Cult Filmmakers You Should Know: Ken Russell
By Michael Varrati
“B-movies have always been my inspiration,” says Kathleen Turner, seductively admitting a truth shared by many film fans.
The line, spoken by Turner in the film Crimes of Passion, is a pivotal one. The character played by the smoky voiced actress (a wanton hooker named China Blue) is meant to be evocative of the very midnight movie ingénues from which she draws inspiration. The statement serves more as a confession, revealing that China Blue, like B-movies themselves, is part of an elaborate, over-the-top show. The living embodiment of sin and late night sleaze, Turner comes as close as anyone ever has to physically embodying the edicts and ideals that make so many children of the popcorn embrace cult cinema.
Well, ghoulies, it’s been a while, but listen: we didn’t get to see the sun for like two months in SF. I know, I know, GREAT for all you vampires, but yours truly, La Hugz Bunny, is very much a sunny sort of bunny. When it suddenly came out finally last week, you know I just had to ditch out on all responsibility, throw on some sequined hotpants, and rollerskate my huge white ass over to that oceanless beach that we have here in San Frantranny, dubbed “The Manshelf”.
It’s nestled in the sweaty, green elbow of Dolores Park, Mission District, not far from Deborah Tennis’ family-run movie theatre, the Victoria. Also known as “Queen Beach” and (my favourite) “The Swish Alps”, it IS thee place to hang out and hangover, hunny. DP has stunning views, both of downtown SF, and of the half-naked menz variety too! Where else can you be offered a kaleidoscope of edible pharmadelics on an hourly basis? Get it, Dolores Park!
Cult Filmmakers You Should Know: Lloyd Kaufman
By Michael Varrati
It always amazes me to discover that there are self-professed fans of horror and cult cinema who don’t know the name Lloyd Kaufman.
Essentially the ultimate champion of independent film, Kaufman has been fighting on behalf of the little guy in movies for decades. His company, Troma Entertainment (co-founded with Michael Herz in 1974), has distributed hundreds of low-to-no budget motion pictures that would otherwise never see the light of day and has served as a launching point for many notable names within genre history. Kaufman’s steadfast conviction that movies should be made with passion and drive, regardless of budget, has allowed many filmmakers under his tutelage to gain exposure in a studio-controlled system that would just as likely see them brushed aside.
Presents All About Evil - UK Premiere!
PEACHES CHRIST’S EUROPEAN VACATION!
During 01- 07 October 2010, Abandon Normal Devices (AND) investigates how normality is closely intertwined with the constructing and collapsing of identities; driven by a desire to question the heart of the system and how we are shaped towards a sense of normality through cinematic shenanigans, installations, online projects, public realm interventions, debates, workshops and live events.
Article & Photography By Michael Varrati
“Can I take your picture?”
Glaring at the camera with disdain, I pull my lips back into a hateful snarl. I don’t particularly have anything against the cute little girl who asked to snap our photo, but it’s my understanding that the people here expect a show.
Studiously examining the digital display screen, the girl finally takes her shot. The flash goes off, my stained teeth and malice-filled glare captured forever.
Another customer is gleefully satisfied. Read More…
The All About Evil Maryland Invasion Recap
By Michael Varrati
Photographs by Christopher Anderson
“Do you keep a catalog of creative ways to kill people?”
A momentary silence falls as Joshua Grannell, writer and director of All About Evil, considers the question. His answer, when it comes, is simply stated but effective:
Met with riotous applause, Grannell’s enthusiastic confession of bloodlust is instantly embraced by the Baltimore audience sitting before him. Rowdy and electric, it becomes clear to the casual observer that in addition to celebrating the cinematic achievements of the film being screened, this is also a crowd that wants to make it clear to the Maryland-born filmmaker that his return home is warmly welcomed.
Welcome to Peaches Christ Productions new original program, Creatures of the Night. Hosted by one of the most voluptuous and beautiful Children of the Popcorn there is, Lady Bear. LB’s long had her finger on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not in San Francisco bohemian nightlife. Follow her on her exploits about town, searching high and low for glamour in all its forms. She’ll keep you abreast of it all.
In fact, Lady Bear herself wishes to welcome you to her new show…
Most San Franciscans live in the daylight, content with the picturesque and quaint: the cable cars, the Golden Gate bridge, and the “Painted Ladies” of Alamo Square. But when the fog rolls in and the sun goes down another world comes to life… one involving an entirely different kind of painted lady. When you don’t exactly fit in during the daylight a little eyeliner and lipstick make it alright once the sun goes down… these are my Creatures of the Night! Read More…
The Original Cross-dressing Killer: Norman Bates and the Psycho Sequels
By Michael Varrati
It almost goes without saying that Alfred Hitchcock is a nearly impossible act to follow.
Considered by fans and critics alike to be an unequivocal master of suspense, ol’ Hitch’s legacy is such that even 30 years after his death, many up and coming filmmakers aspire to reach the very high standard he set with his work. To examine the storied and celebrated legacy he left behind on a film-by-film basis would be a monstrous undertaking, the kind of work left only to those writing a college dissertation or the certifiably insane.
Luckily for my typing fingers and your reading eyes, I’m not that ambitious. Instead, I choose today to focus on just one of Hitchcock’s seminal works, Psycho, and the legacy it left behind.
Hotlanta, here we come! That’s right, I’m finally heading to the Peach State where I hope to get many photos of myself with Peach paraphernalia. Hey y’all- do y’all know any folks down there in the south that you can send our way? I’m hoping we can get a grand ole’ southern hospitality style turnout for the big Evil Atlanta Premiere with myself and Mink Stole! All the details about the screening and more can be found RIGHT HERE. Of course, because this has been the ultimate tour of food and I can’t deny myself any culinary pleasures, I’m a little bit worried about hitting Atlanta and still being able to squeeze myself into the tour gore couture for our following stop in Arizona. I swear to GOD that Bea Dazzler once asked someone to get her some pliers when trying to zip me into a dress and it was truly horrifying. But when looking at some peach pie and pralines I just gotta say “oh well”.