Photo: Heather Kennedy / Alamo Drafthouse

Every year for the past four years, the Alamo Drafthouse has celebrated Nicolas Cage’s birthday by throwing a Nicolas Cage movie marathon, paying tribute to the lovable madman by basking in his energy for 12 solid hours. And every year for the past four years, Drafthouse programmer Greg MacLennan has tried to talk Nicolas Cage into attending this Nicolas Cage movie marathon. Well, this year, it finally worked: Not only did Cage surprise the audience by showing up, he proceeded to regale the assembled crowd with a dramatic cold reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” saying it inspired some of “[my] more manic performances.” Here, take a look:

Cage also served as programmer for this year’s event, selecting movies he thought best represented his dramatic oevure and then sticking around to watch all five of them. For those of you who want to re-create the experience at home—Nic Cage appearance, unfortunately, not included—those five films are: Bangkok Dangerous, which our own Nathan Rabin called a “depressingly awful” Cage performance; Joe, in his review of which The A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd praised Cage for not going totally batshit bonkers; Bringing Out The Dead, the Martin Scorsese movie in which Cage hallucinates a lot; Army Of One, a “fitfully funny” 2016 comedy in which Cage adopts a nasal vocal affectation that the real person he’s supposed to be portraying does not have; and Lord Of War, in which Cage plays an arms dealer and which actually sounds pretty good.

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