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32nd SciFi Marathon Invades Drexel Theatre This Weekend

Hope Madden Hope Madden 32nd SciFi Marathon Invades Drexel Theatre This WeekendBarbarella - Queen of the Galaxy
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It has been 32 years since Bruce Bartoo launched the first 24 hour Science Fiction marathon at the Drexel theatre, and the annual fantasy fest is still going strong. Bartoo and partner in crime Joe Neff invite you to spend this weekend with them and other likeminded cinefiles, celebrating the badass ladies of SciFi with SF32.

Running noon Saturday, March 14 through noon Sunday, March 15, this year’s event pulls together some of the best, freshest, cheesiest and most ridiculous the genre has to offer with a specific focus on the women of science fiction, a theme dear to Bartoo’s heart.

“I’ll take complete blame for this year’s direction,” says Bartoo. “It’s rather depressing how few really solid leading female roles there have been in sci-fi cinema. This theme was intentional, to explore and celebrate those characters.”

Who’s his favorite?

“Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver’s character in the Alien films) is the one,” says Bartoo. “I went down the list of all the films we’ve shown at the Sci-Fi Marathon over the years. She’s it.”

Neff agrees. “Over the course of four films – especially the first two – she’s revealed as such a rich character: a badass survivalist, a canny and nimble thinker, a guilt-ridden martyr, and a proto-feminist icon,” he says. “And all credit to Sigourney Weaver for pulling this all off with aplomb.”

Naturally, the marathon program includes the first two films in the series, Ridley Scott’s claustrophobic masterpiece Alien and James Cameron’s SciFi/action spectacular Aliens.

The theme also allowed the guys, by way of ass kicking replicants, to include their favorite genre film, another Ridley Scott film: Blade Runner.

“There are so many reasons that I love Blade Runner,” says Neff. “The cast is tremendous, not a bad choice for any of the roles. The production design, costuming, etc. are so dark and beautiful and ragged and sleek. In many ways, Vangelis’s score is the key for me. To this day, I still get a bit choked up during the climax when Roy gives his beautiful “tears in rain” speech. Yeah, as you can tell, I’m over the moon for this one.”

With Alien, Aliens and Blade Runner (The Final Cut), the marathon has its masterpieces, but if you’re looking for more of a guilty pleasure, you’ll come away pleased.


Says Bartoo, “At first blush, Barbarella seems antithetical, but the character is really of another time and place and moral universe.”

The program also includes local premiers and rare theatrical releases, as well as the trailers, shorts and general frivolity marathon goers have come to expect.

“It really is one big, funky family,” Bartoo says of the marathon crowd. “Sharing the same twisted experiences does have a way of absorbing you into the Marathoid mass. Sharing the stupidity of Wasp Woman or the lavish big screen spectacle of Blade Runner with a theatre full of like-minded fans can be an unexpected joy.”

“The Marathons are like a twisted family reunion of sorts,” Neff agrees.

“Being part of this crowd is what makes the Marathons special,” says Bartoo. “Watching the films at home misses the point entirely.”

Don’t miss your chance. The 32nd Annual Ohio Science Fiction Marathon complete lineup:

  • Time Lapse
  • Shadows on the Wall
  • Barbarella
  • Dr. Who and the Daleks
  • Lucy
  • The Wasp Woman
  • Hardware
  • Blade Runner: The Final Cut
  • Earth Girls are Easy
  • Alien
  • Aliens

Plus vintage trailers and shorts and a $100 best costume prize.

Tickets are $45 in advance, $40 at the door. They are available at the Drexel Theater (2254 E. Main St.) and Laughing Ogre Comics (4258 N. High St.) For more information, visit www.scifimarathon.com.

A full slate of movie reviews is available on my website www.maddwolf.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @maddwolf and like me on Facebook at facebook.com/MaddWolfColumbus.

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