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The Great Digital Film Festival Gives Retro Classics The Big Screen Treatment They Deserve

It’s both a good time and a bad time to be a fan of old movies. On one hand, high quality versions of most classic films are readily available in one format or another. On the other hand, public screenings of old films are almost unheard of—unless you live in a major city. In light of this, The Great Digital Film Festival is a refreshing opportunity for many Canadians to revisit recent classics and introduce their kids to the films of their youth.

This year’s selection includes several recent hits (Inception, Looper, Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Trek: Into Darkness), action classics (Dirty Harry, Runaway Train), fantasy classics (The Dark Crystal), a pair of Quentin Tarantino-scripted ’90s favourites (From Dusk Till Dawn, True Romance), and other assorted cult movies (including Beverly Hills Cop, Big Trouble in Little China, and Serenity). But for fans of horror, fantasy, and science fiction from the ’80s (particularly 1982), The Great Digital Film Festival is cause for celebration. Here are five highlights you don’t want to miss.

1. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Fury Road may now hold the crown as most celebrated Mad Max movie, but The Road Warrior was the previous champion—and it’s no less visceral today than it was 34 years ago.

When you can see it: Saturday, February 6 at 7:30pm; Monday, February 8 at 5:45pm.

2. Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan

Proving the summer of 1982 was a great time to be a movie fan, this Star Trek classic—by most accounts, the best Star Trek film to date—arrived in theatres just two weeks after The Road Warrior.

When you can see it: Friday, February 5 at 12:00pm; Sunday, February 7 at 7:30pm; Wednesday, February 10 at 5:30pm.

3. The Thing

Seriously, the summer of 1982 was incredible. Three weeks after The Wrath of Khan, movie fans were treated to The Thing. (Other releases that summer included Blade Runner, Conan the Barbarian, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, and Tron.) A flop at the time, this remake of the 1951 Howard Hawks classic has gone on to become one of John Carpenter’s most enduring and influential films. For proof of this, look no further than The Hateful Eight.

When you can see it: Saturday, February 6 at 5:10pm; Wednesday, February 10 at 9:55pm.

4. Ghostbusters

With the Ghostbusters remake just six months away, there’s no better time to revisit Slimer, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and Gozer The Gozerian.

When you can see it: Saturday, February 6 at 12:45pm; Tuesday, February 9 at 9:40pm.

5. Labyrinth

The legendary David Bowie died over the weekend, leaving behind an incredible body of work, both musical and cinematic. While you might want to keep your kids away from his more adult-oriented genre triumphs (The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hunger), they should feel right at home in this beloved Jim Henson production from 1986.

When you can see it: Sunday, February 7 at 2:50pm; Tuesday, February 9 at 12:40pm.

The Great Digital Film Festival takes place from February 5th to 11th in theatres across Canada. For a complete list of showtimes, click here.

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