MATCH CUTS PRESENTS: PAUL CHAN’S TIN DRUM TRILOGY

TIN DRUM TRILOGY
dir. Paul Chan, 2002-2005.
USA, 111 min.
English, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

TUESDAY, APRIL 4 – 7:30 PM
ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE

Spectacle Theater is excited to collaborate with critical platform Match Cuts on a new series of screenings. Scroll down for more information on Match Cuts.

“Each video in the series was made utilizing different experimental traditions, but with one consistent theme: that to love your enemy is to know you enemy… The Bush administration (in RE:_THE OPERATION), Iraqis (in BAGHDAD…), and the religious right living in red-state America (in Now promise now threat) are all perceived, rightly or wrongly, as enemies. The task of all three videos has been to make the friend/enemy distinction more difficult while at the same time giving a time-based critique of the political tragedy/farce that is our first five years of the twenty-first Century.” – Paul Chan

The TIN DRUM TRILOGY is comprised of:

RE:_THE OPERATION

2002, 27 min.

“Based on a set of drawings that depict George W. Bush’s administration as wounded soldiers in the war against terrorism, RE:THE_OPERATION explores the sexual and philosophical dynamics of war through the lives of the members as they physically engage each other and the “enemy”. Letters, notes, and digital snapshots “produced” by the members on their tour of duty become the basis of video portraits that articulate the neuroses and obsessions compelling them toward an infinite war. Part M*A*S*H*, part Three’s Company, part philosophical meditation, with a dash of character assassination thrown in.”

BAGHDAD IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
2003, 51 min.

“BAGHDAD IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER is an ambient video essay of life in Baghdad before the invasion and occupation. Men dance, women draw and sufis sing as they await the coming of another war. In seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish).”

NOW PROMISE NOW THREAT
2005, 33 min.

“Now too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn’t count.” – Toni Morrison, “Beloved”

“Part documentary, part visual manifesto, NOW PROMISE NOW THREAT uses Omaha, Nebraska (population 390,000, literally located in the middle of the U.S.) as a site and subject to follow the often unexpected lines connecting people, religion and politics in ‘red state’ America. An evangelical pastor opposes the mixing of church and state on religious grounds. An anti-abortion mother deplores the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement for being pro-war. A young man wants to die for his country so he can–at last–have a life worthy of living. Now promise now threat mixes interviews with locally produced footage and kidnapping videos from Iraq transformed into fields of undulating color to create a moving ‘apologia’ for the united red states of America.”

 

PAUL CHAN is an American artist, writer and publisher. His single channel videos, projections, animations and multimedia projects are influenced by outsider artists, playwrights, and philosophers such as Henry Darger, Samuel Beckett, Theodor W. Adorno, and Marquis de Sade. Paul Chan’s work concerns topics including geopolitics, globalization, and their responding political climates, war documentation, violence, deviance, and pornography, language, and new media.

Chan has exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennial, documenta, the Serpentine Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and other institutions. Chan has also engaged in a variety of publishing projects, and, in 2010, founded the art and ebook publishing company Badlands Unlimited, based in New York. Chan’s essays and interviews have appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, October, Tate, Parkett, Texte Zur Kunst, Bomb, and other magazines and journals.

MATCH CUTS is a weekly podcast centered on video, film and the moving image. Match Cuts Presents is dedicated to presenting de-colonialized cinema, LGBTQI films, Marxist diatribes, video art, dance films, sex films, and activist documentaries with a rotating cast of presenters from all spectrums of the performing and plastic arts and surrounding humanities. Match Cuts is hosted by Nick Faust and Kachine Moore, and produced by Meg Murnane.

EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS


EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS
Dir. VARIOUS. 1933 – 2009

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20 – 5:00PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23 – 7:30PM

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Thanksgiving is an American holiday celebrating two things – food and family. Okay, three things – food, family, and culturally whitewashing American history. EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS showcases all of the above with a convergence of grocery tips, frustrating relatives, meal preparation and awkward historical reenactments. Like your sexist uncle waxing philosophical at the dinner table, GIVE THANKS uncomfortably reminds you though America’s social mores and attitudes have come a long way, there’s still so much further to go. Featuring a 70s decision on what to eat next framed as vitriolic political debate, a very nervous turkey serenaded by Liberace, so many condescending Dads, and the most disgusting 50s ‘salad’ recipe put to film (“Lime Jell-o with diced pineapple on watercress, topped with creamed cottage cheese, garnished with radish roses and carrot flowers!”).

Let us all bow our heads and be truly thankful this season for the visual bounty freely available to us in the modern age, and that these ephemeral treats have been spared the Memory Hole and dished up for our viewing pleasure.

Including selections from:

THOUGHT FOR FOOD
(Handy (Jam) Picture Service, 1933)

PICK OF THE POD
(Palmer (W.A.) & Company, 1939)

EARLY SETTLERS OF NEW ENGLAND (SALEM 1626-1629)
(Encyclopedia Britannica Films, 1940)

FOOD FOR FIGHTERS
(U.S. Office of War Information, 1943)

KITCHEN MAGIC (1948)
A Brighter Day In Your Kitchen
(Ray Waters, 1949)

LET’S TALK TURKEY
(Armour & Company, 1951)

A DAY OF THANKSGIVING
(Centron Corporation, 1951)

DINING TOGETHER
(Children’s Productions, 1951)

SOMEONE’S IN THE KITCHEN
(On Film, Inc., 1960s)

THE FOOD PLATFORM
(Directions Unlimited Film Corporation; Pyramid Films Inc., 1972)

Long Live La Familia – No Hay Nada En El Fridge
(New Mexico State University, 2009)

…and more!

AUGUST MIDNIGHTS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5:  Aachi & Ssipak
SATURDAY, AUGUST 6:  He Walked By Night

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12:  Maneater
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13: Crying Freeman

FRIDAY, AUGUST 19:  He Walked By Night
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20:  Maneater

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26:  Crying Freeman
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27:  Aachi & Ssipak


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AACHI & SSIPAK
Dir. Jo Beom-jin, 2006.
South Korea, 88 min.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27 – MIDNIGHT

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Rude, but very smart and funny, with extremely fast-paced animation that’s slick and distinctive, Aachi & Ssipak (2006) follows its eponymous petty crooks as they try to get rich in a world where feces is money. Literally.

It’s an action “Buddy Movie” from another dimension—as if Gary Panter, Takeshi Miike and Paul Verhoeven collaborated on a Hope & Crosby flick: “The Road to Shit City.” Aachi is the short one, with more plans than brains, and Ssipak is the big, bald bruiser who thinks with his fists—and he’s fallen hopelessly in love with a wannabe-porn starlet, the very pneumatic Beauty (who’s much smarter than our heroes, and belongs next to Jessica Rabbit or Tex Avery’s Red Hot Riding Hood in the Sexy Cartoon Bombshell Hall of Fame). After her anal-chip is tampered with, Beauty becomes the “MacGuffin” of this movie, the object everyone will kill for.

It seems the rulers of the future need human excrement for both fuel and building materials, and in exchange for each dump, citizens with an implant get one delicious and mind-altering “juicybar.” But these yummy narco-popsicles are so addictive that some people are turned into blue mutant dwarves, the “Diaper Gang”—who cause chaos with their juicybar raids and demands to rule society. “Did they appreciate us for our crap!?!” bellows the megalomaniacal Diaper King rhetorically as he calls for rebellion.

A government that would stick ID-chips up people’s rectums would do anything to maintain power, and so have unleashed a sadistic and homicidal cyborg to enforce their draconian alimentary laws by slaughtering the Diaper Gang wantonly.

When sleazeball porno-producer Jimmy’s plan for Beauty’s “magical anus,” uh, backfires, all these forces are aimed at each other in a pulse-pounding climax that rips off—and totally improves on the coal-car chase from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Obsessed with defecation but tasteful enough never to show any brown ploppies, Aachi & Ssipak is lysergic speedfreak anime for the mayhem crowd—that’s surprisingly good natured (when it’s not willfully gross or gory). The violence is so excessive and over-the-top, it is hilarious, but (thankfully) explicit scatological scenes are nowhere in sight—which in itself may be a socio-political comment as well… But the movie also has heart: the two hoods care about each other; Ssipak’s love of Beauty is genuine; pathetic Jimmy is funny but human; and even the grotesque Diaper Gang deserves some sympathy—they didn’t ask to be mutated and addicted.

Almost an exhausting movie, and overloaded with delightful eyeball kicks, Aachi & Ssipak is packed with multiple cultural references (including graffiti—keep your eyes open for “Neckface”!), but especially to action films: Structurally, the film is much like Robocop (plenty of rewarding “media blasts”), with tributes/spoofs of John Woo, Hitchcock and Terry Gilliam—as well as countless anime—littered throughout.

This South Korean production combines a tight and twisty script (equal to the best episodes of The Venture Bros. or The Simpsons), with exciting animation (characters look hand-drawn; and the backgrounds are a combo of CGI and hand-painted) to create a crazy, non-stop, almost sacrilegious meta-movie: “An animator isn’t a real director!” screams a character before kicking someone’s face in.

Aachi & Ssipak is hyperactive, but hardly incomprehensible—even when trying to read the subtitles and keep up with frenzied cartooning at the same time—and looks reallygood: The movie reportedly cost only $3.5 million—a low amount for an animated flick (Pixar’s Cars, also released in 2006, cost $120 million)—and every cent is on the screen. But aside from the anarchic 1970s work of Ralph Bakshi, it’s almost impossible to think of Pixar or any other U.S. animator making a film so, ummm, “earthy.”

Like all good B-movies, there’s a metaphorical political message here, but it’s surrounded by so much quasi-exploitative “good stuff,” that even action fans with one-track-minds will be satisfied.

Aachi & Ssipak is manic, unadulterated weirdness that deserves a massive cult following!

WARNING: If the synopsis didn’t give you a hint, this is not a movie for small children or easily-offended adults!


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HE WALKED BY NIGHT
Dir. Alfred Werker (credited) and Anthony Mann (uncredited), 1948.
USA, 79 min.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19 – MIDNIGHT

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The template for Dragnet and a direct inspiration for dozens of police procedurals, HE WALKED BY NIGHT is based on the story of Erwin “Machine Gun” Walker, a WWII vet who began a series of burglaries which resulted in multiple gunfights with police, leading to his arrest in 1946. That role is played in the film by a young Richard Basehart, whose ice-cold performance became his breakout role. Charming at times, brilliant at others, but with a deep sociopathic core, Basehart’s move from vet to safecracker to mad-dog killer prevents the docudrama angle from bogging down. Hunted down by Scott Brady (SHOTGUN SLADE, a million westerns, and a final role as the sheriff in GREMLINS!) and Roy Roberts (basically *every* tv show in the late 50s-60s), we get a look at the details of detective work more in line with Homicide/L&O/CSI than most films of the time, from false leads to confused witnesses.
It’s Alfred Werker’s name as director, but most film historians put the bulk of the work on the shoulders of Anthony Mann (EL CID, WINCHESTER ’73. THE FAR COUNTRY), and fans of his earlier docudramas RAW DEAL and T-MEN will be able to see his influence right away. Fans of LA noir will find a lot to love here, with a dramatic chase through the Los Angeles sewers (later a key location for the film THEM! among a million others), absolutely stunning lighting by cinematographer John Alton, and none other than Jack Webb as lab tech Lee Whitey. Overlooked by too many for too long as an early film with “promise”, HE WALKED BY NIGHT is actually as deeply tense, dark and ambiguous a noir as one could ask for. If that doesn’t sell you, note that chunks of this film were later used in the Lon Chaney Jr. sleeper creeper THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN!



