

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Kool Kat of the Week: Atlanta Author Michael Wehunt Dishes on the Grotesquery That is Humanness and Ventures Out into The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird, Saturday March 25

Posted on: Mar 21st, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Catch up with our Kool Kat of the Week, Michael Wehunt, and a plethora of other Weird and speculative fiction writers at the inaugural The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird, crash-landing at Decatur CoWorks on Saturday, March 25, and proudly sponsored by ATLRetro. And eat, drink and exchange oddities with the writers during The Outer Dark Symposium Pre-Party at My Parents’ Basement, Friday, March 24, 8-11 pm, where you also can gather ‘round for readings by Michael Wehunt, our own publisher and bloggeress in charge Anya Martin (“The Un-Bride or No Gods & Marxists,” Eternal Frankenstein) and Selena Chambers (World Fantasy Award nominee for “The Neurastheniac,” Cassilda’s Song).

The Outer Dark Symposium is brought to you by The Outer Dark podcast and its host This Is Horror! and features eight hours of panels, readings and signings centered around Weird and speculative fiction. Admission will be limited to 50 attendees, but all programming will be featured on The Outer Dark. Other confirmed guests include Daniel Braum (Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales), Gerald Coleman (When Night Falls: Book One of The Three Gifts), Milton Davis (From Here to Timbuktu), Kristi DeMeester (read her ATLRetro feature here where she discusses her upcoming novel Beneath), John C. Foster (Mister White), Craig L. Gidney (Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories), Orrin Grey (Painted Monsters and Other Strange Beasts), Valjeanne Jeffers (Immortal), Nicole Givens Kurtz (The Cybil Lewis Series), Edward Austin Hall (co-editor of Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond), Scott Nicolay (World Fantasy Award winner for “Do You Like To Look At Monsters?”), Kool Kat Balogun Ojetade (The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman: Freedonia), Eric Schaller (Meet Me in the Middle of the Air), Grafton Tanner (Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts), and Damien Angelica Walters (Sing Me Your Scars).

Wehunt, a transplant from North Georgia (just a stone’s throw from the Appalachians), has set up roots in the lovely urban weirdness that is Atlanta. His short fiction has appeared in Cemetery Dance, The Dark, The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu: New Lovecraftian Fiction, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, among others. His debut fiction collection, Greener Pastures, was published in 2016, and he’s currently working on his first novel, which is sure to please the maniacal masses. ATLRetro caught up with Wehunt for a quick rundown on what inspires him to put pen to paper, his admiration for the truly bizarre and why you should always follow your dreams, no matter how weird.

(l-r) Gerald Coleman, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Anya Martin, Michael Wehunt

ATLRETRO: It’s the usual state of things for a writer, or any artist to be honest, to be pigeonholed into clear-cut tried-and-true genres. Your work has been described as horror, weird horror, sci-fi, all wrapped up in a bizarre Southern Gothic blanket filled with the strange and bizarre. What are the pros and cons of being classified in such a way? And do you feel it’s better to not quite fit in any specific genre?

Michael Wehunt: I definitely prefer not fitting into any one tidy box. It really depends on an author’s ultimate goal, however. Sometimes the best way to make a name for oneself and become commercially successful—often a pipe dream, but what else are dreams for?— is to willingly climb into that single genre box. Your brand, so to speak, can be conveniently labeled. In my opinion, the label on the box is for the readers, not the author. But mixing genres is wonderful, too, and can have its own rewards. I likely won’t ever be a chameleon type of writer, using a wholly different form each time out. Instead, I’m more focused on that section of the Venn diagram where all these different areas overlap and exploring what’s there. The convergence could be subtle here or it could be stark there. Ultimately, these elements all serve the same purpose.

We see that you’ve had a long (and hopefully torrid!) love affair with Flannery O’Connor, the mother of grotesque discomfort. What is it about her tales and her writing that inspires you the most?

Flannery O’Connor was my third literary love. I discovered Stephen King when I was 8 years old, then Poe shortly after. It wasn’t until early in high school that I was introduced to O’Connor—and later still to Southern Gothic in general— and all these years later I’ve yet to read an author who could find that seam between ugliness and transcendence so perfectly. There are other authors who write beautifully in a Southern voice—Carson McCullers!— but none like she did. She mined the deep-running spiritual power of the South and smelted it with the grotesquery of petty humanness, and horror, black humor, and great beauty emerged in her work. Much later—only a handful of years ago, in fact—I would immerse myself in weird fiction and discover another love of my life. Robert Aickman and Algernon Blackwood, alongside contemporary authors such as Lynda E. Rucker and Laird Barron, showed me that O’Connor had been frequently writing a sort of weird fiction, though she was never credited with such. The only difference was that the spirituality in her work was the sort that America embraces, and it was all the more powerful to show what was under its rock while still remaining devout. The same cosmic strangeness is often right there in her books—why would we think our minds can fathom God with a capital G, after all—and this only deepened my love for her…and, yes, made it more torrid.

Stereotypically, the south, or “southerners” to be exact, is known the world over for its ability to bury deep dark secrets while flaunting its ignorance with a discomforting ease. How important would you say is the written word when it comes to exposing societal atrocities and do you think it is a writer’s duty to bring about change through their published works?

The South has a large closet filled with skeletons, to be sure, and the metaphor is uglier than it would be in most other cases. Not only have slavery and the foul mistreatment of Native Americans been largely papered over in our history books—not ignored, of course, but spruced up to look less unattractive—but poverty and the machine that perpetuates poverty bring out the worst in people sometimes, and a fierce sense of piety and Southern pride can sweep these things under the rug with a defiant pride. The word “demure” comes to mind. That rug has been peeled back even more in recent years. Not just in the rural South but in other analogous areas of the country. And things are squirming in the light. Fiction can be escapism, pure and simple. It can be socio-political in a direct way or in an indirect way. It can focus on philosophy and ideas. It can examine what it means to be human, with all a human’s transcendence and trappings. It can be one of these things or it can be all of these things at the same time. The best of it makes you think about the world without really letting you know it’s doing so, and in that way, change can come simply by engaging the reader with the self and then with the world around them. I know that much of my worldview (and self-view) came from reading dark fiction, and it’s no coincidence that compassion and kindness are the things I seek out in a political candidate or organization or friend.

Your debut collection, GREENER PASTURES, was published in 2016. Can you tell our readers a little about the collection and what inspired you to put together these particular tales in one grouping?

