TOOTHY CINEMA Alligators, man. As James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Peter Pan will tell you, meeting a gator is a surefire way to add insta-peril to your script, or at least supply a pun-tastic one-liner (Arnold Schwarzenegger to recently expired gator in 1996's Eraser: "You're luggage!") Last year's pseudo-political Primeval was a disappointment, and Rogue, Aussie director Greg Mclean's follow-up to Wolf Creek (1995), never quite made it into theaters stateside. Read more »
It was June 2007, and the Friday night crowd at Thee Parkside was primed for brutality. When headliners Hatchet took the stage, two of my senses immediately spiked: my hearing, which seemed not long for the world, and my sight, which couldn't believe that such aggressive thrash was emanating from what appeared to be a quintet of teenagers.
Well, not quite. As of March 2008, the median age of the North Bay band was 20.2, with vocalist Marcus Kirchen, 23, and lead guitarist Julz Ramos, 22, bringing up the average. Read more »
Vanity Fair would like to know: "Who Says Women Aren't Funny?" Magazinester would like to know: "Who Says Women of Color Aren't Funny?" Granted, Wanda Sykes and Maya Rudolph represent. But why no Margaret Cho? Read more »
GUITAR HERO Here's a star-spangled way to start a conversation: "Hi, Ace Frehley calling!" The 51-year-old Frehley, a.k.a. KISS's guitar-slinging "Space Ace," telephoned me from his Westchester, N.Y. studio to discuss his current tour which kicked off Feb. Read more »
TAKE ACTION Hey, Donnie Yen fans! Director Wilson Yip's Flash Point in which the charismatic martial arts star (2002's Hero, 1993's Iron Monkey) plays an aggro cop on gangster-beatdown detail is actually getting a local theatrical release. Currently, Yen is in Shanghai shooting Yip Man, which he describes as "the story of Bruce Lee's teacher, a master of the Wing Chun kung fu style." He's a busy guy, and he could probably flatten any fool with a flick of his pinky finger. Read more »
PREVIEW Leap year is here! Looking for a suitably unusual event to celebrate this once-every-four-years occurrence? I strongly suggest scampering over to the Hemlock Tavern for a Club Chuckles lineup that's poised to scramble the brain of any comedy connoisseur. Headliners Borts Minorts defy simple description. See, there's this guy in a hooded white unitard and a headset mic who sings and flails and contorts he might be an alien or an android, but it's doubtful anything but an actual human would be able to bring such pure and bizarre joy to the stage. Read more »
Bay Area filmmakers Shane King and Arne Johnson totally know what you're about to ask them, because it's the question everyone springs right off the bat: What are a couple of dudes doing behind the camera of Girls Rock!, a film about an all-girls rock 'n' roll camp?
The answer is so meaningful that the pair don't seem to mind sharing it (again). Once King and Johnson (friends since fifth grade) heard about Portland, Ore.'s Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, they were irretrievably inspired. Read more »
Anyone who knows me understands -- or at least acknowledges -- my Freddy Krueger obsession: the holographic Freddy watch, the Freddy sweater, the talking Freddy doll, the glazed-over look in my eyes when I rhapsodize about the human-head pizza served in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master's scene at the "Crave Inn" diner. (Best...crunching sound effects...ever).
A Nightmare on Elm Street -- specifically the third installment, a.k.a. 1987's Dream Warriors, possibly the series' strongest entry -- is also the reason I became a Dokken fan. Read more »
HORROR FILM Jacob Gentry, one of the three codirectors of The Signal, assures me he's "fully prepared for the zombie apocalypse." His cohorts, David Bruckner and Dan Bush, agree that they love zombie movies. Read more »
Any movie that kicks off with a warning to epileptics -- high strobe content ahead! -- is gonna attract a certain lurid interest. Adam Wingard's Pop Skull follows a small-town drug addict (co-writer Lane Hughes) as he lurches from hallucination to barely-tolerable reality; his flash-happy mind often seems garbled from the ghosts of experimental films past. The film's jarring sound design, in particular, owes a lot to the avant-garde. Read more »