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.

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