CRYING FREEMAN

Dir. Christophe Gans, 1995
USA, 102 min.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26  – MIDNIGHT

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Adapted from the classic manga by Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami and featuring one of the proudest VANCOUVER, B.C. title cards in cinema history, CRYING FREEMAN stars Mark Dacascos as its nominal assassin, a weepy and beautiful slab of a man whose chiseled contours do not go unnoticed by Thomas Burstyn’s wide-canvas cinematography. Working on behalf of “the sons of the dragons”, Freeman exists as a myth haunting Yakuza apparatchiks from night to night, while his romance with a murder witness on their list named Emu (Julie Condra) takes up a significant portion of the movie’s runtime. This being the directorial debut of the man who would go on to direct 2001’s needlessly pizzazz-freighted BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, CRYING FREEMAN abides over the decades for the scope and poignancy of its big-budget aspirations.

What separates CRYING FREEMAN from other comic adaptations of the late pre-digital cinema epoch is Gans’ piercing command of comic-worthy tableaux, Patrick O’Hearn’s remarkably icy orchestral score, and the film’s otherwise whistle-inducing musculature of production design. The hideous CGI dragons bracketing the opening credits barely taste at what CRYING FREEMAN is able to accomplish on a budget approximately one-sixth that of, say, David Fincher’s SE7EN. Long before you’ve seen a bourbon fireball spewed from one man’s mouth into another’s face over an executive-suite sized table in almost Marilyn Minter-worthy slow motion, you’ll know (or hazily remember) Gans’ insane fugue-state John Woo knockoff for the sublimity that it truly is.

SPACE: THE F∞KED-UP FRONTIER

SPACE: THE F∞KED-UP FRONTIER
Dir. Various.
70 min.

FRIDAY, JULY 8 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20 – 7:30 PM
** 47th anniversary of the faking of the moon landing! **

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SPACE: THE F∞KED-UP FRONTIER!!!!
Get HIGH with this show!

Weren’t we supposed to have astronauts on Mars by now?
Where is the space wheel?
How come the U.S. and Russia don’t have domed cities all across the moon?

Well, it looks that, in regards to the so-called “Conquest of Space,” we sure fucked up.
Mankind’s attempts to touch infinity have all failed, like legendary Icarus, and the mud of the earth will forever be our home, the stars perpetually out of reach. Even the shuttle program is dead, and all R&D is now conducted by plutocrats seeking to save themselves when our sad and pathetic Earth is finally, completely poisoned.

From genuine NASA footage to slick computer graphics to crude claymation, this series of shorts, created to celebrate the 47th Anniversary of the Faking of the Moon Landing, examines the stellar beauty just out of our reach, as well as casting a cosmic eye on the awful behavior humans are sure to take with them into the galactic void. For roughly 70 minutes, 25 short films take the viewer out of this world, sometimes calming the soul—and other times disturbing it.

See the planets dance!
See spaceships fight black holes—and lose!
See humans and aliens interact—poorly!
See how far the IRS will actually go!
See Patti Smith’s secrets about flying saucer!
See more eyeball kicks than stars in the galaxy!
See more things in Heaven and Earth and Mars than are dreamt of in your philosophies!

A show that will blast you off–
It is SPACE: THE F∞KED-UP FRONTIER!!!

MYSTERY MEAT

Mystery Meat is a weekly secret screening program handpicked by a different Spectacle volunteer. Each week, follow the clues and see if you can discern what’s on the menu. Programming will range from bizarro science fiction jazz westerns and museum installations of grandparents eating fruit off of dead people, to a varied selection of lost television episodes about a kid in the woods with only a jetpack to survive. It could really be anything, but since it’s Spectacle, it’s probably the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.

SATURDAYS @ 5:00 PM


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Dir. ???? ????????

Featuring set designs by the legendary Annie Sprinkle, this marionette showcase from one of porn’s most celebrated auteurs would make even Matt Stone and Trey Parker blush.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20 – 5:00 PM


?????? ?????
Dir. ????? ???????, 198?.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6 – 5:00 PM

An 80s feminist classics in which a group of repressed women rose up and destroyed patriarchy in silent solidarity.


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Dir. ????? ???????, ????.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13 – 5:00 PM

Directed by a slumming horror maestro and VERY loosely based on a short story from the King of noir adaptations, this made-for-TV thriller’s goofy premise alone is worth the price of entry. All hell breaks loose in a college town when a cursed Aztec cape makes its way into undergrad hands. A shy wallflower unwittingly sews it into a dress for a dance, turning all who wear it into violent murder machines. Featuring a belle of 90s oddball TV, a Spaghetti Western staple, and a multifaceted star pigeonholed by his most famous role.


??? ???????
Dir. ??????? ????????, 19??.


SATURDAY, JULY 16 – 5:00 PM

A string of brutal murders in Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood and the sudden appearance of a colleague long thought dead lead a nearly retired detective into a hellish vision of a demonic world within our own in this contemplative, atmospheric yet mostly unpopular sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time, directed by the original film’s author.


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Dir. ????? ???????, 19??.

SATURDAY, JULY 23 – 5:00 PM


?????? ?????
Dir. ????? ???????, 19??.

SATURDAY, JULY 30 – 5:00 PM

JUNE MIDNIGHTS

FRIDAY, JUNE 3: Wild Beasts
SATURDAY, JUNE 4: Shakma

FRIDAY, JUNE 10: Desperate Teenage Lovedolls
SATURDAY, JUNE 11: Lovedolls Superstar

FRIDAY, JUNE 17: Inseminoid
SATURDAY, JUNE 18: Embryo

FRIDAY, JUNE 24: Wild Beasts
SATURDAY, JUNE 25: DeAundra Peek’s Greatest Hits


WILD BEASTS
Aka Belve Feroci
Dir. Franco Prosperi, 1984.
Italy, 92 min.

FRIDAY, JUNE 3 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, JUNE 24 – MIDNIGHT

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Cahiers du Cinema founder Andre Bazin theorized that montage allowed for homogenous barriers between images, allowing (or perhaps begging) viewers to suspend their notions of disbelief. As an example, he cited the match-cuts between a little boy and a lion in the jungle in an “otherwise mediocre English film” called WHERE NO VULTURES FLY, wherein the distance was suddenly ruptured in a wide-focus master that included both parties in the frame. This question gets a thorough shellacking in WILD BEASTS, a singularly disgusting tale of widespread animal revenge directed by none other than Franco “GOODBYE UNCLE TOM” Prosperi.

WILD BEASTS takes place in a nameless dystopia not so different from any big city today – although the camera goes to a hell of a lot of work to avoid identifying this metropolis as Frankfurt, which is obviously is. Hypercapitalism metes inequality out with remorseless exactitude; Prosperi sees it trickling down the most powerless denizens of any city, the animals held hostage by zookeepers. When a mysterious pile of angel dust-loaded syringes find their way into the city’s sewer water, the prisoners erupt into bloody, pithy, skull-crushing revolution.

Not for the faint (or reasonably healthy, really) of heart, Prosperi’s film is the Mr. Hyde to ROAR’s Dr. Jekyll, which is to say it’s no easier to watch animals suffer in service of a whack-ass international coproduction than a washed-up Hollywood vanity project. Good luck taking the film’s disclaimer that “no animals were harmed in the making of this production” at face value; that said, WILD BEASTS is a thrill ride more for its fakery than its realism. One sequence where two lovers in a parked car are overtaken by lysergic mutant rats becomes a master class in giallo staging far more disgusting than David Lynch’s Dinkins-era anti-rat PSAs for the City of New York, while the inevitable death-embrace of a deranged dog and his bewildered master takes way long to happen to register as anything other than hilarious.


SHAKMA
Aka Terror in the Tower
Dir. Tom Logan / Hugh Parks, 1990.
USA/UK, 101 min.

SATURDAY, JUNE 4 – MIDNIGHT

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“The world’s most aggressive primate just got mad!”

What better time than midnight for a failed experiment? Moments after using a power drill to graft a microchip onto a baboon’s heart, it’s Friday – and so a plucky group of horny and misguided researchers decide to go after-hours LARPing in the lab. Trouble is, the baboon’s heart has been flooded with steroidal enyzmes, and he’s out for revenge.

Leading a sundry cast of lowercase-E expendables, Roddy McDowell lends simian blessings to a gruesome and hardheaded terror-jaunt equal parts “man vs. nature” and haunted house. But the real star is the indestructible SHAKMA, played by a small company of real (and presumably authentically angry) baboons.


DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVEDOLLS
Dir. Dave Markey, 1984.
USA. 50 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, JUNE 10 – MIDNIGHT
TUESDAY, JUNE 21 – 10:00 PM

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“In the way good punk music inspires you to form a band, David Markey’s DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVEDOLLS makes it seem easy and fun to make your own movie.” —L.A. Weekly

DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVEDOLLS was received as an instant cult classic when first released on the Los Angeles punk underground in 1984. Since then, the no budget super 8 film has gained international and aboveground praise. Bunny, Kitty, & Patch (Hilary Rubens, Jennifer Schwartz, & Janet Housden) are three teenage runaways who form the hottest all-girl band of all-time, The Lovedolls. Their meteoric rise to the top from a drug addled street life in Hollywood comes not without a price, thanks to sleazy rock manager, Johnny Tremaine (Steve McDonald). Rival all-girl gang The She Devils and their leader Tanya Hearst (Tracy Lea) have it in for our heroes, as do annoying mothers and psyche ward doctors. The film also features Jeff McDonald, Phil Newman, Vicki Peterson, Annette Zilinskas & Dez Cadena. Directed by David Markey, the saga is continued in the 1986 sequel LOVEDOLLS SUPERSTAR.


LOVEDOLLS SUPERSTAR
Dir. Dave Markey, 1986.
USA. 90 min.
In English.

