- Film Guide
Chances are you’ve run across Mark Borchardt one time or another if you’re a Milwaukee-based movie fan. You’ll find him at most unique film events in the city, still as passionate a cinephile as ever. So it’s very exciting to see the debut of what looks to become a new festival tradition this year with Mark Borchardt Presents. What could be better than a cult cinema figure curating screenings of his favorite cult cinema for all to see? And he’s picked a doozy of a film to start this partnership with MFF:
Probably best known for its appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000, the Wisconsin-made '70s cult oddity The Giant Spider Invasion succeeds even without well-placed one liners fired off by Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot. It has a great pulpy premise supported by some of the most whacked out characters and oddball dialogue you can handle, and is performed by a cast who feasted on a steady diet of the scenery throughout filming. Add the low-grade, but surprisingly effective special effects and you’ve got a recipe for cult gumbo on your hands (and what promises to be a thoroughly hilarious evening at the movies).
Not only will Mark Borchardt be here to share the film with us, but director Bill Rebane will be in person as well! Originally from Estonia, Bill learned English through American cinema and it clearly left an indelible mark, as the series of independently created films he’s made over the decades can attest to. The production of The Giant Spider Invasion (which made nearly 24 million dollars on a budget of $350,000) has been described as a nightmare from beginning to end, so you can be sure Rebane and Borchardt will have a plethora of great DIY-cinema tales to unfurl before the audience after the screening. And if you have something better to do on a Saturday night than watch a growing cult classic with an audience of like-minded individuals, then:
a) I don’t want to know you, and
b) you’re lying.
Can’t wait to see this and I hope you’ll be there as well!
MARK BORCHARDT PRESENTS: THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION screens today (Saturday), 9:30 PM at the Oriental Theatre. Both Mark Borchardt and director Bill Rebane will be in attendance for a Q & A after the screening. Advanced tickets are no longer available online, but may be purchased at any film festival box office location.
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Tom Fuchs is returning for a third year as our featured festival blogger, telling you all about our daily festival picks. Tom has been on our shorts programming committee for all four years of the Milwaukee Film Festival.