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The Watching Hour Preview: Streets of Fire

Denver isn’t exactly what I’d call a movie Mecca. In my estimation, 90% of the people in this city were really pumped about Paul Blart: Mall Cop. 8% of the rest were probably watching Juno or something. That doesn’t leave many of us left.

The movie theater situation is pretty dire, too. Oh sure, we have our fair share of IMAX screens and 3-D options. I suppose I should be grateful for that. On the other hand, I’ve been to cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and Austin, and I’ve been to the Castro, the Music Box, and (le sigh) the Alamo Drafthouse. I know what a movie theater for movie lovers looks like. Once you’ve seen really great programming (seriously, just check out the calendar for any of the theaters I just named) you just can’t go back to the Landmark Theatres midnight movies (seriously, how many times do you need to see Fight Club on the big screen? Make room!).

And that’s why I’m so ecstatic I found out about The Watching Hour, a weekly ‘cult movie’ offering curated by Keith Garcia at the Starz Film Center. Simply, The Watching Hour is too good of programming for a city like Denver. We don’t deserve it this good, and the gap between this and the next best thing in Denver is Grand Canyon wide.

I only wish I would have known about The Watching Hour back when they started their weekly programming late last summer and Keith highlighted some great Aussiesploitation movies like Razorback and Patrick. If the mention of those movies doesn’t strike a lightning bolt into your soul, kindly rent Not Quite Hollywood right fucking now, watch, and come see me again in the morning.

Thankfully, Justin and I hopped on the Watching Hour train in time for last fall’s screening of an absolutely gorgeous restored print of Dario Argento’s Suspiria and a cast member screening of Troll 2.

In conclusion, this Keith Garcia seems to be one cool dude, and the Watching Hour is usually the best way to spend your money on a Friday night in Denver. We here at The Movie Advocate love The Watching Hour so much that today marks the inauguration of a new weekly column, our own Watching Hour preview. We’ll let you know what’s playing, why you should see it, and hopefully have a review posted afterwards most weeks.

Up this week is Roger Hill’s Streets of Fire, playing at Starz at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. Justin continues his inaugural week marathon with the preview. Take it away, Justin:

Streets of Fire

Ever have anyone walk in on you while you were rocking out? It’s embarrassing. What’s even more embarrassing is if what you’re listening to is really lame, something like Meatloaf, Journey, or Yes. I haven’t seen Streets of Fire but as I watched the trailer, I started to feel my arms begin to pump and point and my ass begin to shake.

From my cursory and completely superficial research, I gather that this film was critically panned and didn’t make a lot of money when it was in theaters. From a purely conjectural standpoint, I would guess that it was completely lame and embarrassing to admit to liking Streets of Fire up to a decade after it came out. Now of course, it’s acceptable to like embarrassing and cheesy pop culture artifacts from days past. My hope is that Streets of Fire is that kind of movie. It does have some good ingredients.

Director Walter Hill made one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, The Warriors. That movie extrapolated a New York controlled by ridiculous themed street-gangs – punk, Broadway, baseball, and vaguely Native American to name a few. Streets of Fire looks to be the same concept, only more 80’s new wave/Springsteen revival rock. Beyond that, it looks like your typical post-apocalyptic, hero-saves-love-interest, shoot ‘em up fare. Oh yeah, and rock and roll is apparently the rule of law. Should be a good time.

See also: Six-String Samurai, Quadrophenia

Ben here, again. The Warriors is a guilty pleasure? More like…an awesome pleasure.

I’d like to add just one thing to Justin’s preview. A ‘hook,’ if you will. I read a review on the internets that argues that Streets of Fire is a rock and roll remake of The Searchers. Instead of Comanches, the girl gets kidnapped by Willem Defoe’s biker gang. Oh my fucking god. Friday cannot come fast enough for me.

This is just the start. The Watching Hour lineup for February is truly fantastic. Martial arts, Giallo horror, blaxploitation, zombies, and a farewell tribute to one of my all time favorite horror/sci-fi moviemakers. Don’t miss it!

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