Written by Lars Nilsen and Friends
Editor and Project manager: Kier-La Janisse
416 Pages, full colour
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“The most comprehensive guide to the movies that were my film school!” – Bill Lustig, director of MANIAC and MANIAC COP, founder of Blue Underground
At the dawn of this century a small, scrappy one-screen theater in Austin Texas became ground zero for a revolution in film exhibition. That cinema, the Alamo Drafthouse, took the seemingly foolhardy step of offering free screenings of exploitation and horror movies that had quite literally been consigned to the scrap heap. The idea began in the sleep-deprived mind of its co-founder Tim League as he piloted a grotesquely overloaded rental truck home to Texas with hundreds of otherwise unwanted film prints in the back, an expense he could ill-afford. Why not, he thought, offer a screening series at the theater that would allow everyone who was interested discover these movies simultaneously as they unfolded on screen in all their speckled, splicey glory? And why not make it free?
From that fevered notion, a legend was born. The series, Weird Wednesday, continues to this day. The film archive that was born from that initial axle-warping payload is now called the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) and it has preserved, restored and distributed hundreds of films that might otherwise have been thrown into an abandoned mine or pushed off a barge into international waters.
This book tells the story of the Wild West days of that series and that archive in the words of the people who were there and in the overheated text of the short advertising blurbs that were created to interest viewers in these films that they had likely never heard of, but, once seen, could never live without.
Profusely illustrated with poster art, advertising mats and rare stills from the films, Warped & Faded features contributions from Weird Wednesday Hall-of-Famer Gary Kent and genre champions Tim Lucas, Stephen Thrower, Pete Tombs, Maitland McDonagh, Kat Ellinger, Chris Poggiali, Robin Bougie, Mike Malloy, Bryan Connolly, Heidi Honeycutt, Rodney Perkins, Zack Carlson, Kier-La Janisse and more.
How the Alamo Drafthouse Turned Trash Cinema into a Cultural Institution
A new book tells the sweeping tale of the Alamo’s Weird Wednesday series, the American Genre Film Archive, and Austin’s custodians of cult. By Sean O’Neal. Texas Monthly, November 19, 2021
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