There's always room for another film festival in this town, especially when said fest is drowning in blood, guts, and supernatural shenanigans. The San Francisco Independent Film Festival's festering youngest child, Another Hole in the Head, returns this week for its third year of ghouls gone wild.
Standouts include The Hamiltons (think Party of Five meets Martin), directed by a local duo whose enticing nom de screen is "the Butcher Brothers,” and, from Greece, Yorgos Noussias's excellent To Kako (Evil), which cribs from Romero and 28 Days Later in its tale of a ragtag band of urban survivors scrambling to evade the marauding undead. And yes, it does incorporate the dreaded fast-moving breed of zombies, but even genre purists turned off by that factoid will forgive the film once things start going apeshit; I'm thinking in particular of a scene in a deserted restaurant that unleashes 2006's most satisfying head-squashing to date. The film also has enough of a sense of humor to include the line "If you don't trust me, trust this!" (cut to: a giant rifle) and a last shot of near-genius proportions.
Per usual, HoleHead brings in several Asian horror flicks, including Shinya Tsukamoto's enduringly creepy Haze and Yudai Yamaguchi (Battlefield Baseball) and Junichi Yamamoto's disappointing Meatball Machine. There are also a handful of classics, like Bruce Kessler's 1971 psych-out Simon: King of the Witches and — in perhaps the festival's most inspired move — John Boorman's 1973 Zardoz. Sean Connery's spectacular loincloth is but the first of many, many reasons to view this neglected masterpiece on the big screen.
Also well worth catching (either at the fest or during their June 29–July 2 run at CELLspace): splat-happy theater troupe the Primitive Screwheads (Evil Dead: Live!, Re-Animator of the Dead), who return with their latest, The Chainsaw Massacres, which boasts a rumored 60 gallons of stage blood poised to rain down on the audience. Plus: disco!
ANOTHER HOLE IN THE HEAD
See Film listings for venue and ticket information