Greener Pastures contains 11 of my favorite short stories as of late 2015; those I felt worked the best together to carry a general theme while also providing just enough variety in subject matter and tone. When they were all together, I realized how prominently trees figure into my work, something I’d never truly noticed before. They’re everywhere, either in the foreground or background, but this was mostly accidental. Less accidental was the theme of loss. There are a lot of stories here that deal with various shades and types of loss, and how people cope with it. Write what you fear, they say, and that’s exactly what I fear. But I wanted a variety of moods and voices to bear these losses and keep things interesting for the reader. And, of course, a variety of darkness, including some good old-fashioned terror. In the end, I would say most of these stories speak from and of the human heart. There’s nothing suppler and earthier than humanity. I plan to dig in that dirt as long as people will let me. I’ll do my best to scare and unsettle them while I’m at it.

We’re also excited to see that your story, “October Film Haunt: Under the House” is featured in THE YEAR’S BEST DARK FANTASY & HORROR 2017 collection. Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write this story and what it means to you to be a part of this collection?

Thank you! This will be my second time in Paula Guran’s yearly best-of-the-dark-stuff anthology, and I feel very grateful and fortunate for that. “October Film Haunt: Under the House” is an interesting and special story for me. It has two origins: The first is that I wanted to write a love letter of sorts to horror and weird fiction fandom. Four guys from different walks of life who met at a fan convention and found a common passion for horror films take a road trip once a year to the setting of a famous scary movie, documenting their findings and sensations. Since I’m a sucker for the found-footage genre of horror (à la THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT), I wanted to try my hand at translating this medium into the written word, only switching into video camera mode when the story earned it. But I also wrote it specifically as a reaction to the majority of my work dealing with, as alluded to above, emotion, grief, and the joys and pains of being a regular person. I wanted no complex back-story, no real character development…just pure, unadulterated terror and craziness. It was a lot of fun to write, and I think it really did turn out to be a love letter.

You’ve made it very clear that “flesh and blood” characters are of utmost importance in your writing. What do you mean when say you write these types of characters and why are they important to you and your writing?

It’s crucial to have relatable characters that the reader—and the author—can easily imagine off the page. Even in the story I just discussed, “October Film Haunt,” in which I consciously stayed away from the importance of character arcs, the reader still has to care about the characters, what they do, and what they gain or lose. Antagonists, antiheroes and even the henchmen who die in the second scene should feel like real people…except, since this is horror we’re talking about, when they’re not actually people at all. When a story focuses on character and seeks a “depth,” that flesh and blood is all the more important. There’s no point in hanging curtains if there’s no window.

Short fiction and short fiction collections seem to be taking the stage and leading the charge, especially within the realm of Weird fiction. What do you think is it about the short story or novella that draws the Weird writing crowd?

Since Weird fiction relies primarily on the unknown intruding upon the known world—to simplify things—it can be difficult to sustain that sense of uncanny dread across the length of, say, a 90,000-word novel. Ambiguity is often the bread and butter of the Weird; that sense of awe and uncertainty is important to carry the fiction’s effect beyond reading. This isn’t to say there are no Weird fiction novels. It’s just that the ratio is skewed more toward its effectiveness as a short form. Horror typically works better than Weird fiction in novel form because its monsters are most often explained. There’s a clear path and intent: figure out the monster so that you can survive it. In Weird fiction, the “monster” is sometimes so inscrutable and vast (the universe itself or something so alien that the human mind can’t truly process it) that over the course of a novel, it becomes difficult to get away with that inscrutability. I also feel that short fiction is making a comeback in its own right, which is a wonderful thing. The novel is important, but there’s absolutely no reason for it to claim such a vast majority of the reading public. Short fiction can paint moods and tones and use forms and structures the novel simply cannot.

Speaking of the Weird writing crowd, you are scheduled to be a guest at the inaugural The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird this weekend (March 25). Anything special planned for this event?

My plans are essentially the same as with any other convention: go and have fun. We’re having a dinner with readings the night before the Symposium. It’s at 8:00 p.m. at My Parents’ Basement in Decatur, and though there is limited seating, it’s open to the public. And we are looking for weird and creepy things to do on Sunday, too, before everyone ships out. The best part of any convention is meeting and hanging out with people I usually only know on social media. They’re like family.

Any interesting stories on how you discovered Weird fiction and what specifically drew you to this particular group of writers?

It’s interesting to me—and a little embarrassing—how late I came to Weird fiction. I read horror as a kid but for some reason never explored it much beyond Stephen King. I have no idea how different I would have turned out if I’d stuck with it beyond my teenage years. But the darkness never left. I found it in other things. And when I finally, too many years later, decided I couldn’t put off trying to write fiction anymore, I reread some Stephen King stories and bought a copy of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, Volume Three just based on Amazon browsing. The latter book was a revelation to me. I discovered Laird Barron, John Langan, Tanith Lee, Stephen Graham Jones…it was a door opening, and soon I was an addict. These people thought about fiction the way I did, and I had no idea! I wrote my first story soon thereafter, and ever since I’ve been trying to pretend I knew about this stuff all along, even after admitting in interviews that I didn’t.

Do you have any advice for those writers just starting out?

There’s a post on my blog called “On Turning Five.” I wrote it last year to share my thoughts about what I felt was the first chapter in my career. It goes into more detail than I can here, but I shared six bullet points that I think are important for a beginning writer: talent (you gotta have some of that); time (use what you have and don’t worry if others have more of it); wisdom (rely on your own, seek others’); kindness (support other authors, pay it forward); persistence (keep doing it, keep fueling the fire of your passion to write in any way you can think of); and resiliency (there will be a lot of rejection—it’s as important a part of the reality as success is).

Can you fill us in on what you’re currently working on? And where can our readers get their hands on your published works?

I’m currently in the middle of my first novel. There’s some weird fiction, some horror, some literary sensibilities, and some ore from other mines. I have that Venn diagram taped over my desk with a thumbtack pressed into the center. As for my published works, my novella, “The Tired Sounds, A Wake,” has sold out forever, sadly, as it was a limited-edition pressing, though it will live again down the road in my next collection. Greener Pastures is available through Apex Book Company or Amazon and other online retailers. My blog has links to all my stories that aren’t in the collection as well.

Can you give us five things you’re into at the moment that we should be reading, watching or listening to right now—past or present, well-known or obscure?

Reading: Julian Barnes’ novel The Sense of an Ending. I’m reading it for the third time right now. It’s a very short literary novel that takes an uncomfortable look at memory and its reliability, both intentional and unintentional. Beautiful and unsettling. There’s a film version coming out soon, so now would be a good time to discover the book. Watching: I’m terribly behind on films. These days my partner and I are watching The Golden Girls in its entirety, and I’ve been having fun reliving my childhood—it was the last show my grandmother and I watched regularly together— and coming up with fake occult theories about Sophia and the girls. Listening: Mica Levi’s film scores. I listen to a lot of ambient, drone, and classical, and Levi’s work for recent films is wonderful to write to. UNDER THE SKIN and JACKIE are both great and very different from each other.

