Tempe Apocalypse screening celebrating the films of J.R. Bookwalter!

Posted by Michael Raso on

Hello Alternative Cinema fans! We recently received the following Press Release from HORROR BOOBS and wanted to share! Hope you can attend!

Horror Boobs and Saturn’s Core present Tempe Apocalypse celebrating the films of J.R. Bookwalter!

April 11 - 14, 2019

Lauded as one of America's most revered regional, genre filmmakers, Akron, Ohio's resident indie writer / director J.R. Bookwalter created a broad cinematic universe far outside of the Hollywood studio system and inspired a whole generation of backyard movie makers in the process. Horror Boobs and Saturn's Core Audio & Video are proud to present "Tempe Apocalypse"; a jam-packed weekend of screenings and events all featuring J.R. Bookwalter in person for the first time in the NY / NJ area in over a decade. As 2019 ushers in the 30th anniversary of J.R.'s debut and sophomore films The Dead Next Door and Robot Ninja, the recent 2K restoration and Blu-Ray release of both, and the announcement that his legendary company Tempe Video will be forever closing its proverbial doors and bidding adieu to the world of cinema, the "Tempe Apocalypse" weekend is certain to be a once in a lifetime, not to be missed happening celebrating the work of one of micro-budget cinema's most beloved and influential filmmakers.

It all kicks off on Thursday April 11th at the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn with a screening of the 2K restoration of Bookwalter's seminal, Romero-inspired, DIY zombie epic The Dead Next Door. Conceived in the summer of 1985 by a then 19 year old Bookwalter (and anonymously funded by Evil Dead director Sam Raimi), The Dead Next Door would take 4 grueling years to complete and not reach video store shelves until the spring of 1989. Shot on Super 8mm film in various suburbs of Northeast Ohio, it features jaw-dropping practical gore effects, unfathomable guerrilla location shooting, and a cast of zombie extras numbering somewhere in the thousands. A vital cinematic testament to the rewards of sheer youthful tenacity, The Dead Next Door stands uncontested as one of the most ambitious and accomplished regional, micro-budget horror films in American history. 

The festivities continue on Friday April 12th at Cinema Village in Manhattan and again on Saturday April 13th at Station One Books & Music in Pompton Lakes, NJ with two 30th anniversary screenings of the brand new, 2K restoration of J.R.'s visceral sophomore feature Robot Ninja! When tasked to helm a 16mm action film at the behest of producer David DeCoteau in 1989, J.R. diverted and instead delivered a ground breaking, nihilistic, meta superhero / vigilante parable decades before "Kick Ass" and "Super" were conceptualized. Long disowned by its creator due to its shoddy post-production and murky VHS transfer, Bookwalter has spent the last year breathing new life back into Robot Ninja by painstakingly color correcting and remastering every frame to create an astonishing new 2K transfer, which will screen here for the first time outside of its hometown screening in Ohio. Fans will also have the opportunity to get their hands on a signed edition of the brand new, special edition Robot Ninja Blu-Ray (in addition to a plethora of other cool merchandise culled from the Tempe vaults) before the masses at our Robot Ninja Blu-Ray release party at Forbidden Planet in Manhattan (just blocks away from Cinema Villageon Friday April 12th just prior to the screening.

We'll be capping off this wild weekend on Sunday April 14th at the Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn with a screening of Bookwalter's 1996, SOV,  sci-fi / horror / action mash-up Polymorph. Shot on Mini-DV with a script penned by long time collaborator James L. Edwards, Polymorph was one of the pioneering feature films of the digital video revolution and remains a fan favorite amongst Tempe loyalists to this day. J.R. will be reuniting with star Sasha Graham (Addicted To Murder, Vicious Sweet) for a Q&A following the feature. 

In this current cinematic climate of overblown Hollywood blockbusters with budgets routinely spiraling into the multi-hundred million dollar mark, J.R. Bookwalter's filmography remains a stark reminder that with a little ingenuity and determination, anything is possible. So be sure to mark your calendars for April 11th through the 14th and join us for the east coast "Tempe Apocalypse" weekend, a once in a lifetime blowout celebrating the imminent demise of Tempe, one of the most impactful and influential imprints in the annals independent cinema history. Long live the cactus!

Tickets for The Dead Next Door at Nitehawk Cinema available here: https://nitehawkcinema.com/williamsburg/purchase/3214337/

Tickets for Robot Ninja Cinema Village available here: https://www.cinemavillage.com/Now-Playing/robot-ninja.html

Nitehawk event page: The Dead Next Door with director J.R. Bookwalter in attendance!
Forbidden Planet event page: Robot Ninja Blu ray release party with director JR Bookewalter
Cinema Village event page: Robot Ninja screening with director JR Bookwalter in attendance!
Station 1 Books and Music event page: Robot Ninja with director JR Bookwalter in New Jersey
Spectacle Theater event page: Polymorph with director JR Bookwalter and actress Sasha Graham

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