From Piranha to The ‘Burbs, Dante has long been recognised for his ability to blend horror, ironic wit and middle-American schmaltz in just the right proportions. For the uninitiated, of course, all the classics are on offer. However, aficionados will be more intrigued by the screening of lesser-known works such as The Movie Orgy and The Second Civil War. Keep an eye out for the man himself, who will be in attendance at the festival.

The ‘Burbs (1989)
Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) takes a long-deserved week off work, with the intention of spending his time sleeping in, watching television and eating junk food. However, Peterson’s plans are soon disturbed by the arrival of his mysterious new neighbors. What are the noises coming from the basement? Why are they digging holes in the backyard? And why do they only come out at night? Peterson intends to find out.

Piranha (1978)
Released three years after Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, Piranha affectionately parodies the deadly fish movie, returning this minor sub-genre to its B-movie roots. If you aren’t sold yet, this movie isn’t for you.

Gremlins (1984)
When Billy’s uncle gives him a pet mogwai for Christmas he couldn’t be more excited. All Billy needs to do is follow the three simple rules: never expose a mogwai to bright light; never get a mogwai wet; and never ever feed it after midnight. But rules were made to be broken, and it doesn’t take long for the Gremlins to arrive…

The Movie Orgy (1968)
Cut down from its original seven-hour length to a much more concise four hours, viewers will be treated to this new version of Dante’s first significant work. Designed to simulate the channel-surfing experience, as it existed in the late sixties, this film is principally comprised of clips from B-movies, television programs, commercials and Cold War-era government films. What does it all mean? Perhaps the answer lies in the film’s original title, Cheeseburger Film Sandwich.

www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au