And last, but not least, care to share anything weird and bizarre we don’t know about you already?

This isn’t particularly weird, but I used to have a fairly profound fear of public speaking. For some reason, back in 2010 I got it into my head that I wanted to try amateur standup comedy, which is pretty much the opposite of what I do now. I did it three open-mic performances. It was utterly terrifying but fun—I can clearly remember the swelling panic in my chest—and I’m convinced it was the first step toward writing fiction, which was my other big fear. And while I still have that old fear of public performance in me, it did wonders for it, and it made me an advocate for those scared to put themselves out there: Just do it. Follow your dreams no matter what shape they ultimately take. You’ll be glad you did.

ATLRetro is proud to be a sponsor of The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird on Saturday March 25.  Attending memberships to the symposium are $25 and limited to 50. A few are still available at press-time. Contact atlretro@gmail.com. There’s also a pre-party with author readings on Friday March 24 at My Parents’ Basement in Avondale Estates from 8-11 pm.

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This Week in ATLRetro, July 15-21, 2019

Posted on: Jul 14th, 2019 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Beat the heat and chill in ATLRetro This Week!

Monday, July 15

WUSSY MAG and Out on Film present their monthly series, Queers on Film, at The Plaza Theater with a screening of Gus Van Sant’s MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO (1991) at 7pm! Americana it up with John Driskell Hopkins at City Winery! Spend the night with Bond, James Bond, at The Plaza Theater during their 25 Days of Bond Marathon with a screening of John Glen’s FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981), with a live organ intro, at 4:45pm! The UA Tara Theatre screens Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ documentary TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM (2019), through July 18! Rock out and tune into Kool Kat Rev. Andy Hawley’s Psychobilly Freakout Radio broadcasting on Garage 71 at 8pm, every Monday! Get your vinyl fix at Little 5 Points Corner Tavern’s Records of Mass Destruction, every Monday! Swing on by Big Band Night featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 17-member orchestra at Café 290 every first and third Monday of the month! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam!

Tuesday, July 16

The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema continues their Classics Series with a screening of Robert Wise’s WEST SIDE STORY (1961) at 7pm! Get jazzy with Christian Scott at City Winery! Spend the night with Steven Conn at Eddie’s Attic! Bluegrass it up with Mickey Abraham at the Red Light Café! The Plaza Theater continues their Bond 25 event with a screening of John Glen’s OCTOPUSSY (1983) at 7pm! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with DJ Quasi Mandisco’s Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, July 17

Catch a 50th Anniversary screening of Dennis Hopper’s EASY RIDER (1969) at theatres across Atlanta [AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); and Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18]!  The Plaza Theater continues their Bond 25 event with a screening of Irvin Kershner’s NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983) at 7pm! Folk rock it up with Angie Aparo, Granville Automatic, with Max Stalling & Heather Stalling at Eddie’s Attic! Swing on by City Winery for a night with Karla Harris! Get rocked with Bill Callahan (Smog) at Terminal West! Get your dino fix and catch a Flashback Cinema screening of Steven Spielberg’s JURASSIC PARK (1993) at theatres across Atlanta [Northlake Festival Movie Tavern (Tucker); GTC Merchant’s Walk Cinemas (Marietta); Movie Tavern at Horizon Village (Suwannee); and The Springs Cinema & Taphouse (Sandy Springs)! The Highlander rocks out with their Punk/Metal/New Wave Karaoke Night, every Wednesday! Catch a screening of Mel Stuart’s WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971) at Studio Movie Grill (Marietta/Alpharetta) at 7:15pm! Funk it up with the Mike Veal Band at Tin Roof Cantina! Get jazzy at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern for a rockin’ night of blues with the Tyler Neal Band! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, July 18

Get bizarre with Videodrome and The Plaza Theater and catch PlazaDrome’s screening of David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY (1997) at 9:30pm! Spend the night with Dan Baird & Homemade Sin at Eddie’s Attic! Get down at The Star Bar with Alias Patrick Kelly, Kool Kat Jeffrey Butzer, and the 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra! Kevin Scott gets funky and hosts a tribute to STUFF at Buteco! Minos the Saint gets folksy at the Red Light Café! Spend the night with the Andy Browne Troupe at Waller’s Coffee Shop! The Plaza Theater continues their Tarantino Retrospective with a screening of DEATH PROOF (2007) at 7pm! Darkwave it up at Noni’s during their weekly DARK ROOM event, every Thursday! It’s Mai Tai Thursday at Trader Vic’s so get down with some island tunes and have some killer cocktails! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! The Star Bar kicks it in the Little Vinyl Lounge with Karaoke Night, every Thursday! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, July 19

New-Wave it up with Howard Jones, Men Without Hats and All Hail the Silence at the Buckhead Theatre! Rock out and pay tribute at the Tin Roof Cantina with The Cherry Bomb (Joan Jett), Learning to Count (The Ramones) and Hyperspace! Spend the night with Chinua Hawk at City Winery! Eighties it up with Electric Avenue at Park Tavern! Runaway Gin pay tribute to Phish at Terminal West! Get old-timey with the Canyon Ladies at Waller’s Coffee Shop! Spend a second night with Dan Baird & Homemade Sin at Eddie’s Attic! SCADShow presents a Legacy Series screening of Victor Fleming’s THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) at 7pm! The Plaza Theater continues their Bond 25 event with a screening of John Glen’s A VIEW TO A KILL (1985) at 6:30pm, and their Tarantino Retrospective with a screening of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009) at 9pm! Groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas and Nathan Nelson at the Northside Tavern! Time-Warp it up at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, July 20

