Win Movie Tickets with Tweet of the Week

We love your tweets. We want to encourage them – especially the ones that make us laugh, smile, cry (with laughter – no mean tweets please), cackle, exclaim and squawk. So, to make sure you keep it up we’re going to run a wee competition. Tweet us. Be inventive. Be funny. Be you. And tweet about movies – movies we’re showing – that part’s important.


Every Sunday for the next five weeks we’ll pick a favourite tweet from our @mentions of the week and the winner will get two complimentary tickets to see something at the theatre in the week following – which we’ll announce when they win. Got it? If not, let’s quickly re-cap: Follow, tweet, (try to) win. It ought to be a hoot – or at least a twitter.

Starts Monday, November 25th and runs until Sunday 29th December. Follow us here


It’s almost that time of year again – when you get down here and we celebrate all things Dude. It’s fairly simple. We state ‘one Jesus per group, please’ for a reason, this is one night where we celebrate a very different religion: Dudeism.

If you think you’re a dude, and if you have your bowling ball and dressing gown at the ready – then maybe you think you deserve to win a couple of tickets to Saturday night’s excellent Lebowski Bash.

images We’re giving away two VIP double passes which include the film, the foyer entertainment and the after party. For more details about the event, please visit our website.

To be in the running to win – and we’ll let you know one way or the other on Friday evening – email us at with your full name and the correct answers to these two questions:
1) What is the name of the California burger chain that the ‘Dude’ visits in the movie?
2) What is the main characters favourite drink in the movie and what 3 ingredients is it made of?

Winners will be selected at random, entries close at 5pm Friday July 12th.
And if you don’t win but still want to buy a ticket then you can – in fact, Fans of our Facebook page will be offered a special discount off the regular price admissions on Friday afternoon. Polish those bowling balls, it’s almost time to go get yourself a new rug.

GOBLIN Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered our e-newsletter giveaway and a congratulations to Rob, Stephen and Ross who all won themselves a double pass to see Goblin play LIVE this Sunday at Billboard. We asked for your favourite experiences of watching Goblin scored films and these were the three winning entries:

“Deep Red was in the horror section of my local video store. It was rated R and I wasn’t eighteen. The clerk wouldn’t allow me to hire it, nor would my parents, who said it wasn’t appropriate. So out of desperation I performed a switcheroo, and put the Deep Red tape in the case of Weekend at Bernie’s II. Success! I finally got to watch the great Argento masterpiece. However when I returned the video, I forgot to switch it back. To this day I feel bad for the person who rented Deep Red and got W”eekend at Bernie’s II.” – Rob

“Well, when I was a kid I was terrified of horror movies. By the time I was about nineteen some friends and I rented Dawn of the Dead on video. I loved it. The music was very tongue-in-cheek but also atmospheric. Many years later I discovered a movie I’d only seen in the video shops. The cover of the video creeped me out. I finally saw the Dario Argento produced film Demons. Being a 1980s teen who adores rock and movie music, Goblin truly nailed the feel of that film for me. ‘Nuff said.” – Stephen

“My favourite Goblin scored movie is Dawn of The Dead. It, at the time, was described perfectly by its promotional posters ‘the most intensely shocking motion picture experience of all time’. It opened my eyes as a young horror movie fan to the world of explicit gore and horror at its best. Through its visuals and audio it set the zombie film category to where it is today – an art form of its own. It definitely deserves it’ place in the 500 Greatest Films by Empire although its in my top 20.” – Ross

Tickets are still available if you weren’t a winner on this occasion, concert details below. And make sure you do sign up to our e-newsletter for more great giveaways and the latest in Astor News!


Principal Entertainment & 3RRR Present: Goblin
Performing their horror classics Suspiria, Dawn Of The Dead, Deep Red and Roller

Principal Entertainment and 3RRR present the Italian prog masters of cinematic horror Goblin for one special show in Melbourne performing their legendary horror classics Suspiria, Dawn Of The Dead, Deep Red and Roller.

Across the course of a career that has spanned three decades Goblin have been providing the spine tingling soundtrack to the celluloid nightmares of a generation of horror movie lovers. The Italian ensemble have become masters of a musical style full of drama, suspence and atmosphere bringing palpable fear and tension to some of the most famous horror films of all time. It is this amazing atmosphere that Goblin bring to life in their acclaimed live shows creating an audio and visual feast and a concert experience like no other.

Goblin were initially named Cherry Five and their early work spawned one eponymous progressive rock record. The band was then called in as a replacement for composer Giorgio Gaslini, who had left the film Profondo Rosso after a conflict with director Dario Argento. They changed their name to Goblin and rewrote most of the score, including the famous main theme.

