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Classic creature feature


Been longing for a dance floor on which you can impress everyone with your version of the "Monster Mash?"

Beginning Thursday and continuing through Halloween, monsters, ghouls and other horrors will pay weekly visits to the Charles. And as if that weren't scary enough, an all-night dance party celebrating the monsters' arrival in Charm City is slated for Friday, Sept. 15, featuring music provided by DJ Bump as well as continuous films.

The festival kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday with a double bill of director Tod Browning's 1931 "Dracula," starring Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye as the spider-eating Max, and Edward M. Wood's inexplicable 1955 "Bride of the Monster," in which Lugosi battles a rubber octopus to the death.

Other sure-to-be festival favorites include "Godzilla vs. Monster Zero" (Sept. 21); "It Conquered the World" (Sept. 28); "Planet of the Apes" (Oct. 5); "Spiderbaby 2000" (Oct. 12 - the name alone is worth the price of admission); the original "The Fly" (Oct. 19); the original "King Kong" (Oct. 26); and "Mothra" (Nov. 2).

Open for business

Following a trial run in July, Michael Johnson is opening his Heritage Shadows of the Silver Screen for real this weekend, with sold-out showings Friday and Saturday of the 1934 and 1959 versions of "Imitation of Life."

Beginning next week, the cinema and cafM-i, at 19-21 E. North Avenue, will be open Thursday through Sunday. The two versions of "Imitation of Life" will run throughout the month; call 410-539-0085 for show times and to find out which version is showing. Admission is $4.

When in Rome ...

The Little Italy Open-Air Film Festival continues this evening with a screening of "Roman Holiday," William Wyler's classic 1953 romance starring Gregory Peck as an American reporter living in Rome and Audrey Hepburn as a wayward princess longing for a "normal" life. The free show starts at 9 p.m. at the corner of High and Stiles streets.

A nutty finale

The first annual "Movie TRAILers: Family Film Fest Under the Stars," a series of outdoor film screenings sponsored by the Gwynns Falls Trail Council, concludes tomorrow with a free dusk showing of Eddie Murphy in "The Nutty Professor." The screening will be in Middle Branch Park, Hanover and Waterview streets. Families are encouraged to bring food, spread a picnic blanket and engage in a little star-gazing before and after the movie.

Movie analysis

The Forum for the Psychoanalytic Study of Film, with the extension division of the Baltimore-Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis, will sponsor a film series starting Sunday. Psychoanalysts will screen and discuss "Taxi Driver," Martin Scorsese's searing 1976 movie in which Robert De Niro roams the streets of New York in a cloud of angst, alienation and violence. Admission is $10 to the 10 a.m. screening at the Charles. Upcoming films in the series include Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Conformist" on Oct. 8 and Joseph Mankiewicz's "All About Eve" on Oct. 29.

Maryland in film

In conjunction with its "Filming Maryland" exhibit, the Maryland Historical Society will present a "Reel Maryland History" gallery talk on Sunday. The talk will include a tour of the exhibit, and a discussion of Maryland and its role in contemporary and historic movies. The gallery talk, which is co-sponsored by the Maryland Commission for Celebration 2000, begins at 2 p.m. at 201 W. Monument St.

Women in Film meeting

Women in Film and Video of Maryland (WIFV) will hold an open membership meeting on Thursday. Networking starts at 6 p.m.; the meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Producers Video Corporation, 3700 Malden Ave. General admission is $10 (free to WIFV members). For more information call 410-685-FILM.

A good bad movie

A highlight of the 1999 Maryland Film Festival was John Waters' presentation of his favorite bad movie ever, "Boom!" The 1967 adaptation of Tennessee Williams' "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore," which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in their most surreal roles , has sadly been unavailable on video. But Liz Smith reported this week that the cult camp classic will be released on video next month. You may want to get over to Video Americain now: The lines are sure to be long.

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