For years, Keith Garcia's Watching Hour series brought everything from forgotten classics of the VHS era to the newest underground horror and science fiction to adventurous film fans in Denver. That ended when Garcia left the Denver Film Society to take the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's creative manager position, leaving a big hole in the hearts of Denver's cult-film lovers. Now Garcia hopes to fill that hole with his latest endeavor, Channel Z, a brand-new series featuring the same kind of neo-cult film that made The Watching Hour so special.
Starting the final weekend of January, and running the last and first weekends of every month going forward at the Alamo Drafthouse, the new Channel Z is very much the spiritual successor to The Watching Hour, according to Garcia.
"I'm keeping that idea of neo-cult film," he says. "If there were to be a television station in the mind that played really awesome films, this is it!"
Joining him as co-programmer is Theresa Mercado, fellow traveler in the realms of lost, forgotten and underappreciated film. Mercado is best known among Denver film fans for her own cult horror series, the Cruel Autumn/Winter/Summer cycle that she's run for the past two years. Now she'll take over the horror programming for Channel Z, letting Garcia focus on a more eclectic mix of would-be cult films. Each set of films will be programmed around a loose theme, like "movies at the movies" or "first-time directors who are also famous actors," an idea that emerged from their collaboration organically.
"We didn't originally think of doing a theme when we did our chunks, but the way we've kind of programmed it, it's worked out that that's happened," Garcia says.
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The series kicks off with Demons on January 25, followed by The Last Action Hero February 1. The February/March pairing is A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge and Wes Craven's New Nightmare, while the March/April pairing will bring Play Misty for Me and Buffalo 66. For more information, and to buy tickets once they are available, visit the Alamo Drafthouse website.