Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jason goes to the Hypnodrome and sees Live Acts and Dead Channels

The first in a four-part series of "happenings" at the Hypnodrome, to advertise for Dead Channels (post coming soon about how to see everything there) and to showcase the graduates of their "Creepshow Camp". It started with a few funny skits, a little travelogue terror (who knew Delaware was so scary?), a little Jack Chick's "Tiny Shoes", and a little medical history/brain in a jar fun with "The Revelations of Jean Vadim:The Oracle of the Cephalic Vivarium". This is an excerpt of a longer play they did as part of "Hypnodrome Head Trips", which starts with notorious Lothario Jean Vadim in prison, proceeds to the guillotine, on to the head in a jar (a revenge by the doctor who's wife he seduced), where through electrical feedback he still manages to still be a womanizer. That's one talented guy. Well, this excerpt just fills in the part between him getting his head cut off and the vengeful doctor keeping his head alive to put in the Cephalic Vivarium, and intersperses it with both the back story of Jean Vadim and the history of medical transplants/transfusions (including a vampire pope). Pretty cool. Then there was some lights out spooky scary stuff, although due to a technical error with a DVD projector, they didn't achieve total darkness. Overall, it was fun, but it's their first show in the series and there's some technical kinks to work out.

And then there was the movie portion of the night, some rare, fun trailers and excerpts from Cosmic Hex and Dead Channels, a 10 minute reel of midget wrestling (there's a little person theme of the night), and finally the feature presentation of the classic all-midget musical western, "Terror of Tiny Town". Yup, cowboy midgets riding around on ponies and shooting each other. Brilliant, except for one detail. If the town is completely populated by midgets, apparently founded by midgets, why did they build all the building regular size? There's never a regular size person coming through town, so why not build everything small?'s just an hour-long midget joke? I'd love to see this remade today, just to see if anyone can get away with making and releasing a feature length midget joke.

Anyway, as I said it's the first of 4 "happenings". They'll have another one each of the next three Wednesdays. I'll probably be back for the last one, just before the Dead Channels festival starts. Next week I'll be out of town in Anchorage, AK, and the week after I'll be at the Jewish Film Festival. Which reminds me, that starts tonight at the Castro Theater, check it out. I'll miss opening night and the whole San Francisco part of the festival, but I'll catch most everything in Berkeley and/or Palo Alto when I get back from Alaska.

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