Friday, February 17, 2012

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 9

The big second weekend starts. I'd like to thank Caltrans for A) closing the Bay Bridge westbound for the weekend, and B) as a result, keeping BART open (with limited service) all night. Although I wish it went all the way to Fremont, closest I could get was Bay Fair.

We started the night with something totally insane,THE FP. It's small town white kids pretending their hardcore urban toughs (even calling each other "nigs" so I'm not racist.) It's clearly a parody, but they play it as if it's real. Or "real" if 80's fashions were still cool and Dance Dance Revolution (excuse me, 'Beat Beat Revalation') were a way to vanquish your enemies and gain street cred. You might think the gang rivalry between the 245's and the 248's (think the first three digits of the local phone numbers, not including area codes) would be a trivial matter. But you have to realize that when gang leader L Dubba E (Lee Valmassy) takes over, he runs the only liquor store in town, and he decides who gets alcohol. At this point I had to keep reminding myself, "It's only a movie. It's only a movie. It's only a movie." But luckily JTRO (co-director Jason Trost) returns from a self-imposed exile to go through some Jedi Beat Beat training shit with his blood brothers KCDC (Art Hsu) and BLT (Nick Principe) so he can take back the FP. And then maybe the ducks will come back to the pond, because what's a motherfucking town without motherfucking ducks, yo!

In the Q&A after, they praised this audience for laughing at the film (and oh, did this audience laugh.) Apparently about half the time the audience thinks they're serious and they hate it. I don't see how you can't see it's a joke. It's pretty clearly a parody of all the cliches in all their favorite movies. All I can think is that they play it with such balls-to-the-walls conviction and never wink to the audience (yes, even when KCDC is lamenting the loss of the ducks, he doesn't wink) that slower audiences don't catch that it's a joke. In those cases, the joke is on the audience.

So there was an after party next door at 518 Valencia, but I only had time for one quick beer before I got back in the theater for something weird, Everything Is Terrible! presents DOGGIE WOGGIEZ! POOCHIE WOOCHIEZ!

Okay, I had never heard of EIT before, but based on the number of fans in dog costumes, a couple of which were clutching copies of JERRY MAGUIRE, they have a very loyal cult following. Anyway, they do a comedy show of found footage mash-ups and some original material. The show started out with some shorts. Well, actually the show started with a musical cat explaining that whenever you see a dog you should lose your shit in applause, and whenever you see a dogcatcher you should boo like crazy because--and I quote--"fuck that guy!" Then they showed some "best of" shorts. The ASPCA parody plea to find good homes for abandoned Jerry Maguire tapes was golden. As was Colby the Christian kids' show computer. And other funny bits. Then they had a live-in-the-fur show as three dogs showed up to do some live bits that were more weird than funny until they're chased off by the dogcatcher (Boooo! And can I say, I love that they got a San Francisco audience to actually boo, not just hiss. After more than a decade living here it still drives me crazy that SF audiences hiss their disapproval instead of boo.)

And then their feature film, DOGGIE WOGGIEZ! POOCHIE WOOCHIEZ! It's a mash-up of dog footage, and there were definitely progressing themes. Scenes where there a doggy showdowns, doggy joy, doggies speaking, etc. But the joke got tired after about 10 minutes. I got tired and zoned out a bit at 20 minutes. And the movie went on for about 45 minutes. And now I read the write-up in the festival guide that says it was supposed to be a remake of Jodorowsky's THE HOLY MOUNTAIN? Fuck, I love that movie! Now I need to watch DOGGIE WOGGIEZ! POOCHIE WOOCHIEZ! again to see if it really works. Or maybe I don't.

In any case, I ended the night with KILL LIST. And I am very sad to say as much as I struggled I couldn't quite stay 100% awake for this, but what I saw made for an excellent, very disturbing film (Indiefest has been damn good at those this year.) Jay is a former Iraq war Vet. And apparently he's pretty fucked up from what he saw there (or maybe in Kiev, there are references to a botched job in Kiev.) He has his wife and son, and his psychological issues which make him fly off the handle at a moment's notice. His old war buddy Gal comes over and has a job opportunity. They meet an old mysterious guy who cuts his hand (his own and Jay's, but not Gal's. I was puzzled by that) to seal a blood oath and then hires them as hitmen. Then they get the titular kill list. These are all bad people (supposedly) but Jay goes into the job with a gusto that no one deserves. And this is where the film is at it's strongest, never blinking and showing the gruesome, graphic details of his hits. Particularly when he tortures one guy with a hammer until the guy thanks him for taking the hammer to his head. And then (I probably dozed through bits and missed bits of continuity) his assignment is to take out some weird pagan cult. And then things get even weirder and more shocking. It's a shame that I have to now fall back on "no spoilers" because I assure you I was awake and aware of what was going on in the ending. And wow, what a shock there.

KILL LIST Plays again Wednesday the 22nd at 9:30. But if I saw it then I would have to miss MONSTER'S CLUB, which I'm not going to do. So I guess it's a search for the DVD for me....done!

Total Running Time: 265 minutes
My Total Minutes: 266,123
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