Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 7pm
Light Industry at Empire Drive-In: A Samuel Z. Arkoff Double Feature
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Reptilicus, Sidney W. Pink, digital projection, 1961, 82 mins
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, Norman Taurog, digital projection, 1965, 88 mins
Light Industry presents a tribute to producer Samuel Z. Arkoff, the low-budget mogul who oversaw the creation of more than 400 movies in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. A founder of American International Pictures, Arkoff made drive-ins the premiere destination for teenagers in search of cheap thrills at a time when Hollywood largely ignored the burgeoning youth market, serving up hundreds of hot rod epics, biker flicks, beach party spectaculars, and monster rampages. Under Arkoff’s watch, AIP hired tyro directors like Roger Corman, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese to churn out stuff like A Bucket of Blood, Dementia 13, and Boxcar Bertha.
“These were pictures intended to be watched on forty-foot high, drive-in screens through steamed-up windshields, and heard through tinny car speakers over the sound of crunching, buttered popcorn,” Arkoff wrote in his memoir Flying Through Hollywood by the Seat of my Pants, noting how he sought to make “films to appeal to kids who have wheels.” He claimed the secret to his success was the “Arkoff formula," making sure every film he produced contained
For our Arkoff double-bill, Light Industry presents two very different sci-fi offerings. A Godzilla knockoff made on the cheap in Denmark, Reptilicus stars a gigantic prehistoric reptile, awakened by industrial activity, that begins to attack Copenhagen. Impervious to bombs, flamethrowers, and tanks, Reptilicus tosses aside armies as the streets of the city become clogged by throngs of screaming, terrified Danes. Kicking off with a swinging theme song performed by The Supremes over an animated title sequence by Gumby creator Art Clokey, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine features a scenery-chewing Vincent Price. Here, Price plays the nefarious Dr. Goldfoot, creator of an army of sexy, bikini-clad robots who are programmed to seduce rich men and steal their money. Goldfoot spoofs the then-popular James Bond series and, in a self-referential twist, Arkoff’s own beach party and horror titles. “THIS is a bikini machine!” screamed Arkoff’s poster for the film, pointing to a babe in a golden two-piece “All New Parts! Tested, Approved and ready to GO-GO-GO!”
Doors at 6 pm, films at 7 pm.
Tickets - $15, $10 for NYSCI members.
Advance tickets are available online.