SATURDAY, JUNE 11 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, JUNE 19 – 7:30 PM

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The 2004 restored Directors Cut of the 1986 sequel to DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVEDOLLS, LOVEDOLLS SUPERSTAR which features the return of the beloved all-girl band The Lovedolls from their untimely demise. Patch Kelley (Janet Housden) is now Patch Christ, the leader of a religious cult who rescues Kitty Karryall (Jennifer Schwartz) from a boozy, wasted life. They recruit Sunset Boulevard hooker Alexandria “Cheetah” Axethrasher (Kim Pilkington) to replace the murdered Bunny Tremelo (Hilary Rubens). Rainbow Tremaine (Steven McDonald), from the Freedom School in New Mexico ventures to Hollywood only to discover his twin brother Johnny committed suicide after taking The Lovedolls to the top. Tracy Lea also returns, portraying the mother of She Devils’ slain leader Tanya Hearst, Patricia Ann Cloverfield. Meanwhile obsessed fanatic Carl Celery (Jeff McDonald) lives in his own world of Lovedoll worship, only to carry out an assassination of Brews Springstien (Jordan Schwartz). With special guest appearances by Vicki Peterson (Bangles), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) & Sky Saxon (The Seeds). With major rocking by Redd Kross, Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, Dead Kennedys, & more! You can’t kill a Lovedoll, babe… because Superstars never die!


INSEMINOID
aka Horror Planet.
Dir. Norman Warren, 1981
United Kingdom/Hong Kong. 91 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, JUNE 17 – MIDNIGHT

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“A silent, lifeless world. Until they broke open the underground chamber and discovered in the most vile way imaginable that the planet was not truly dead. That a sleeping life form had been waiting for millennia, needing only a chance to breed before escaping to spread like a foul, devouring disease into the lifeblood of the universe. And to breed it needs the bodies of those who had disturbed it.”

Many minutes watching Norman J. Warren and Run Run Shaw’s space hell gorefest INSEMINOID are spent on the film’s outside, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the breathtaking scope and variety of its (inevitably low-budget) production design and perspicacious use of (all-analog!) lens flare. A crack squad of space archaeologists touch down on a hellish planet of red rock; a member of their crew named Sandy (Judy Geeson) is raped and impregnated by an alien, which overtakes her personality and results in a slasher-style killing spree among the remaining crew. With its agonizingly redundant screenplay and extensive ensemble cast, INSEMINOID is like a sooty cardboard cutout of ALIEN (perhaps by way of ROSEMARY’S BABY): bland, hoary and post-dystopian in its misogyny, Warren’s film is perhaps a misbegotten filmic premonition of the “Sex Colony” coda of Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR…


EMBRYO
aka Created to Kill.
Dir. Ralph Nelson, 1976.
USA. 99 min.

SATURDAY, JUNE 18 – MIDNIGHT

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“The film you are about to see is not all science fiction. It is based upon medical technology which currently exists for fetal growth outside the womb. It could be a possibility tomorrow…or today.”
—Charles R. Brinkmen III, M.D.

Directed by Ralph Nelson (CHARLY, THE WILBY CONSPIRACY), the 1976 sci-trag EMBYRO is a gracefully clunky work of genteel schlock, built on a plot premise of ridiculously bad taste – perfect viewing for America’s favorite patriarchy-themed weekend. Rock Hudson stars as Holliston, a woebegone geneticist who hits a pregnant dog with his car while driving drunk in a downpour. Holliston takes it upon himself to save the injured animal by removing a fetus and using its tissue to keep the mother alive. Emboldened by this discovery, he repeats the experiment with a human embryo – and his “daughter” Victoria ages from there to a beauty-paegant worthy Barbara Carrera in mere days. Soon, however, Victoria begins to see Holliston as a threat, and must take action to preserve her youth and beauty…


DeAUNDRA PEEK’S GREATEST HITS
Dir. Dick Richards, 1988-2004.
USA, 93 minutes.
In English.

FRIDAY, JUNE 10 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, JUNE 25 – MIDNIGHT
THURSDAY, JUNE 30 – 10:00 PM

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DeAundra Peek (Rosser Shymanski) was the first of a long line of singing sisters featured regularly on Atlanta public access television to break apart from her kin and garner her own exclusive public television show. Produced by FUNTONE USA (producers of RuPaul’s earliest film and music ventures), the character of DeAundra is a perpetual sixteen-year-old musical prodigy and teenage southern belle broadcasting weekly from the community room at Odum’s All-Doublewide Mobile Homes Court in Palmetto, Georgia and featuring DeAundra’s favorite songs, original music videos, fashion tips, community news and recipes, and providing a broadcasting platform for the era’s queer entertainers.

Beginning broadcast in 1988, the DeAundra Peek’s Teenage Music Club show would come to see several different permutations and name changes over the years, until it ended broadcast in 2004, but not before seeing a stage show, a string of musical singles, two commercially released music video compilation tapes, and a feature in the Whitney Museum of American Art. Accessing the FUNTONE archives, we will be presenting a curated retrospective of the DeAundra Peek Teenage Music Club though its various iterations to provide a capsular look at an artist’s legacy in queer public access television.

BEST OF BEST OF SPECTACLE

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Each year in December or January, Spectacle selects some of our favorite films that we’ve shown over the past 12 months for our “Best of Spectacle” series. This year we are starting a new tradition; to celebrate Spectacle’s first five years in existence, we will present some of our favorite discoveries from past installments of “Best of Spectacle” and feature them each month throughout 2016 as part of “Best of Best of Spectacle”.

As we look forward to our next five years, Spectacle would like to acknowledge the audiences, artists and distributors who have pitched in their support, vision and feedback. Thank you for five brilliant years!

October: Bakeneko: Spirit of Vengeance / The Snow Woman
September: Viy / Head Against the Wall
August: Women in Revolt / Riddles of the Sphinx / Extreme Private Eros
July
: Naked Killer Dorothea’s Revenge Boxer
June: Don’t Deliver Us from Evil / School of the Holy Beast / Der Fan
May: Go Down Death / Digital Man / The Killing of America / Death Promise
April: Hawk Jones / Little Marines
March: Final Flesh / Magic of the Universe / Marquis / Themroc
February: Les Saignantes / Behindert / The Monster and the Stripper / The Red Squirrel / Offshore TV
January: Panelstory / The Shining Backwards and Forwards and Inwards and Outwards in High Definition Anaglyph 3D / Devilhelm


THE SNOW WOMAN
aka Kaidan Yukijorô
Dir. Tokuzô Tanaka, 1968
Japan, 79 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – 5:00 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17 – 10:00 PM

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The story of Yuki-Onna, the Snow Woman, who kills any man who sets his eyes upon her, is best-known to western audiences as one of the segments in Masaki Kobayashi’s 1965 portmanteau horror classic KWAIDAN. Made just three years later, Tokuzô Tanaka’s poetic and haunting feature-length interpretation adheres to the basic outline of the folk tale (which is also referenced in Kurosawa’s DREAMS), infusing it with added emotional depth and political subtext and one-upping Kobayashi’s version with some truly inspired and terrifying set-pieces.

Shigetomo, a master sculptor, and his apprentice Yosaku set out for the Mino Mountains to find the suitable wood from which to carve the Buddhist statue for the state temple. Caught in a blizzard, they take refuge in a hut, where the Snow Woman finds them asleep. She murders the sculptor but, struck by Yosaku’s “youth and beauty”, impulsively decides to spare him if he promises to never tell anybody what he witnessed. He returns safely to his village but soon falls in love with a new arrival named Yuki, who is really the Snow Woman disguised as a human.


BAKENEKO: A VENGEFUL SPIRIT (aka THE CURSED SWAMP)
Dir. Yoshihiro Ishikawa, 1968
Japan, 86 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 – 7:30 PM

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Lord Nabeshima, who rose to power by murdering his master, demands that the young Yujiki become his concubine. When she refuses to submit, he murders her and her fiance Yuki. Yujiki’s cat consumes her blood and becomes her avenging spirit, possessing one of Nabeshima’s wives and murdering his vassals, his concubines and his only son.

Ishikawa was one of the writers of BLACK CAT MANSION, and though he directed few films, Bakeneko displays directorial genius. Beginning in a quietly haunting vein reminiscent of UGETSU, BAKENEKO descends into a nightmarish parade of splattered blood, decapitations and ghosts gnawing on severed limbs.


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VIY
Dir. Konstantin Yershov and Georgi Kropachyov, 1967.
Soviet Union. 78 minutes.
In Russian with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 – 10:00PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 -10:00PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – 7:30PM

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A young student must pray for 3 days over the body of a recently deceased woman – believed to be a witch – while her restless spirit and a gang of ghouls temp, prod, and terrorize him to no end. Based on the story (also called Viy) by Nikolai Gogol, the film boasts some excellent effects work and a beautiful score.


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HEAD AGAINST THE WALL
(aka LA TETE CONTRE LES MURS)
Dir. Georges Franju, 1959.
France. 95 min.
In French with English subtitles.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – 10:00PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Anouk Aimee. Charles Aznavour. A shimmering black motorcycle jacket. Georges Franju’s Head Against The Wall taps into cinema’s inherent attractions but renders its own utterly untenable, less a cautionary tale than a smoldering portrait of loss. Behind the gates of a countryside sanitorium lives young Francois (future filmmaker Jean-Pierre Mocky), the hotheaded son of a stuffy lawyer – a wild one in the Brando tradition on the outside, bored to sedation within. Francois knows he’s sane, but while waiting for this latest convulsion of The System to pass, all he can do is look at the people around him – and now, without the comfort of his on-and-off girlfriend Stéphanie (Aimee), his visage isn’t pretty.

Blessed with the same magisterial stillness and dark beauty that gave Eyes Without A Face its inimitable power, Franju’s feature debut is both straightforward and serpentine. The screenplay (adapted from a Herve Bazin novel) posits man’s place in society as anything but certain; as Francois seeks validation from parties neutral to his domineering father, his individuality seems to vanish. What develops is not a critique of doctors or hospitals, but instead of French paternalism at large. Under the heel of a society founded on class expectations, Francois doesn’t lose his freedom so much as he realizes it never existed in the first place.

“He seeks the madness behind reality because it is for him the only way to rediscover the true face of reality behind this madness… Let us say that Franju demonstrates the necessity of Surrealism if one considers it as a pilgrimage to the sources. And Head Against The Wall proves that he is right.” – Jean-Luc Godard, Cahiers du Cinema

“Whether it’s the weird, eerily erotic gaze of a female inmate or a strange gathering of doves or a cityscape by night that seems as dank and claustrophobic as the asylum walls themselves, Franju’s mastery and palpable adoration of effect is ever evident.” – Glenn Kenny, The Auteurs



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WOMEN IN REVOLT
Dir. Paul Morrissey, 1971.
USA, 97 min.
In English.

MONDAY, AUGUST 8 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 14 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19 – 5:00 PM

Featuring Candy Darling, Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn and Jane Forth. With music by John Cale.

What do you mean “Come down off the trapeze and into the sawdust”? That’s circus talk.

