Back to Online Newspapers

Best film series: Weird Elephant

Winner in 2017's Best of Tacoma

Three Weird Elephant attendees dressed as Exterminators from the famously insane Zardoz. Photo credit: Wade Neal

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

A truly healthy, happy city, I think, is never quite complete until there's a consistent place for cult movie enthusiasts to converge. While The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been doing its level best to hold down the oddball fort every second and fourth Saturday at the Blue Mouse Theatre, things weren't quite the same after the Grand Cinema discontinued its midnight movie programming a few years back. In recent times, though, the Grand Cinema's Weird Elephant film series has risen to take the mantel of Tacoma's resident genre-movie bacchanal.

What began as a monthly ode to the newest in strange sci-fi, horror, and other curiosities, has now grown into a weekly series running the gamut of cult cinema's pantheon.

"There's a huge hunger and desire for weirdness in this world," says Wade Neal, Assistant Executive Director of operations and festivals for the Grand. "Something I learned was that you can't do something like Weird Elephant monthly; you have to do it weekly, otherwise you'll never build an audience. ... There's now a culture growing from around the event. We recognize a lot of people other screenings, and some people come every week, so there's kind of a club growing here, which is very exciting."

While newer entries into the cult canon are still featured at Weird Elephant, making the series a weekly one has allowed inclusion of classically bat@#&* movies like ZardozBrazilXanadu, and career retrospectives of auteurs David Lynch and Edgar Wright. The level of interactivity has also become its own attraction, with Twin Peaks dance floors, the Who-themed karaoke (in celebration of Tommy), and the quintessential midnight movie experience of The Dark Side of Oz all helping to turn Weird Elephant into a weekly happening. This is all without even mentioning the frequent tie-ins they have with microbrews and local businesses that are specialized to specific movies.

Weird Elephant's freewheeling malleability is what allows it to do things like pivot on a dime and pay tribute to the recently deceased master of horror George A. Romero. His landmark Night of the Living Dead, which codified the look and language of zombie movies, will be shown on Weird Elephant's big screen on August 5. Allowing horror movie devotees a chance to pay their respects to Romero is the icing on the cake that is simply being able to see that gorgeous black and white classic on a theater screen.

Weird Elephant seems committed to shaping minds with deep dives into cinema's oddities, with weekly showings at 11 .pm. -- just a shade off midnight.

The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave. Tacoma, 253.593.4474,

Read next close

Online Newspapers

Best youth and community development: Write253

comments powered by Disqus