Influential sci-fi films return

Influential sci-fi films return

Blade Runner and Wrath of Kahn hit the silver screen this week.

THE NEEDS OF THE MANY: Leonard Nimoy's recent death has inspired a re-screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. Other films had already been planned for a cult film series.

The summer of 1982 proved to be a milestone in science fiction film history. Not just for the fact that Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial went on to become the highest grossing film of all-time, but 1982 also saw the release of a slew of influential films, whose impact on the genre still carries on over 30 years later. Two of these such films, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Blade Runner, will be playing here in Wichita on big screens over the next four evenings as the inaugural screenings of Warren Theaters' "Return of the Cults" series.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will kick things off with screenings this weekend at the Palace Theatre.

This is in commemoration of the recent passing of Leonard Nimoy. Another Wrath of Khan alumni, producer Harve Bennett, also recently passed away and he should be equality observed.

At first, there was much hesitation to commence a Star Trek sequel after the reception of 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture. With Bennett's efforts to produce a quality story and not over-emphasize special effects, the Star Trek franchise was able to excel well past its initial television series. The death of Spock struck a nerve with many fans when it was first released, and this screening should prove to be an emotional experience with the fact that Nimoy truly has passed away. But, as it is stated in the film, he's truly not gone as long as we remember him, and there's no better tribute than being allowed to see this film in a theater.

The opportunity to see Blade Runner: The Final Cut on a Wichita big screen has been a long time coming and it will finally arrive Monday and Tuesday evening at the Warren Oldtown. While the film was initially overlooked and criticized for a dark portrayal of the future upon its initial release, time has been kind to Ridley Scott's cyberpunk epic which has proven to be one of the most influential film works.

Notoriously known for its many alternate versions, the edit of Blade Runner that will be presented is the "The Final Cut," which was supervised by director Ridley Scott and released back in 2007. Warner Bros. only allowed this version to be shown on a few screens across the nation, and this version has never been on the big screen in Wichita. This is the one to see and no matter how many times you've seen this at home, nothing will compare to seeing every detail of Blade Runner's stunning production design project tall and wide on the big screen.

Time travel might not be possible, but the next best thing is to relive it through the material of the times. Seeing these two films is sure to startle those senses that are sadly not as well with us with the new material being produced today. Warren Theater's Return of the Cults will carry on throughout the rest of the year with one film played at a time at both the Warren Oldtown and Palace Theaters.

Return of the Cults

Palace Theatre: March 13-14 — Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982)
Oldtown Theatre: March 16-17 — Blade Runner The Final Cut (1982/2007)
Palace Theatre: March 27-28 — Flash Gordon (1980)
Oldtown Theatre: April 13-14 — Conan The Barbarian (1982)
Palace Theatre: April 24-25 — Mad Max (1979)
Oldtown Theatre: May 11-12 — Escape From New York (1981)
Palace Theatre: May 22-23 — Eraserhead (1977)
Oldtown Theatre: June 8-9 — Blue Velvet (1986)
Palace Theatre: June 19-20 — Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
Oldtown Theatre: June 29-30 — Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
Palace Theatre: July 10-11 — UHF (1989)
Oldtown Theatre: July 13-14 — Scarface (1983)
Palace Theatre: July 24-25 — Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Oldtown Theatre: Aug 10-11 — Heavy Metal (1981)
Palace Theatre: Aug 21-22 — Pink Floyd The Wall (1982)
Oldtown Theatre: Sept 7-8 — Repo Man (1984)
Palace Theatre: Sept 25-26 — 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968)

(Titles in June or later are subject to change.)