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An Evening of Nightmares

June 12th, 2019

With the theatrical release of the new anthology film Nightmare Cinema just over a week away, Cranked-Up Films and Shudder are launching An Evening of Nightmares — a curated screening series that, according to a recent article at, “centers on filmmakers showcasing their own work and the work of their creative influences.”

Scheduled for June 14 at the Hayworth Theater in Los Angeles, the first screening in the series will feature three Nightmare Cinema directors, each sharing one of his early horror films.

Mick Garris, the Nightmare Cinema producer who also wrote and directed the anthology’s concluding segment “Dead,” will screen Sleepwalkers (1992), which features what could be horror cinema’s first use of CGI to morph an actor’s face into that of a snarling monster — a real jolt for moviegoers who first caught the film back in the early 90s.

Alejandro Brugues, writer and director of Nightmare Cinema‘s opening segment “The Thing in the Woods,” will screen his zombie comedy Juan of the Dead (Juan de los Muertos, 2011). The film delivers a biting political subtext that is all the more remarkable for having been filmed in Cuba. Of this aspect of the film, critic Simon Kinnear writes in the British magazine Total Film that Juan “resurrects the genre’s political subtexts with jibes at a country where zombies are dismissed as ‘dissidents’ …” Clearly, it’s a film that shows how effectively horror can serve as a vehicle for entertaining and provocative political commentary.

Filling out the program will be Joe Dante, director of the Nightmare Cinema segment “Mirari.” He’ll be screening his cult favorite Piranha (1978), the Roger Corman production released the same year as Jaws 2. Clearly the more entertaining of the two, Piranha has gone on to win a well-deserved cult following.

With that said, it’s worth noting that a clip from the intro to “Mirari” is now available exclusively at SyFy Wire. The clip features Zarah Mahler as Anna and Mickey Rourke as the Projectionist in a tense prelude to Richard Christian Matheson‘s story about plastic surgery gone terribly wrong.

An Evening of Nightmares will screen on June 14, from 5:30 to 11:00 pm, at Dynasty Typewriter (Hayworth Theatre) on 2511 Wilshire Blvd, the same place where the directors will be joined by Nightmare Cinema‘s cast and crew for a pre-release event on June 20.

Tickets for both An Evening of Nightmares and the Nightmare Cinema cast-and-crew screening are available here and here. In the meantime, you can check out the exclusive Nightmare Cinema clip (and read the related article) from SyFi Wire by clicking the image below.