Cheap(er) Thrills: Seven Films to Watch This Week


Making movie recommendations can be a dicey proposition. Luckily, picks for flicks to see at Another Hole in the Head, which kicked off on Black Friday and runs almost up until Christmas, hardly need to come with a warning--a certain potential for awful-ness is all part of the fun. Holehead is all about excess, and as the cheeky title of the yearly horror and sci-fi spectacle hints, too much is never enough.

In the case of Stanley Kubrick’s classic The Shining, two much can be illuminating. Egged on by the success of crypto-paranoiac doc Room 237 no doubt, the fest screens The Shining Forwards and Backwards, which is exactly what it sounds like--two copies of the movie playing at once, superimposed on top of each other. According to various internet sources, this reveals any number of secrets, from the true purpose of the moon landing to why Jack Nicholson keeps on raising his eyebrow

Holehead offers not one, but two ghost hunting-gone-wrong (I swear this is a genre now) flicks, the creaky The Cemetery and the cheeky Judas Ghost, based on Simon R. Green’s best-selling books. Follow that up with three or so killer tumor tales: the Power Rangers-riffing Struggled Reagans (say it slow), the locally-grown Motivational Growth, and the powerfully putrid Septic Man. If you’re into cosplay, Holehead has nothing for you. Just kidding! Japanese cutey-zombie romp Nuigluma Z, Lola Rocknrolla’s Lezploitation or the cosplayer follow-along doc The Other Me might satisfy.

Forget counting them on one hand--you’ll need to borrow a few pairs from your neighbors to sum up Holehead’s zombie flicks. There are 9, or 27, depending on how you count them (results may vary). You like Danny Trejo? He’s your Zombie Hunter. Bath Salt Zombies? Duh, Bath Salt Zombies. British bathroom-zombie comedy? Try Stalled. Drag queen zombies? Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings might be your thing. Canadian art-zombie flicks about decomposing you beauties? Thanatomorphose could be up your alley--hopefully you won’t see me there too.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to: Bobcat Goldthwait’s found footage Bigfoot “horror” Willow Creek; Malignant, only the second showing ever of a new grinder starring everybody’s favorite psycho, Brad Dourif; the hell-raising Drafthouse Pics buddy bang-em-up Cheap Thrills; and Cannon Fodder, an Israeli entry that somehow combines zombies, Hezbolla, and Middle Eastern realpolitik. So-bad-it’s-good is just so-so alone at home though, so chances are I’ll be laughing, gagging, and possibly standing outside the theatre looking for a confused tourist to hock my already-torn ticket to with you sometime in the next few weeks. Just don’t ask me for your money back.

Another Hole in the Head runs November 29th-December 19th at venues around the Bay Area.


At Berkeley - Verite godfather Frederick Wiseman’s dismaying doc about the vaunted public U is probably the most important movie you won’t see this year at 244 minutes, but you should. Drink a Redbull and make it out to the see the SF premier this Friday, featuring a rare Q&A with the man himselfRotten Tomatoes: 94%. Roxie.

The Punk Singer - Last week we previewed former SF filmmaker Sini Anderson’s powerful doc on Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill with an interview--check it out. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Roxie.

Bettie Page Reveals All - Packed with pics and footage of the pin-up, this casual tell-all promises to please both the completist and the informal fan--and anyone disappointed by The Notorious Bettie Page. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Opera Plaza.

Labyrinth - If you don’t get excited when you hear the phrase “dance magic dance,” know the origin of the original Fushigi or understand how Jennifer Connelly topped every teenager’s top ten list in 1986, I feel sorry for you, I really do. Rotten Tomatoes: 66%. Midnight screenings Friday and Saturday only. Clay.

Walking the Camino - You don't need to be Christian to walk the Camino del Santiago, or the Way of St. James, the well-trod pilgrimage that stretches across Northern Spain. Lydia B. Smith’s new doc affords viewers the ability to make the journey side-by-side with a cross-section of seekers, but skip the blisters. Balboa.

Good Vibrations Quickies - Let your fingers do the walking… wait, that’s not right. Take in some coctails, crumpets and short films with a panel of queens at this Castro extravaganza. Friday night only. Castro.


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