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SCREENING ROOM

Egyptian Theatre series features films so bad they're good

'Kitten With a Whip,' 'The Lonely Lady,' 'Xanadu,' 'Staying Alive' and 'Glitter' are among the stinkers being aired.

August 13, 2009

The American Cinematheque and UCLA Film & Television Archive are celebrating the cinematic dregs -- films so bad they're great.

The Cinematheque's So Bad They're Brilliant fest commences tonight at the Egyptian with a juicy double feature: 1964's "Kitten With a Whip" -- meow -- starring Ann-Margret and John Forsythe, and 1983's "The Lonely Lady," with Pia Zadora. Friday brings the cult 1980 musical "Xanadu" with Olivia Newton-John as a muse and Gene Kelly in a pinball machine -- don't ask -- and "Staying Alive," the 1983 sequel to "Saturday Night Fever" directed by Sylvester Stallone and starring John Travolta.

Saturday's offering is 1975's "Mahogany," directed by Berry Gordy, Diana Ross' first film after "Lady Sings the Blues," and the inane 1963 comedy "A New Kind of Love," with Paul Newman and spouse Joanne Woodward. Sunday brings 1973's musical version of "Lost Horizon," produced by Ross Hunter, that clocks in at a whopping 150 minutes. Liv Ullman and Peter Finch are the stars trapped in this turkey.

It winds up Wednesday with the 2001 Mariah Carey hoot, "Glitter," and 2003's "From Justin to Kelly," starring "American Idol's" Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini. www.egyptiantheatre.com.

Fantasy and sci-fi

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre unveils its ninth Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction tonight with 1981's underrated "Dragonslayer," directed by Matthew Robbins, and Ridley Scott's 1985 "Legend," starring Tom Cruise in a Prince Valiant hairdo. Monty Python fans will want to check out Friday's double bill: 1977's "Jabberwocky," which was Terry Gilliam's first solo feature; and 1989's "Erik the Viking," directed by Terry Jones.

Saturday has two favorites starring our governor: 1982's "Conan the Barbarian" and 1985's "Red Sonja." The magic of Jim Henson is on display with Sunday's double feature: 1986's "Labyrinth," directed by Henson and starring David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly, and 1982's "The Dark Crystal," directed by Henson and Frank Oz. www.aerotheatre.com.

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susan.king@latimes.com

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