Incredibly Strange Television Launches

21 10 2008

New Zealand’s first specially curated late night film series is finally a reality for one movie obsessed fan. The series, which officially launches next month on the MGM Channel and continues every Saturday night for four months, has been a thirty-year odyssey for local cinefile Ant Timpson (creator of Incredibly Strange Film Festival & 48HOURS).

Spoilt by a brief stint to California in 1978 when late night programming and cable TV was exploding, Timpson explains why he’s so happy about the forthcoming Incredibly Strange series, “programming my own late night movie series has been a dream for many years. I was totally influenced by the crazy fare that screened in Los Angeles in the late 70s. You could imagine my horror upon returning to NZ and seeing network programming shut down at 11pm. The closest we ever got to a fun film series was The Sunday Horrors. I was ecstatic when MGM suggested a collaboration. The MGM Channel exists to serve the movie lover and are not concerned with chasing ad revenue. MGM not only opened their vaults to me, they went after specific titles I wanted from other studios and independents, to me that showed an unbelievable commitment to the vision.”

Incredibly Strange Television will be a weekly show on Saturday nights that screens two feature films from 10.30pm with unusual clips in between. The series features the work of pioneers in exploitation film, movie madmen like HG Lewis (Wizard of Gore), Russ Meyer (Supervixens), Larry Buchanan (In the Year 2889), Joe D’Amato (Absurd) and the legendary horror films from the Shaw Bros (Boxers Omen) have been carefully assembled into theme nights (Nature Run Amok, Man in a Suit, Toga! Toga! Toga!, The Raincoat Brigade) to provide a smorgasbord of untamed and uncut cinema.

The series guarantees that every film is a New Zealand television premiere and that many have never even been released in cinemas or even on home video, something Timpson is very proud of, “late night TV should not be about infomercial and dating lines. It should be about coming home from a night out, turning on the TV and letting the devil dance on your pupils. It took a gutsy channel like MGM to see the potential of letting a psychopath like me programme whatever I wanted. In this day and age when nearly every film is accessible online, the unfortunate result is neatly stacked piles of dvds/files sitting unwatched on shelves/hard-drives. A carefully curated series like this means you don’t even need to move from the couch. It’s cool to think that a bunch of diehard movie fans will all be tuning in at the same time to get their minds blown, kind of like the ultimate incredibly strange film festival, but for really lazy people”.

One film scheduled to screen is certain to cause controversy. Still banned in most countries, the film has never been seen on television in any English speaking territory before, making the upcoming screening a world first. Timpson decided to package the (unnamed at press time) film with another demented one to make it a night from hell for the viewer, “they won’t just need a shower after this double feature, they’ll need counselling”.

The uncut and uninterrupted film series is also offering the chance for creative movie buffs to submit station bumpers to be used between the films. They can be animated or live action or a mix of both.

The film series is presented in association with the energy drink V, the long-term supporter of all things filmy in New Zealand. The movie lovers drink also supports the Incredibly Strange Film Festival, the Annual 24Hour Movie Marathon and of course 48HOURS.

Interested movie maniacs can visit the official website for more details.

Incredibly Strange Television
Launches November 15th
Every Saturday Night from 10.30pm
MGM Channel, Sky Television
Presented by Energy Drink V