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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Beauty in the B Grade

A month-long program of old school horror, sci-fi, creature features and more.
By Sarah Ward
March 06, 2019
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Beauty in the B Grade

A month-long program of old school horror, sci-fi, creature features and more.
By Sarah Ward
March 06, 2019
  shares

For the month of May, things are getting spooky, creepy, unnerving and unsettling at the Gallery of Modern Art's Australian Cinematheque. And downright old school, too. Between Friday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 29, one of the venue's big screens will be paying tribute to B movies of the kind they really don't make any more.

First, a bit of history. Going to the cinema was usually a two-for-one affair between the 30s and 50s, with the main attraction paired with a second flick. And while the A movie could've been anything big, shiny and glossy, the B movie was typically some low-budget genre delight. As a result, when double features stopped being the norm, the term was still used to describe horror movies, sci-fi fare, creature features and the like. Instead of playing with other, higher-profile films, come the 60s they played at drive-ins and on TV late at night.

All of the above should put you in the right frame of mind for GOMA's Beauty in the B Grade program, which is screening a heap of retro treasures. Among the notable names featured are icon Vincent Price, acting legend Steve McQueen, and filmmakers James Whale, Jacques Tourneur, William Castle and Roger Corman — with movies such as Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, The Blob, It Came From Beneath the Sea and Tarantula on the lineup, as well as House of Usher, Carnival of Souls and the original The Little Shop of Horrors.

Films play on Wednesday and Friday nights, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Even better — they're free, and some are showing on imported 35mm prints.

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