Peaches Christ Takes Manhattan: The All About Evil New York Recap
By Michael Varrati
“That guy’s outfit is cute, but his teeth are really gross!” says a young cinema attendee, assuming she’s out of earshot.
…and she’s talking about me.
However, in this one unique case, it’s the kind of slight I don’t particularly mind. After all, it’s the New York City premiere of All About Evil and a little grossness is certainly the order of the evening. The teeth in question are the latest addition to the evil usher outfit that I donned for the Los Angeles show, serving as a disgustingly stained homage to the dentally deficient killer played by Noah Segan in the film. For the audience just making their way into the theater, these little nuances are not yet apparent, but a few hours later when they exit, I hear nothing but praise for the attention to preshow detail that surrounded them from the evening’s onset.
Such praise does not fall on deaf ears either, because all of us working on this tour in the service of Peaches Christ know that New York City is a town that has truly seen it all. From the golden era of Broadway to the rise of punk, the Big Apple has been a home and breeding ground for some of the most audacious and unequalled spectacles in the history of show business. While this certainly is awe-inspiring, it also makes for some tough acts to follow. More so, it gives the impression that for a New York crowd to truly love something, it must deliver nothing but the very best.
Now, I might be a tad biased…but based on the enthusiasm bursting from the theater this past weekend, there’s little doubt in my mind that we delivered.
Playing over the course of two nights, the All About Evil experience saw a veritable who’s who of filmmakers and media personalities join an extremely sizable audience at the Sunshine Cinemas in SoHo for the spooktacular event. Spotted in the audience were such horror luminaries as Frank Henenlotter, Glenn McQuaid, Mike Watt, and Amy Lynn Best, as well as legendary writers Michael Musto and Dennis Dermody. Each one of these notable faces found themselves intermingling with the audience, adding to the already considerable buzz in the air. For one night, the various accomplishments of this considerable roster were put on pause, because each and every one of them was there to celebrate Peaches Christ with gleeful abandon.
As the lights dimmed and the crowd cheered, cult filmmaker (and personal favorite) Alan Rowe Kelly took the stage to finally announce to the audience that the show was underway. Giving a brief speech about how the midnight movie had fallen by the wayside in New York after the rise of Giuliani, Kelly encouraged the audience to cheer on Peaches Christ for bringing cult chaos back to Manhattan theaters after a nearly 20 year void.
Naturally, the audience went wild…and even as Kelly left the stage and the lights dimmed, the anticipation in the air had become tangible with excitement.
As the haunting strains of “Gore Gore Girl” began, Peaches Christ took the stage, the screen behind her ablaze with swirling spirals and violent images of some of her San Francisco compatriots meeting grisly ends. Adding the video element to the number proved to be a wild success, Peaches and company romping about as the video played added a rock star quality that was not lost upon the New York audience.
Following the number, Peaches took a brief moment to introduce her back-up dancers…only to discover that the one-time scourge of Midnight Mass, Troll Girl, had infiltrated her line. A long time agitator and instigator, Peaches thought she was rid of her nemesis once and for all when Troll Girl had left San Francisco and moved east. Not a one of us expected the return of this arch-villain in New York, and even as Peaches attempted to explain to the audience her long and troubled history with Troll Girl, the pest was rushing about the stage, throwing carrots at our dear cult leader. Luckily, even Troll Girl can be distracted by celebrity, and Peaches was able to pull her offstage by announcing the imminent arrival of All About Evil’s star, Natasha Lyonne.
Of course, Troll Girl wasn’t the only one excited by the prospect of Ms. Lyonne’s arrival. As the screen became filled with clips of Natasha Lyonne’s body of work, the crowd began chirping with excitement. Seeing scenes from such classics as Slums of Beverly Hills and But I’m a Cheerleader only heightened the room’s anticipation for the smoky voiced sensation.
As the clip reel drew to a close, the lights came up and Peaches Christ was joined by the belle of the ball.
“It’s embarrassing,” Lyonne said, “I’ve slept with a lot of people in this audience!”
Based on the amount of applause this comment received, it was either true…or served as the ultimate icebreaker. Either way, the audience was immediately at ease, proving Lyonne was just as electric in life as she was on the screen. The conversation was brief, but informative, with Lyonne discussing with Peaches Christ her role in the movie, as well as commenting on their mutual love of the dearly departed exploitation filmmaker Doris Wishman.
With Lyonne’s exit came the show’s finale, seeing San Francisco mainstay Trixxie Carr take the stage in the guise of Lyonne’s character from the film, Deborah Tennis. Wailing out the song “Star Quality” with a divalicious perfection, Carr was flanked by the Christettes, who aided her in bringing a particular Jonestown-esque flavor to the show that must be seen to be believed.
Even as the lights dimmed and the film began, the audience was left literally breathless with delight at the horror show that Peaches Christ had brought to New York. Feedback from some of the more notable names in the crowd was no less enthusiastic. The aforementioned Frank Henenlotter took to the internet immediately following the show to proclaim the following:
“Last night went to NY premiere of All About Evil from filmmaker Joshua Grannell with a cast that includes Mink Stole, Cassandra Peterson, and Peaches Christ…and Christ, was it funny. Absolutely hilarious. The film is currently touring cities with a fabulous pre-show film featuring the Peaches Christ Experience in 4-D and it’s a must-see. Definitely check it out.”
Clearly, we here at Peaches Christ Headquarters consider this to be the highest of praise, as Frank Henenlotter is a filmmaker whose work we worship and adore. That such a respected and legendary figure would love All About Evil is certainly a feather in our caps that we won’t stop boasting about for a long while.
Of course, Frank wasn’t alone in his enthusiasm. As the film’s credits rolled and the crowd spilled out into the lobby, the chorus of praise and delight was nearly overwhelming. Even as famed PC associate Tria Connell and I manned the gift shop, watching many items carrying the visage of Peaches fly off the table, the queen herself was being swarmed by friends and fans eager to share their congratulations on a film well done.
Obviously, that Peaches Christ won New York City over is no small feat. That she did it two nights in a row, however, is an even greater accomplishment. In a city that often adopts the vibe that they’ve seen everything there is to see, with All About Evil New Yorkers were reminded that until you’ve seen Peaches Christ…
…you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Fear not, my dear children of the popcorn. We may have just conquered New York City, but the tour is far from over. We’re coming to your city next, and we’re prepared to give you a bloody dose of what the Big Apple got this past weekend.
So hang tight, keep your eyes peeled, and as always…