People swim in the summer, so the twisted minds behind Connecticut Cult Classics are screening two movies about swimmers being eaten alive.
JAWS and PIRANHA July 21 at The Strand Theater in Seymour. Purists take note: it’s the 1978 version of Piranha.
Click here for more info. Act quickly, because a limited number of tickets were available as of this writing.
Larry Dwyer, the Derby madman behind Connecticut Cult Classics, agreed to the following Q & A over email with The Valley Indy, a past sponsor of CT Cult Classics.
Valley Indy: You’re showing JAWS and PIRANHA, which is like chasing a glass of Dom Perignon with a warm shot of Mad Dog 20 20. What’s wrong with you?
Larry Dwyer:“The question of what’s wrong with me is one that’s been asked for decades and the answer is still up for debate. We’re starting the night with Piranha so it’s more like chasing the Mad Dog with the Dom. That said, I love Piranha! It’s pure hilarious entertainment. It’s such a fun movie and a true cult classic — I’m hoping this will be a lot of people’s first time seeing it. Even Spielberg called it “the best of the Jaws rip-offs’!”
Valley Indy: Is JAWS a horror movie?
Dwyer: “For me — absolutely. Anything that scares you could be a horror movie. That includes Jaws, Alien, etc. People will argue forever whether something is “horror”, sci-fi”, “thriller,” etc. I say if it scares you, it’s horror.”
Valley Indy: These screenings have been going strong for awhile now. You’ve got artists doing original posters, kick-butt raffle prizes, constant sell-out shows. I assume it takes a lot of work. Why do you do it?
Dwyer: “It takes more work than most people realize but it’s all worth it. I do it because it’s awesome to me to show people films that they maybe never got to see on the big screen. And some of them (like Jaws) I’ve never seen on the big screen so that’s a win for me too!”
Valley Indy: People could watch JAWS any time they want. Yet there’s still a desire to see it in a theater? Why is that?
Dwyer: “It’s cool to watch a movie in your house but it’s infinitely cooler to watch it with a theater full of like-minded individuals all there to see the films they love and to have a good time. That experience can’t be beat.”
Valley Indy: PIRANHA was directed by Joe Dante. I think he’s criminally underrated. Agree or disagree?
Dwyer: “‘Criminally” is almost an understatement. The dude directed some of my favorites — Gremlins, The Howling, Explorers, The Burbs. He should be a household name.
Valley Indy: Pam Grier is headlining the CT Horror Fest in September in Danbury. You interviewed George Romero a few years back at CT Horror Fest. Will you be interviewing Pam Grier, and what’s the first question you’ll ask?
Dwyer: “I think Christine (Seymour resident, CT Horror Fest honcho) will be handling the Pam Grier panel. But if it were me, the first question I’d ask would be, “You got your start in, and became popular for, your films in the blaxploitation genre which has seen sort of a revival in recent years. How would you define the genre to someone unfamiliar with it?”
Valley Indy: Describe your most recent tattoo.
Dwyer: “I just got a Pinhead (or “Lead Cenobite” for you purists) portrait added to my right shoulder last week. I’m actually surprised that it took us so long to get some Hellraiser work added to the mix but he looks good and the sleeves are that much closer to being done.
Valley Indy: Would you ever consider screening JAWS: THE REVENGE? (Here’s a Siskel and Ebert review from back in the day)
Dwyer: “I’ve actually never seen it. I have a knack for not allowing myself to see awful sequels (though I did see Jaws 3 in the theater). I hear the shark actually screams though? And that Mario Van Peebles has a sweet Caribbean accent? No bueno.”
Valley Indy: Would you be comfortable with Chief Brody from JAWS running your local police department?
Dwyer: “The Chief may indulge in a few too many cocktails but when it comes to getting the job done, he’s aces. I’d hire him.”
Valley Indy: Which town in the Valley would have elected Mayor Vaughn?
Dwyer: “Mayor? Larry Vaughn is just an empty-headed buffoon full of bad ideas and awful choices — he’d be governor.”