What is The Cinemapocalypse, and where is it happening?

04.16.09 8 years ago

Photo by John Anderson

So what are you doing tonight?

I’m going to be at the New Beverly in Hollywood, and let me tell you why.

Zack Carlson and Lars Nilsen are in town.  They have brought movies.

And that is a very good thing, indeed.

Zack’s the programmer for Terror Tuesdays.  Lars is the programmer for Weird Wednesdays.  They are both lunatics, dangerous men along the lines of the Alamo’s original dangerous man, Tim League.  These men are not afraid to push your skull in, and they are on a mission.  They are bringing the good word to the people of Los Angeles… and San Francisco… and Portland… and Seattle.  From the 16th to the 25th, they are on the road, and they have with them a vanload of some of the craziest goddamn things ever done on film.

Oh, that’s not enough for you?  You need to know more than that?

Okay, well, tonight, there’s a triple feature of movies. 

Specifically, it’s the “PSYCHOSEXUAL MANIACS Triple Feature!  Co-presented with Grindhouse Film Festival at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles,” which would sound great even if you didn’t know that Sybill Danning was going to be at the New Beverly tonight, live and in person. 

Sybill Danning.  That’s crazy.

[more after the jump]

Here’s the way Lars describes the first film, “Julie Darling,” which is not on DVD:

“I’ve never had kids and I never will.  I’ve watched enough movies to know they’re bad news.  Even if they aren’t possessed by the devil, they still learn to hate you and all you stand for – even as they eat all your food and wreck your sex life! If I ever waver in my determination to remain child-free, I’ll just thread this movie up and feel my testes retract.  In this cinematic curio – kind of a cross between a Lifetime Original Movie and a Spaghetti Western, an actress named Isabelle Mejias gives a performance to remember as a daughter with a serious daddy hang up.  There’s not a huge volume of physical violence in the film but the spriritual violence wrought by the cunning and manipulative teenager is hellishly intense.  Starring Anthony Franciosa as the lucky dad and Teutonic Amazon Sybil Danning as the girl’s unlucky new step-mom.  It’s only appropriate to warn you that the wrong-meter goes into the red here several times, which is just where I like it! Director Paul Nicolas also made CHAINED HEAT, my pick for greatest Women In Prison movie of all time.  Be here!”

That sounds awesome.  Especially if Danning’s in the house.


And here’s where I’m not being ironic when I talk about how some people had a sort of grindhouse genius strike them sometimes.  “Poor Pretty Eddie” isn’t much of a title.  I’m sure it’s accurate to the film, but it doesn’t sell the film.  Whoever released it as “Redneck County Rape” should have won a special Academy Award that year.  Can the film possibly live up to the title?  Zack seems to think it does the trick:

“This goodtime backwoods holocaust is both an exploitation masterpiece and a searing assault on all races, genders, social classes and good taste.  Respected singer/actress Leslie Uggams dives deep into the cinematic netherworld as road-weary celebrity Liz Wetherly who stops off at a rural hotel for a little R&R…which in this case stands for Rape and Revenge.  After being violated by the psychotic Elvis-obsessed hotel handyman, Liz finds little sympathy from the sheriff (DR. STRANGELOVE’s Slim Pickens) or the assorted colorful locals, including Shelley Winters, consummate hillbilly Dub Taylor and Ted “Lurch” Cassidy.  Unable to break free of the community’s filth-caked grip, she spirals ever deeper into the tangled web of paranoia, hatred and mental illness that the entire local populace feeds on like an anguish buffet.  Most notable is the film’s inevitably brutal climax, a perfectly composed extermination of the human spirit like nothing you’ll ever experience again.”

I’m starting to think I need to bring Toshi with me for this evening of movies.  Think of the head-start I’ll be giving him on understanding human nature.

Finally, the triple-feature wraps up with Jim Feazell’s “Psycho From Texas.”  Also not on DVD.  Which makes me want to stay for that late show and skip out on the “Crank 2” midnight show I was going to attend.

Listen to the way Lars describes this particular entry in the evening’s festivities:

“Already a cult favorite among the most discriminating hicksploitation connoisseurs, this cheap, sleazy slice of lone-star low-life is finally poised to infect the rest of the country.  All Texans are familiar with this film but the very mention of its title is oddly taboo.  It’s a little like the mentally deficient cousin with the weird ears who lives in the basement and eats bugs.  We just don’t talk about it.  Well, maybe now’s the time to start because there’s a lot to love about this movie.  The titular psycho, Wheeler, is one of the most memorable characters in regional filmdom.  John King III deserved an Oscar for his performance as the mommy obsessed killer with the weird laugh and the unorthodox fried chicken eating technique.  But it may be Tommy Lamey as Wheeler’s toothpick-worrying sidekick Slick who provides the most memorable moments in the film, notably a long foot chase that takes up probably a third of the run-time and provides laughs galore – as you’ll see.  PSYCHO FROM TEXAS features more scummy dialogue, K-mart fashions, mean rednecks, continuity lapses, incongruous BOING sound effects and country cuties than any film you can name.  Do not miss!”

I’m there just for the BOING sound effects, if nothing else.  Seriously.  I’ll confess that lately, my buddies and I have been watching some hicksploitation films, and I think we’re all going to this as well, so it should make for one rowdy midnight show.

There’s another night of movies tomorrow night, and Eddie Deezen will be there, and then they’re headed on the road, and every night, every show, it’s different.  You can read about the entire schedule right here, including where the theaters are and how you can attend.  You can also read a great interview with Zack and Lars at this link, where we also found the photo of Zack.  Thanks, Austin Chronicle.

I just know that tonight should be one of those crazy wall-to-wall evenings of movie-drunk madness, and I’m so glad that the New Beverly invited the Alamo guys to stop by and play.

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