Gunky’s Basement Screens Unpretentious Classics at The Charles

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Gunky’s Basement is a monthly film series at The Charles Theater that screens movies from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s that sit somewhere between cult genre film and popcorn fare. Their first season included Ridley Scott’s Alien as well as Robert Zemeckis’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

At a Gunky’s screening, it’s not simply about the film itself; it’s about the culture that has sprung up around the film. Last December, Alex Cox’s trash-punk classic Repo Man was screened not only to a sold-out house, but was introduced by a rousing ode to the film read by co-organizer and artist Jimmy Joe Roche and followed by a unique Q&A, which (given that the questions were not posed to anyone who worked on the film at hand) felt more like the live version of a thread of Facebook comments.

Though the vibe is refreshingly informal, the specs are completely pro. Local artists design original posters to advertise each screening, and the Maryland Film Festival (which sponsors the series) secures high-quality 35 mm prints of all the films. Somehow tickets are kept at the rock show standard of $5

Season two of Gunky’s Basement opens on September 27 with Paul Verhoeven’s subversive sci-fi action film, Starship Troopers


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