Superhero Films for Heroes and Villains

When putting together the initial details for our upcoming exhibition Heroes and Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross, I wanted to schedule a film series which included films that, in addition to featuring heroes and villains, were inspirational to Alex Ross and/or myself.  I believe we have an amazing film program set up for Heroes and Villains.
Several tickets have already been sold, so be sure to reserve a seat before it’s too late!

Alex Ross, Flash Gordon, 2007 Goache on paper Collection of the artist

Alex Ross, Flash Gordon, 2007
Goache on paper
Collection of the artist

The star of Flash Gordon, Sam Jones, will be here on October 7 to introduce the film, talk about what went on behind the scenes, and answer your questions.  Flash Gordon was Alex’s favorite film during his formative years and he even painted the original art for the DVD release (which is included in the exhibition).  The DVD also includes a video segment with Alex speaking about the film’s impact on his career.

Everything this boy from small-town Kansas knew about New Jersey in the 1980s came from watching The Toxic Avenger (1984).  The film will be screened with director Lloyd Kaufman introducing the film and answering your Tromatic questions on October 21.

The beautiful and talented actress and author Adrienne Barbeau will be at the Warhol Museum on November 4 with her good friend and frequent co-star Tom Atkins to screen and discuss their film Escape from New York (1981).

Tom Atkins will return with director Fred Dekker on November 18 to screen and discuss Mr. Dekker’s debut feature film Night of the Creeps (1986).

A film I first watched at age 11 with my parents in a bygone era, Revenge of the Nerds (1984) will be shown with star Curtis Armstrong in attendance on December 2. In addition to stealing the film as Booger, Mr. Armstrong also co-starred as junior detective Herbert Viola in the 1980s TV detective show Moonlighting alongside Bruce Willis.


Unfortunately, the one cult film I wanted to screen - Rat Pfink A Boo Boo (1966) – was not available.  We actively pursued a 35mm copy of the film, though the director passed away a couple of years ago and we were not able to find an acceptable print.  Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will recognize him as the director and star of The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964).

Some other films in the Superhero genre which we considered:
Hero At Large (1980) featuring John Ritter and Anne Archer - view trailer
The alternative pick for one of Adrienne Barbeau’s films was Swamp Thing (1982) - view trailer
Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog (2008) - view a song selection from the film

Some hero films, albeit not superhero films:
Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
John Ford’s The Fugitive (1947) starring Henry Fonda
The Searchers (1956)
Scanners (1981)
Raggedy Man (1981)

Within the exhibition, we will be screening episodes of Hanna-Barbera cartoons related to specific works by Alex Ross:
Challenge of the Super Friends (1978) - view introduction
Space Ghost (1966) - view episode segment
Birdman and the Galaxy Trio (1967) - view introduction
The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour (1976) - view introduction

Jesse Kowalski

Director of Exhibitions