Attention Movie Lovers: It’s Time for the CWRU Science Fiction Marathon

Fri 1/19-Sat 1/20

For college kids, the idea of staying up for 36 hours straight is nothing new. They call that a normal study session running from, say, Wednesday into Thursday. Perhaps that’s the appeal behind the 43rd annual Case Western Reserve University Science Fiction Marathon, which takes place Fri 1/19-Sat 1/20 at the Strosacker Auditorium on campus.

“It’s just 36 hours of just great science fiction movies, all the way from Friday evening to Sunday morning.” said Marathon co-director Jonathan Schaeffer, a junior studying English and cognitive science.

“It certainly has gotten a lot bigger over the years just because a lot of people still come back. It’s like the people who have come to the Case Western Reserve University Science Fiction Film Marathon just can’t get away.”

The Science Fiction Marathon started in 1976 with a slew of classics including The Andromeda Strain, Barbarella and The Day the Earth Stood Still. This year’s lineup falls right in line.

The film fun begins at 8pm Fri 1/19 with Galaxy Quest followed by nine more mostly science fiction movies requiring a physical endurance that will test bladders and tired eyelids.

The rest of the schedule includes World Without End (10:30pm), Deep Blue Sea (12:30pm), Surprise Movie # 1 (2am), Repo Man (4am), Red Dawn (6am), Big Hero 6 (8am), Woman in the Moon (10am), TBA (noon), TBA (2pm), Idiocracy (3:30pm), Surprise Movie # 2 (5:15pm) and Blade Runner 2049 (9pm).

In addition to marathon passes, individual movie tickets are available. As for what constitutes science fiction, the lines can get a bit fuzzy.

“We have a committee of people who like discussing what we should put in the Science Fiction Marathon,” Schaeffer said. “We create a culture that people who attend our marathon will be entertained watching, even though some movies don’t necessarily fit science fiction.”

Specifically, Deep Blue Sea draws attention.

“Sometimes if there’s a movie we really want to show, we can bend the definition of science fiction a little bit, but for the most part it is a lot of hard sci-fi-like spaceships, aliens, future technology and time travel,” Schaeffer said.

“I think Deep Blue Sea is pretty science fiction. You’re creating the giant monstrous sharks with science and technology. That’s pretty sci-fi.”

Normally, upwards of 700 fans attend the Case Western Reserve University Science Fiction Marathon for what has a comic-con sensibility, including cosplay. Schaeffer said more than half of the people will try to stay awake, with roughly 20 percent doing just that.

“It’s just a massive amount of people in a small space enjoying the nerdy stuff you love,” Schaeffer said. “We’ll have people throwing back coffee. You definitely need something to stay awake for those 36 hours.”


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