A reshuffle in their line-up followed, and they put out an instrumental progressive rock album Roller, before working with Argento again for Suspiria. Other soundtracks and a concept album (Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark) followed, then the score for the European version of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978).

Despite their success, more members of the band left. What was left of the band continued to work on further soundtracks, but there was a partial reunification for Argento’s Tenebrae (1982). The last collaboration with Argento took place in 2000, with the film Non ho sonno (Sleepless). Goblin returned with a series of live concerts in Europe in 2009. In 2012 Goblin performed their famous score live for the first time at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image as part of the Melbourne Music Week. After three sold-out shows (including the impressive sold out show at the Melbourne Town Hall), the performance – that was acclaimed as the “show of the year.”

Andy Warhol Presents Paul Morrissey who presents Udo Kier who wants wirgins…

horrorMonday February 4th (tonight) at the Astor Theatre is one of those rare occasions where we offer more than just movies, and an actual opportunity to know life. And, as you will learn if you come down here at 7.30pm, “To know life, first you must **** death in the gallbladder.” Yes, tonight we’re preparing for a fantasmagorically gory, kitsch, camp and over-honestly crazy celebration of 1970s American underground counter-culture. All in stunning, rare, 35mm film print glory!


Paul Morrissey met Andy Warhol in 1965 after he began making short films. His background had included a brief stint in the army and not so underground employment in insurance and social work before he took up the camera, but he was a clear artistic talent from the start and after his collaboration and distribution management on Warhol’s Chelsea Girls (1966), Imitation of Christ (1967) and Bike Boy (1967), Morrissey was ready for his first solo project: writer, director and producer on Lonesome Cowboy (1967). From here Morrissey turned his filmmaking intentions towards creating a new type of counter-culture within the American Underground that would come to be known as “trash aesthetics” matched with a camp-kitsch sensibility. This new style brought cinema a trilogy like no other; Flesh (1968), Trash (1970), Heat (1972). These films, and indeed everything branded by the Warhol Factory, made stars of its misfits – very much in the same way that John Waters was doing at the time in Baltimore with his own homegrown stars. Morrissey had an eye for fame and along with Joe Dallesandro whose pimply derriere will forever be immortalised on film, Morrrissey made Nico a star by adding her to the Factory’s rock ‘n’ roll group that would become iconic and influential, The Velvet Underground.


Following the underground success of his trilogy, Morrissey went on to make what are often still referred to as “Andy Warhol’s Dracula” and “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein”, despite their both being decidedly Paul Morrissey films. Alternatively titled Blood For Dracula (1974) and Flesh For Frankenstein (1973), Morrissey’s somewhat ‘loose’ interpretation of Bram Stoker’s and Mary Shelley’s greats became cult triumphs that blended camp and kitsch sensibilities with gore and trash aesthetics and a linear, character driven narrative to achieve a type of pop-cult cinema. Where Warhol’s Blow Job and Chelsea Girls today find themselves projected onto white walls in modern art galleries, Morrissey’s films still find themselves occasionally clearing cobwebs and re-presented up on the big screen. With two stunning, rare and deliciously glorious 35mm film prints, we take great pleasure in presenting two of the “Factory’s” greatest tonight onscreen: Paul Morrissey’s Blood for Dracula and Flesh For Frankenstein.


And if you love all things counter-culture then you’re in for even more of a treat as, thanks to our good friends at Shock Entertainment, we have posters and DVD copies of the cult lover’s documentary American Grindhouse to giveaway! All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is turn up, get gory, experience a formal introduction to Udo Kier, and even learn a little something by really letting life **** you in the gallbladder.

We Wish You An EPIC! Christmas

Irregardless of our indidvidual religious beliefs, Christmas has long been a time to celebrate cinema going and great epic movies. That’s why this Sunday we’re screening both a brand new super high definition 4K digital DCP format remaster of The Ten Commandments and a glorious 70mm film print of Ben Hur on our giant Astor SuperScreen. Before the days of CGI, such films engaged large-scale set production and thousands of extras to achieve their grand epic proportions. Famous and remarkable sequences such as Ben Hur‘s gripping chariot race and The Ten Commandment‘s truly awesome parting of the red sea have become famous and acclaimed moments in movie-history as well as landmarks in production achievement in the field. They certainly don’t make ’em like they used to…

Ten Commandments_small_USA - Copy

And thanks to our good friends at the Jewish Museum we have 35 passes (some complimentary and some two-for-one) to giveaway to their current exhibition: EPIC! 100 Years of Film and the Bible. The first 35 people to purchase tickets from our ticket box to The Ten Commandments (ticket box opens Sunday at 1pm) will receive a pass. Having visited the exhibition ourselves we can definitely recommend it as a holiday season must-see (exhibition runs until February 3rd 2013).

