“Nightwing” @ FLMNH (July 20)
The Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Creative B” summer film series features entertaining science fiction films and roundtable discussions by scholars, scientists, writers, and artists.
One of a crop of modestly-budgeted animal horror films released in the wake of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975), Nightwing recounts a series of fearsome vampire bat attacks in a Hopi Indian reservation in New Mexico. The bats – infected with bubonic plague, no less! – may have been roused by the dynamiting of their caves by corrupt tribal elders, or they may be the agents of a curse placed by a dying medicine man on those who would defile sacred ancestral grounds. A superstitious tribal police officer, a cynical animal researcher, and an idealistic young medical student must work together to discover the truth and end the attacks.
The director of such diverse mid-20th century popular films as The Americanization of Emily (1964), Love Story (1970), The Hospital (1971), Silver Streak (1976), and The In-Laws (1979), Hiller is best known for directing comedy; Nightwing is his only horror film. Starring Nick Mancuso, David Warner, and Kathryn Harrold, the film’s screenplay is by Martin Cruz Smith, based on his novel of the same title. Slumming a little, movie composer Henry Mancini wrote the film’s original music and legendary SFX designer Carlo Rambaldi created the bat effects.
The evening’s events begin at 7 PM. The screening will be preceded and followed by a roundtable discussion featuring:
- Ian Breheny – Museum Operations Specialist at the FLMNH and co-founder of the film series
- Tim Lawrence – Special effects artist and concept sculptor
- Elise LeCompte – Registrar, Anthropology Division, FLMNH
- Amanda Ramage – Education Coordinator, Lubee Bat Conservancy
Nightwing is rated PG. Some scenes may be unsuitable for pre-teen viewers.
On July 27, beginning at 7 PM, the series continues with Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
All “Creative B” events are free and open to the public.