Get geeky and mysterious with Kool Kats Michael Stark and Terrell Garrett at My Parents’ Basement during their WOLVERTON #2 Signing & Release event at 12pm! Make your way to Eagle Eye Books and get monsterific with ATLRetro Bloggeress in Charge, Anya Martin in conversation with horror writer J.S. Breukelaar at 2pm! Get your ‘90s alt rock fix at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater with the Spin Doctors and 10,000 Maniacs! Get rocked with Iron Maiden at Lakewood Amphitheatre! Or glam it up in Hell with L.A. Guns at the Masquerade! Groove on down to the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre for Gentlemen of Soul! Get your ‘70s-esque power pop fix with The Head, The Titos and Me, Me, Me at Smiths’ Olde Bar! Catch a screening of Frank OzTHE MUPPET GUYS TALKING (2017) at Center for Puppetry Arts at 8pm! Spend the night with the Rock*A*Teens at Buteco! Shimmy on down to the Red Light Café for Last Pasties Standing: Metallic! The Plaza Theater continues their Bond 25 event with a screening of John Glen’s THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1985) at 4pm, and their Tarantino Retrospective with a screening of DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012) at 7pm! Make your way to the Ivy Wall Drive-In Theatre in Dacula for  double-feature screenings of Paul Michael Glaser’s THE RUNNING MAN (1987) and Kinji Fukasaku’s BATTLE ROYALE (2000) at 9pm! Spend a second night with Chinua Hawk at City Winery! Americana it up with Michelle Malone at Eddie’s Attic! The Rainmen and Bill Sheffield get down at the Northside Tavern! The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema presents a Family Matinee Series screening of Wolfgang Peterson’s THE NEVERENDING STORY (1984) at 10am! And as always, DJ Romeo Cologne and DJ Kwasi Mandisco transforms the sensationally seedy Clermont Lounge into a ’70s disco/funk inferno late into the wee hours of the night.

Sunday, July 21

TCM Big Screen Classics presents a 30th Anniversary screening of Edward Zwick’s GLORY (1989) at theatres across Atlanta [AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18; Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Perimeter Pointe 10; Georgian Stadium 14 (Newnan); AMC Sugarloaf Mills 18 (Lawrenceville); Regal Mall of Georgia Stadium (Buford); Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough), and Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville)]! The 2019 Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival presents a sing-along with Robert Stevenson’s MARY POPPINS (1964) at the Fox Theatre at 2pm! The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema presents a Family Matinee Series screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984) at 10am! The Plaza Theater continues their Bond 25 event with a screening of John Glen’s LICENSE TO KILL (1989) at 4pm, and their Tarantino Retrospective with a screening of THE HATEFUL EIGHT (2015) at 6:30pm! Shimmy down with Kool Kat Lola LeSoleil at Metropolitan Studios for her Feather Fan-Damentals Workshop! Get down to The Earl for Tag Team’s Obligatory 20th Anniversary Show! Catch a 20th Anniversary Flashback Cinema screening of Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s THE MATRIX (1999) at theatres across Atlanta [Northlake Festival Movie Tavern (Tucker); GTC Merchant’s Walk Cinemas (Marietta); Movie Tavern at Horizon Village (Suwannee); and The Springs Cinema & Taphouse (Sandy Springs)! Funk it up with Risky Biscuit at Tin Roof Cantina! Get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar!

Ongoing

Darkwave it up at Noni’s during their weekly DARK ROOM event, every Thursday through July 26!

ATL CRAFT presents a magical occult Movie Night every second Friday of every month!

My Parents’ Basement goes old-school with their monthly Pinball Tournament, every first Wednesday of the month!

Geek it up and get to bowlin’ at The Comet Pub & LanesComet Cosplay, getting nerdy the first Monday of every month!

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm! 

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

The Highlander rocks out with their Punk/Metal/New Wave Karaoke Night, every Wednesday!

Get your vinyl fix during Little 5 Points Corner Tavern’s Records of Mass Destruction! event, every Monday!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

This Week in ATLRetro, April 30-May 6, 2018

Posted on: Apr 29th, 2018 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Shake a tail feather and groove on into ATLRetro This Week!

Monday, April 30

Hot Jam it up with The Hot Club of Atlanta at Ambient + Studio! Or get jazzy with Virginia Schenck at City Winery! Get anti-folk with Beck and Twin Shadow at the Tabernacle! Rock out with The Afghan Whigs and Built to Spill at the Variety Playhouse! Rudiger Suchsland’s documentary HITLER’S HOLLYWOOD (2018) examining “German Cinema in the Age of Propaganda: 1933-1945” screens at The Plaza Theater, through May 3! Sophie Fiennes’ dynamic documentary GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI (2017) screens at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema (see our Retro Review here), through May 3! Swing on by Big Band Night featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 17-member orchestra at Café 290 every first and third Monday of the month! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for a night with Larry Griffith!

Tuesday, May 1

Rock out with Stone Temple Pilots and Camp Howard at the Masquerade! Spend the night with Clay Harper (The Coolies) and Muleskinner MacQueen at Avondale Towne Cinema! I Love This Band relives Soul Train at City Winery! Get old-timey with Ol’ GoForth at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Get psyched with Ruby the Hatchet, Heavy Temple and HOT RAM at The Earl! Spend another night with Beck and Twin Shadow at the Tabernacle!The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema continues their new Classics Series with a screening of Ingmar Bergman’s FANNY AND ALEXANDER (1982) at 7pm! Dance with yourself and everyone else at the Coca Cola Roxy Theater and rock out with Billy Idol! Make your way to Goblin City and catch a screening of Jim Henson’s LABYRINTH (1986) at theatres across Atlanta at 7pm [AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18; Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); Regal Mall of Georgia 20 Plus Imax (Buford); and AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow)]! Get folksy with John Baumann and Zach Nytomt at Eddie’s Attic! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s every Tuesday! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with DJ Quasi Mandisco’s Little 5 Points Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, May 2

Get folksy with Heart Hunters at Smith’s Olde Bar! Put on your dancin’ shoes and catch a screening of Gene Kelly’s SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952) at Studio Movie Grill (Alpharetta/Duluth) at 7:15pm! Rock out with Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at the Buckhead Theatre! Folk it up with Suzanne Vega at City Winery! Darwin’s Burgers & Blues gets down with their Blues Jam! Spend the night with Matthew Logan Vasquez, Thorp Jenson and Ciggurl at The Earl! Get folksy with The Accidentals at Eddie’s Attic! Make your way to Goblin City and catch a screening of Jim Henson’s LABYRINTH (1986) at theatres across Atlanta at 7pm [AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18; Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); Regal Mall of Georgia 20 Plus Imax (Buford); and AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow)]! Or blues it up with Frankie’s Blues Mission at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Funk it up with the Mike Veal Band at Tin Roof Cantina! Get jazzy at the Red Light Café with The Gordon Vernick Quartet! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up a night of acoustic blues! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, May 3

Get hellacious with ELZIG, Kool Kats The Casket Creatures and BSOL at the Clermont Lounge! It’s tribute night at The Star Bar, so rock on down for a night with RAPTURE (Blondie), Runnin Down a Dream (Tom Petty), FREEBIRD (Lynyrd Skynyrd), and Rolling Thunder (Bob Dylan)! Jazz it up with The Rebel Big Band at Gallery 992! A night of super hilarity ensues at The Plaza Theater as Cineprov screens/riffs Albert Pyun’s CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990) at 7:30pm! Swing on down, Western-style with Riders in the Sky at City Winery! Cody Matlock & the Mothership get down at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Get folksy with Ben Trickey, Matthew Paul Butler and Moses Nash at The Earl! It’s a garage rock revival with The Whigs and Tedo Stone at Terminal West! Rock out with Helmet in Heaven at the Masquerade! It’s Mai Tai Thursday at Trader Vic’s so hula on down for a night of rockin’ island tunes and killer island cocktails! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, May 4

