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The 12 Hour Sci-Fi Movie Marathon


Welcome to College of the Canyons second 12 Hour Movie Marathon.  A few years ago we binged every Star Wars movie in anticipation of Episode 7.  A handful of Sci-Fi geeks sat through the entire event and even more came and went as the day progressed. At that time we knew we had enough fans of Science Fiction at COC to make this event official.

And so we present the Media Entertainment Arts Sci-Fi Movie Marathon!  

This time around, we will be going back in Hollywood history and cherry picking some of the best Sci-Fi movies ever made ending with CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, one of Spielberg’s greatest films and considered to be one of the best Sci-Fi films ever made. 

We’ve selected movies you have to see if you consider yourself a true Sci-Fi fan. These are must see material for anyone looking to make or write Sci-Fi movies as each has helped define the genre.   You will see strange new worlds and witness the destruction of the earth. You see two of the most famous movie robots learn how insignificant the Earth actually is.  In 12 hours you will see a universe of imagery and story, but not one second of CGI.  These movies were made with practical effects, animation and old school Hollywood know how. In these movies it is the story that trumps the effects.

This event will be both fun and educational.  Each movie will be introduced with a brief discussion of its relevance in the history of Sci-Fi as well as interesting information about the production and themes presented.  If you are not already a Sci-Fi Geek, you will be after this marathon.

Come for all seven movies or drop in and out as your schedule allows.  Admission is free and we will be giving out door prizes for trivia winners.  Attendees sitting through all 12 hours (you are allowed to leave for the bathroom or get a pizza delivery) will receive prizes.

SHOW DATE:  Friday, October 25
TIME:  9:00 AM - 9:00 PM  (we may run up to 45 minutes late depending on change over times between movies.
LOCATION:  Mentry Hall, Room 305, Theater

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Movie Poster - COC 12 Hour Sci-Fi Movie Marathon




United Artists, 1936
Rotten Tomatoes Score:  93%
Movie Trailer

It's Christmas 1940, and Everytown resident John Cabal (Raymond Massey) fears that war is imminent. When it breaks out, the war lasts 30 years, destroying the city and ushering in a new dark age of plagues and petty despots. But there is hope in the form of Wings Over the World, a group of pacifist scientists and thinkers lead by Cabal. Their dream is to build a utopian society on the ruins of the old. But first they'll have to unseat the latest ruling tyrant (Ralph Richardson) - Rotten Tomatoes

Runtime: 92 Minutes
9:00 AM - 10:32 AM

Movie Poster - Things To Come




20th Century Fox, 1951
Rotten Tomatoes Score 95%
Movie Trailer

All of Washington, D.C., is thrown into a panic when an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands near the White House. Out steps Klaatu (Michael Rennie, in a role intended for Claude Rains), a handsome and soft-spoken interplanetary traveler, whose "bodyguard" is Gort (Lock Martin), a huge robot who spews forth laser-like death rays when danger threatens. After being wounded by an overzealous soldier, Klaatu announces that he has a message of the gravest importance for all humankind, which he will deliver only when all the leaders of all nations will agree to meet with him. World politics being what they are in 1951, Klaatu's demands are turned down and he is ordered to remain in the hospital, where his wounds are being tended. Klaatu escapes, taking refuge in a boarding house, where he poses as one "Mr. Carpenter" (one of the film's many parallels between Klaatu and Christ). There the benign alien gains the confidence of a lovely widow (Patricia Neal) and her son, Bobby (Billy Gray), neither of whom tumble to his other-worldly origins, and seeks out the gentleman whom Bobby regards as "the smartest man in the world" -- an Einstein-like scientist, Dr. Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe). The next day, at precisely 12 o'clock, Klaatu arranges for the world to "stand still" -- he shuts down all electrical power in the world, with the exception of essentials like hospitals and planes in flight. Directed by Robert Wise, who edited Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) for director Orson Welles before going on to direct such major 1960s musicals as West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965), The Day the Earth Stood Still was based on the story Farewell to the Master by Harry Bates.  -  Hal Erickson, Rovi

Runtime: 92 Minutes
10:35 AM - 12:07 PM

Movie poster - The Day the Earth Stood Still




Universal Pictures, 1955
Rotten Tomatoes Score 73%
Movie Trailer

For reasons that defy logic, the excellent This Island Earth was held up for ridicule as an allegedly bad movie in the film version of TV's Mystery Science Theater. If not the best science-fiction film of the 1950s, Earth is certainly one of the most intelligent and elaborate. The story begins when the image of Exeter (Jeff Morrow), a huge-domed scientific genius from the planet Metaluna, appears on an experimental 3D television screen. Exeter invites several noted scientists from around the world to work on a top-secret project at Exeter's earthly mansion. Among those accepting the invitation are Cal Meacham (Rex Reason) and his ex-fiancee Ruth Adams (Faith Domergue). Soon, Cal and Ruth learn Exeter's true motives; to use the Earth's atomic knowhow in building a defense shield to protect Metaluna against the enemy planet Zahgon. Eventually, Exeter boards his high-tech flying saucer and whisks Cal and Ruth off to his dying planet, where, among other perils, they are menaced by a hideous mutant. Based on a novel by Raymond F. Jones, This Island Earth is one of those rare 1950s speculative films that holds up as well today as it did when first released, despite the comparative quaintness of the special effects and high-tech paraphernalia. Incidentally, the climactic Metalunan scenes were directed by Universal's resident sci-fi specialist, Jack Arnold.   - Rotten Tomatoes

Runtime: 86 Minutes
12:10 PM - 1:36 PM 

Movie poster - This Island Earth




MGM, 1956
Rotten Tomatoes Score 98%
Movie Trailer

A superb sci-fi flick, FORBIDDEN PLANET offers an unusually intelligent script, exciting direction by Wilcox and generally good acting from a decent if rather dull cast. It is 2200 A.D. when Commander Adams (Nielsen) lands his United Planets Cruiser on Altair-4, which features a green sky, pink sand, and two moons. He had been warned not to do so by Dr. Morbius (Pidgeon), a member of a missing Earth colony sent to the planet 20 years earlier. Adams and crew are greeted by Robby the Robot, a benign and astounding creation fluent in 88 languages and capable of any task, including producing an endless supply of bourbon at the behest of the crew's mischievous cook (Holliman). The robot drives Adams and his senior officers to the home of Morbius and his daughter Altaira (Francis, failing entirely to transcend her ill-conceived, camp classic role). Morbius explains that he and his glamorous love-spawn are the only survivors of attacks by an invisible monster prowling the planet. After the viewer is treated to scenes like Altaira's kissing lesson (the poor lusty darling has gone man-less, just imagine!), the invisible terror begins killing again. FORBIDDEN PLANET is really a futuristic version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, with Morbius doubling for the wizard Prospero, Altaira a substitute Miranda, Robby the Robot serving as the spirit Ariel, and the Id monster being Caliban the witch-child. The first sci-fi film to cost $1 million, FORBIDDEN PLANET benefits immeasurably from its astounding technical prowess. The deadpan, all-purpose Robby the Robot is the film's most delightful creation, and it's not surprising that he later appeared in THE INVISIBLE BOY and scores of television shows. While the spacemen are all likably heroic and Francis and Holliman can be forgiven for the enjoyable excesses of their roles, it is really Pidgeon who gives the drama flair and majesty. All in all, a splendid fantasy achievement that wears its age well.  -  TV Guide

Run Time 98 Minutes
1:40 PM - 3:18 PM

Movie poster - Forbidden Planet




Paramount Pictures, 1951
Rotten Tomatoes Score 78%
Movie Trailer

First published in 1932, Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer's speculative novel When Worlds Collide was immediately purchased by Paramount as a possible project for director Cecil B. DeMille. But because none of Paramount's scriptwriters were able to come up with an adequate screen treatment, the property lay on the shelf until 1950, when producer George Pal was casting about for a follow-up to his successful sci-fier Destination Moon. Though the film was top-heavy with special effects, Pal was able to bring When Worlds Collide in for under a million dollars, thanks to an inexpensive cast and a heavy reliance upon stock footage. The story is set in motion when Dr. Cole Henderson (Larry Keating) announces that a extraterrestrial planet is on a collision course with the Earth. No one believes Henderson's story, save for crippled financier Stanton (John Hoyt), who finances the construction of a gigantic spaceship, built for the purpose of transporting selected survivors from the doomed Earth to another Earthlike planet. As it becomes obvious that Henderson's predictions will come true, a worldwide lottery is held to select those people who will be rescued from oblivion by Stanton's spaceship. In the climactic scenes, the worlds do indeed collide, with appropriately spectacular results. But will the spaceship, overloaded with humanity, be able to take off and seek out a Brave New World? Amidst the thrills, a romantic triangle emerges, involving Richard Derr, Barbara Rush and Peter Hanson.  - Hal Erickson, Rovi

Runtime 81 Minutes
3:18 PM - 4:38 PM

Movie poster - When Worlds Collide




MGM,  1976
Rotten Tomatoes Score  66%
Movie Trailer

One of the last pre-Star Wars science-fiction extravaganzas (based on a novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson) takes the famed '60s maxim about not trusting anyone over thirty one step further. Set in the 23rd century, Logan's Run wakes place in a world of peace and immediate pleasure, where nobody grows old. After the age of 30, people go in for "renewal" -- meaning they are killed (although the government hides this from the population). But in this utopian paradise, some people still want to live past thirty. Known as "runners," these people are unhappy being "renew" and try to flee to a place called "Sanctuary." Secret police, called "sandmen," are employed to hunt down runners for renewal. One particular sandman, Logan Five (Michael York), is assigned to discover the truth behind Sanctuary. To do this, his life-clock is accelerated and he poses as a runner. When he suspects that renewal is more about death than life, he joins up with Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter), a member of the underground movement, and the two flee the city hoping to find Sanctuary - Rotten Tomatoes

Runtime 120 Minutes
4:40 PM - 6:40 PM

Movie poster - Logan's Run




Columbia Pictures, 1977
Rotten Tomatoes Score 95%
Movie Trailer

Steven Spielberg followed Jaws (1975), his first major box-office success, with this epic science fiction adventure about a disparate group of people who attempt to contact alien intelligence. Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) is an electrical lineman who, while sent out on emergency repairs, witnesses an unidentified flying object, and even has a "sunburn" from its bright lights to prove it. Neary's wife and children are at first skeptical, then concerned, and eventually fearful, as Roy refuses to accept a "logical" explanation for what he saw and is prepared to give up his job, his home, and his family to pursue the "truth" about UFOs. Neary's obsession eventually puts him in contact with others who've had close encounters with alien spacecraft, including Jillian (Melinda Dillon), a single mother whose son disappeared during her UFO experience, and Claude Lacombe (celebrated French filmmaker François Truffaut), a French researcher who believes that we can use a musical language to communicate with alien visitors. Lacombe's theory is put to the test when a band of government researchers and underground UFO enthusiasts (including Neary) join for an exchange with alien visitors near Devil's Tower, Wyoming. In 1980, a "Special Edition" was released. While its primary selling point was the addition of scenes inside the alien spaceship, Spielberg claimed that he also cleaned up some choppy editing in the second act. - Mark Deming, Rov

Runtime 137 Minutes
6:45 PM - 9:00 PM

Movie poster - Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind