Posts Tagged ‘the cinefamily’


September 1, 2010

Last weekend’s EVERYTHING IS FESTIVAL mondo pop culture explosion at THE CINEFAMILY was filled with so many images that went beyond the limits of my cerebral cortex’s capabilities of comprehension, I’m still trying to sort them out inside my cracked, bleeding brain. I bought myself a weekend pass and made it a point to see everything, which started on Saturday at 5:00 P.M. with a found footage presentation by our curator GHOUL SKOOL and the rest of the crazy people at EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE. They gathered together before a sold out crowd to grind our brains into mush with a nonstop assault of eye terrorism.

It began with a musical montage of rednecks at a motorcycle rally that featured lots of ghastly images of the biker culture set to the tune, “Don’t Tread On Me.” From there it was a hodgepodge of insanity that featured a series of clips involving a group of duck hunting hillbillies who bite the heads off the poor deceased fowl after blowing them out of the sky. A preacher speaking in tongues with his parish, that escalates into complete nerve-jolting pandemonium. A compilation of clips featuring a self motivational guru named PAUL CRICK, who sports the electrifying catch phrase, “Killin’ it!”  But my favorite was a series of subversively dark and demented sketches from a twisted demon/genius named BLACKMAGIC ROLLERCOASTER. One of his clips featured God filming something on a video camera in Heaven. It was so monstrously disturbing, there is no way I can describe it to decent humans. Many other moments of brain hemorrhaging madness were seen as well, but those were some of the highlights.

The random clips portion was followed by a screening of the EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE movie sequel 2 EVERYTHING 2 TERRIBLE II: TOKYO DRIFT. It was introduced by GHOUL SKOOL and his crew of mind assassins, who came out in full costume and performed a ritualistic sacrifice to appease the video gods while surrounded by three manmade pyramids comprised of old JERRY MAGUIRE VHS cassettes. It was as if something had spilled over from another dimension and into the Cinefamily screening room like that Philadelphia experiment incident. Or like someone laced the beer with some kind of peyote/LSD/animal tranquilizer combo designer narcotic and we were all having awesome group hallucinations. Or like that orgy scene in EYES WIDE SHUT if it were shot on the surface of an alien planet. One thing was for sure, the apocalypse had begun and I was perfectly fine with it.

2 EVERYTHING 2 TERRIBLE II: TOKYO DRIFT was a little like watching another amazing pop culture bouillabaisse I saw and reported about before called THE MOVIE ORGY, which was a four hour plus collection of baby boomer era footage edited with counterculture irony by the great JOE DANTE and JON DAVISON back when they were in college. TOKYO DRIFT is the Generation X version on crack. An amazing collection of visual absurdities pieced together so lucidly, that like a giant mutant tumor overtaking its host, it formed itself into its own genre of film.

This was followed by a rare 35mm screening presented by the legendary ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE’S own ZACK CARLSON of the insane kung fu exploitation masterpiece MIAMI CONNECTION. ZACK delivered an appropriately passionate sermon on his love for this mind roaster of a movie that got the crowd really pumped up. It was directed by a man named WOO-SANG PARK who’s also responsible for something called NINJA TURF (A.K.A. L.A. STREETFIGHTERS) that is playing in September at THE CINEFAMILY as well.

Before the movie began, ZACK treated us to a few vintage exploitation trailers from his collection that included: THUNDER COPS – an awesome looking Asian film that had about five different genres competing with each other at once. Part action-cop movie, part zombie film, part ghost story, part martial arts flick and part screwball comedy, all in one epic film. There was a clip featuring a woman’s decapitated head being chased around an apartment building by a squadron of remote controlled helicopters that was fucking sublime in its insanity. This was followed by a trailer for another chop sockey flick called THE LUCKY SEVEN, which is about a team of kung fu fighting children going head to head against adult ninjas and they really kick the shit out of each other! They just don’t make kids movies like that in Hollywood. The final trailer was for something called THE SECRET OF THE MAGIC CASTLE that stars an all animal cast and features a “villainous space age monkey!”

MIAMI CONNECTION was co-directed and stars a guy named Y.K. KIM, who is a fortysomething martial artist with the crudest grasp of the English language (or possibly ANY language) I’ve ever heard before. He co-wrote the film so that his lack of knowledge of human conversation could then be committed to screen by an amazing cast of inexperienced actors. The results are magical.

