Every once in a while, something truly unique and unmissable goes down in Santa Barbara. We’re talkin’ bright lights, big city-type weirdness, and fun.
This Saturday, August 25, out at Magic Lantern Theater in Isla Vista, just such an event will take place. The fun starts at 8 p.m. when Creature Feature, a horror-pop duo with S.B. ties, takes the stage. The group’s exuberant creep-show compositions go a long way toward redeeming the maligned “goth” aesthetic as pure cinema-inspired showmanship.
At 9 p.m., the main event begins, with a rare screening of the 1980 cult classic Forbidden Zone, directed by Richard Elfman, who will also be appearing for a Q&A after the flick. The movie features a midget, a trip to the Sixth Dimension, and the first original score credit for storied composer Danny Elfman (Richard’s younger brother). With creative contribution from The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, which Richard Elfman founded in 1972, and a no-budget aesthetic combining animation, surreal art direction, and costuming, and a near-incomprehensible plot, Forbidden Zone is the definition of cult.
Elfman had this to say about the film and his Santa Barbara ties: “I didn’t go to college : but I clothed those who did. My stores, one adjacent to UC Berkeley, the other to UCSB, were named Rag Theatre and intended to help fund underground films. When a group of seemingly upper-middle-class white kids burned down the Bank of America in Isla Vista, we could feel the heat from our store’s doorway. Thank God they didn’t burn down the Magic Lantern Theater as well-or we wouldn’t be able to have a party and screen Forbidden Zone there next week!”
The opportunity to see the film on the big screen is reason enough to venture into Isla Vista (which is something of a forbidden zone itself to legal-age revelers), but the added perks of live music and an appearance by the man behind it all make this a true e-ticket event. Best of all, it’s only four dollars at the door.