Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Hole In The Head, 2009 - Preview

Another Hole In The Head, "two weeks of sci-fi, horror and fantasy", runs June 5th through June 18th, with screenings at the Roxie Film Center, 3117 16th Street (at Valencia) and live performances and events at CellSpace (2050 Bryant) and Great Star Theater (630 Jackson). Tickets and additional info at

I was fortunate this year to be able to preview the entire festival (with the exception of a few short subjects), thanks to Jeff Ross at SFIndieFest and Larsen Associates! Here are a few "picks", as the purpose of this posting is to encourage you to get out there! The snark can be found in the detailed, daily postings, starting here: JayCBird at Another Hole in the Head, 2009, where I do go into each film in greater, yet characteristically pithy, depth. However, here is a brief list and description of my personal "must sees".

The Opening Night feature, CROWS: EPISODE ZERO (dir. Takashi Miike, Japan, 2008, 130 mins.), looks gorgeous and is one of Takashi Miike's most polished efforts! His adaptation of the popular manga is nearly epic! There is also the chance to do a Miike double-feature this year, as DETECTIVE STORY (dir. Takashi Miike, Japan, 2007, 99 mins.) is also screening. It is much more characteristic of Miike's quirky sense of humor and unease. The two films play several times throughout the two weeks, but can be seen together on Tuesday, June 9th, at 7:15PM and 9:30PM, respectively.

Perhaps the most intense and visceral experience of the year, much less at this festival, is THE HORSEMAN (dir. Steven Kastrissios, Australia, 2008, 94 mins.). This greiving-father-gets-revenge flick had me squirming and peering through my fingers! And it is a dead, serious experience, in the style of Gasper Noe. It is NOT a gross-out slasher flick, but a tragedy played to the Jacobean hilt!

BLOOD RIVER (dir. Adam Mason, US, 2009, 104 mins.) is a thriller that is deceptively mind bending and and plays its soul searching secrets so openly and blatantly, that it can not be believed. And that's what it is ultimately about: belief. Hidden under the formulaic plot of "young couple versus mysterious stranger" is a thought provoking and provocative script.

SAMURAI AVENGER THE BLIND WOLF (dir. Kurando Mitsutake, US, 2008, 92 mins.) This is a surprising delight, even as I watched it! This homage to samurai movies and spaghetti westerns is produced with such abandon and joy, I simply loved it!

AUDIE AND THE WOLF (dir. B. Scott O'Malley, US, 2009, 80 mins.) There's nothing like a good werewolf comedy and this one goes at it with a twist! Derek Hughes portrays a werewolf. Sort of. Actually, he is a wolf who becomes a man during the full moon, and really, other than his feeding habits, all he wants is to be loved.

These last two films are what can only be described as guilty pleasures. NINJA PUSSY CAT (dir. Hiroyuki Kawasaki, Japan, 2003, 60 mins.) is a "pink film", aka Japanese soft-core porn. However, in this instance, all the sex is actually essential to the plot! It really is! It's not gratuitous at all, since our heroine has developed a Ninja move that only the female anatomy would be capable of. Yes, it does go "there"...

The locally produced BLACK DEVIL DOLL (dir. Jonathan Lewis, US, 2009, 72 mins.) is something you will either love or loathe. It is so wrong on so many levels, it is "right"! Basically, it is a soft core pornographic homage to blackxploitation in the form of a murderous black puppet with a sex drive. Uh, huh!

There are also a couple of short subjects that are worth the price of the feature length admission. First, MACHINE GIRL LITE (aka SHYNESS MACHINE GIRL, also THE HAJIRAI MACHINE GIRL) (dir. Noboru Iguchi, Japan, 2008, 22 mins.) had me laughing out loud! It is truly the most outrageous 22 minutes in this year's festival! I do not know the manga Machine Girl, which this so hysterically parodies, but if I ever do run across it, it will pale in comparison to what Noboru Iguchi does to it here!

Also, the only animated entry that I was able to preview is a quirky and freaky coming of age story about a boy and his goldfish. THE LEGEND OF OL' GOLDIE (dir. Matthew Snyman, UK, 2009, 7 mins.) cleverly and economically tells the tale of a boy and his goldfish growing (and I mean GROWING!!) up together. hee hee...

For more information about the live performances and parties, visit the SF IndieFest website at

Maxxxxx says "Hello!"

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