Day one of the 3-day 2018 Shaky Knees Festival has arrived at Centennial Olympic Park, chock full of retro-inspired tunes! Rock on down and catch David Byrne, Fleet Foxes, Franz Ferdinand, Jimmy Eat World, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Frights, The Ghost of Paul Revere, The War & Treaty, Liz Brasher and more! Jump in your T.A.R.D.I.S. and make your way to WHOLANTA 2018, Atlanta’s premiere Doctor Who & British Media Convention, time traveling through May 6! Rock out at The Star Bar with Chromp Plated Apostles, Hot Wives, The Trouble Obscene, with a special Spaghetti Western set with Kool Kat Jeffrey Butzer! Get some soulful Salsa at Avondale Towne Cinema with Orquesta MaCuba!  Rock out with The Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Earl! Gypsy jazz it up with Kool Kat Amy Pike and The Bonaventure Quartet at Eddie’s Attic! Get intergalactic and catch SCADShow’s screening of Barry Sonnenfeld’s MEN IN BLACK (1997) at 7pm! The Stranger pays tribute to Billy Joel at City Winery! The Rainmen dish out a night of ‘60s and ‘70s rock at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Go to Heaven and rock out with The Distillers and Broncho at the Masquerade! Or take a trip to Purgatory for a night of dirty doo-wop with The Frights! Albert White gets old school at the Northside Tavern! Get the folksy blues with Peter Case and more at the Red Clay Theatre! Or get your Americana fix with The War on Drugs at the Variety Playhouse! Zoom on down to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for Vintage Market Days West Atlanta, through May 6! The Gipsy Kings dish out a night of ‘80s Flamenco at the Wolf Creek Amphitheatre! The Wild Hares get down at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Time-Warp it up at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, May 5

Hey all you miscreants! Get mischievous and rock out at May Ham Fest 2018, featuring vendors including Dirk Hays (see our Shop Around feature here), 2the 9’s Retro and Jezebel Blue [see our Shop Around feature here], Deathkiss Designs and more; a pig roast; live music and more in Avondale Estates! You won’t want to miss a hellacious musical lineup with The Border Dogs, BBs Blowdown, The Crush, Valkyrie, the Screamin’ Demons, BSOL, The Wheelknockers, Sash the Bash, Kool Kat Carloline & The Ramblers, the Fabulous Thrillbillys, Dusty Booze & The Baby Haters and Nine Pound Hammer! Stick around for a late night double feature with screenings of Ivan Reitman’s GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) and Merian C. Cooper’s creature-feature, KING KONG (1933)! It’s a night of nitty gritty rock ‘n’ roll with Kool Kat Sen. Artie Mondello and The Delusionaires, the Wooly Bushmen and Bad Spell at The Star Bar! Day two of the Shaky Knees Festival brings you Queens of the Stone Age, The War on Drugs, Cake, Manchester Orchestra, The Distillers, Andrew W.K. and more! Free Comic Book Day invades Atlanta! Come see what Challenges Games & Comics (North Dekalb Mall) has in store! Or check out Criminal Records and what they have in store with special guests from 11am – 3pm, including Kool Kat Michael Stark (WOLVERTON) and more! Rock out with the Melvins and All Souls at the Masquerade! Boogie on down to The Basement for their Heyday ‘80s Dance Party! SCADShow presents an intergalactic double feature with screenings of Barry Sonnenfeld’s MEN IN BLACK II (2002) and MEN IN BLACK 3 (2012) beginning at 12pm! Jazz it up with Herb Alpert & Lani Hall at City Winery! Folk it up with Cicada Rhythm at the Crimson Moon Café! Stomp on down to The Earl for a night with The Ghost of Paul Revere and Boy Named Banjo. Make your way to Eddie’s Attic for a night with Lonnie Holley & Lee Bains III and The Sweet Remains! Jazz it up with Denise Kirkland at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! New Sensation pays tribute to INXS at MadLife Stage & Studios! Get the blues with Grant Green, Jr. at the Northside Tavern! Alt rock on down to Terminal West for a night with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club! Folk it up with Fleet Foxes at the Variety Playhouse! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night! And as always, DJ Romeo Cologne and DJ Kwasi Mandisco transforms the sensationally seedy Clermont Lounge into a ’70s disco/funk inferno late into the wee hours of the night.

Sunday, May 6

Catch Day 3 of the Shaky Knees Festival featuring Tenacious D, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and more! Make your way to The William Bremen Jewish Heritage Museum for their At the Jazz Club with Oran Etkin! Get a laugh and catch a screening of Terry Gilliam’s comedy classic MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975) during Northlake Festival Movie Tavern’s Flashback Cinema series at 2:30pm/7:30pm! Get down with some oldies but goodies during the Crimson Moon Café’s Boomer’s Gone Wild event! Get the rockin’ blues with Royal Johnson at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Tav Falco & The Panther Burns dish out a night of fuzzed out dirty rock ‘n’ roll with Shantih Shantih at The Earl! Spend the night with Gurufish at Park Tavern! Get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar with Eddie Tigner! And get the rockin’ blues with Garrett Collins at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack!

Ongoing

Emory Arts presents their exhibition The Dream Machine: The Beat Generation & the Counterculture, 1940-1975 in the Schatten Gallery, through May 15!

Get really retro at the Georgia Renaissance Festival, jousting through June 4!

My Parents’ Basement goes old-school with their monthly Pinball Tournament, every firsts Wednesday of the month!

Geek it up and get to bowlin’ at The Comet Pub & LanesComet Cosplay, getting nerdy the first Monday of every month!

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm! 

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

This Week in ATLRetro, Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2017

Posted on: Sep 24th, 2017 By:

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Get spooked in ATLRetro this week! The days creep closer and closer to that most haunted pinnacle of fright and terror and we’ve dug up all the spooktacular events just for you! The ghosts and goblins have been let loose, so don’t be a fraidy cat; get out and get Retro!