Three of the most indelible transgender icons of all time play militant feminists in this incredible film, which is so much more than parody. Jackie Curtis and Holly Woodlawn have had it with men and their foul ways, so they join a militant feminist organization called PIG (Politically Involved Girls). Candy Darling is a wealthy socialite from Park Avenue (or Long Island – they can’t keep it straight) who they draw into the group to give it legitimacy, but it turns out that she’s having an incestuous relationship with her brother. Regardless, the three quickly become enemies: “I could just plunge a knife right into her back.” “Oh no, it’s too bloody!” “Well, I could do it and just not look.” Holly Woodlawn becomes a Bowery bum and Jackie Curtis can’t stop hiring male prostitutes, while Candy becomes a famous actress: “I’m sick of incest and lesbianism. I’m ready for Hollywood.”

After Women in Revolt previewed on 59th Street, it was protested by a feminist organization, who mistook the film for a caricature of feminism rather than a caricature of the popular discourse around feminism, not to mention a caricature of traditional gender roles. Candy Darling reportedly declared, “Who do these dykes think they are anyway? Well, I just hope they all read Vincent Canby’s review in today’s Times. He said I look like a cross between Kim Novak and Pat Nixon. It’s true – I do have Pat Nixon’s nose.”



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RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX
Dir. Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, 1977.
UK, 92 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5 – 5:00 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 25 – 7:30 PM

Laura Mulvey, author of the seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, helped to establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study. With Peter Wollen, she directed one of the most visually stimulating, theoretically rigorous films to emerge from the 1970s. RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX is a landmark fusion of feminism and formal experimentation that seeks to create a non-sexist film language. Its title figure, the legendary creature of antiquity, terrorized Thebes and self-destructed only after Oedipus correctly answered her riddle. Invoking and challenging traditional interpretations of the Oedipus story as a movement from matriarchal culture to patriarchal order, the film also probes representation in film itself. The central narrative section, about Louise, a middle-class woman, and her four-year-old daughter Ana, is an inquiry into the arbitrary nature of conventional film techniques that captures Louise’s struggles with motherhood in a patriarchal society. — Women Make Movies

Special thanks to Women Make Movies.



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EXTREME PRIVATE EROS: LOVE SONG 1974
Dir. Kazuo Hara, 1974.
Japan, 98 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 30 – 10:00 PM

Shot over several years, EXTREME PRIVATE EROS: LOVE SONG 1974, a documentary about Hara’s ex-lover was a clarion call against a historically reserved Japanese culture. The film follows Miyuki Takeda, Hara’s ex and father of his son, as she navigates new relationships (first with a woman, and then with an American GI in Okinawa), raises her son, and explores life in 1970s Japan as an outspoken feminist. But the film isn’t just a portrait of the vulnerabilities of a radical feminist single mother, in a time when that wasn’t heard of; Miyuki often takes the opportunity of being filmed by her ex to let loose with what she really thinks about him as a partner, as a lover, and as a filmmaker.

As well as a portrait of two complicated, damaged people, the film is a portrait of Okinawa as a dysfunctional city, damaged by two decades of American military presence. Hara films the GI bars and the underage prostitutes that frequent the bars for business. Hara takes a detour into the life of a 14-year-old “Okinawa girl” Chichi, whose life converges and diverges from Miyuki’s story in intriguing ways.

Released around the same time as the groundbreaking PBS series An American Family (and predating the similarly-themed SHERMAN’S MARCH by a decade), EXTREME PRIVATE EROS takes a long, hard look at gender roles, romantic relationships, and what it means to be a family in 1970s Japan. Hara’s out-of-sync sound and hand-held photography are disorienting and intimate at the same time, giving the feel of an experimental film to a film with very real content. The results are bitter and sometimes hard to watch, but always compelling.

Special thanks to Tidepoint Films.


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NAKED KILLER
Dir. Clarence Fok Yiu-leung, 1992
Hong Kong, 93 min.
In Cantonese with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, JULY 1 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 8 – 5:00 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 12 – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 19 – 10:00 PM

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A gleefully sleazy, over-the-top CAT III camp romp about dueling lesbian contract killers and the impotent policeman caught in the middle, NAKED KILLER is a joyous ode to all things (s)excessive.

Following a traumatic crime bust gone awry, Hong Kong cop Taninan can’t seem to perform in the line of duty or in the bedroom… until he meets the enchanting seductress/killer Kitty. Their tango is soon cut short by Sister Candy, a veteran assassin who snatches Kitty away and teaches her the ways of professional execution and how to tap into her sensual side. Almost just as quick, two of Sister Candy’s previous students show up to murder their former teacher, prompting an all-out lesbian assassin war.

With tongue planted firmly in-cheek, director Fok Yiu Leung crosses titillating eroticism with a strong sociological undercurrent denouncing male piggishness. But he also knows how to entertain, and wildly so: copious amounts of milk drinking, dick slicing, office shoot-’em-ups, underwater knife fights, and Skinemax soft-core lesbian playfulness all wrapped up in a engrossing amount of 90s neon bliss… it’s all here and then some.

This is the 1992 summer action blockbuster you deserve.

“Imagine the erotic world of Basic Instinct exaggerated into a kung-fu cartoon of sexy lesbian avengers executing quadruple leaping somersaults in a deadly assault against the opposite sex.” —The New York Times

“John Woo on acid… Naked Killer breaks Mach 5 within the first 10 minutes and never lets up. Bursting with colorful lighting, angles, and set pieces, it’s a panoply of Nineties sex and violence, decadence for decadence’s sake, with little moralizing thrown in. A genuine crowd-pleaser…” —The Austin Chronicle

“It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before… a stylized girlie graphic novelization of psycho hot babe killers as channeled through and re-imagined by Quentin Tarantino… Naked Killer is girl power gone gonzo, a geek’s wet dream doused with libido lightening messages about Chinese society’s misogyny.” —Pop Matters


DOROTHEA’S REVENGE
aka Dorotheas Rache
Dir. Peter Fleischmann, 1974
West Germany/France, 92 min.
In German with English subtitles

TUESDAY, JULY 5 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, JULY 11 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 22 – 10:00 PM
SATURADY, JULY 30 – 10:00 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

The shortlist of fans for Fleischmann’s sex satire is nothing to scoff at. Among its most ardent fans were several household names of European arthouse: Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Claude Chabrol. Then there’s the post-surrealist group the Panic Movement (comprised of Fernando Arrabal, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Roland Topor) who liked the film so much that they even decided to bestow upon the film a little reward—the “prix du group panic.”

Dorothea is a 16-year old girl from Hamburg, brought up in a typical, bourgeois family. This changes one day when she comes down for breakfast and her parents find her completely disheveled—a Martian has just raped her. So begins Dorothea’s sex odyssey, as she seeks to understand her body and its various uses in an incereasingly consumerist society. The key to the film is that she approaches these question of sex with every ounce of naiveté common to a young girl. She tries to make softcore porn with her friends, and when that doesn’t work, she gives prostution a turn, and so on and so forth. There’s seemingly no end to this excursion.

Fleischmann proved that he could produce biting political commentary within the confines of fiction in HUNTING SCENES FROM BAVARIA. Eschewing the traditional narrative scaffolding and riding on the back of a sex wave in European cinema—Vilgot Sjöman’s I AM CURIOUS (YELLOW), Dušan Makavejev’s WR: MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM, and the films of Walerian Borowczyk are key predecessors—Fleischmann enlists a slew of experimental techniques, like having the characters routinely break the fourth wall and construing a hodge podge of stylistically contradictory scenes, from conversations with Christ on the cross to BDSM rituals. Moreover, humor is a constant presence, something that can’t be said for many of the period’s Eurotrash sexploitations. In one scene, there’s a shot of three men getting an erection, played to brassy, courtly music. It’s the promise of entertainment that gives an otherwise powerful political satire its enduring glow.


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BOXER
Dir. Shûji Terayama, 1977.
94 min. Japan.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 23 – 10:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 – 10:00 PM

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Dense with glorious tints and nail-biting moments, Shûji Terayama’s Boxer pits avant-garde and crowd-pleaser sensibilities against each other with downright jugular results.

The story is old as sin: a withered ex-champion, fueled by bitterness and drink, takes a young drifter under his wing. In a society that rewards cowardice and conformity, the student’s values are shaken by his mentor’s discipline and focus, but it’s hard to tell if the retired boxer is steady, or just plain berserk.

Spectacle favorite Terayama (Pastoral, Emperor Tomato Ketchup), who wrote boxing commentary as a hobby between plays and movies, gives the story a dazzling palette and lightning swiftness, but also a necessary sense of respect for the body – and the weight of its punishment.


DON’T DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Dir. Joël Séria, 1971.
110 min. France.
In French with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, JUNE 3 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, JUNE 12 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 16 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, JUNE 27 – 7:30 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

“Really about the obsessive nature of female friendship, of girls suffering a tedious, square world filled with hypocrisy and becoming hopped up by literature and the forbidden and hellfire and all the stuff that’s so intense when you’re 15, [DON’T DELIVER US FROM EVIL] is a fiendish paean to the freaky bad girl—girls who, when staring into that bland void would rather, quite literally, burn out than fade away.” —Kim Morgan, Sunset Gun

Special thanks to Pete Tombs and Mondo Macabro

Trigger warning: attempted sexual assault of a minor


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SCHOOL OF THE HOLY BEAST
Dir. Norifumi Suzuki, 1974.
91 min. Japan.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, JUNE 3 – 5:00 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 23 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, JUNE 27 – 10:00 PM

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Special thanks to Nico B and Cult Epics.

Something foul is afoot at the Sacred Heart Convent, as Yumi Takigawa discovers after cloistering herself to search for traces of her mother, who had disappeared into the monastery years before. Once there, she becomes privy to dark secrets and sadistic games. In the hands of brilliant director Norifumi Suzuki, Sacred Heart is a wonderful and terrifying world of sensuality and violence rendered with masterful visual panache. Equally notorious for its exploitational extremes as its stunning artistry, School of the Holy Beast is a twisted rabbit hole of sin and vice that absolutely lives up to its legendary cult reputation.


DER FAN
Aka Trance.
Dir. Eckhart Schmidt, 1982.
Germany, 89 min.
In German with English subtitles.

TUESDAY, JUNE 7 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, JUNE 12 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 24 – 10:00 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Special thanks to Pete Tombs and Mondo Macabro.

In the wake of films like CHRISTIANE F., studies of displaced, dysfunctional German youth were a dime a dozen. However, the forerunner in the sweepstakes for the most memorable and disturbing entry would have to be DER FAN.

Like every other teenager in school, Simone has a crush on a rock star. When her idol, the lead singer ‘R’, comes to town to make a television appearance Simone is gripped by a trance-like state, leaving school, friends and parents behind her. However, when Simone comes to realize the shallow nature of the ‘glamorous’ music industry and of ‘R’ himself, she plans a calculated, ritualistic and bloody revenge on her obsession.

An unsettling blend of new wave pop culture, adolescent angst, and full-blooded horror, this nasty little art house shocker caught more than a few unsuspecting viewers off guard and earned a bit of a cult following in the process. Imagine a John Hughes film with Michael Haneke in the driver’s seat and you’re getting close…


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GO DOWN DEATH
Dir. Aaron Schimberg, 2013.
87 min. USA.

Village Voice Critics Pick!

SUNDAY, MAY 1 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 10 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 19 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 27 – 10:00 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

In early 2014 Spectacle presented the first–and only?–narrative feature run of Aaron Schimberg’s staggering debut feature GO DOWN DEATH. Acclaimed as one of the most distinctive, visually stunning, and greatest undistributed films of 2013, it sits uneasily among rote indie festival programming. Naturally, we feel we make a great pair.

GO DOWN DEATH is a wry, sinister realization of a strange new universe, a cross-episodic melange of macabre folktales supposedly penned by the fictitious writer Jonathan Mallory Sinus. An abandoned warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, stands in for a decrepit village haunted by ghosts, superstition, and disease, while threatening to buckle under rumblings of the apocalypse. Soldiers are lost and found in endless woods, a child gravedigger is menaced by a shape-shifting physician, a syphilitic john bares all to a young prostitute, and a disfigured outcast yearns for the affections of a tone-deaf cabaret singer. Highlighted by offbeat narrative construction, stunning black-and-white 16mm cinematography, and immaculately detailed production design, GO DOWN DEATH is a distinctively original film informed by American Gothic, folk culture, and outsider art.

#1 Best Undistributed Film of 2013 —Christopher Bell, IndieWire’s The Playlist

AN ASTONISHING, OUT OF NOWHERE FILM. Amidst all the cookie-cutter indies, Aaron Schimberg’s Go Down Death casts a mysterious spell. A dreamy, highly stylized affair recalling early David Lynch. Highly recommended.” —Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine

A UNIQUE, STRANGE, UNFORGETTABLE FILM, a half-remembered dream that will trouble and beguile the subconscious long after you’ve moved on. (A-)” —Gabe Toro, IndieWire’s The Playlist

“One of the best films of the year! An uncompromising feast of vision and atmosphere.” —Kentucker Audley, NoBudge

“Robert Altman meets Tod Browning…an immaculate, offbeat triumph. Rarely do homespun independent filmmakers convey such a distinctly original vision.” —Jon Dieringer, Screen Slate

“Irresistible! Evokes the great novels of William Faulkner, even as Go Down Death offers us a resolutely modern filmic experience. Schimberg appropriates the language of cinema and obeys only the rules he sets out for himself. The result is a thrilling leap into the unknown.” —Simon Laperrière, Fantasia

“Go Down Death is as eccentric and daring as American indie cinema gets.” —Matthew Campbell, Starz Denver

Distributed by Factory 25


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DIGITAL MAN
Dir. Philip J. Roth, 1995.
Nevada. 91 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, MAY 13 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, MAY 28 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Hot on the heels of 2013’s sold-out screenings of Richard J. Pepin’s Hologram Man, Spectacle offers up this late-night cyberwar curio fielded from the pixelated precipice between Atari and The Matrix. Starring an Altmanesque corps of noteworthy surnames, Philip Roth’s Digital Man concerns a glitch in national security so cruel, it’d be divine if it weren’t so damn digital: a time-traveling supercyborg touches down in the small-town Southwest just in time to hijack an apocalypse’s worth of nuclear launch codes.

Fresh off a realm too insane in its violence and punishment for mere humans  to enter, the Digital Man must be stopped – and it’s up to a motley crue of wisecracking heavyweights (some military experts, some shotgun-toting salt of the earth) to take him out, analog style. Tons and tons and tons and tons of fireball explosions (replete with slo-mo backflips and brutal, spaghetti-worthy shootouts) ensue, culminating in one night you can’t merely “attend” while on your laptop.

Digital Man is a very entertaining movie, with good acting, excellent photography and outstanding F/X. It does suffer from a mediocre script however. A very good, overall effort from a bunch of actors who fall  into the category of “where have I seen them before?” A rating of 8 out of 10 was given. – VCRanger, IMDB

lets get down to brass tax where can we get this movie someone upload cmon it cant be ilegal look at it buying it would be a magor crime – Jamie Mcfayden, YouTube

I’ve seen Digital man almost a decade ago when it came to video. My dad rented me this movie to watch over the weekend since he was leaving with my mom. I loved it so much that I’ve watched it five or six times in 48 hours !!! – thebigmovieguy, IMDB

Don’t just settle for T2 ,experience this equal ,yet lower budget Sci-Fi action outing,with martial arts giant Matthias Hues in the lead. – “A Customer”, Amazon

I rented this when it came out on video. I remember thinking the special effects and costumes were pretty cool back then. And in the early-to-mid-1990s computer animation was a novelty, so that added to the movie’s appeal. (And back then CGI looked cooler with those smooth surfaces.) – felicity4711, YouTube


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THE KILLING OF AMERICA
Dir. Sheldon Renan & Leonard Schrader, 1982
USA, 90 min.

TUESDAY, MAY 10 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, MAY 16 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 27 – 7:30 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

ALL OF THE FILM YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IS REAL. NOTHING HAS BEEN STAGED.

So begins the 1982 shockumentary THE KILLING OF AMERICA, a film that, even among its mondo movie contemporaries, stands out as one of the grimmest and most infamous films ever produced. So much so, in fact, that to this day it remains effectively unreleased in The United States.

If violence is the disease, then THE KILLING OF AMERICA is the microscope. Compiled almost entirely from news broadcasts, security camera footage, etc, THE KILLING OF AMERICA chronicles nearly every major violent incident of the era, from the JFK assassination onward. The America presented here is land characterized by widespread burnout and disillusionment. Add to that the increasing pervasiveness of the mass media, as well as an obscene overabundance of firearms, and you are left with a sobering portrait of a sick society, in which insanity and paranoia breed easily. Meanwhile, three decades later…

Directed by Sheldon Renan & Leonard Schrader (brother of Paul Schrader), and featuring a noteworthy narration by voiceover master Chuck Riley.


DEATH PROMISE
Dir. Robert Warmflash, 1977
USA, 95 min.

FRIDAY, MAY 27 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

After the murder of his father, a young vigilante targets a cabal of extremely corrupt landlords and their army of henchmen to restore justice in a city gone mad.

The holy spawn of DEATH WISH and ENTER THE DRAGON, DEATH PROMISE is a kung-fu revenge epic set against a sweltering Manhattan backdrop that features the greediest landlords ever put on film, a Kung Fu master living upstate, bags of hungry rats tied to heads, defenestrations, street fights, rooftop fights and a soundtrack that brings the FUNK from a band calling themselves Opus.


Hawk Jones
Dir. Richard Lowry, 1986.
USA, 88 min.
In English.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, APRIL 16 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, APRIL 24 – 7:30 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Part of the Children on Fire series.

Minitropolis is under siege by gangster Antonio Coppola, whose reach extends throughout the city, all the way to the police department, where the Chief of Police does everything in his power to aid Coppola and thwart the one person who can rid the city of this scourge once and for all – HAWK JONES! Against all odds, Hawk uses an arsenal of weapons to take down Coppola’s army of thugs and anyone who stands in the way of justice.

We should mention the average age of the cast is eight years old.

Those of you expecting Disneyfied goofs should beware – this is a film well in line with shoot-em-all 80s action. There’s no mugging to the camera, no soapy morality lessons, no relentless merchandising. What you do get is Uzi-toting shootouts, crooked cops, milk-slinging speakeasies and a hero more in line with Fred Williamson than Fred Rogers. In other words, perfect for Spectacle!


Little Marines
Dir. A. J. Hixon, 1991.
USA, 87 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, APRIL 1 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, APRIL 24 – 5:00 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 30 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Part of the Children on Fire series.

Awkwardly shot like a pervert peeking on these kids in the woods, A.J. Hixon’s LITTLE MARINES is the story of three turds that go camping. It’s not really an adventure film since it is mostly just a series of mishaps and fuck-ups and offers no resolutions to these kids problems. Most famous for its really long shaving scene featured at the Found Footage Film Festival, LITTLE MARINES has many more precious moments including bizarre flashbacks to their friend who died of cancer, a cool dude that tries to give them a handful of joints, a not so cool dude that is probably a child molester, a bully that has a gun, and a moment when the fatty admits that his father never said he loved him and the fatty’s friends say nothing. Its what you can expect from good ol’ Christian entertainment.

For this screening, the Spectacle will be screening the VHS tape that features the original music they probably couldn’t get the rights to when it came out on DVD!


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FINAL FLESH
Dir. Vernon Chatman
USA, 71 min.

TUESDAY, MARCH 8 – 10:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 25 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, MARCH 27 – 7:30 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Writer/director Vernon Chatman of PFFR (WONDER SHOWZEN, XAVIER: RENEGADE ANGEL) discovered the existence of “websites whereupon one can hire professional porn production companies to do the sick and custom bidding of your panting loins’ darkest yearn.” He chose four different custom-porn-making sites, and submitted segments of a highly detailed script, or as he called it, his “purest truths”, to each of them. The results form the “8-part prepocolyptic triptych in D minor” (or perhaps the 4-part “cinematic exquisite corpse”) that is FINAL FLESH.

This epic and disturbing saga cannot be adequately explained or summarized, but by way of an attempt, it concerns the Pollard family (who shape-shift in their representation by the four different smutmakers).

The family is calmly discussing their impending death by atom bomb when Mrs. Pollard recounts a dream in which she sensually bathes herself in the “Tears of Neglected Children”. Daughter Pam goes to the Psycho Sexual Burn-Ward (the bathroom) and reads the Koran on the toilet: “Yahweh ordered a double-latte. When the barista handed it to him, it was too hot, so Yahweh threw it in the janitor’s face. The end.” Pam then gives birth to an egg (“this is so hot”) and a piece of raw steak which she names Mr. Peterson and breastfeeds. Mrs. Pollard and Pam then hatch a plan to convince their patriarch to return to the womb (“get up in there”), before Mrs. Peterson recounts her life’s regret: “I didn’t want to have a family, I wanted to murder the president. I wanted to use his blood to oil the machinery of capitalism.” The atom bomb drops but the adventure continues as they re-emerge in God’s womb, reincarnated as a different set of amateur porn actors…

If FINAL FLESH is not the greatest film of the 21st century, then I just creamed in my demon. “It’s the same thing every Thanksgiving. Remember?”


MAGIC OF THE UNIVERSE
Aka Salamamgkero / The Magician / Monster of the Universe.
Dir. Tata Estaban, 1986/1988.
Philippines. 84 min.
Dubbed in English.

BELIEVE in MAGIC. A wizard accidentally loses his daughter to an unimaginable evil. He risks hat and wand to make things right. Cast of tens includes humans and puppets.


