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10.03.07

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This Week's Revivals

By Richard von Busack


Movie Times Found Footage Festival
This'll put the hurt on you. Hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett unveil their latest garbage bag of tapes retrieved from Dumpsters, estate sales and thrift shops. Lingering upon the taste buds like fine wine: the anonymous "Queens Home Movie." No one thought to suppress a gravelly old granddad's birthday celebration, which involves the old-timer's blonde-wigged karaoke to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. As for the dueling televangelists sequence—well, I'm aware of the late Indiana-based "Christian Pirate" Capt. Hook (who owned the rapping hand-puppet Sharkey, glimpsed here). And yet Ottawa beauty-parlor-owner-turned-Bobcat-Goldwaithean-god-botherer Jonathan Bell ("I LIVE IN A ONE-BEDROOM APARTMENT, AND I DON'T EVEN HAVE A CAR!") is outré even by the standards of his profession. And yet he's normal compared to Mark Fox, a.k.a. "Li'l Markie," undoubtedly the most bizarre televangelist of all time. Don't believe me: station WFMU has generous links to Fox's recordings, including his "Diary of an Unborn Child." Celebs here include O.J. Simpson (welcome back, champ), Alyssa Milano, several striving yutzes on NYC's Reagan-era public access show Stairway to Stardom and National Rifle Association spokesbird Eddie Eagle. (Plays Oct 5-6 in San Francisco at the Red Vic Theater, and Oct 7 at the Parkway in Oakland; www.myspace.com/foundfootagefestival). (RvB)

Movie Times The Phantom of the Opera
(1925) Lon Chaney in the first and best-remembered version of Gaston Leroux's novel. It was a lavish production that included a studio-built replica of the Paris Opera House, but what really sells it is the punch line, a scene at the keyboards that no one has forgotten. Live accompaniment by Dave Marino on the Robert-Morton Pipe Organ, which previously rattled the walls of the Liberty Theater at 67 S. Market, later demolished after a short stint as the Mexico Theater. (Plays in San Jose at Oct 5 at 7pm at 484 E. San Fernando at Grace Baptist Church; $10 as a benefit for the organ-restoration fund.) (RvB)

Movie Times The Sandlot
(1993) Can't face The Goonies one more time? The Aquarius' management offers this low-calorie substitute about a mixed gang of misfits and a baseball-eating dog called The Beast. (Plays Oct 5-6 in Palo Alto at the Aquarius Theater.) (RvB)

Movie Times Shock It to Me Film Fest
Twelve horror movies in three days hosted by Ms. Monster and all-too-occasional Metro contributor Dr. Goulfinger. Long-time TV host John Stanley is one of the main guests. Also turning up is Hammer horror star Veronica Carlson, hosting Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969). Both are dead-serious interpretations in Michael Powell-worthy color. And both are irony-free, though they have their ambiguities. Lee's beautifully austere Dracula is also a ravening menace; Cushing's Frankenstein is a cultured mad doctor. Director Joe Dante, whose shot-in-Sunnyvale Inner Space is merely one of his many neglected movies, hosts four of his films. First, on Oct 6, a family-friendly séance of his marvelous Matinee (1993) and the witty Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) (both written by Berkeley's Charlie Haas). Later at night, Haas unveils stronger stuff: the brilliant New Age–theme werewolf movie The Howling (1981) and Roger Vadim's 1960 Blood and Roses. Based on Le Fanu's Carmilla, this was one of the first films on the worthwhile subject of lesbian vampires, a menace our police seem unwilling to do anything about, despite my frequent letters to them. On Oct 7: a double bill of Blaxploitation, featuring the talented Shakespearean William Marshall as the vampire Blacula (1972), and the lesser-known voodoo movie Sugar Hill (1974). Rosemary's Baby (1968) is yoked with Michael Winner's grindhousey The Sentinel (1977): a shocker in its day, and ours. More events to come; www.shock-it-to-me.com. "MANT!—don't say it! Scream it!" (Plays Oct 5-7 in San Francisco at the Castro Theatre.) (RvB)


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