La Bibia_small

Curated almost entirely from one man’s private collection (Father Michael Morris O.P., Professor of Religion and the Arts at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California), EPIC! includes original press kits, lobby cards, daybills, one sheets and more from the films’ original publicity materials, including some very rare and impressive posters from Europe. A vibrant lay-out complements the many kitsch, camp and stylised pieces set out under four sub-categories; Gender & Sexuality, Violence & Catastrophe, Magnificence & the Monumental, Righteousness & Redemption.

David and Goliath

From Adam and Eve, through to David & Goliath and Sodom and Gomorrah, EPIC! 100 Years of Film and the Bible offers a look at the items surrounding public film exhibition, offering up publicity materials as works of art in their own right. And, much like the movies they relate to, they sure don’t make ’em like they used to.

‘Tis the Season…


Let’s talk about what constitutes “a Christmas movie”. We all have favourites and special picks we like to watch year in, year out in the lead up to Christmas- and indeed, often up to and even into the New Year. But what happens when you discover that your favourite festive flick is, to others, just a regular year-round movie, and not specifically a Christmas flick at all? (Not everyone agrees that Gremlins singing Christmas carols warms the cockles and heralds season’s greetings!) Well, if it truly ’tis the season to be jolly, then is “Christmas” about good will, giving, loving, friends and family? Or is it about nicely decorated trees and the baby Jesus?


It was about a week ago that we suggested our Die Hard/Predator double bill might actually be a Christmas double bill – if only we could work out what makes Predator a Christmas flick…

These days, the fastest way to find out such a thing is to ask the twitterverse, and we did. Here are the three winning suggestions we received:

  • Being an invisible alien thrill hunter, how else could you describe it but that
    “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake”
  • The follow up movie to Predator and Predator 2, Predator Vs. Aliens: Requiem was released on Christmas Day in cinemas.
    The original movie Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Christmas movie because one of the main charters Dillon says “There is two to three men out there at the most….”
    He may very well have been talking about the 3 wise men! And this is the reason why I believe Predator is a Christmas Movie!
  • All that red & green blood everywhere is in the Christmas spirit!

So, maybe it’s coded meanings or release dates or allegory that makes a movie a Christmas flick? Or is anything that conveys “the Christmas spirit” (as elusive as that may be) a contender? Better questions might be, does the film narrative need to be about Christmas? Or can it be set at, during or around Christmas time and qualify? Does Santa need to make an appearance? Do we consider it a genre, and if so, what are its generic tropes? Or is it a trans-generic category? A thematic? Maybe its more ethereal than that? So many questions…

Some of these questions (along with available theatrical rights of course) have meant some very diverse programming on our part over the past week and indeed coming up in the week following our season of The Master in 70mm. 


(The Master, a Christmas flick? We’re as confused as Joaquin…)

That said, we are really keen to find out what your favourite Christmas flicks are and most curiously, why. What makes them your favourite flicks at this time of year? Leave an answer in the comments section of this blog (up until Christmas eve, we’ll publish them all then), and the three entries that please Marzipan the Astor Cat best (yes, that’s right, the cat needs to be impressed) will win some special Christmas prizes! We look forward reading about all the usual suspects as well as the weird and wonderful ones we couldn’t ever have imagined but that maybe only the Christmas spirit can create!

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is an Astor favourite and an Astor staple. Reflecting on its many screenings and indeed the very many wonderful and creative outfits that grace our stage whenever we show it, we thought it was time to re-publish three very enthusiastic reviews from Melbourne based film critics Gerard Elson, Paul Nelson, and Tara Judah. Each of these reviews originally appeared in an edition of our E-newsletter and are republished here with permission from the authors. And for the uninitiated we’ve also included a few pics from a recent screening – so now you know what to expect!

“It’s not easy having a good time. Even smiling makes my face ache.” So laments Dr Frank-N-Furter—‘A Scientist’—in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Frank’s words might best be applied to New Year’s Eve; that last, desperate glom to reclaim the year that was in the name of fun and ring in a new annum with a grin. Drinks flow freely. Music blares. But it’s not easy having a good time when we know that, come tomorrow, it’s all certain to make our heads ache…

An occasion to give yourself over to absolute pleasure: with a deviant mob of fellow mascara-smeared miscreants. For like a bodacious bod in a lace-up corset, barely contained by The Astor’s super-sized screen will be the cult movie: The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The path it’s strutted to cult glory is the stuff of legend: the dismal first showings, the mystified critics, the evasion by the general public… followed some two years later by the mounting momentum of participatory “midnight movie” screenings, in which the audience were invited—nay, expected! —to kick up their high heels and join in the revelry with the sex-fired space bacchants on-screen. Thirty-five years later and Rocky Horror still stands, hand on hip, legs fishnetted and lipsticked lips puckered, as the longest running film in cinema history. 20th Century Fox have never yet lapsed the film’s initial release. Hell, if it ain’t broke…