Monday, September 25

The Hot Club of Atlanta gets old-timey at Hot Jam! Catch a screening of Disney’s MULAN (1998) at theatres across Atlanta at 2pm/6pm [AMC Phipps Plaza 14; AMC Sugarloaf Mills 18 (Lawrenceville); and AMC Dine-In North Point Mall 12 (Alpharetta)] through Sept. 28! GKids presents a Studio Ghibli Fest 2017 screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984) at theatres across Atlanta at 7pm [Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow); Studio Movie Grill’s (Duluth); and Regal Mall of Georgia 20 Plus Imax (Buford)]! Get your psychedelic cowboy fix with The Echo Ohs, Leather and TorpedoeZ at 529! Get funky and groove on down to Café 290 every second and fourth Monday of the month for a taste of Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!” Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues at Blind Willie’s! Boogie on down to the Northside Tavern and spend an evening with Lola at her famous Monday Night Northside Jam! And blues on down to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack as they dish out The Pork Bellys and a plate full ‘o finger lickin’ BBQ!

Tuesday, September 26

Rock out with The Cribs and PAWS at The Earl! It’s madness as Landmark Midtown Art Cinema continues their Classics Series with a screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) at 7pm! Broadway in Atlanta brings you THE KING AND I at the Fox Theatre, running through Sun. Oct. 1! Rock out with The War On Drugs at the Tabernacle! Glam it up with Yesterday & Today at City Winery! Catch X Eye Blind at Eddie’s Attic! Go straight to hell for a night of glam horror punk with Kool Kats The Casket Creatures, Wednesday 13, Eyes Set to Kill, Repulsur and Death is a Dialogue at the Masquerade! Get down with the Poverty Level Band at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Rock out with The Redstone Ramblers at Blind Willie’s! Jam it up with Joe Gransden and his jazz jam session at Venkman’s every Tuesday! The Star Bar delivers a night of retro shenanigans with DJ Quasi Mandisco’s Downtown Tuesday Night Dance Party featuring retro-soul, funk, ‘80s, ‘90s and more! Get down and dirty with Gray & The Bad Boys at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! And as always, groove on down with Swami Gone Bananas at the Northside Tavern!

Wednesday, September 27

Rock out with Kool Kat Amber Taylor and Ellen Meadows (The Sexual Side Effects) with Shawn Williams and Adelaide Tai at The Star Bar! Spend the night with The Indigo Girls with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Atlanta Symphony Hall! Or folk it up with Father John Misty at the Tabernacle! The StarBenders rock out at 529’s Atlanta Goth Night! Get your psyche rock fix with King Grizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Nest Egg at Variety Playhouse! Life is fine with Paul Kelly and Jess Cornelius at City Winery! Emory Cinematheque continues their Resist Fascism Series with a screening of Fritz Lang’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s HANGMEN ALSO DIE (1943) at 7:30pm! Or get your classic Western fix with a screening of John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS (1956) at Studio Movie Grill (Alpharetta/Duluth) at 7:15pm! GKids presents a Studio Ghibli Fest 2017 screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984) at theatres across Atlanta at 7pm [Hollywood Stadium 24 (Chamblee); AMC Barrett Commons 24 (Kennesaw); Avalon Stadium 12 (Alpharetta); Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville); Perimeter Pointe 10; Regal McDonough Stadium 16 (McDonough); AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 (Morrow); Studio Movie Grill’s (Duluth); and Regal Mall of Georgia 20 Plus Imax (Buford)]! Or make your way to Cinemark Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville) and help celebrate 30 years of Oliver Stone’s WALL STREET (1987) at 2pm/7pm! Make your way to the Red Light Café and get traditional with Trio Da Kali and Derek Grippers African Strings Project! Get down with the Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas at Terminal West! Jam out with The McLovins and Captain and the Kid at Smith’s Olde Bar! Get the rockin’ blues with the Cazanovas at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Art Holliday, Inc. boogies down at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Get the old-school blues with Andrew Black at Blind Willie’s! Or make your way to the Northside Tavern as Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck fires it up with his rockin’ blues! St. James Live! delivers their Hump Days Blues night, getting classic blues-style every Wednesday! And as always, it’s Ladies Night at Johnny’s Hideaway which plays hits from Sinatra to Madonna for a generally mature crowd.

Thursday, September 28

The Clermont Lounge brings the doom with The Obsessed! Prog rock it up with Pinback at the Masquerade! Kenny Wayne Shepherd dishes out the blues at Center Stage! Rock out for a one night-only 7pm screening of Dick Carruthers’ documentary, BLACK SABBATH: THE END OF THE END (2017) at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema! Rock out with Wax Fang at The Star Bar! Make your way to Terminal West for Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta Celebration, featuring live tunes by ATL Collective, the Alex Guthrie Band, Chelsea Shag, OKcello and more! Get the blues with Norman Frank & The Ghost Dance at The Vista Room! Get the blues with the Cody Matlock Band at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Get your funky ‘60s and ‘70s fix with Dyn-O-Mite at Smokebelly BBQ! It’s Mai Tai Thursday, so get swanky with Bogey & The Viceroy at Trader Vic’s and grab a couple cocktails! Heather Luttrell dishes out a night of rockin’ Americana at Blind Willie’s! The Northside Tavern gets rockin’ with a little Chicago/Delta blues of The Breeze Kings! Stagger on over to Noni’s Bar & Deli for their Bitter Heroes event featuring DJ Brian Parris as he gets charmingly morose with a little New-Wave, The Smiths and The Cure! Get your boogie on at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, as Chickenshack featuring Eddie Tigner, delivers some honky-tonk blues! And as always, boogie down at Mary’s, as the East Atlanta venue gets funky with their weekly Disco in the Village.

Friday, September 29

The horror! The horror! Atlanta kicks off its Halloween celebrations with a bang! Spook up the weekend with a whole lotta horror classics by haunting on down to the fourth annual Monsterama Convention, “The Fall of the House of Monsterama 2017” invading the Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta and haunting all your senses through Oct. 1! You won’t want to miss our Kool Kat interview with Monsterama Co-Chair, Anthony Taylor coming soon! Experience four horrorific tracks (Main, Literary, Maker and Film Screenings) while perusing the monsterific vender tables. Catch some killer guests including  Sybil Danning (BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS; HERCULES); BarBara Luna (THE DEVIL AT 4 O’CLOCK; STAR TREK); Dick Miller (THE TERMINATOR; GREMLINS; ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL); visual effects expert Gene Warren Jr. (THE TERMINATOR; PET SEMATERY; ELIMINATORS); horror history expert and documentarian, Kool Kat Daniel Griffith of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures; creaturific artist Kool Kat Mark Maddox; Kool Kat Ricky Hess (HORROR HOTEL); filmmaker and set-dec dresser/buyer Kool Kat Dayna Noffke (“Under the Bed”); film score composer Tom Ashton (The March Violets); Kool Kat Shane Morton, ghost host with the most, a.k.a. Professor Morte; glamour ghoul Kool Kat Madeline Brumby and so much more! Tonight Cineprov riffs Irwin Allen’s THE LOST WORLD (1960) at 9pm! So, come on down for the horror that is Monsterama and get your classic horror fix!

