In recent years, controversy has ripped through America over a fundamental question. Which is scarier: Slow, shuffling zombies, or fast-moving, frenzied zombies? Personally, I've always found the slow zombies much, much creepier. Sure, the slow zombies are, well, slow, and they seem really stupid. But they always travel in big groups, and they're absolutely relentless: they'll find you wherever you're hiding, bust in and eat your brains. They're like a force of nature—like death itself, really. The fast zombies, by contrast, are so busy flailing around and acting crazy it's a wonder they ever find time to eat any brains at all. If you're still undecided on the slow-vs.-fast-zombie issue, you're in luck. Everything's coming up zombies this week, as October kicks off with a pair of very different zombie pictures—a sort of unofficial zombie film festival—offering a prime chance to compare the differing zombie m.o.'s. Zack Snyder's 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead features your speedy, type-A zombies, while George R. Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead, the granddaddy of all the zombie movies that followed, features your old-school, shuffly groaners. Together, these two pictures are guaranteed to get you into a properly flesh-eating mood as Halloween approaches. Brains! Dawn of the Dead screens at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, 117 N. Sycamore, Santa Ana, (714) 667-1517. Fri., 8 p.m. Free;Night of the Living Dead screens at DiPiazza's Restaurant, 5205 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 498-2461. Wed., 10:30 p.m. Free.
Bite the Bullet. Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen and James Coburn star in Richard Brooks' underappreciated, 1975 western about a motley group of characters thrown together by an endurance horse race at the dawn of the 20th Century. Short subjects, cartoons and other goodies are also on the bill. Long Beach School for Adults Auditorium, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 997-8000, ext. 7198. Fri., 7 p.m. $1 materials fee.
The Bloody Child. Nina Menkes' critically acclaimed, fact-based, 1996 drama focuses on a Gulf War I vet, recently returned from combat, who is arrested for the murder of his wife. Sight and Soundhailed Menkes' work as "controversial, intense and visually stunning." It's the debut picture in UC Irvine Film and Video Center's Los Angeles/Experimental Film Series. UCI Humanities Instruction Building, Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., Oct. 5, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Robert Redford and Paul Newman star in George Roy Hill's 1969 western classic, the picture that made Redford a star and a hit song out of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's maddeningly catchy "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head." It romanticizes the hell out of two highly disreputable characters, but it sure has a lot of fun in the process. The screening is introduced by Robert Kline, producer, former executive vice-president for 20th Century Fox Television and co-founder of Lifetime Television. Newport Beach Public Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach, (949) 644-3296; www.nbplfoundation.org/filmseries.html. $10-$15; tickets must be purchased online or by mail.
Casablanca. Last week, for a different screening of Casablanca, we wrote, "This is your chance to see this true classic on the big screen. Go." Well, if you missed that one, it looks like you've got another chance. But this is it, you hear me? Cinema City, 5635 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim Hills, (714) 970-6700. Thurs., Oct. 12, 7 p.m. $7.50.
For Your Eyes Only. See Film feature. Saddleback College, Math/Science Building, Room 313, 28000 Marguerite Pkwy., Mission Viejo, (949) 582-4479. Sat., 6 p.m. $5-$10.
An Inconvenient Truth. If you're still somehow laboring under the delusion that global warming isn't a real threat, go see this documentary and get the facts pounded into your thick, thick skull. It's screening this week at churches throughout OC. St. Anselm of Canterbury Episcopal Church, 13091 Galway St., Garden Grove, (714) 537-0604. Thurs., Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m. Supper provided, but please RSVP; First Presbyterian Church of Orange, 191 N. Orange St., Orange, (714) 538-2341. Fri., 7 p.m.; Fairview Community Church, 2525 Fairview Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 545-4610. Sat., 7 p.m.; Church of the Foothills, 19211 Dodge Ave., Tustin, (714) 544-1319. Sun., 7 p.m.; Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann's Dr., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8061. Sun., 6 p.m. All screenings free.
The Motel. Michael Kang's 2005 film follows Ernest Chin (Jeffrey Chyau), an adolescent, Chinese American boy unhappily working at his mom's hotel who is befriended by a self-destructive Korean American man passing through town. Kang appears at this debut film in UCI Film and Video Center's Contemporary Asian-American Film Series. UCI Humanities Instruction Building, Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc. Thurs., Oct. 12, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rose tint my world, save me from my trouble and pain. The Midnight Insanity troupe gets its Time Warp on at a new location, with dancing, costume contests and other special-event fun on different theme nights. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 694-4411 or (562) 235-8053; www.midnightinsanity.com. Sat., midnight. $8 tickets go on sale at 10:30 p.m.
Shark Park: The Heaviest Wave in California. Documentary about those foolhardy souls who surf in shark-infested waters. It screens with the short film Shark Alley. Pierside Surfcity, 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 969-3151. Thurs., Oct. 12, 7 & 9 p.m. $8.
The Silence of the Lambs. Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, an FBI rookie forced to turn to serial killer Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) for help in a new case involving a psycho who likes to wear women's skin. Despite Hopkins spending the film separated from Foster by a sheet of bulletproof glass, despite the endless parodies, sequels and prequels, and despite this movie airing on cable approximately every 12 minutes, Hopkins' turn as Lecter remains as chilling as ever. Don't miss the sinister and lovely lobby art by theater manager Eddie Allen, specially installed for the month of October: it's a series of sepia-toned, photographic portraits of prim, old-timey folks who seem harmless enough . . . but don't turn your back on them! They transform into hideous monsters as you walk by, and from the looks of them, they just might tear your throat out when you're in line to buy Raisinettes. Bay Theatre, 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988. Fri., 10:30 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m. $6-$8.
Short films by Marie Jager. A selection of sci-fi shorts related to Jager's work in the Orange County Museum of Art's 2006 California Biennial show, with a live performance by the West Coast Encounter Group. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; www.ocma.net. Thurs., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. Free.
Twelve Angry Men. Henry Fonda and 11 other guys star in this classic if rather exhaustingly tense drama about a jury deliberating a murder case. Lots of shouting, lots of arguing—this thing will give you an ulcer. Discussion is hosted by Dr. H. Arthur Taussig. Orange Coast College, Fine Arts Building, Room 119, 2701 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-5599. Fri., 6:30 p.m. $5-$6.
Mail your press releases (and a videotape, if available) to Special Screenings, OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701-7417. Or send e-mail to email@example.com. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.
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