And Rocky Horror ain’t broke. Far from it. It’s every bit as subversive, all-embracing and resplendently demented as it must have seemed in 1975. And the songs, from the manic dance hall rock ‘n’ roll of ‘The Time Warp’ to the insouciant swagger of ‘Sweet Transvestite’ (Tim Curry here is no less than iconic), still inspire open-lunged sing-along abandon.

So this New Year’s Eve, let The Astor take you on a strange journey with The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Don’t just watch it. Be it.

Reviewed by Gerard Elson (@gerardelson)

From the 20th Century Fox fanfare performed in Richard Hartley’s soon-to-be-unmistakable piano style; followed by Patricia Quinn’s cherry red lips flying at you, you know you’re in for something different. Even after three and a half decades, it feels like a marvellous psychotropic trip to another world. It’s movie geek phantasmagoria, an impassioned plea for tolerance, and a raucous celebration of letting one’s freak flag fly all rolled into one. Ladies and Gentlemen: there is only one Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) are all-American kids who spring a flat tyre on a rainy night, sending them scurrying to the nearest house for a phone. Unfortunately (or most fortunately), the nearest house is a gothic castle, playing host to a shindig for “Transylvanians”, thrown by cross-dressing mad scientist Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), and catered by all-too-intimate brother/sister servant pair Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien, also the co-writer/lyricist) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn). Despite Brad and Janet’s fearful trepidation, Frank is delighted to host them, as he’s about to unveil his latest feat of genius. See, he’s been making a man… with blond hair and a tan…

Directed and co-adapted by Australian Jim Sharman, the film is a pure, unhinged, hedonistic blast, inspired by sci-fi B-pictures and Busby Berkeley musicals, bursting with insanely catchy songs and endlessly quotable dialogue. The uniformly terrific cast (most reprising the roles they originated on stage) surrender to the material with wonderful reckless abandon, but nobody makes as seismic an impression as Curry, whose booming voice, sly charisma and dramatic physicality command every scene he’s even peripherally involved in.

One of the first films (and the only Hollywood studio film) to be adopted by the original NYC “midnight movie” crowd of the mid-1970s, Rocky Horror’s celebration of sexual freedom and kinky joie de vivre continues to resonate powerfully with audiences today, as well as its then-unique references to genre movies past, now de rigueur. Give yourself over to absolute pleasure – see it!

Reviewed by Paul Nelson (@mrpaulnelson)

Pull up your fishnets and tighten your corsets: it’s time to do the Time Warp again! This Friday we take you back to 1975 with one of the original five films responsible for the “Midnight Movie” phenomenon: that’s right folks, returning to Melbourne’s glorious Astor Theatre is writer/actor Richard O’Brien and director Jim Sharman’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Adapted for the screen from O’Brien’s original stage musical: The Rocky Horror Show (1973), the film version attracted such an immense cult audience that the stage-show has since been, almost endlessly, revived – and not just in the UK. Exceeding by far the meagre expectations O’Brien had of his warped, B-grade, trans-sexually charged sci-fi musical mayhem, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is said to hold the record for the longest running theatrical release in film history. Still showing in quality theatres around the world, Rocky Horror has never been withdrawn from its original release, putting it at a now thirty-seven year run – and counting!

When “Brad Majors – A Hero” (Barry Bostwick) and “Janet Weiss – A Heroine” (Susan Sarandon) – a cute couple and straight squares – break down on a cold, wet November’s eve, they have no choice but to head to a nearby castle in search of a phone to call for help. But the unwitting couple stumble upon the residence of “Dr Frank-N-Furter – A Scientist” (Tim Curry) who appears to be hosting an Annual Transylvanian Convention, at which he is unveiling his latest “creation”: Rocky Horror (a “real, live” man). With some of the most sensational musical numbers ever to exist, including; “Sweet Transvestite”, “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” and, of course, “The Time Warp”; The Rocky Horror Picture Show is not just a film- it’s an experience, which is why audiences have been donning the get-up to attend screenings wherever they can for what’s now three and a half decades.

With costumes, cast, music and mise-en-scene that many probably really would die for, Friday night’s screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a must attend event for anyone who hasn’t seen it – and also for anyone who has. Tim Curry in fishnets, heels, red lippy and a corset? Yes please!

Reviewed by Tara Judah (@midnightmovies)