By Michael Varrati
“We are ALL whores tonight!”
With this singularly sleazy declaration, cult phenomenon Peaches Christ brought the already excitable crowd at the Castro Theater to a roaring fever pitch.
The event, Christ’s annual presentation of the cult classic Showgirls, had a palatable excitement from the evening’s onset. As the audience slowly trickled into the historic San Francisco venue, there was no doubt that the vibe resembled something akin to a rock concert. For those unfamiliar with Peaches and the whole Midnight Mass milieu, they would quickly learn that what was in store was no mere movie screening, but rather an interactive spectacle to boggle the mind and titillate the senses.
After all, Peaches doesn’t do subtlety, and Showgirls is certainly a film that demands a high level of opulent worship. For fans of both, all things promised were delivered in spades.
OK, seriously, you have to come. Finally, it’s here! This Weekend: Goddesscon 2011 aka our gigantic night of 1,000 SHOWGIRLS at the Castro Theatre is this Saturday! Celebrity judge Heklina is already threatening to rim someone onstage. Hide yo husbands! Hide yo boyfriends! She isn’t even kidding. And for any of you on the fence about whether or not to dress up this weekend- do it! Our sponsors have really kicked in some kick ass prizes and we’ll be awarding this stuff to Best Nomi and of course Best Crystal and perhaps evenWhoriest Nails. Get this, one of our prizes is an exotic night’s stay in JDV Hotels’ newest, custom hotel in beautiful Los Angeles. Other prizes include an hour long massage courtesy of Jeff Ramone, a year long gym membership to Golds, a San Francisco Street Sheet, and more! These are valuable hunty, expensive like Versayce. Read More…
Do you know what the worst part of roller-blading is? Having to tell your parents you’re gay. But for my dear ghoul-friend Mercy Fuque, the worst part was actually falling on her face in Golden Gate Park, shattering her leg and wrist and subsequently spending time in the hospital enduring surgeries and constipation. She’s a mess hunty! Rumor has it that Kegel Kater either a) pushed her or b) spilt some pearls in her path. The two “friends” were out for an afternoon of roller-blading when Mercy, sadly ate shit in public landing herself with a summer full of hospitals and doctor’s bills. As many of you know, when “one of us” is down for the count, we do what we can to help each other out and rally for a fellow queen. So, I’m hoping loads of you will come on out and attend the Lawd Have Mercy benefit this Saturday afternoon and help raise money for a great queen who could really use our help. Full details and Facebook invite can be found RIGHT HERE. Read More…
This weekend I’m hoping you’ll support the work of one of my dearest ghoul-friends Raya Light. She and Todd Pickering co-created an incredible Award Winning play called The Unbearable Lightness Of Raya a few years back that’s gotten a 2011 re-vamp and runs this weekend for three nights only. Raya Light is quite frankly, one of the most fucked up people I’ve ever met and her mental illness really benefits from this sort of showbiz exploitation. The play follows Raya’s rise to infamy from her demented childhood all the way to modern day. It’s a great show and it plays Friday, Saturday, & Sunday at 8pm at Counterpulse. Details are below.Also, after this show, there will be a staged reading of a new show that premieres this October called Halloween: The Ballad Of Michele Myers and my horror dork alter-ego Joshua Grannell has been invited to narrate the reading. He’s even going to sing! HA! It’s a fun look at another warped vision coming soon from the minds of Todd and Raya. Hopefully we’ll see loads of you out this weekend. Tickets & More available RIGHT HERE.
Cult Filmmakers You Should Know: Bruce LaBruce
By Michael Varrati
As far as I’m concerned, the advent of the internet all but killed legitimate counterculture. That is not to say that things outside the mainstream ceased to exist, but it is now infinitely easier to become “in the know.” That smug sense of inclusivity associated with the knowledge of an obscure band or film was rendered obsolete when it was revealed that the world at large could track down anything with a simple stroke of the keys. You can’t insult Johnny Football now with your favorite Black Flag lyrics, because a quick trip to Google later, and he’ll know the score.
Even more frightening, Johnny Football might even become a Black Flag fan.
With everything in the world being available to anybody at any time, there are many critics who argue that true renegade art exists no longer. While I tend to agree that a certain sense of ambiance that once was the glue of the outlaw community has been lost, I would never presume to definitively state that such things were left to the past. As long as there are social and cultural taboos, there is always the potential for artists to strike a note of discord amongst the moral majority.