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MARQUIS
Dir. Henri Xhonneux, 1989.
France. 78 min.
In French with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, MARCH 4 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 14 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 18 – MIDNIGHT
SATURADY, MARCH 26 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 31 – 10:00 PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Clumped in your history book between the chapters on French Revolution and pioneering 18th century erotic fiction grows a horny, pornographic mold called MARQUIS.

Immersed in a world in which uncanny animal masks mirror the spirit of the character within, a canine Marquis de Sade serves a prison sentence for allegedly raping the bovine Justine… but the situation may be more complicated than it seems. In between bouts of banter with his anthropomorphic, meter-long penis Colin, the Marquis gets down to writing a few of his more infamous scenes—many depicted in surreal claymation. Before too long the Revolution has begun, but where will it leave the Marquis?

Co-written by Henri Xhonneux and Roland Topor—animator of 1973’s inimitable surrealist classic “Fantastic Planet”—MARQUIS’s bizarre tone swings at will between irreverent perversion and clear-headed satire, never failing to entertain and utterly confound.

“This is one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. I found it to be discomforting and just weird. It makes you squirm in your seat and wonder what the people making this are like in real life. It’s definitely entertaining and it sort of sucks you in, especially if you don’t know French and have to read subtitles. It is certainly not American and it is certainly very peculiar. I have never seen a movie where everyone is wearing life-like animal costumes and acting like humans in very abnormal ways. This movie gives me the chills. However, I would watch it again just because it is so fascinatingly WEIRD.” —IMDB user ‘ethylester’

“NOT FOR THE PRUDISH.” —Variety


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THEMROC
Dir. Claude Faraldo, 1973.
France. 110 min.
In grunts.

FRIDAY, MARCH 4 – MIDNIGHT
MONDAY, MARCH 7 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 17 – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 26 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 31 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

With only a vague U.S. release and a blind eye turned by all but the most annoyingly nerdy film buffs, this surreal French satire doubles as a pitch-black freak-out. But when writer/director Claude Faraldo starts to lose it and settle for straight absurdism, THEMROC’s bizarre view of working-class revolution is, as Shock Cinema puts it, “worth a look, if only for its audacity. The most inspired aspect of this Working Class Rant is the fact that nobody on-screen utters a single word of intelligible dialogue, with the entire story told in grunts, howls or simple gibberish. At first glance, the middle-aged Themroc (Michel Piccoli) seems like your typical, brutish, dirty-undershirted factory laborer. And his day goes straight into the crapper once he arrives at his dreary job, and is called onto the carpet after playing voyeur on a manager and his leggy secretary. With a lifestyle this demeaning and repetitious, it’s no big surprise when Themroc suddenly goes bonkers, and for the first time in his miserable life, breaks free of his 9-to-5 shackles. The second he gets home, this disgruntled wacko wrecks his apartment (unlike modern-day Americans, who’d prefer to grab a gun and shoot their boss) and begins acting like a modern-day Neanderthal.


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LES SAIGNANTES
Aka The Blood-lettes.
Dir. Jean Pierre Bekolo, 2005.
Cameroon. 97 min.
In French with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 – 7:30 PM

Part of the Anti-Valentine’s series.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

LES SAIGNANTES is the best African sci-fi vampire political satire with homoerotic overtones you’ve ever seen. Best friends Majolie and Chouchou are two beautiful young women trying to get ahead in a near-future Cameroon. After accidentally killing a powerful politician during sex, the two come up with a plot to dispose of the body, and get into the glamorous wakes that have taken over the local nightlife.

As the girls tear their way through the corrupt ruling class, using their their feminine wiles and magical powers, Bekolo drops inter-titles into the film, commenting on the difficulties of filmmaking in an oppressive political climate. With a feminist subtext and cinematography like a blacklight rave, LES SAIGNANTES is a beautiful, disorienting, and truly original work.



BEHINDERT
Dir. Stephen Dwoskin, 1974
Germany. 94 min.
In German with English subtitles

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 – 10:00 PM

Part of the Anti-Valentine’s series.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Special thanks to The Estate of Stephen Dwoskin

Described by Stephen Dwoskin as “a documentary without being one,” the basis of BEHINDERT is autobiographical: the story of a physically disabled man and a physically normal woman- played by Dwoskin (who has a post-polio disability) and Carola Regnier- who confront the difficulties of a relationship. The two were no longer a couple at the time Dwoskin made the film, yet it burns with the passion and intensity of true love.

With minimal dialogue and a stirring drone score by Gavin Bryars, Dwoskin uses extended takes and extreme close-ups of Regnier’s eyes, feet, hands, and face to create a sustained, hypnotic atmosphere that is simply unparalleled.

An intimate, unsentimental and haunting evocation of desire.

OFFICIAL SELECTION – 1974 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – DIRECTOR’S FORTNIGHT

“Nothing short of a revelation… this is Dwoskin’s masterpiece. Indeed, I have come to regard it as one of the greatest works in cinema history… BEHINDERT remains Dwoskin’s most daring and artistically successful attempt to splice his “first person” mode of cinema with a staged fiction—creating a kind of cubistic complexity from the constantly shuffled perspectives. The ‘fourth look’ which Willemen intuited – not exactly the look of the characters, the spectator, or even the camera-eye, but some other, more forbidding look, like the gaze of society itself – hovers over the interstices between these images, these tableaux, these scenes from a relationship. From a film-history standpoint, Dwoskin’s breakthrough here is prophetic. Anticipating the ongoing novelistic autobiography of Philippe Garrel’s work since the 1980s, BEHINDERT plays a thrilling, almost vampiric game with the proximity of real-life experience to its fictive recreation—especially as its principals are the actual former lovers!” —Film Quarterly

“The mere mention of a film concerned with the subject of physical disability conjures up preconceived notions and images as to the type of film it is. It is put aside as a medical/social document of little importance, particularly by film people who think of films as ‘political,’ ‘narrative,’ ‘entertainment,’ ‘poetic,’ or ‘structural.’ This film is about the physically normal and disabled in confrontation, but not literal relations. It is a documentary without being one. The content lies beneath the film. The material is treated subjectively, and crosses fiction with realistic documents, without a clear distinction.” —Stephen Dwoskin


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THE MONSTER AND THE STRIPPER
Aka The Exotic Ones.
Dir. Ron Ormond, 1968.
USA. 91 min.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26 – MIDNIGHT

Part of the Anti-Valentine’s series.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE 

Any attempt at classing up this sleazy 60s gem stopped with its original title, THE EXOTIC ONES, and even that failed as it switched to the more accurate THE MONSTER AND THE STRIPPER on rerelease. With a lot more stripper than monster, this film is pure 60s trash GOLD, and the last made before director Ron Ormond turned toward moralizing Christian fare.

What a film to go out on though – beginning with a gloriously overlong open call for “talent” at a “New Orleans” burlesque joint (actually a claustrophobically-shot Methodist Church), we’re treated to a bevy of beauties featuring star dancer Titania (I couldn’t make this up) and her famous Fire Dance strutting their stuff to the running Dada commentary of the film’s co-producer and wife of Ron Ormond, June Carr.

Ormond himself plays demented Tony Clifton doppleganger/club owner Nemo, first seen torturing a man foolish enough to steal his money with the contents of a spittoon. Word reaches Nemo a monster’s been murdering hillbillies in the swamps of Louisiana, and Titania suggests a Beauty and The Beast act with the beast ripping off all her clothes. NO OTHER ACT will do, and Nemo finds himself in the monster-hunting business. With a team led by son Tim Ormond (a trifecta of Nashville’s First Family of Film!) they wander into the swamps and capture the beast, played by rockabilly also-ran Sleepy LaBeef (dare I say the Meatloaf of rockabilly?).

Back at the club, Little Timmy befriends the monster, who in turn falls for one of Titania’s new dance rivals. The whole town is abuzz and eager to see the Monster and the Stripper, but will the show go off without a hitch? Of course not.

For all the supposed sleaze, this exploitation film doesn’t feel exploitive – it’s a bizarro family affair where nothing makes a lick of sense, but everyone’s having a damn fine time onscreen. SEE a man get beaten with his own arm! WATCH a couple play dueling oversized harmonicas! MARVEL at hair and eye makeup that would make Divine puke with jealousy! HEAR dialogue that sounds like it was written with Noir Cliché refrigerator magnets! WITNESS – THE MONSTER AND THE STRIPPER! (and a lot of other strippers too)


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THE RED SQUIRREL
Aka La Ardilla Roja.
Dir. Julio Médem, 1993.
Spain. 114 min.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19 – 10:00 PM

Part of the Anti-Valentine’s series.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

A bruising satire of pop musicianship more than a little indebted to the Hitchcockian identity-swap, THE RED SQUIRREL is a painfully unsung masterpiece, maybe the pinnacle of Julio Médem’s white-hot 1990s streak (beginning with COWS in 1991 and culminating in the more famous SEX AND LUCIA a decade later.) On the verge of taking his own life, a grunge musician named Jota (Nancho Novo) witnesses a motorcycle accident on the beach, suddenly tasking himself with helping coax Lisa (Emma Suarez) – a beyond-voluptuous blonde – out of her thick fog of amnesia. The two strike up a romance based just as much on his lies as their latent (and undeniable) chemistry; they hit the road in matching leather outfits, and cozily absorb themselves into a suburban family’s vacation at a gossipy campsite – the nominal Ardilla Roja, in a region between Basque country and Castile.

Long before Lisa has taken to donning herself in a sleevelss tee with nothing on it but a gigantic xerox of Jota’s face, things have gotten weird. A mysterious stranger from the past inevitably threatens to upend Jota’s reprieve from real life, and soon you’ll realize the film has begun – without asking permission – to peel back the membranes separating memories from dreams, and dreams from desires. Anchored by the meticulous, insinuating performances of Novo and Suarez, THE RED SQUIRREL is a serpentine head trip with erotic frisson to spare – one of the sharpest and most vivid un-romances to ever hit the big screen. (Bonus factoid: legend has it this film had Stanley Kubrick recommending Médem to Steven Spielberg for the job of directing THE MASK OF ZORRO, which the Spanish auteur duly declined.)


OFFSHORE TELEVISION
Dir. Mark Hudson, 1988(?).
64 min.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

As a child in Cincinnati, Ohio, artist C. Spencer Yeh views a bizarre late-night sketch comedy show that leaves an unshakable impression. It remains ellusive over many years, and Yeh begins to question its existence and the integrity of his own memory. As recent as the late 2000’s, Yeh is unable to discover any information or even trace of its existence—until following up on a faint mention from an obscure message board lands a dub of a fan’s VHS tape in hand.

Tonight, C. Spencer Yeh teams up with Screen Slate to present three of the five known extant episodes of:

Long-forgotten late 80’s television show OFFSHORE TELEVISION. Defined by its lo-fi video fuckery, excessive celeb cameos, and no-laugh jokes, “Offshore Television” is totally dumb and stoned; a lost classic for no-one.

