Mr. Robot reboots, George Clooney fights Killer Tomatoes, Uncle Sam gets homicidal, and more must-sees

Thursday 7.7
There’s no better time to behold Debbie Harry’s lips becoming tactile through a TV screen, seducing a young James Woods.
David Cronenberg’s 1983 media-horror satire, Videodrome, has been remastered in 4K, and Film Society KC shows it tonight at Screenland Armour. Cronenberg didn’t foresee the tiny screens of our mobile phones, but he envisioned our growing addiction to video. This is a uniquely whacked-out vision no serious film fan should miss.

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Friday 7.8
As part of its “Comedy Friday” series, the Kansas City Public Library’s Waldo branch is showing one of the best screwball comedies of all time: 1936’s My Man Godfrey, starring Carole Lombard and William Powell, which proved that the film industry was recession-proof. Even now, this classic sparkles with wit and charm and has lots to say about America’s attitudes toward the poor. Take a long lunch at the library; it starts at noon.

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Saturday 7.9
Return of the Killer Tomatoes is the 1988 sequel to 1978’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and it’s best known now for starring a mulleted, pre-stardom George Clooney. You can now witness its desperate absurdity in full hi-fi glory on a new Blu-ray from Arrow Video. The horror-comedy wants to be a meta-spoof, and it succeeds about half the time. But it’s a refreshing time capsule with gleefully over-the-top performances. Did I mention it’s about a mad scientist who turns killer tomatoes into … people?

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Sunday 7.10
Over the Fourth of July weekend, a Gulf War veteran returns from the dead to punish draft dodgers, crooked politicians and other unpatriotic types in Uncle Sam, a 1996 horror flick that had its only proper release on videotape. Once a month, Magnetic Magic Rentals hosts the free “Analog Sundays” at Screenland Crossroads to spotlight the lost “classics” of the VHS era. Uncle Sam — written by B-movie legend Larry Cohen and starring Isaac Hayes, Robert Forster and P.J. Soles — has the potential to deliver a giant TNT payload.

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Monday 7.11
VH1’s completely arbitrary Hip Hop Honors returns tonight after a six-year hiatus to celebrate the ladies of rap. Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott and Lil Kim will all accept awards, probably because a focus group somewhere determined they’d be the best artists to feature based on the demographic VH1 is trying to reach. Here’s why it’s on my list this week: The show is live from NYC, and past events have had an impressive lineup of performances and presenters, so anything can happen. That’s kind of exciting.

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Tuesday 7.12
Shot for around $33,000, the 1962 expressionistic-horror flick Carnival of Souls was a labor of love for Herk Harvey, who worked at Centron Corporation in Lawrence, where he made educational and industrial films. For sheer ingenuity and spooky atmosphere, it still can’t be beat. Since its original release, the movie — shot in LFK and Salt Lake City — has rightfully become a cult classic. Today, the Criterion Collection brings it to Blu-ray with a restored 4K transfer and a slew of extra features.

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Wednesday 7.13
The Golden Globe–winning TV series Mr. Robot returns for Season 2 tonight on USA Network, amid an enormous amount of richly deserved hype. Ostensibly a Wall Street/hacker drama, the show goes inside the mind of its troubled main character (played by Rami Malek) in exciting ways, challenging the norms of serial-narrative content. I can’t wait to see where show creator Sam Esmail goes from here. Catch up with Season 1 on Hulu or Amazon Prime.

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Eric Melin is the editor of and president of the KC Film Critics Circle.

Categories: A&E