Trash

Gruesome twosomes

A blood harvest of cult DVDs
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Grindhouse Psychos!

(Shriek Show)

CULT DVDS Nepotism is hardly absent from mainstream Hollywood. But off-grid exploitation and sexploitation flicks have oft been a family affair by low-budget necessity. Read more »

Text-messaging the apocalypse

The Signal gets inside your (zombie?) head
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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 »

Flesh peddlers

"As someone who eats meat, do you feel there are moral ramifications and karmic and moral weight to eating meat?"
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In the category of coolest stuff in the world, Sasha Wizansky recently sent a copy of Meatpaper (subtitled Your Journal of Meat Culture), a magazine she coedits with Amy Standen, to the Guardian offices. The magazine is a veritable cornucopia, nay, a butcher shop of fascinating articles, from an interview with meat inspectors to found meat photography and a beef heart recipe. I immediately contacted Ms. Wizansky and proposed marriage. Read more »

Ficks's Sundance (and Slamdance) picks

The Midnites for Maniacs maven totes 'em up
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1. Downloading Nancy (US) As the movie unfolds, the self-destructive couple at the center of Johan Renck's film enabled me to feel what they could not. I was hypnotized by Nancy's bitter, snowy sadness (emphasized by Christopher Doyle's camera work); it forced me to sob and, at the same time, made me want to run toward the exit. In fact, dozens of people left during the press screening, and not in a casual way. Watching it twice in two days made it clear that knowing the plot would affect the experience. Just watch this film.

2. Read more »

Should you be 'dancing?

Baseball, Gonzo pie, and autohumiliation at this year's Sundance
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The Sundance Film Festival is like Los Angeles (in fact, for 10 days Park City, Utah, really is LA, plus snow). Each year you think it can't possibly get any more congested and shallow, yet it does. This is largely the fault of umpteen opportunists (people who set up celebrity gifting lounges! Paris Hilton!) who show up to exploit the enormous and indiscriminate media spotlight.

But the festival must also share blame, its original "purity" having given way to a marketplace and red-carpet zone often barely distinguishable from the entertainment mainstream. Read more »

Caine is able

Michael Caine -- minus Austin Powers, sharks, and killer bees
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The opening scene in a tragically forgotten 1968 swinging-London artifact called The Touchables — released stateside to universal catcalls — had four model-gorgeous "birds" breaking into an off-hours Madame Tussaud's. Goal: stealing the object of their desire, a wax dummy of Michael Caine. This proves too fleet a diversion — the glamorous gang are soon off to their next plot-dominating caper, hijacking a handsome pop star to a countryside inflatable plastic pleasure dome for extended go-go dancing and S-M games. Read more »

Video Mutants: Shirtless on YouTube

Crocker vs. Cooper! The Passionistas take on the "Leave Britney alone!" star
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The Passionistas, "Wild West"

GAZE ON THE INTERNET I guess I'm a true romantic. I like my porn softcore. When I get in that certain mood, I visit YouTube to watch videos because I know they'll never go too far. Read more »

Does it suck?

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
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Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles

(Konami; Sony PSP)

GAMER I have a friend who only likes really, really hard games — the kind in which fast-moving, shooting things spawn more fast-moving, shooting things at an exponential rate. When he said Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles is hard, I didn't laugh and call him a sissy.

Dracula X is actually a remake of a game for PC that came out in Japan in 1993, where it was concisely titled Demon Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood. Read more »

Bad to the (funny) bone

"RiffTrax Live!" gets sketchy
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HELLA SKETCHY Stop acting like you don't love bad movies. Me, I'll go to the mat for Point Break or Reign of Fire any day of the week. This is why I feel a kinship with Michael J. Read more »

Thou shalt have icons

Jazz giants come alive, with artful intimacy
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

DVD "I put John Coltrane up in my headphones." So said innovative producer Madlib's sped-up alter ego, Quasimoto, on 2000's breakthrough hip-hop album The Unseen (Stones Throw). Read more »