Prince Charles Cinema

RiffTrax live at the Prince Charles Cinema

Last night was a real treat. For the first time ever, RiffTrax were in the UK performing their riffs live at the Prince Charles Cinema. The guys were hilarious, sweet, and there was a genuine feeling of excitement and joy in the cinema.

The RiffTrax crew had two shows in London. The first being the classic Plan 9 From Outer Space, followed by Samurai Cop. Plus the bonus short of The Calendar: How to Use It, which simultaneously still has me laughing while giving me nightmares.

For me personally, I had been wishing for this event to happen ever since I emigrated to the UK. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a staple of my childhood, and ultimately my adulthood. Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbet were always my favourite team of robots and host on the Satellite of Love.

Since it was their first time riffing in the UK, the guys made some of their jokes more Anglicised. But to this Midwestern girl, the best jokes were still the ones that hit home. I’m cracking up even now recalling a great zinger about cold ham sandwiches at Lutheran funerals. Thankfully both jokes seems to hit home with both the Americans and the Brits in the audience (and everyone in between).

My stoic, Northern husband was even jubilant after the show, recalling his favourite jokes of the night. This was by far one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. So thank you, RiffTrax. Thanks for making me hurt and cry from laughing. Please return soon.

Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV at the Prince Charles Cinema or the night I met Lloyd Kaufman

img_1571May 7th at the Prince Charles Cinema, the fourth installment of the Toxic Avenger series had it’s European screen debut. Director Lloyd Kaufman was in attendance to also promote the European debut of the Toxic Avenger Musical at the Southwark Theatre.img_1575

Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV was released in the States in 2000-2001 but it took quite a few years until Europeans decided to show it in cinemas, and where better to have the premier in Britain’s best cinema? Well, if you don’t count the showings at Cannes. Which we won’t.

The film itself is a truly relentless film with a pace that keeps pushing and hardly ever stops for air. According the voice-over in the beginning (done by Kaufman’s friend Stan Lee), Citizen Toxie is the true sequel to the Toxic Avenger movie, discounting the two sequels that were released in the 80’s. In the “official sequel,” the Toxic Avenger must face his enemies in an alternate world where Noxious Offender wrecks havoc and terror throughout Amortville (the mirror to Tromaville).

This is, admittedly, my first time ever seeing this film. It amused me greatly, but my poor husband looked a bit green throughout.

Like thimg_1601e film, the director Lloyd Kaufman is just as relentless. Following the film, the co-head of Troma Productions did a Q&A with the audience. He was joined by lovely wife, Pat, and British Banjo director Liam Regan.

Lloyd and Pat were absolutely wonderful and genuine. It’s always inspiring (sorry to sound a bit daft, but it’s seriously true) to see a man stick to his guns and succeed, well sometimes. He at least succeeds at doing what he set out to do. Making money is often the benchmark of success, but knowing that someone keeps pushing forward despite that little detail is amusing to no end.

The two directors talked about what it means to be independent in a digital age, and the difficulties of coming up with money. Regan’s film Banjo used Kickstarter, as well as several Troma films. Lloyd said that at one point Troma made money, but it has become the reality that the films often just make their money back. But the facts of money never seem to break Lloyd’s spirit, and that’s truly great.

Following the Q&A, Lloyd stayed to sign memorabilia until the cinema kicked everyone out for closing time. The PCC is always so good about this stuff. Lloyd was even better as he told everyone he’d wait around to sign until the last person left. And he did. The signings did take forever because unlike other signings, no one was rushed through. He had a conversation with each fan and seemed really happy to meet everyone.

The Troma head told me that he was currently working on a book with a writer. He said it will be about his films and will have bits about feminism. If this is at all true, it will be pretty exciting. I had just finished reading his book All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger. If you want to read about the full history of Troma Productions or learn about filmmaking, maybe don’t read this to fulfill those needs. But if you love a bit of silly non-fiction with heart with a strong voice throughout, this is a great read.

Due to the events of last week, it’s taken me almost two weeks to write this post, but I still get a bubbly, toxic feeling thinking about my exchange with the Kaufmans. They are a sincerely lovely cimg_1597ouple that I am so happy to have met. Like Toxie, they are truly one of a kind.

And just because he was so adamant about telling everyone, Troma’s YouTube page has loads of free films to watch. When I was working on Wicked Wisconsin Wednesdays, this was a valuable resource in helping me watch movies for free. But don’t be a total cheap-ass. Buy a Troma DVD and support some truly independent cinema.

In a world filled to the brim with conglomerates and “the big guys,” it really never hurts to support a team who achieve what they do on the talent of some really lovely people.

Gremlins with Zach Galligan at the PPC


Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means that the Christmas season can officially start on Friday. If you’ve been celebrating any earlier, you’re not doing it right. Christmas is a holiday seeped in personal traditions, and one that I’ve begun here in London is seeing Gremlins each year at the Prince Charles Cinema. But this year has an added bonus: Billy Peltzer.

Yes from Wednesday to Saturday, actor Zach Galligan is doing a live Q&A and a meet and greet at the cinema. The PCC will be showing both Gremlins and Gremlins 2: New Batch, and Galligan will be talking at all nine showings.

I saw Galligan talk back at the last London Film & Comic Con. He was comfortable, interesting and really in love with the fandom that loves him back. I always find it refreshing when actors are really involved with their fan base. At this point, I’ve been to many a panels at various conventions, but Galligan always reaches the top for me.

The stories he shared on Wednesday night were funny and interesting, even if this was my second time hearing some of them. He obviously gets the same questions time after time, but he never answers them with any sort of fatigue.

The Q&A was before Gremlins this evening, and it was unfortunately all too short, perhaps just enough time for six questions or so. Since this was the first showing, the house was packed and full of enthusiasm. Guests were also able to receive a photo and an autographed object if they wanted.

I’ll be seeing New Batch on Friday, and I’m really looking foward to hearing some new stories about the film. Galligan suggested he come back every year as a new tradition, and that would be one I would certainly hold on to.

My Husband watches The Never Ending Story for the first time


Oh The NeverEnding Story. A movie that can’t be touched for maximum 80s fantasy movie pleasure. This is a movie wrapped in a warm sweater of nostalgia for so many. It’s a story about imagination and the power of a good book. Plus a giant luck dragon (which is BEST).

Tonight my husband has seen this classic for the first time ever.

For most people there is that one iconic film that has passed them by. Whether it be Citizen Kane or Terminator (guilty, until a month ago), there’s those films that when you have to admit your eyeballs have never gazed upon them makes everyone one go “WHAT?” in really high-pitched voices. Usually followed by “You need to see it.” But never have I gotten as strong of a reaction as when I told friends that I was taking my husband to see The NeverEnding Story for the first time at the Prince Charles Cinema.

Unlike me, my husband is a child of the 80s. Though he’s pretty much the worst 80’s child ever. He has missed out on an astounding number of classic films from the years surrounding his birth. I guess I was lucky enough that growing up an early 90s Midwest was pretty much the same as growing up in the 80s. I saw every 80s children film countless times, especially the fantasy ones always showing on repeat in the Disney channel, including the Jim Henson cult-classics like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal.

Many of my early years were built on the hope that one day I would own my own luck dragon or that I would grow up to be the Childlike Empress. But the poor man has never seen it. So what is it like seeing this 1984 West German film for the first time in 2015?

Husband says:


“The dumb bat, Danny Glover” – that was not Danny Glover – “The surprise of the massive breasts was particularly interesting. Oh and the personal discipline of the boy to not eat his whole sandwich. And the racing snail. Very creative. ”

The couple. “I think they deserve their own fly-on-the-wall documentary.” Also, the (Ivory) tower and the activities of Falkor and Atreyu. “He definitely winked too much.”


“The decision of the Nothing to explain itself in full depth. If he didn’t, he could have gotten away with it. I found the princess” – the empress – “over-complicated everything and Akronus” – Atreyu – “on a wild goose chase.”

“Oh I forgot about the weird man. He was weird.”

In the end? “I would have bullied that kid. This movie was definitely better than Dark Crystal.”

Though in the end,there is one thing we both definitely agreed on: more Limahl – perhaps floating on a cloud as Bastian sails past on Falkor’s back. Is anything really better than this damn theme song? Again! Again! SING ME YOUR PRAISE, LIMAHL!

It’s a feelin’ that ain’t too groovy – watchin’ werewolves without you


After nearly three months away, I’ll be back in London in a matter of weeks. My visa is finally all squared away. Final conclusion? Moving countries permanently is not for the weak of heart. It’s a strange feeling being detached from your life for months at a time. But thankfully I’ll be going back to home with plenty of things to look forward to. Possibly the most exciting in the next few months is a pair of showings at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square. Both films have a bit something special in common…

The first is a showing of the director’s cut (one of many) of the gorgeous Blade Runner. It’s been a movie the Prince Charles has been trying to get for ages. And it’s clear why it’s in such high demand – this is the type of film that is meant to be watched on a massive screen. The cinematography is so stunning and really is larger than life. Even three decades later, Ridley Scott’s vision of the future still looks remarkable.

The second film later in the month is True Romance on 35mm film – a not-so-easy bit to procure. This Quentin Tarantino penned-crime bit, is one of his best. It’s romantic and super violent. An excellent juxtaposition. Watching it on film is going to be incredible. Especially Gary Oldman’s dreadlocks.

Now for those of you living outside of the capitol (and in lands beyond the oceans), there is a long healthy tradition of of these types of film screenings elsewhere. In my old stomping grounds of Milwaukee, there is a monthly screening of Rocky Horror Picture show with Sensual Daydreams – the longest continuous showing of the movie in the world.

The Midwest loves this sort of thing. One thing we still hold dear is the drive-in movie theater. Skyway in Door County still shows the old projection slides and cartoon advertisements that were used in the 50s. It’s almost exactly has it has been all these years (despite upgrading the toilets) and even watching newer movies, there is still this shared excitement that you feel people decades before you had.

I’ve seen Gremlins at the Prince Charles, but one day I hope they offer the double-feature of the original and New Batch. To be completely honest, though, my dream movies to see one day would be The Creature from the Black Lagoon in its original 3-D format and to watch my favourite film – Pretty in Pink in all its delightful glory.

People love to pay to see old films in theatres. Why? Because people often feel a sense of nostalgia, whether it was a memory they want to relive or just something they wish they could have experienced. Granted, not everyone feels this way and most will stick to their DVDs and Netflix.

But like vinyl collectors or people who still buy books, there’s something so tangible about going to a cinema. That entire experience isn’t something than can be replicated at home, and it’s lovely. So why should anyone miss out on that special experience just because they were born a decade after their favourite movie was released?

In an increasingly isolated world, having a shared understanding with a group of people watching Empire Records isn’t such a bad thing.