MIAMI CONNECTION was shot and takes place completely in Orlando, Florida. I think Miami is mentioned a couple times. ORLANDO CONNECTION just doesn’t have the same ring that MIAMI CONNECTION does. The plot involves a group of guys in their late thirties to mid-forties whom all live in the same house together, perform in a band called DRAGON SOUND together, practice martial arts together and attend high school together. It is there that they get into some trouble with a drug dealing gang member because he doesn’t like his sister hanging out with them (can you blame him?). This begins some kind of crazy grudge between the band and the gang that escalates into a street war where the stakes are anybody’s guess.

This completed the first day of the fest, but I returned early the next day for more brain damage. It began with a special presentation of found footage from DAN HARMON & ROB SCHRAB, the hilariously creative team responsible for HEAT VISION AND JACK & THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM, to name a few.

They showed us all an amazing hodgepodge of weirdness that included: A racist BENNY HILL clip that features the naughty British comic playing MR. T in blackface for an A-TEAM spoof called THE B-TEAM. A series of inept homemade horror anthologies called VAMPIRE VIGNETTES that were hosted and created by a local Wisconsin man named PAUL KNOP. These crudely made “films” were shot on a camcorder and apparently funded with money made from amateur foot fetish videos. But my favorite was a videotaped “talent” show that takes place in the middle of a midwestern mall and featured a man singing an “original” birthday song of his own composition to his traumatized eight year old son. Great stuff!

The final event of the festival was the Found Footage Battle Royale. It featured 16 contestants going head to head with their favorite crazy video clips. They were all split into pairs of two and the audience voted on which clip they liked the most. The winner of that round then moved on to the final round and much like Thunderdome: two men enter, one man leaves. The winner was some guy from Wisconsin who showed us a cable access exercise program hosted by an 80 year old man. It’s called STAYING FIT WITH JIM and apparently the guy’s been doing the show for over twenty years now in Wisconsin with a camcorder in his basement. Believe me, it deserved to win!

By the end of EVERYTHING IS FESTIVAL a third eye had grown in the middle of my forehead and it was bleeding green puss from all the nonstop video voyeurism I had been a part of. It was a mind-shitting experience I’ll never forget and I must give big thanks to everyone involved with this amazing event! Nerd out!


Thumbs up for a job well done, GHOUL SKOOL!



TUCKER & DALE Vs. EVIL is the THREE’S COMPANY of gore-comedy!

June 19, 2010


I went to a sneak preview last Saturday night at The Cinefamily of a hilarious new situation-gore-comedy that has killed audiences at both Sundance and SXSW, called TUCKER & DALE Vs. EVIL. It’s about two perfectly likable good-ole-boys named Tucker (ALAN TUDYK) and Dale (TYLER LABINE) who have just inherited a creepy old shack in the woods that they plan on turning into their dream vacation home. A group of partying college kids mistake the lovable bumpkins for deranged hillbilly psychopaths when their friend Allison (KATRINA BOWDEN) is knocked unconscious and the boys carry her off to their cabin for aid. The splat-stick style violence ensues as the coeds begin accidently killing themselves, while trying to take back their pal from the innocent rubes. It keeps building and compounding on the misunderstandings and the gore, making it all play like a mix between THREE’S COMPANY and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The performances by ALAN TUDYK and TYLER LABINE as Tucker and Dale are top notch funny and they both share a great chemistry together. The gore gags are extreme, but very comic and the mix of horror and comedy hasn’t been this good since SHAUN OF THE DEAD. I loved it and thought it was the most consistently funny movie I’ve seen this year!

After the screening, there was a Q & A with Tucker himself, ALAN TUDYK. He talked about filming the movie up in Canada and how director ELI CRAIG encouraged he and costar TYLER LABINE to play the situations as real as possible. TUDYK said he loved working with LABINE and the two hit it off instantly. He credits the film’s comedic strength to a great script from ELI CRAIG and MORGAN JURGENSON. TUDYK took questions from the crowd and none other than NATHAN FILLION (SERENITY, SLITHER) asked him about his comedy technique. Then FILLION took the stage with his former FIREFLY costar and the two friends went off on a hilarious and very self-deprecating discussion on comic acting. It was a real treat for everyone in attendance.

Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk discuss acting and humor.

The sad news is: TUCKER & DALE Vs. EVIL doesn’t have a theatrical distributor yet. As funny and awesome as it is, the producers have not raised enough money to release and market it properly, so it might just get dumped on DVD like TRICK ‘R TREAT. It only cost about 3 million to make, but 10 million is what it takes for distribution and they’re about 3 mill shy. I hope they get it because this movie deserves to be seen with an audience and I think, if given the chance, it could be a big hit. It’s a great gore-comedy in the vein of EVIL DEAD II, DEAD ALIVE and TREMORS and I hope everyone gets a chance to see it soon. Nerd out!

The 5 Minute Game and BBQ V @ The Cinefamily

June 3, 2010

This past Memorial Day was another edition of one of my all time favorite L.A. cinematic events, THE 5 MINUTE GAME AND BBQ at The Cinefamily. I’ve attended all the previous 5 Minute Games and this one made it the fifth. What is the 5 Minute Game, you ask? It’s a game devised by a group of crazed movie-nerds whom believe that the first five minutes of every movie is all you need to see to know if you want to watch it. So they show an audience the first five minutes of 15 different movies (all of which are very rare and available only on VHS) and then the audience votes on which one they want to see the most. The votes are then tallied up while everyone adjourns to the back patio for a huge BBQ. After the break, everybody returns back into the theatre and we all watch the movie that received the most votes. It’s very democratic!

The first 5 Minute Game winner was an incredible kung fu revenge flick from the 70’s called DEATH PROMISE, that was about a karate guy going after the evil landlords that killed his father. The second 5 Minute Game winner was MAD FOXES, a crazy European action movie about a guy seeking revenge on the biker gang that raped his girlfriend. The third 5 Minute Game was an 80’s horror movie called UNINVITED, that was directed by GREYDON (JOYSTICKS) CLARK and it starred the great veteran actors, GEORGE KENNEDY and CLU GULAGER. It was about a mutant pussy cat killing people aboard a yacht and the audience ate it up. I ran into CLU GULAGER later and mentioned to him that I had just seen UNINVITED and he groaned and said, “The one about the killer pussy!” That’s classic CLU! The last 5 Minute Game winner was the 80’s fast food gross-out comedy HAMBURGER: THE MOTION PICTURE, which I blogged about back in September. I can still vividly remember the scene where an “eating club” made up of obese people, take over a fast food joint and start eating and farting uncontrollably. It was sublime!

This year’s game consisted of the first five minutes of the following entries:

1. DAREDREAMER: This had an amazing opening that featured an insanely dressed ROCK GOD waking up in his mansion and beginning his day. It included him driving a motorcycle out of his house so that he could get to his limousine parked in front, while an awesome 80’s rock tune plays featuring the chorus, “He’s awesome!”.  It looked great but got lost in the shuffle.

2. LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT: Crazy political comedy with an overt sex theme.

3. DEADLY BUSINESS: Can’t remember this one. Left no impression.

4. THE BOY WHO CALLED BITCH: This one’s about a young mother raising a horrible son who has violent tantrums and calls his mom a “Bitch” and a “Slut” in front of prospective boyfriends. This one got my vote for second!

5. THE SQUEEZE: This actually looks like a really good movie that stars the great STACY KEACH. Unfortunately, the first five minutes weren’t exciting enough to satisfy this rowdy crowd of drunks. I must check this one out sometime soon.

6. HELP, HELP, THE GLOBOLINKS!: A German newscaster declares, “ALIENS ARE INVADING!” and suddenly the news room is taken over by weird creatures that look like giant sprouts. We watch them dance for five minutes. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

7. THE BEAT: Can’t remember this one very well either. Break dancing may have been involved.

8. DRAGON HUNT: The first five minutes of this film were incredible and it became apparent instantly that this would be the winner!

9. PRIVATE PRACTICES: Another one I can’t remember. I was a little drunker than usual.

10. THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY: Even I wasn’t interested in seeing this slasher movie and I love slasher movies!

11. NORMAN, IS THAT YOU?: This looked pretty amazing. RED FOXX makes an unannounced visit on his son only to discover he’s GAY! “Oh, Weezie!”

12. KILL!: Didn’t.

13. MR. PEEK-A-BOO: This one got one lonely vote.

14. SCORCHERS: Can’t remember if this is the one with the old Irish guy telling the long, boring story, but if it is, it almost started a riot.

15. DEADLINE: Nothing.

I voted for DRAGON HUNT and THE BOY WHO CRIED BITCH. So did almost everyone else, so after the BBQ grilling and food consumption we all gathered back inside and DRAGON HUNT was screened before an anxious crowd.

