City Life

Reviving Cult Classics in PVD

Dreadphile Cinema Club brings so-bad-they're-good cult movies to local screens

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There’s a paradoxical dichotomy in film, where sometimes the worse a movie is, the better it is. It’s how cult classics like The Room and Repo Man are born: typically low-budget and laughably over-the-top, but made by creators who genuinely believe they’re making a great movie. Even if the film flops in theatres, with time it garners a devoted underground audience and becomes an unexpected legend.

Dreadphile Cinema Club is now bringing long-lost, wonderfully terrible cult classics to big screens all over the Providence area – “Dreadphile” is a portmanteau of “Dreadful Cinephile.” Add to it raffles of local artwork, crafts and other merch related to the film, as well as pop-ups by creative vendors like Horror Decor, and you’ve got the makings of a fun and out-of-the-box (or -vault) event.

As latchkey kids, creator Beau Ouellette and his brother Logan “would rent as many videos as we could to keep us busy. We watched everything. Everything,” says Beau. “Mostly garbage due to the straight-to-video market that boomed in the ‘80s and ‘90s.” But some garbage is good garbage, he says. “That’s what Dreadphile is: good garbage. Cult film movies so bad they’re good.”

Logan now contributes some digital art to the series, and Beau’s wife Michele is a talented artist known as “Mrs. Dreadphile” on social media. Venues shift; in July the club screened Terrorvision at Cable Car Cinema, and August showed a “Double-Secret Double-Feature” at Revival Brewery in Cranston. Stay tuned to Dreadphile’s website for future venues and screenings.