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Summer Camp Cinema marks 10 years with Huntington film festival

Fred Gwynne as Jud Crandall in Stephen King's

Fred Gwynne as Jud Crandall in Stephen King's 1989 chiller "Pet Sematary." Credit: Paramount Pictures

Summer Camp Cinema, the annual festival devoted to the high art of lowbrow movies, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a lineup of double features from years past. It's a "best of" edition comprising the kind of horror, sci-fi and action flicks that fans love more than critics.

"The 10 years have crept up on me," says festival founder Brett Sherris, of Northport. "When I started this thing, I never imagined we'd be at this point."

Summer Camp Cinema, which takes place Saturday nights starting June 6 through Aug. 29 at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, is a throwback to the golden age of late-night moviegoing with a spotlight on cult hits, questionable favorites and best-kept secrets. In keeping with that revivalist spirit, Sherris screens 35 mm film prints when he can, though they're increasingly rare in this age of digital projection.

"It's getting to the point where there are literally one-of-a-kind prints circulating," Sherris says. "If there's a movie you want to see and it's playing on film, don't wait. Because if the projector happens to chew it up, that might be it."

Here are highlights from this year's festival:

June 6

A double bill of two famous horror franchise launchers: "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984) and "Friday the 13th" (1980), whose star Betsy Palmer died May 29 at the age of 88.

June 13

"Pet Sematary," the 1989 adaptation of Stephen King's furry zombie novel, screens alongside the obscure, sex-obsessed shocker "Night Warning" (1982) from director William Asher (the sitcom "Bewitched").

July 18

Camp, thy name is Walter Hill, the brilliant writer-director behind "Streets of Fire," a 1984 action musical starring Willem Dafoe, and the gangland classic "The Warriors" (1979), one of the best movies ever made about Koch-era New York City.

July 25

"Serenity," Joss Whedon's 2005 film version of his television space opera, "Firefly," screens with Luc Besson's sci-fi oddity, "The Fifth Element" (1997), starring Bruce Willis as the driver of a flying taxicab. Both movies are funny; one even means to be.


The singular acting style of Nicolas Cage -- which he once described as "Western Kabuki" -- is on full display in two 1997 Cage-tastic classics: "Face/Off," featuring fellow ham John Travolta, and the macho-military extravaganza "Con Air."

Aug. 15

Patrick Swayze stars in two flat-out masterpieces: Kathryn Bigelow's surf-heist flick "Point Break" (1991) and Rowdy Herrington's bouncer-as-samurai saga "Road House" (1989). These may be the Sistine Chapels of lowbrow cinema.

Aug. 22

Quentin Tarantino's gleefully amoral "Pulp Fiction" (1994) screens with David Fincher's alt-culture takedown "Fight Club" (1999). It's the postmodern '90s in a nutshell.

Aug. 29

The festival ends with the All-Nite Pay-to-Get-Out Horror Marathon, in which those who flee early pay more than those who endure the torture. Sherris won't reveal his picks, but promises, "I am absolutely not going to make it easy."

WHEN | WHERE Saturdays at 10:30 p.m., Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington

INFO $13 each double feature, $150 all double features, $25-$35 marathon; 631-423-7611,,

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