DRAGON HUNT (1990) is a Canadian made martial arts action movie that stars the incredible McNAMARA BROTHERS. It is as cheesy and wonderfully entertaining a film as you can possibly imagine. You’ve got an organization of vicious killers that call themselves The People’s Private Army, which are led by a cartoonish madman named Jake (B. BOB) who sports a metal hand and a mohawk inspired by FLOCK OF SEAGULLS. Part of his plot for world domination includes capturing the Twin Dragons (MARTIN AND MICHAEL McNAMARA) a brother karate duo that look like a cross between CHUCK NORRIS and the SUPER MARIO BROTHERS. Pretty much everyone in this movie has a crazy haircut and a wild mustache and it’s awesome!

The Twin Dragons are set up and drugged by two foxy women that are in cahoots with the bad guys. They wake up on an island filled with vicious killers (whom have names like THE BEASTMASTER, THE FAT MAN and THE RED SKULL OF DEATH), where they are forced to be the prey in a DANGEROUS GAME styled hunt. But they don’t know who they’re fucking with! One by one, the Twin Dragons take out The People’s Private Army (including a team of the most incompetent ninjas ever seen) and punch and kick their way to the evil Jake.

Wow, this movie totally delivered on its promising first five minutes! It was a really entertaining piece of Canuxsploitation from beginning to end and it just kept delivering the goods. Silly plot, bad acting, strange dialogue, weird costumes, horribly staged action, cheesy music and not one, not two, but THREE action montages set to music! This was probably my favorite 5 Minute Game to date. Exploitation movies just seem to play the best with that crowd and the more obscure the better. After searching for a VHS copy of DRAGON HUNT, I can say that it’s definitely not available anywhere else. I don’t know how The Cinefamily got a hold of this gem, but it’s worth its weight in nerd gold. I can’t wait to see which obscure titles they’ll have in store for us at the next 5 Minute Game. I leave you with some photos from the BBQ, enjoy!


BBQ carnage.

Cinefamily chieftains Tom Fitzgerald & Hadrian Belove and screenwriter Josh Olson discuss their choices for the evening.

A rowdy drunkard crashes the BBQ and wreaks havoc! Oh wait, that's Max Landis.

That's a packed patio!

LOST IN THE DESERT @ The Cinefamily: The Passion of the Dirkie

May 28, 2010

This last Saturday, I gathered together a group of movie-freaks to see a South African “children’s” film called LOST IN THE DESERT at The Cinefamily in West Hollywood. I already had seen it last year when it played there and it left quite an impression on me. It was shown again as part of the “Fucked Up Kid’s Movies” series they’ve been doing for the entire month of May, which also included the sleazy (yet charming) talking-monkey masterpiece CARNIVAL MAGIC, as well as the nightmarish, product placement laden, E.T. rip-off insanity of MAC AND ME. But when it comes to twisted films that were marketed for youngsters, LOST IN THE DESERT – A.K.A. DIRKIE (1969) takes the cake. It is the most sadistic children’s movie ever imagined.

“The most amazing adventure a boy ever lived through!” – tagline for LOST IN THE DESERT

Little eight year old Dirkie (DIRKIE UYS) has a really bad cough, so his doctor recommends that he leave the city for awhile and get some fresh air in the open country. His father, a famous songwriter (played by JAMIE UYS, the writer, director and actual dad of the actual kid) sends Dirkie and his pet dog off in a tiny commuter plane, piloted by the kid’s own uncle. Sounds safe, but unfortunately the uncle has a fatal heart attack while flying over the African desert and the plane goes down in the middle of it.

Dirkie and his cute little doggie survive, but find themselves trapped in the middle of a dangerous wilderness, all alone. Just about every horrible thing you can imagine befouls this poor kid and his pooch. First, he and the dog are menaced by a vicious hyena. In an attempt to frighten the beast off, Dirkie inadvertently sets fire to the plane wreckage he’s using for shelter and blows it up, along with the radio his father and the authorities have been using to pin-point his location! Next, the kid’s arm gets ripped open when he tries to get some water from a cavern! Then, the dog is attacked and injured by the dreaded hyena! If that wasn’t bad enough, a poisonous snake spits a wad of venom in Dirkie’s eyes, blinding him! This causes him to accidently step too closely to a scorpion and, yep you guessed it, it stings the poor little bastard! Christ on a cracker!

Meanwhile, back in the big city, Dirkie’s father is comforted by the authorities and his agent, who inform him that the odds of finding the boy are pretty slim and that he should “just try to forget he ever had a son and get back to work, earning money.”

Salvation comes to Dirkie in the form of a local African bushman and his son, who happen upon the kid and his dog while on walkabout. They treat the child’s wounds and nurse him back to health, but when Dirkie mistakenly thinks the bushman has cooked his dog and wants him to eat the canine too, the child insults the native and is promptly shunned and abandoned. Once again alone, Dirkie carries his wounded dog and a pocketful of dying puppies (that the dog just gave birth to), across the bleak desert landscape, searching for rescue. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but the kid finally gets reunited with his father again. However, the way the film concludes leaves speculation as to wether or not rescue has truly arrived.

