shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


Page address:

Grind-Fu Cinema Val Kilmer Double Feature on July 28th!

Grind-Fu Cinema will be screening Real Genius and Top Secret on Saturday, July 28th! FREE ADMISSION!




Grind-Fu Cinema presents

Real Genius
Top Secret!

Saturday, July 28th @ 7:00 p.m.
Wiecking 220 Auditorium
415 Malin St, Mankato, MN
Minnesota State University, Mankato


Made possible through funding from the Minnesota State Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund

Before the stories of difficult on-set behavior and Bison ranching... before the Mark Twain impersonating and homoerotic volleyball scenes... there was Val Kilmer the hot new star on the Hollywood scene. That's the Val that Grind-Fu Cinema is celebrating on July 28th during our Val Kilmerpalooza! See two funny as heck Val Kilmer movies FOR FREE in Wiecking 220 Auditorium. What're we showing? You'll be glad you asked.


Real Genius (1985)
Directed by Martha Coolidge

Val Kilmer plays Chris Knight, a brilliant student at Pacific Tech, who generally who takes having fun more seriously than his studies. Pacific Tech is populated by eccentric geniuses who study hard and play harder, and they continually use their wits to game the system and prank each other. Chris befriends freshman Mitch Taylor, and they're put on a team to figure out how to make a super powerful laser. To Chris the project is simply a problem to solve, but to the Government it has deadly real world applications.

Real Genius is a hilarious comedy directed by Martha Coolidge, who directed Valley Girl, which you may have seen during our Grind-Fu Cinema last July. Apprently July is now our designated Martha Coolidge month! Real Genius also has Deborah Foreman, the star of Valley Girl, in a small role, so that's weird. Anyway, Real Genius was Val Kilmer's second movie ever, and he already was showing off crazy talent and charisma. Who woulda thunk that just ten years later he'd be playing Batman?

Roger Ebert gave Real Genius 3 1/2 out of four stars, so that's not too slouchy. Richard Schickel in Time Magazine said Real Genius is "a smart, no-nonsense movie that may actually teach its prime audience a valuable lesson: the best retort to an intolerable situation is not necessarily a food fight. Better results, and more fun, come from rubbing two brains together." Words to live by.


Top Secret! (1984)
Directed by Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker

Jerry and David Zucker, and Jim Abrahams only had two film credits before Top Secret!: they wrote the screenplay to John Landis' Kentucky Fried Movie, and they wrote and directed Airplane!, which was a massive hit in 1980. They built their career on broad sophomoric humor and sight gags, and the their style was widely embraced by American movie fans. After parodying disaster movies with Airplane!, they decided to make Top Secret! a parody of both World War 2 spy movies and Elvis musicals. Yeah.

This was Val Kilmer's first film, so the ZAZ team was taking a risk by putting him in a starring role, but he nails it with confidence. The movie goers apparently weren't convinced, though, as Top Secret! was considered a bomb at the box office. Even the film makers felt like it didn't have focus. Don't try telling that to Weird Al Yankovic, though! Top Secret! is Al's favorite movie of all time. In a Vulture interview published in June of 2018, he goes into great detail about why he thinks it's one of the best movies ever made. His fandom is so great that he even told Val Kilmer to his face that it's his favorite movie of all time. Kilmer's response was "Really? You're going to pick that one?"


Join Grind-Fu Cinema for Val Kilmerpalooza on Saturday, July 28th! The admission is FREE, and everyone is welcome! There's free parking in the back parking lot, and then enter through the back building entrance and look for the movie theater full of movie geeks! Bring your friends, bring sodas and snacks, and get ready for a fun time at the movies!


Email this article | Permanent link | Kmsufm news | Kmsufm news archives