Savage Cinema presents… Martin (Romero ’77) + Ganja & Hess (Gunn ’73)

Savage Cinema presents…
Martin (Romero ’77) + Ganja & Hess (Gunn ’73)
Tuesday 24th July, Roxy Bar & Screen

New monthly night launches at Roxy Bar & Screen.

Savage Cinema is a new collective based in London celebrating some of the most breathtaking examples of transgressive, alternative cinema. We begin with a double-bill of two of the most celebrated American independent genre films of the 1970s: George A. Romero’s gritty, self-reflexive yet haunting classic MARTIN (1977), the director’s favourite of his own films; and the UK premiere of the director’s cut of Bill Gunn’s spellbinding, formerly ‘lost’ blaxploitation / avant-garde masterpiece GANJA & HESS (1973).

“More than just a midnight-movie classic, MARTIN is inventive, haunting and bitingly smart… see Romero at the top of his terror game.” – Film4

“GANJA & HESS is an underground classic… the most complicated, intriguing, subtle, sophisticated, and passionate Black film of the Seventies.” – James Monaco, American Film Now

Both films, shot on grainy 16mm with tiny budgets, could nominally be termed ‘vampire’ films, but are far more ambitious and elusive than such a label suggests. MARTIN’s eponymous young protagonist, banished to a dilapidated Philadelphia mining town in the care of a superstitious family member, uses razorblades in place of fangs and, it is suggested, may not even be a vampire at all. GANJA & HESS uses its titular upper-class New York blood-drinkers to represent tensions surrounding identity within contemporary African-American culture.

Lest this seem all too heady, both films also possess buckets of style to boot, ranging from off-kilter editing, striking photography, and two of the most radical, underrated music scores ever heard in genre cinema. The connections don’t end there: GANJA & HESS features one of the few rare lead performances by Duane Jones, who was of course also the star of George Romero’s groundbreaking debut, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.


£7 on the door or in advance here
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