LOST IN THE DESERT is a kid’s movie where the filmmakers try to make the audience think the cute dog has died not once, but on three separate occasions! This film has been nicknamed THE PASSION OF THE DIRKIE by those who’ve seen it, for the Christ-like way the child is battered throughout. I recommend it highly if you can find a bootleg of this rarity out there, somewhere.

This Saturday is Cinefamily’s conclusion to their “Fucked Up Kid’s Movies” program, and they’re showing a BUGSY MALONE-esque kid’s flick called HAWK JONES, which features children acting like adults in a cops and robbers style mystery. It features a big shootout between the little ones. I wouldn’t bring the kids! Nerd out!

The Human Centipede (The First Sequence): A-T-M at it’s finest!

February 24, 2010

Wow! Just when you thought your jaded, seen-it-all, movie-nerd eyeballs couldn’t possibly be shocked by anything new the world of film has to offer, a motion picture comes along that reaches into your skull and rips your mind a new asshole. It’s called THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (THE FIRST SEQUENCE) and I managed to talk a group of friends into braving a screening of it with me at the Cinefamily this last weekend. This is the notorious little horror film from Holland that won honors at both the FrightFest in London and ScreamFest in L.A.,  just last year. The movie has quite a reputation due to its unusual premise, which concerns a crazed German doctor sewing two hot American girls and a Japanese man together, ass-to-mouth. That’s right, ass-to-mouth.

The film starts out like a typical horror film. Two attractive American girls (ASHLYNN YENNIE and ASHLEY C. WILLIAMS) vacationing in Europe, stumble across a secluded home in the woods, when their car gets a flat tire. Unfortunately for them, the home belongs to the insane Dr. Heiter (DIETER LASER), who is in the process of recovering from the loss of his beloved three-hound (a previous creation). The girls are perfect candidates for his next experiment and before long, they are drugged and sewn together, ass-to-mouth, with an abducted Japanese man (AKIRO KITAMURA), so that they become a human centipede.  Yep, that’s what it’s about.

That's what a human centipede looks like, folks.

I expected to be completely disgusted and repulsed by this film, and I was. There was a nervous expectation from everyone in my group before the movie started. My friend Josh bought a bucket of popcorn just so he’d have “something to vomit in later,” but we were all surprised by just how funny HUMAN CENTIPEDE is. TOM SIX has written and directed a movie that is as hilarious, as it is gross. That’s quite an accomplishment. I laughed and groaned till my ribs ached.

The film is in English, German and Japanese and features a great cast that really put a lot of hard work into making it. DIETER LASER deserves to win an Oscar for his amazing performance as the mad scientist. The joy he displays from completing his vision is both heart warming and horrifying, all at once. The audience rooted for him to accomplish his crazy ass-to-mouth dream throughout the screening. AKIRO KITAMURA, ASHLYNN YENNIE and ASHLEY C. WILLIAMS that make up the human centipede are all very talented actors, as well as being incredibly good sports. It’s the total overall commitment to this ridiculously nauseating concept that makes THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE the success it is. In an era of remakes and sequels, you can’t say it isn’t original. I have never seen anything like it before and I’ve seen some really crazy shit.

Also, in order to be as realistic as possible, an experienced physician was consulted during the conceptualization of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (THE FIRST SEQUENCE) and the ass-to-mouth surgery is 100% medically accurate!

After the screening, ASHLYNN YENNIE (Jenny) came up and thanked the audience for being such a great crowd and understanding that it’s a comedy, by laughing at all the right things. She also told us that TOM SIX is currently gearing up for the follow-up, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (THE FULL SEQUENCE). Yikes! She said that it’s gonna make THE FIRST SEQUENCE look like MY LITTLE PONY. Christ on a cracker!


According to IMDB, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (THE FULL SEQUENCE) is currently in pre-production and it’s the second part of an intended double feature from TOM SIX, whom I imagine to be some crazed European genius not unlike Dr.Heiter himself.

It’s been picked up by IFC Films for distribution and I hope it becomes what it deserves to be, a midnight movie cult hit. It’s disgusting, but very entertaining and made for an audience that wants to see something totally brain roasting. Is America ready for an ass-to-mouth horror film? I think so. Nerd out!

This was Josh's reaction to THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE.