Return of the “B-Movies and Bad Science” Series: Lighthearted film and discussion explores the questionable “stars” of creature features and disaster flicks

Do you have nightmares about giant, ferocious snails? This is the room for you! Confront your fears via film, then scientists will talk you down. I have some vintage poster artwork from some of the films, if anybody needs it for print/online - via Kristin Friedrich, Editorial Manager, at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Spend a Sunday with members of the Natural History Museum’s science and history departments for a lighthearted exploration of the “science” behind Hollywood’s weirdest and most implausible B-movies! After the screenings, the museum’s curatorial staff will talk about the few facts (if any) of each film, and show off some related artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections.

This is the second season for the series, which has expanded to six movies. Five will unfurl in the Exposition Park museum’s Jean Delacour Auditorium, and one will be held outdoors at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits.

Sunday, June 28, 2 pm: Take in a prehistoric, radioactive and very ticked off gastropod (snail) in “The Monster that Challenged the World” (1957). Afterward, Malacology Collections Manager Lindsey Groves will talk gastropods, angry and otherwise.

Sunday, July 5, 2 pm:
“Beginning of the End” (1957) finds gargantuan grasshoppers terrorizing the streets, but Entomology Curator Dr. Brian Brown is on hand to settle your nerves.

Sunday, July 26, 2 pm: You’ll bear witness to Aztec god Quetzalcoatl wreaking havoc after he’s resuscitated by an evil archaeologist in “The Flying Serpent” (1946). Then Anthropology Curatorial Assistant Jennifer Saracino will talk about the non-fictional Aztecs.

*Sunday, Aug. 9, 8 pm: This is the only screening that’s not at the NHM. Instead, we’re holding a nighttime screening at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits. Amid rolling grass slopes and mastodons, we’ll screen “Volcano” (1997), in which these same tar pits are assaulted by a new volcano. Museum collections managers and resident geologists, Lindsey Groves and George Davis, will talk about how mid-Wilshire and Hancock Park can’t suffer the fate as they do in the film.

Sunday, Aug. 23, 2 pm: Kick back for a specially restored, 16-mm print of “Mothra vs. Godzilla” (1964). In it, there’s a battle royale between a giant moth and the notorious killer lizard, and after it, there’s entomologist Brent “the Bug Guy” Karner.

Sunday, Sept. 6, 2 pm: In “Reptilicus” (1961), a defrosted 90-foot reptile tail regenerates into a full grown beast that rampages through the city. Dr. Luis Chiappe, Director of the NHM’s in-house Dinosaur Institute, will be our on-hand expert.

PRICE $9 for adults, and $6.50 for children. For Page prices see, below.

WHERE: The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90007. Open seven days a week, 9:30 am to 5 pm. More information: (213) 763-DINO

* The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is at 5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90036. Open seven days a week, 9:30 am to 5 pm $7 for adults, $4.50 for students and seniors, and $2 for children ages 5-12. call (323) 934-PAGE.


About the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County serves more than one million families and visitors annually, and is a national leader in research, exhibitions and education. The museum was the first cultural institution in Los Angeles to open its doors to the public in 1913 and has amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history — with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years.

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