July 22, 2010

Indie Film:
Fun Box Monster maven is creating a cult wave


www.moviesatthemuseum.comIn my first column, I suggested that Nickelodeon Cinemas employee Eddy Bolz should get a medal for championing local films (and convincing his corporate masters to screen them.)




Friday to Sunday: "Metropolis." The restored full-length version of Fritz Lang's 1927 sci-fi classic (complete with original orchestral score) in all its over-the-top, politically bananas glory!



July 29: "Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio." Inspirational documentary about the late Mockbee, founder of the Rural Studio, the influential design program which, located in the most impoverished surroundings, has spread its ideas to all corners of the architectural world.

Consideration should also go to Space Gallery's John Courtney, for the same reason.

And now I nominate Tristan Gallagher.

Gallagher is the owner of the Fun Box Monster Emporium on Congress Street. It's every movie, comics or weird doo-dad geek's dream store, cram-packed with collectibles, toys and outdated video games.

He's also decided that the Portland movie scene needs a good, energetic boost.

And he's got a plan.

Phase 1 goes into effect on Monday at Geno's (625 Congress St.) when he sponsors the gala Portland premiere of "The Lost Skeleton Returns Again," an affectionate sendup of campy '50s sci-fi films (and the sequel to "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra," which Gallagher touts, unironically, as "one of my top 10 favorite films of all time").

In tribute to that, and to kick-start his plan for the Portland movie scene, Gallagher has pulled out the stops, bringing in cast member (and Maine resident) Robert Deveau along with Massachusetts horror hosts Penny Dreadful and Garou to provide an appropriately film-freaky atmosphere.

He's even producing original event posters and T-shirts for the occasion. (Gallagher also owns the local screen-printing biz We Hate T-Shirts.)

Not medal-worthy enough, you say? Well, Gallagher has plans to turn every Monday night at Geno's into indie movie night.

First, he's going to sponsor the Geek Chorus, the MST3k-style movie mock-fest that Geno's hosts on the first Monday of every month.

Then the busy Gallagher (also drummer for Portland's premiere horror rockers Covered in Bees) will present "Clash of the Ti-Toons" on the second Monday of every month, for which a rotating roster of Maine bands will perform dueling versions of movie and TV music/theme songs.

And finally, he's planning an Indie Movie Night, beginning with the Maine film "Adelle" on Aug. 7, highlighting a different Maine movie each month.

Oh, and if that's not enough, he's just booked Gunnar Hansen, the original Leatherface, to appear at a Sept. 27 screening of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."


"I hated that there was nothing going on in town as far as cult movies," Gallagher said. "There are so many opportunities for midnight showings, but, instead of just complaining that Portland doesn't have any screenings of 'Rocky Horror' or 'The Room,' I decided to do something about it."

And that's what should be inscribed on the medal.


Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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