Despite the comprehensive fansite from which the Hudson Brothers biographies and the filmography were taken from, there is NO information about OFFSHORE TELEVISION on the internet. The only acknowledgement of its existence is a comment on the website jumptheshark.com in regards to the mid-70s “Hudson Brothers” variety show:

“I was crazy about the Hudson Brothers! Brett (my fave!) and Mark did a show around 1990 called Offshore Television–I still laugh when I think some of the skits from that one! The Hudson Brothers did a movie in ’83 called Hysterical, but it wasn’t as funny as the TV shows.”


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PANELSTORY
Dir. Věra Chytilová, 1979.
Czechoslovakia. 100 min.
In Czech with English subtitles.

MONDAY, JANUARY 4 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 – 7:30PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21 – 10PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Vera Chytilova’s 1966 Daisies may be her best known work of radical cinema, but it’s neither her last, nor arguably most significant. A decade later, at time when most of her Prague Spring contemporaries had fled Czechoslovakia or drastically reigned in once-experimental visions, she came back with the equally daring and essential Panelstory. Framed as a sort of ensemble comedy circulating among the many lives contained within a new Soviet-bloc housing complex, the film is actually a scathing satire shredding every available ideal of home and family. The whole film can be understood by its audaciously critical setting: lost in a wasteland of debris and stalled construction, still incomplete yet already falling into disrepair, riddled with half-functional elevators, the housing complex precisely mirrors the disintegrating families contained within, whose individual stories form a catalogue of bleakly hilarious dysfunction and despair. It might have been all too believably familiar to those living under similar conditions in Czechoslovakia at the time, but Chytilova’s disillusionment, as always, extends far beyond her immediate surroundings to call into question the thwarted utopian hopes of an entire industrialized world.

As with all Chytilova’s best work, form here deftly follows function. The urban malaise is caught near-entirely in verité-style hand-held camerawork decades ahead of fashion, and rhythmically fragmented under anarchic editing that mixes apartment interiors with dystopian architecture and massive earth-moving operations. Even the sound design follows suit, as the characters are beset by cataclysmic atonal score (contrasted against a synth-funk interlude straight out of an aspirational 70s home furnishings showroom). What Panelstory may lack in Daisies’ sheer stylistic invention, it makes up for in thematic cohesion.

After the collapse of the Prague Spring, Chytilova was among those directors cut out of the studio system for their brilliant excesses, which meant that she spent the years from 1970 to 1976 secretly directing commercials under the name of her husband (Jaroslav Kučera, her frequent cinematographer and collaborator). Pressures from international film festivals and a bold letter from directly to the president restating her sincere Socialist values allowed Chytilova release The Apple Game in 1976. But if that work seemed comparatively restrained, she pulled out all the stops for Panelstory. It’s unbelievable that such a film could have been produced under the noses of the state censors, and following its release, Chytilova found herself banned for another two years for her troubles. Seeing Panelstory again, all these years later, it seems well worth the risks of getting it made.

While the film opened up our series at the Museum of Art and Design in summer 2014, this will be the first time it’s shown in the Spectacle itself since the theater’s earliest weeks.


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THE SHINING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS AND INWARDS AND OUTWARDS IN HIGH DEFINITION ANAGLYPH 3D (CHAOS MIX)
1980/2011/2013.
USA. 146 min.

The Shining Backwards and Forwards Returns in a Soul-Searing 3D Re-Remix!

THURSDAY, JANUARY 7 – 10PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20 – 10PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JANUARY 30 – 10PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Dark Side of the Rainbow for the 21st century, THE SHINING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS is a hallucinatory palindromic mindfuck, an accidental profundity resulting from a literal reading of MSTRMD’s comment that “The Shining is a film meant to be watched both forwards and backwards.”

Conceived by John Fell Ryan and executed with Spectacle’s Akiva Saunders behind the controls, it became one of the most successful events in the sprouting days of the theater, and it returned October 2011, when it was performed live with Saunders mixing multiple additional layers of superimposition with realtime audio manipulation by Tony Lowe and Jason McMahon.

In the meantime, it has become instant legend, followed by stagings at Fantastic Fest and the Seattle International Film Festival inspired by the attention of Shining obsessives doc ROOM 237, in which JFR is one of the primary participants and Spectacle receives a hearty shout-out. In fact, the footage shot inside Spectacle appears to be the only non-archival live footage in the film.

And now TGHNEISNHIIHNSIENHGT has been radically re-rendered by Jon Dieringer as THE SHINING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS AND INWARDS AND OUTWARDS IN HIGH DEFINITION ANAGLYPH 3D (CHAOS MIX), in which The Shining Backwards and Forwards now also movies Inwards and Outwards in High Definition Anaglyph 3D. The superimposed channels now intersect not only chronologically but depth-wise. Each forward and backward channel has been individually post converted to 3D. Subsequently, they are both mixed overall at different depths so that the superimposed backwards channel(s) initially appear to float above the forwards track(s). The depths then gradually converge to meet each other in the center, and the forwards channel(s) then rises to the top. This configuration foregrounds the more sinister latter half of the film over its tranquil beginning like a spectral premonition of violence; therefore, we’re calling it the CHAOS MIX. This diagram elaborates:

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Special thanks to John Fell Ryan, Akiva Saunders and Jon Dieringer.


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DEVILHELM
Dir. Craig Rahtz/Hibachi Chicken Films, 1999.
USA. 96 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

“When the Dark Elves, driven by hatred and greed, steal an evil relic known as the Devilhelm, chaos threatens the peaceful valley.  Only three ninja have the power and courage to stop this evil, and protect the earth from the ravaging powers of the Devilhelm.”

“Intense martial combat combines with supernatural wizardry to make Devilhelm an unforgettable adventure.”

Made over the course of three years in the woods of southwestern Ohio in the late 90s, Devilhelm is a virtually unknown exemplar of autodidactic backyard moviemaking.  Unconventional energy and invention is firmly on display, from the ambitious makeup and sets, to the primitive computer graphics and original soundtrack; most importantly, Devilhelm rides that right line of irreverence and sincerity that we all love when we hear the phrase “shot-on-video.”
‪Ninja stars are thrown, riddles are spoken, the re‬ ‪d stuff sprays freely, ‬ ‪and some pagan raver vomits up a ____.‬

Originally released on VHS mostly to family and friends, Spectacle Theater is excited to reintroduce Devilhelm into the audience and dialogue where it belongs.

EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS

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EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS
Dir. Various, 1933—2009

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – 5:00 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – 10:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9 – 7:30 PM

Thanksgiving is an American holiday celebrating two things – food and family. Okay, three things – food, family, and culturally whitewashing American history. EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS showcases all of the above with a convergence of grocery tips, frustrating relatives, meal preparation and awkward historical reenactments. Like your sexist uncle waxing philosophical at the dinner table, GIVE THANKS uncomfortably reminds you though America’s social mores and attitudes have come a long way, there’s still so much further to go. Featuring a 70s decision on what to eat next framed as vitriolic political debate, a very nervous turkey serenaded by Liberace, so many condescending Dads, and the most disgusting 50s ‘salad’ recipe put to film (“Lime Jell-o with diced pineapple on watercress, topped with creamed cottage cheese, garnished with radish roses and carrot flowers!”).

Let us all bow our heads and be truly thankful this season for the visual bounty freely available to us in the modern age, and that these ephemeral treats have been spared the Memory Hole and dished up for our viewing pleasure.

Including selections from:

THOUGHT FOR FOOD
(Handy (Jam) Picture Service, 1933)

PICK OF THE POD
(Palmer (W.A.) & Company, 1939)

EARLY SETTLERS OF NEW ENGLAND (SALEM 1626-1629)
(Encyclopedia Britannica Films, 1940)

FOOD FOR FIGHTERS
(U.S. Office of War Information, 1943)

KITCHEN MAGIC (1948)

A BRIGHTER DAY IN YOUR KITCHEN
(Ray Waters, 1949)

LET’S TALK TURKEY
(Armour & Company, 1951)

A DAY OF THANKSGIVING
(Centron Corporation, 1951)

DINING TOGETHER
(Children’s Productions, 1951)

SOMEONE’S IN THE KITCHEN
(On Film, Inc., 1960s)

THE FOOD PLATFORM
(Directions Unlimited Film Corporation; Pyramid Films Inc., 1972)

LONG LIVE LA FAMILIA – NO HAY NADA EN EL FRIDGE
(New Mexico State University, 2009)

…and more!

SPECTACLE SHRIEK SHOW V

For the fifth year in a row, Spectacle is proud to present our 12ish hour horror marathon – The Spectacle Shriek Show. Throughout October midnight screenings have paid tribute to presenters from the last five years and this years line up is one of the most diverse yet. We’ve got 60’s spectral horror, German gut-munchers, made for TV Frankensteins, Mexican Satanists, cannibals who talk to their fish, dark Easter rituals, and surreal Italian brain-liquifiers.

Settle in for a full day of terror that you “can’t” escape! As always it’s $25 for the full day or $5 per film.

NOON – THE GHOST a.k.a. Lo Spettro
1:30 PM – ANTHROPOPHAGUS 2000 presented by Massacre Video
3:00 PM – DEAD MEAT presented by Horror Boobs & Wild Eye
5:00 PM – FRANKENSTEIN (I SWEAR ON MY MOTHER’S EYES) THE TRUE STORY presented by Lunchmeat VHS Fanzine
7:30 PM – John Russo’s MIDNIGHT
10:00 PM – GRAVE ROBBERS a.k.a. Ladrones de Tumbas
MIDNIGHT – Cosmotropia De Xam’s INFERNO VENEZIANO presented by Negative Pleasure & Phantasma Disques


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THE GHOST
A.k.a. Lo Spettro
Dir. Riccardo Freda, 1963
Italy, 97 min.

Spectacle marathon and midnight mainstay Barbara Steele and her giant eyes return for another tale of deceit, deception, and MURDER MOST FOUL! Steele plays Margaret Hichcock (no “T”) the wife of the wheelchair bound Dr. Hichcock. Not content to wait around for her husband to die of natural causes, Margaret and her lover decide to take matters into their own hands. Before his body is even cold, strange events befall the mansion and the two adulterers are shaken to their very core! Has Dr. Hichcock returned from the grave to reap a horrible vengeance? (Kind of!) Is this gothic tale of madness and betrayal the perfect kickoff to this years festivities? (YES.) A harkening back to last year’s opening screening of NIGHTMARE CASTLE, this one sets the mood/doom for the rest of your day.


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ANTHROPOPHAGOUS 2000 presented by Massacre Video
Dir. Andreas Schnaas, 1999
Germany, 80 min.
In German with English subtitles.

Massacre has been going five years strong (555, DEMON QUEEN, THE ABOMINATION, MONDO MAGIC) as presenters in the Shriek Show and this years entry is…something else.

