Continuing Education

Fred Hopkins

Fred Hopkins

I started my bad movie career in 1971, when I co-founded The Vintage American Cinema Society. Instead of showing the usual pop-oriented movies like "M.A.S.H." or "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid," we showed Fred Astaire in "Let's Dance" (with a live performance by a gaggle of tap dancing tots) and "The Ghost of Frankenstein," starring Bela Lugosi (with a live intro by "The Count," local TV horror host and legend, Joe Towey). To my discombobulated amazement, we drew huge crowds (and this was 9 years before the general public discovered Ed Wood!).

In the early '80s, local film historian, John Black, and I formed "The Backtrack Cinema Society" and showed "Plan 9 From Outer Space" at the now torn down Seattle Concert Theater and "Glen or Glenda" at Clifford's On Broadway. We continued showing almost 100 films at venues all over Seattle.

I was also appearing on The Dave Ross Show on KIRO Radio every few weeks doing "so-bad-they're-good!" movie reviews as "Captain Cassette" and "The Legend of Lost Films." During this same decade, I had a nationally syndicated column devoted to Grade Z films, called "Mondo Video" and additionally contributed film articles and interviews to national newspapers in N.Y., Florida, New Orleans, and Texas.

I also had almost weekly programs airing on Public Access TV, as well as co-starring in a local film called "The Rock'n'Roll Mobster Girls," (1988) which also starred Jim Rose. In the early '90s, I started appearing on The Pat Cashman Show on the radio every Friday morning doing "Fred Hopkins' Turgid Constipated Erotic Movie Reviews," again spotlighting the worst, most awful, and most fun movies of all time. I did this for about 10 years on KIRO FM; KOMO AM; and KJR FM.

This is my seventh year of teaching Schlock Cinema 101 and I have never had so much fun. Being with other discombooberated fans of Totally Awful Cinema and sharing the joy of watching these films and discussing them is a rare treat! I am not worthy!

Courses Taught

Schlock Cinema: Practice to Deceive

This fall we will explore the themes of deception and related
skullduggery. First off we’ll burrow into Universal’s classic, "The
Mole People", (1959) starring John Agar and Hugh Beaumont
as luckless archeologists who stumble upon a colony of giant,
spade-foot creatures only to discover their human masters are
the true monsters. Then it’s William Castle cult-favorite, "Homicidal" (1961), which starts with a woman stabbing a justice of the peace and ends in one twisted identity crisis. This film promised so terrifying a conclusion, it featured a 45-second “fright break” and a coward’s right to refund. After that we jump back in time with "The Yesterday Machine" (1963) where Tim Holt ("The Treasure of Sierra Madre") is sent to Nazi Germany by a former Third Reich scientist to change the outcome of WWII. We then explore former radio drama "Inner Sanctum"’s movie franchise with "Pillow of Death" (1946) starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and Brenda Joyce about a philandering attorney accused of murdering his wife and taunted by her voice from beyond the grave. We close with "Terror in the Jungle" (1968), surely one of filmdom’s most glorious messes. This foundling-child-turned-White God-by-discombobulated-jungle tribe tale was filmed in Griffith Park, Hollywood and Peru by two different directors, both of whom quit. A third director completed the project by inserting random scenes from a forgotten 1940’s jungle film.

For a more in-depth discussion of this class, please take a look at  The Beauty in the Bad: Why We Love Schlock Cinema.

And don't miss Professor Fred's Top 10 All Around, Best-Ever Schlock Films Under the Sun.

Th 7pm–9pm Oct 19Nov 16 (5 sessions) $79.00
On Campus: LB Bldg, Room 1131 (Main Campus, Map)
9600 College Way North Seattle WA 98103
Fall Quarter
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