Summer is a time for guilty pleasures. For romance readers, that can mean devouring a trashy novel while sitting on the beach. For science fiction fans seeking refuge from sun and sand this summer, it means the Austin Public Library’s Bad Film Festival.
The first screening on Monday kicks off a five-film series of the best of the worst sci-fi flicks. The featured films are:
"Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster" (July 21): An android astronaut must save the women of Earth from an alien invasion from Mars. A far cry from Mary Shelley’s original tale.
"Queen of Outer Space" (July 23): Zsa Zsa Gabor helps a team of astronauts overthrow a tyrant queen on Venus, where men have been banished.
"Mars Needs Women" (July 28): When Martian men come to Earth in search of mates, they select a Homecoming Queen, stewardess, stripper, and a Pulitzer Prize winning space geneticist. Because it’s not just about looks.
"The Reluctant Astronaut" (July 30): Lovable goof Don Knotts stars as NASA’s most unlikely astronaut, mentored by Leslie Nielson.
"Saturn 3" (August 4): Despite being packed with Hollywood stars, critics were glad there was no Saturn 1 or 2. Coming soon after the blockbuster that was "Star Wars: A New Hope", it just didn’t measure up.
Each of the screenings begins at 6:30 p.m. at Carver Branch and is free and open to the public. Whether the films are cult classics from your childhood or you are experiencing the cinematic ingloriousness for the first time, it makes a change from the usual summer movie fare.
The festival is part of the library’s adult summer reading program’s event series, Book Your Summer: Reading Through Time and Space. Upcoming events include a battle to answer the ultimate science fiction question: Star Wars or Star Trek?