Extreme Sci-Fi

The Case Film Society gears up for a geekfest.

Perhaps only the most diligent sci-fi geek would show up in the middle of the night for a film whose title is under wraps. But two such mystery movies -- one at 12:30 a.m. Saturday, the next at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon -- are only a pair of the highlights at Case Western Reserve Film Society's 29th Science Fiction Marathon.

Fourteen movies will unspool over 28 hours, and you'll want to stay for the whole thing, if only to catch 1943's The Batman serial (the first screen appearance of Bob Kane's famous crime fighter), which will fill in the gaps between flicks. The Fest kicks off Friday at 8 p.m. with Last Action Hero and closes Saturday at 10:30 p.m. with 2002's Rollerball remake. Here's a rundown of some highlights in between:

Titan A.E. (pictured) -- This animated space opera from 2000 has big-name voice talent (Drew Barrymore, Matt Damon, and Nathan Lane), but it's the mix of old- and new-school animation that dazzles most. The story (about a lost spaceship) isn't too shabby either. (10:45 p.m. Friday)

Beware! The Blob! -- Larry Hagman, Dallas's J.R., directed this 1972 sequel about the slithering Jell-O from hell. The movie is well aware of its shortcomings -- no budget, lame actors, not-so-special effects; in fact, it plays like a '70s sitcom, till everybody starts dying. (3:15 a.m. Saturday)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde -- Fredric March won an Oscar for playing the tortured twosome in 1931, but this adaptation from 1920 features an astounding John Barrymore performance. Eschewing makeup and any sort of camera trickery, Barrymore bends, scrunches, and transforms his face into absolute evil. (Noon Saturday)

The Truman Show -- The fest's best film is also its most prescient. Jim Carrey plays a man whose entire life has played out on TV. Peter Weir's 1998 fantasy is smarter than The Simple Life and more riveting than The Bachelor. (1:30 p.m. Saturday)