It’s a monster mash at Abbeydale Picture House this February as the historic cinema opens its doors to some of the most memorable creatures in the history of film. The globe-hopping double-bill starts with an expedition to a mysterious plateau in Venezuela in Harry O. Hoyt’s adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. Released in 1925 – almost ninety years before Steven Spielberg brought us Jurassic Park – this silent epic features dinosaurs aplenty alongside the terrifying ‘ape-man’, and will be presented with a live improvised piano accompaniment by Jonny Best.
The Lost World was made possible thanks to Willis O’Brien’s pioneering stop-motion animation, but it was to be Willis’ next film (and the next film in the Abbeydale double-bill) which would feature his most iconic creation. Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, the original 1933 King Kong contains images that have lingered in the popular consciousness ever since. Aided by Willis’ creature and Max Steiner’s ground-breaking score, Kong is a monster movie with a touching emotional core and one hell of an ending. As an added bonus, the Abbeydale screening will be from a BFI 35mm print.