Nikos and his family are trapped during a heavy story in a boat, leading to the unfortunate death of their daughter Vicky. Nikos becomes mad with the desire to survive, and he begins to kill and eat his own wife. Nikos manages to reach the shore of a small island, but his appetite for human flesh has consumed him. A group of young people on vacation have an unfortunate meeting with Niko. Will these youngsters make it out alive? (No.)

Massacre Video proudly presents, ANTHROPOPHAGOUS 2000, from the German Splatter master Andreas Schnaas (of the VIOLENT SHIT series), fully uncut for the first time ever in America!


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DEAD MEAT presented by Horror Boobs & Wild Eye
Dir. Tom Vollmann, 1993
USA, 107 min.

A true VHS rarity from the early 90’s DEAD MEAT was heavily bootlegged so it must be good, right? RIGHT. Think of all the classic characters from this slab of analog insanity – Sgt. John “Mo” Mentum, First Victim, Pizza Boy, and the rest! Basically a serial killer named The Senses Taker (guess what he takes from his victims) is running amok and these cops HATE it!

Filled to the brim with great gore, angry stock police characters, VERY long chase scenes, and a lot of scenes of a truly insane person talking to their pet fish this is a rare treat. Horror Boobs and Wild Eye will be officially releasing this lost clas-sick and we’ve got the premiere!


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FRANKENSTEIN (I SWEAR ON MY MOTHER’S EYES) THE TRUE STORY presented by Lunchmeat VHS Fanzine
Dir. Gary Cohen, 1983
USA, 90 min.

The hoots and howls of Halloween excitement are nearly in full swing as our favorite holiday fast approaches, Tapeheads, and in order to ring in the radical rewind VHSpirit right this Halloween, Lunchmeat has been keeping busy in the kitchen cooking up a super-sweet VHS treat for all the voracious Videovores out there. So, without any further analog ado, we proudly present some of the most exciting fresh VHS news of the season: Lunchmeat is absolutely elated to announce the unprecedented home video release of the ultra-obscure, shot-on-video, made-for-cable production FRANKENSTEIN (I SWEAR ON MY MOTHER’S EYES) THE TRUE STORY!

We’ve teamed up with the great Gary Cohen, director of cult SOV classics VIDEO VIOLENCE 1 & 2 to unearth this long lost slice of shot-on-video horror comedy insanity. Gary co-writes and stars in this utterly unknown film that debuted on Cablevision on Halloween night in 1983, and after a single airing, has since fell into complete obscurity. And now, over 30 years later, Lunchmeat is bringing this never-before-seen low-budget trashterpiece take on the classic tale of Frankenstein back from the grave!

The print used for the release comes directly from Gary’s archives (the only known surviving print!), keeping intact all of the grit and grain of the original analog-shot broadcast. The release will also include a video intro from Josh Schafer (yours truly!) talking about the inception of the release, and an exclusive intro from star and co-writer Gary Cohen, explaining how the production came to be, and why it’s been obscured for all these years. Here’s an excerpt from that intro with Gary Cohen, just to give you a little taste of history on this flick:

“I must admit, this whole project is shrouded in secrecy… at the time, what is now Comcast, I believe it was Cablevision back then… had a studio in New Jersey, and they were advertising, I think, for people who wanted to do some kind of cable access shows… my friend Richard Dominick (of Jerry Springer fame) decided he would pitch a project for Halloween, and write this version of Frankenstein. We got together, he wrote a script about Frankenstein, and we used a lot of the actors who you’ll recognize from Video Violence, who were all a part of Celebration Playhouse, this theater group in New Jersey. I believe we had about a day to film this thing, filmed on video, on three and a quarter inch video… and if memory serves, we were high or drunk or something when we we’re doing it… Once it aired, everybody disavowed any knowledge of the project. It is truly unique; it’s an oddity. I can’t believe here in 2015, it’s resurfaced, but so be it! I hope you get a kick out of it.” –Gary Cohen


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MIDNIGHT
Dir. John Russo, 1982
USA, 91 min.

Special thanks to John Russo.

We’re just gonna go ahead and say that if you only see one movie in this marathon (like an idiot)–make it MIDNIGHT.

A teenager runs away from home after her pervo cop stepdad (Laurence Tierney) puts the moves on her. She’s California bound when she meets up with two fellow travelers. Things go from pretty much ok to outright horrible when they stop in a small town and run into a family of Satanists who keep their dead mother in the attic. The paranoia is thick enough to cut with a knife (like a number of throats in the film) and no one is safe as the days run on to that most unholy of holidays – Easter. Cynthia looks great and has a pentagram on her forehead and there’s a lot of blood drinking and people in cages. Also some other truly sadistic and harrowing shit goes down. The film is based on Russo’s novel of the same name and was followed by a sequel–MIDNIGHT 2–many moons later. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE.


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GRAVE ROBBERS
A.k.a. Ladrones de Tumbas
Dir. Rubén Galindo Jr., 1990
Mexico, 87 min.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

Directed by Rubén Galindo Jr. who also made the unbelievable DON’T PANIC, GRAVE ROBBERS concerns a bunch of dumb teens who mess around in a graveyard and summon Satan and get their just desserts. Rather than prattle on about it, it’s probably best to let the copy from the back of the Mexican VHS tell the tale:

“LADRONES DE TUMBAS–It’s about four young boys who pretend to assault the tombs in the cemetery of a small town. But these boys were not aware that this place was surrounded by a strange evil force.

LADRONES DE TUMBAS–will take you to the unknown world of the evil where no human being has ever been able to escape! This time be prepared for the most exciting and violent film. Starring the best actors.”

The ultimate penultimate film for this years Shriek Show in the perfect sandwich between MIDNIGHT and INFERNO VENEZIANO.


INFERNO VENEZIANO presented by Negative Pleasure & Phantasma Disques
A.k.a. Hell of Venice
Dir. Cosmotropia de Xam, 2015
Italy, 65 min.

Negative Pleasure & Phantasma Disques team up to end our marathon with a bang presenting the third part of the ANIMA PERSA trilogy from Cosmotropia de Xam. Waaaaaaaaay back in 2011 Spectacle screened a midnight double feature of ACiD and INAUGURATION OF SNOW WHITE. Negative Pleasure has been killing it lately with double and triple features to coincide with comic releases (FELONY COMICS CRIME SPREE, etc) and this will be a sweet goodnight kiss to wrap up Shriek Show V!

Scientists vanishing and mutating to Zombies. A door to another dimension. A blind woman who keeps a secret. Mysterious surreal connections that prepare an Inferno for the city of gondolas.

FELONY COMICS 4: FELONY COMICS MOST WANTED

For the past year, Negative Pleasure has proudly brought the best in overlooked, underappreciated crime, action and horror films to the screen at Spectacle Theater in celebration of the release of our comics, such as Felony Comics 1, 2 and 3, Jeans 3 and Night Burgers. Now, with the release of Felony Comics 4, and in celebration of this weekend’s Comic Arts Brooklyn Festival, we’re more pleased than ever to bring you FELONY COMICS MOST WANTED, a selection of three of our favorite films from our past screenings, as selected by both Negative Pleasure publisher Harris Smith and the Illuminati of Spectacle Theater.

For this monumental occasion, we’ve selected three films from south of the border – US/Mexican co-productions NEW DRUG CITY and DRUG RUNNERS, and Mexican horror epic THE THRONE OF HELL (EL TRONO DEL INFIERNO). Hosted by Harris Smith and featuring surprise appearances by Felony Comics’ rogues gallery of creative contributors, this night promises to be our most frenzied yet, with comics giveaways, Q&As, and other special surprises in store.

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NEW DRUG CITY
(aka: Narcotrafico)
Dir. Raúl de Anda Jr, 1985
Mexico, 90 min.
Dubbed in English

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 7:30 PM

It’s the Feds vs. the Cartel as both sides of the law race through the desert to snag a hidden dope stash in New Drug City. Originally released in 1985 as Narcotrafico, New Drug City was retitled to cash in on the popularity of the popular Wesley Snipes/Judd Nelson crime flick New Jack City for its American dubbed VHS release by Magnum Video. Pure exploitation through and through, New Drug City features a bargain basement Crockett and Tubbs trading awkward, vaguely homoerotic banter as they blast their way through Mexico’s badlands, leaving behind a trail of the prerequisite blood, bullets, bodies and babes. Directed by Raul de Anda Jr. and starring his brother, Rodolfo de Anda, both legends of Mexican action cinema.

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DRUG RUNNERS
Dir. Alan Kuskowski, 1988
USA/Mexico, 86 min.
in English.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 10:00 PM

It’s the Feds vs. the Cartel as both sides of the law race through the desert to snag a hidden dope stash in New Drug City. Originally released in 1985 as Narcotrafico, New Drug City was retitled to cash in on the popularity of the popular Wesley Snipes/Judd Nelson crime flick New Jack City for its American dubbed VHS release by Magnum Video. Pure exploitation through and through, New Drug City features a bargain basement Crockett and Tubbs trading awkward, vaguely homoerotic banter as they blast their way through Mexico’s badlands, leaving behind a trail of the prerequisite blood, bullets, bodies and babes. Directed by Raul de Anda Jr. and starring his brother, Rodolfo de Anda, both legends of Mexican action cinema.

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EL TRONO DEL INFIERNO
(aka: The Throne of Hell)
Dir. Sergio Goyri, 1994
Mexico, 94 min.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – MIDNIGHT

In THE THRONE OF HELL (EL TRONO DEL INFIERNO), from Mexico, an archeological dig unleashes Beezelbub, forcing the Vatican to call in master exorcist El Hombre. In a battle of stop Armageddon, the forces of good call upon the power of the Seven Seals and the sword Excalibur to take on the devil himself. Bloodshed ensues. A lot of it. Guts, too. And some brains. Starring and directed by Sergio Goyri, star of the Mexican stage version of MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS and creator of the Black Stallion and Still Loving U fragrances.

Felony Comics #1 was featured in Best American Comics 2015 (edited by Jonathan Lethem) with Alex Degen’s “Crime Chime Noir,” and received a notable mention for Ben Urkowtiz’s “The Facts” and Pete Toms’ “In Post,” (originally appearing in Jeans 3), and Alabaster Pizzo’s “Mimi & the Wolves” (excerpted in the now out-of-print Jeans 2). Other contributors to Negative Pleasure Publications include such comics luminaries and up-and-comers as Benjamin Marra, Rich Tommaso, Josh Burggraf, Victor Kerlow, Leah Wishnia, Lale Westvind, Zach Mason, Laura Callaghan, Jason Murphy, Michel Fiffe, Amy Searles, Claire Donner, Ken Johnson (Ball and Cone), Anthony Meloro, Brigid Deacon, Ben Passmore, Laurie Pina, Laura Perez-Harris, Thomas Slattery and numerous others.

Felony Comics #4 features stories and artwork by Alex Degen, Odin Cabal, Pete Toms, Derek Marks, Anthony Meloro, Thomas Slattery and Poland’s Lukasz Kowalczuk. It debuts at this year’s CAB festival in Brooklyn.