Celebrate 50 years of Jean Claude Van Itallie’s play, TV FROM AMERICA HURRAH, running through Sept. 30 at 7 Stages! Haunt on down to Norcross for Netherworld Haunted House’s horrorific 21st season, gorrifying through Nov. 1! It’s a night of rockin’ classic country at The Star Bar with their Glen Campbell/Jerry Reed Tribute! And make your way downstairs to the Little Vinyl Lounge for a night of bluegrass with City Hotel! Get down with The Urban Shakedancers at The Vista Room! Get experimental at Avondale Towne Cinema with FLAP, the Edgewood Saxophone Trio and Duet for Theramin & Lap Steel! Get funky at Venkman’s with an evening of Prince: The B-Sides! Folk it up with Cheryl Wheeler and Blue Dogs LIVE at Eddie’s Attic! Make your way to Center Stage for a night with Ani DiFranco! Spend the night with Trey Anistasio and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Atlanta Symphony Hall! Get countrified with the Drive-By Truckers and Strand of Oaks at Variety Playhouse! Shimmy on down to the Elliot Street Pub and get down to the nitty gritty of it all with CandyBox’ Underground Burlesque Show! Rev on down to the Mule Camp Tavern in Gainesville for a night with The Sideburners! It’s a night of flamenco, African-beat gypsy jazz at the Buckhead Theatre with Beats Antique! The Lauren Mitchell Band gets old-timey at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Catch a screening of Disney’s A GOOFY MOVIE (1995) at SCADShow at 7pm! Get down with Dani Mac & Company at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Make your way to Blind Willie’s for a night with the “Blues Empress” Sandra Hall & The Shadows! Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck with the Atlanta Horns and Beverly “Guitar” Watkins tear it up at Northside Tavern! And as always, time-warp it up and get naughty with some uber musically-inclined transsexual aliens at The Plaza Theater as they continue their tradition of screening THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Saturday, September 30

Day 2 of the Monsterama Convention kills it with a screening of Robert Wiene’s THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920) scored live by Valentine Wolfe at 1pm. Get haunted with cinematic and television history presented by Professor Morte’s Silver Scream Spook Show’s screening of Roger Corman’s THE TERROR (1963) on 16mm with special guest Dick Miller at 4pm. Monster Mash it up at the Monster Prom! Get witty and retro turn of the century London-style with Kool Kats Michael Stark and Terrell Garrett during their Wolverton Comic Book Release Party at My Parents’ Basement! Catch a screening of Jim Henson’s THE DARK CRYSTAL (1982) at the Center for Puppetry Arts at 7pm! Or make your way to the EAV Farmer’s Market for their “Movies under the (EAV) Stars” screening of Richard Donner’s ‘80s adventure, THE GOONIES (1985) at 7:30pm! Get intergalactic and make your way to the 2nd Annual Atlanta Sci-Fi Film Festival, running through Oct. 1, brought to you by The Multi-Cultural Sci-Fi Organization! Stomp on down to City Winery for a night with Michelle Malone, Drag the River and The James Hall Trio! Get down with The Urban Shakedancers with Wild West Picture Show at The Vista Room! Get your ‘80s latin rock fix with Café Tacuba at the Masquerade! It’s a night of retro-tastic tunes on the Piedmont Park Promenade with the Wasted Potential Brass Band, The REMakes, Yacht Rock Schooner and Slippery When Wet! Get a countrified encore with the Drive-By Truckers and Strand of Oaks at Variety Playhouse! Spend the night with the Queen of Soul at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre’s NATURAL WOMAN – AN ARETHA STORY, a biographical musical revue! Danny ‘Mudcat’ Dudeck and the Atlanta Horns tear it up at Northside Tavern! Get your ‘70s pop disco fix with the Susi French Connection at Eddie’s Attic! Get down with Little Joey’s Jumpin’ Jive at Darwin’s Burgers & Blues! Groove Rocket dishes out the blues at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack! Blues it up with House Rocker Johnson & The Shadwos at Blind Willie’s! St. James Live! delivers their Tribute to the Legends night every Saturday night!

Sunday, October 1

Rock out with The Queers, The Ataris and The Sawed Offs at The Earl! It’s day 3 and your last chance to get your classic horror fix at the Monsterama Convention! Get sweet and low down blues-style at the Northside Tavern with Uncle Sugar!

Ongoing

Get intergalactic with Wicket: The Musical at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, geeking it up through Oct. 7!

Haunt on down to Norcross for Netherworld Haunted House’s horrorific 21st season, gorrifying through Nov. 1!

Geek it up and get to bowlin’ at The Comet Pub & LanesComet Cosplay, getting nerdy the first Monday of every month!

Dad’s Garage’s Big Boozy Nerdy Game Night brings out the kid in you, every first Monday of the month at 7pm!

Union EAV rocks out with their Punk Rock Karaoke ATL, and every last Tuesday of the month!

Geek it up at My Parents’ Basement with their weekly Tuesday night Nerd Trivia at 8pm!

Nerd Film Mafia screenings at the Diesel Filling Station following NerdCore Trivia, every last Tuesday of the month!

The Plaza Theater Time-Warps it up as they screen, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) every Friday night, featuring the live cast of Lips Down on Dixie at midnight!

Get your reggae fix with Rub-A-Dub gettin’ down at WildPitch Music Hall, every second Sunday of the month!

Every first and third Mondays are Big Band Nights at Café 290, featuring Joe Gransden and his amazing 16-piece orchestra playing jazz and swing standards in the tradition of The Glen Miller Orchestra and other legendary groups.  Second and fourth Mondays are Bumpin the Mango, ‘The groove that makes you want to move!’

Every first Wednesday is the Graveyard Tavern’s Graveyard Swing Night, featuring the swingin’ jazz and boogie-woogie sounds of the Savoy Kings!

If you have a suggestion for a future event that should be included in This Week in Retro Atlanta or see something we missed, please email us at atlretro@gmail.com.

Category: This Week in ATLRetro | TAGS: None

Going Back to the Bizarre Birthing of Burton: Splatter Cinema Raises Blythe Spirits with BEETLEJUICE at the Plaza Theatre!

Posted on: Aug 12th, 2013 By:

Splatter Cinema Presents BEETLEJUICE (1988); Dir. Tim Burton; Starring Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara; Tuesday, August 19 @ 9:30 p.m.; Plaza Theatre; Trailer here.

