For those Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-fixated misfits who suffer the ghastly ennui brought on by the realization that they've already seen every Rankin/Bass "animagic" holiday special extant, the sick people at Cinefamily and Screen Novelties have got a Grail-scale Christmas gift for you: Nutcracker Fantasy, a visually feverish, culturally fetishized, utterly bizarre 1979 stop-motion rampage. Spawned by Sanrio (Hello, Kitty!) and directed by rogue Rankin/Bass animator Takeo Nakamura, it's 82 minutes of overinflated, Liberace-esque art direction and oddball character design; the two-headed rat queen (played to the hilt by Jo Anne Worley) is a marvel of the grotesque. Inspired by the innately sinister nature of E.T.A. Hoffmann's original Germanic bad-trip Nutcracker plotline, this is almost indescribably strange. Loaded with a freakish mix of garish color, old-time fairy-tale menace, ridiculously synthesized arrangements of Tchaikovsky's score and plenty of big-name talent -- Christopher Lee, Dick Van Patten, Roddy McDowall -- it's a downright hallucinatory epic. Rarely seen, never released on DVD, this 16mm visual riot, screened along with a handful of stop-motion Christmas bon bons, is guaranteed to light up your synapses brighter than a 500-foot Christmas tree. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Mon., Dec. 23, 10:15 p.m.; $12, members free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.
Mon., Dec. 23, 10:15 p.m., 2013
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