THE MALTESE FALCON
Before Bergman and Bacall softened him up (slightly), Bogart was steelier than all of Pittsburgh, and here he’d take the whole town on if it’d tell him what the devil the deal is with this priceless black bird. Root along as he slaps dames, kisses dolls, and smokes a plantation-worthy of cigarettes—but cover your eyes when he punches dear bug-eyed Peter Lorre for being the kind of guy who carries a scented handkerchief n his pocket. The Movie Experience 10, Temecula. Sun., 6:30 p.m.
AFI COMES TO PALM SPRINGS
Five films from the annual Los Angeles festival kick up the desert dust over the weekend. Opening with Venus, Peter O’ Toole’s edgy turn as an actor trying to seduce a dull, street-edged girl a half-century plus his junior, on Saturday, the fest brings a middling adaptation of the cerebral stage hit The History Boys, and The Dead Girl, an evocative ensemble piece starring and Marcia Gay Haren, Toni Collette, Piper Laurie, Giovanni Ribisi and a surprisingly nuanced Brittany Murphy as the title corpse. Sunday, the showcase turns its attention to both North Africa and the East Village, balancing Algeria’s Foreign Language Oscar submission Days of Glory against the drag camp of the documentary My Name is Jackie Beat. From the struggles of World War II to the inner battle for self-acceptance, all in one afternoon at the movies—that’s the culture clash film festivals were made for. Camelot Theatres 2300 Baristo Rd., Palm Springs, (760) 325-6565; www.camelottheatres.com Fri.-Sun. Call for schedule. $6-$8.
AFTERDARK’S HORRORFEST FESTIVAL
I’ll give it to you straight: Halloween’s half a month in the grave and it’s weeks till the DVD release of The Descent. What’s a horror freak to do but forgive the 8 Films to Die For horror fest for their ghastly billboard assault of naked chicks marred by claws. The would-be victims in this four-day marathon can’t stop venturing to creepy places—child-killing mines, traumatic car wreck sites, theme parks, and desolate Russian farms—that is, when they’re not defending their home turf against angry cadavers, ghosts who hate dancing, and blood-thirsty nuclear families. As a bonus treat, they’ve added a 9th spooktacular: the irresistible so-bad-it’s-bad Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror. Since the line up is assertively low budget, it doesn’t particularly matter which pieces of schlock your mob chooses to pile into and get rowdy screaming and laughing, but tabloid lovers will get a special treat from Penny Dreadful which stars not one but two famous ex-wives, Mimi Rogers and Rachel Miner. Married to Tom Cruise and Macaulay Culkin? Now that’s scary. Showing at: Regal’s Corona Stadium 15; UltraStar Fontana 8; Ontario Mills 30, Regal’s Ontario Palace 32; Cinema Star Ultraplex 18 at Mission Grove, Riverside; Krikorian Redlands 14; Cinema Star Empire 20, San Bernardino; Movies 16, Victorville; Movie Experience 17, Murrieta. Fri.-Sun. For more info go to www.horrorfestonline.com.