By Aleck Bennett
Contributing Writer

This month, Splatter Cinema goes a little off the beaten path at the Plaza Theatre. This month’s showing is not the typical gore-soaked exploitation fare you’re likely to see them serve up. But the way that BEETLEJUICE enthusiastically revels in horror and delights in depicting twisted flesh makes it a good choice for those of the Splatter Cinema mindset.

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when Tim Burton wasn’t a “thing.” That there wasn’t an identifiable “Tim Burton” style. And that there was a time when BEETLEJUICE was a sudden and surprising leap into the dark comic realm that would eventually come to define that style.

Burton had exploded onto the film world with his previous film, 1985’s PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE. While that movie contains themes that he would revisit many times in the future (particularly “childlike protagonist exists in a fanciful universe seemingly of his/her own creation until a shock tosses them into the outside world”), it also contains the off-kilter and baroque visual sensibility that is a hallmark of his films to this day. But aside from the “Large Marge” and “clown hospital” scenes, there’s little of the horror-steeped atmosphere that saturates so much of his work.

BEETLEJUICE is where (aside from his earlier short films, which were largely unseen by the public at that point) Burton first seamlessly blended equal parts horror and quirky comedy into the recognizable whole that would come to identify the director.

The film focuses on a young couple, Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), who find themselves unexpectedly deceased and forced to haunt their New England home. When the Deetzes (Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones and Winona Rider) move in, the Maitlands are forced to circumvent the bureaucracy of the afterlife and engage “bio-exorcist” Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton, pronounced and also known as “Beetlejuice”) to force the new residents out. As to be expected, wacky antics ensue.

In collaboration with production designer Bo Welch, Burton used the foundation of the screenplay to paint his comic sensibilities in a luridly-colored, high-contrast gothic horror sheen. His scenes in the afterlife and during Beetlejuice’s reign of terror in the Maitlands’/Deetzes’ home look like Charles Addams’ cartoons filmed in the style of SUSPIRIA. Grotestqueries bathed in candy-colored lighting schemes. Welch and Burton would develop this aesthetic even further in collaboration on 1990’s EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and 1992’s BATMAN RETURNS, firmly establishing this as the “Tim Burton” trademark style.

It would have been all too easy for the screenplay to serve simply as a hook from which Burton could hang a number of ghoulish setpieces. It’s to the credit of writers Michael McDowell, Larry Wilson and Warren Skaaren that the film is as engaging as it is. By keeping the “ghosts” of the movie benign and well-meaning—and the new residents not malevolent but incredibly selfish and irritating—Beetlejuice’s diabolical motives put both families in a sympathetic light.

And the cast’s performances can’t be overlooked in helping create the rounded characters of the movie. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are both amiable and sweetly romantic as the ghostly Maitlands, while Catherine O’Hara and Jeffrey Jones are their polar opposites: antagonistic and back-bitingly snarky. Where Baldwin and Davis are convincingly laid-back and plain, the performances of O’Hara and Jones are deftly high-strung and pretentious. Winona Ryder as young Goth daughter Lydia Deetz bridges both worlds—not only figuratively in the temperament of the clashing couples, but literally within the story as she is the only person able to see and converse with the Maitlands—and delivers a performance in turns dryly sardonic, cooly detatched and warmly engaging.

Winona Ryder in BEETLEJUICE.

But the movie truly belongs to Michael Keaton. As Betelgeuse/Beetlejuice, his performance clashes perfectly with everyone else’s. No matter how engaging or off-putting the Maitlands and Deetzes may be, the performances of Baldwin, Davis, Jones, O’Hara and Ryder are tightly restrained and controlled. Keaton, on the other hand, is entirely explosive and cartoonishly over-the-top; issuing forth a rapid-fire patter of one-liners, non-sequiturs, mumbled asides and mad proclamations delivered at the top of his voice. He’s physically manic as well, leaping about and flailing around wildly, as if Burton was randomly jolting Keaton with a live electric wire just off-screen. He turns Beetlejuice from a simple, evil prankster into something larger than life. If, you know, he were alive rather than a moldering corpse.

And if the movie belongs to anyone else, it’s Burton. This is where the Tim Burton we now know was born: the bright colors washing over stark black-and-white-patterned spookiness of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, the stylized locations and set design of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, the dark humor of FRANKENWEENIE. They all spring from here. But few mesh these elements together with as much effortless skill as BEETLEJUICE.

Aleck Bennett is a writer, blogger, pug warden, pop culture enthusiast, raconteur and bon vivant from the greater Atlanta area. Visit his blog at doctorsardonicus.wordpress.com

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TAXI DRIVER: You’re Only As Healthy As You Feel

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011 By:

By Mark Arson, Contributing Writer

2011 Atlanta Film Festival Presents TAXI DRIVER (1976); digitally restored 35mm print; Dir: Martin Scorsese; Starring Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster; Introduction and post-screening Q&A by cinematographer Michael Chapman; Thurs. May 5;  8 PM; Plaza TheatreTrailer here.

Everyone knows that TAXI DRIVER features a guy talking to himself in a mirror holding a gun, but only those who have seen it know just how disturbing that can be in context. Of course, Robert De Niro‘s character, Travis Bickle, is the movie’s main focus. In a big way, TAXI DRIVER is a character study about someone who is completely detached, a loner who just can’t seem to connect with others, adrift in a sea of what he considers more and more repulsive until he can’t stand it any more. The catch is that the film is really a thing of beauty, the New York that once was coming through like an urban kaleidoscope, thanks largely to Martin Scorsese‘s direction and (perhaps even more so) the razor-sharp cinematography of Michael Chapman. Bernard Herrmann‘s score also complements the urban setting perfectly with dissonant, muted jazz. As I said before, though, this movie isn’t about a city, it’s about a person, one who happens to be quite insane. Warning: this review contains SPOILERS (Sorry, I just find the major events too interesting to gloss over)

Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in TAXI DRIVER. Photo Credit: Sony Pictures.

Travis Bickle doesn’t sleep. It’s laid out first thing in the film, as he offers to take taxi shifts “anytime, anywhere.” It’s mentioned briefly in the film that Bickle is an ex-Marine, but there are no flashbacks, no evidence. In this sense, it is ambiguous whether he is suffering from madness brought on by the trauma of war, or perhaps even imagined the whole thing. It’s overwhelmingly clear that most people aren’t even interested; in fact, most other characters in the film just react to Bickle like he’s just a bit strange or enthusiastic. Much like Peter Sellers‘ final film, BEING THERE (1979), this movie is about a strange person set loose in a world that is too busy to notice something being a bit off.

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