With that in mind, I can think of no filmmaker working today who keeps that renegade spirit alive more than Bruce LaBruce. Read More…
By Michael Varrati
For consistent readers of my work, it should come as no surprise that I spent the better part of the early 90s worshipping at the altar of Rhonda Shear. Through Shear’s hosting of USA Up All Night, I was introduced to a plethora of cult treasures and filmic trash, the likes of which helped mold me into the creepy creature I am today. Some of those movies, such as Night of the Creeps and Friday the 13th took on lives of their own due to their ever-expanding roles in the zeitgeist. Others, like Vice Academy and Nightmare Sisters, had a decidedly delicious late night flair, forever linked to those hours when I would stay up to watch all things filthy and forbidden.
In their way, each of the movies screened on Up All Night were pleasing because they defied convention and bucked the establishment. No matter what Rhonda had lined-up that week, it was sure to be something your parents would look at with utter disdain.
However, of all the films shown during Rhonda’s tenure on that late night institution, I can think of none that were more fresh, unique, or taboo than Vegas in Space.
A Technicolor fever dream of a film, Vegas in Space was the kind of science fiction picture that celebrated adventure stories of a bygone-era. Bold astronauts, colorful villains, and a pastel planet that has to be seen to be believed, the world of Vegas in Space seems to come right out of the Flash Gordon handbook. However, there is the slight difference that, on this planet, everyone is a fabulous drag queen. Read More…
Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight tells the astounding life story of San Francisco legend Vicki Marlane. Vicki takes us on the ride of her life — from cross-dressed roller-skating in her youth, to working the carnival sideshows circuit in the 1950s, from the wild years of San Francisco in the 1970s, to survival in the 1980s and her legendary performances at Aunt Charlie’s.
Through video documentation of Marlane’s performances, archival images of her glory days, and first-person interviews with Marlane and her circle of friends, fans and co-workers, Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight tells the remarkable story.
Vicki recounts her childhood as a poor Minnesota farm boy who ran away, more than half a century ago, to work as a “hoochie-coochie dancer” and performer in traveling carnival sideshows. Marlane eventually worked her way up into big-time show business as a “female impersonator,” starting out in mafia-controlled nightclubs in Chicago back when lip-synching was still known as “record pantomime.” Read More…
‘Tis the season to be nelly! It’s Gay Pride Month and it’s always good for us (all of us, gay or not) to celebrate the impending end of the human race that the gay liberation movement is striving for. My ghoul-friend Jackie Beat put together a column of fantastic Pride advice from some of our most favorite artists, celebrities, and politicos about how best to enjoy this season and yours truly is included, at the end. At the very, very end. You can check it out RIGHT HERE.
Because June celebrates le gay, there are like a million things going on that I want you all to know about! I hope many of you Bay Area folks will attend Putanesca’s (aka Jose’s) upcoming art show this Saturday called “Heroes With Bling“. I’m included as one of the subjects, er, heroes and I’m very flattered to be. Jose is a genius photographer so head on down there and buy a print of your very own! Speaking of Putanesca- she’ll be reprising her triple-threat role as Nikki, Sheila E., and of course Apollonia at the giant upcoming Purple Rain event on July 1st. Our filmmaker friend Daniel Maggio put together our event trailer for us and it’s fantastic. Have you seen it yet?!? You can check it out RIGHT HERE! Read More…
Calling all The Beautiful Ones! Are you ready to return to the Summer of Dove?
Peaches Christ Productions presents the biggest & best PURPLE RAIN party ever! With APOLLONIA herself here to join us in the festivities! Yes, you read that right… APOLLONIA… In person! In the flesh! PEACHES CHRIST is so excited to bring to you, for the first time ever at the Castro Theatre, a one-night only screening of this Midnight Mass classic! So be there to join Peaches and the Midnight Mass Players in celebrating this ‘80s classic, starring Prince, Apollonia, and Morris Day and all the fabulous Minneapolis sound and 1984 fashion you can get your head around.
The Castro Theatre, Friday, July 1st, 8pm
429 Castro Street – www.castrotheatre.com
Let’s Go Crazy! PURPLE RAIN with APOLLONIA Live!
featuring Peaches Christ, Martiny and Putanesca
Doors open at 7:00pm / Festivities begin at 8:00pm Read More…