Sunday, March 2, 2014

BEST FILMS OF 2013

I normally don't like to include festival movies I may have seen before their US release date because it annoys me when other people do it. They haven't really come out yet! They are future movies, and they don't belong on your "year of the past" list! So my general standard is that if it hasn't been "released" during the year in question, I don't include it. For example, my #1 movie of 2013 (Spring Breakers) is listed on IMDb as 2012, but it is definitely my #1 movie of 2013. And We Are the Best! (#2 here) will likely be the Best Film of 2014, but I happened to see it at a festival in November, so when I make my Best Of list for next year, I'm gonna feel like an asshole when I can't include it because I saw it early like an asshole. But IMDb lists it as 2013, so I guess I have to consider it 2013.

Because on the flip side, in a few years, it doesn't matter. I'll go back to this list and be like "What's all this 2012 shit doing on here?" Which is a dilemma I have definitely encountered before. Basically, it's a confusing, frustrating issue with no real solution, and there is pretty much nothing worse in the world when it comes to yearly list-making. Get it together, cinema.

This year, for simplicity's sake (sorta), I'm giving in and including the festival stuff. Which means, for consistency's sake, I should exclude movies with a listed date of 2012. With the noted exception of Spring Breakers, which is unquestionably my favorite film of the year (and has moved into my Top 10 of All Time), and cannot go unlisted here, at least for now. There were some other great "2012" films that came out this year, however, that I will work into last year's list instead.

Favorite "2011" movies from 2013
You're Next

Favorite "2012" movies from 2013
1. Maniac
2. The Act of Killing
3. Baby Blues
4. Sightseers

Best Actor
1. James Franco in Spring Breakers
2. Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street
3. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Rob Lowe in Behind the Candelabra
5. David Koechner in Cheap Thrills
Honorable Mentions: Marilyn Manson in Wrong Cops, Matthew McConaughey in The Wolf of Wall Street, Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club, The Rock in Pain & Gain

Best Actress
1. Uma Thurman in Nymphomaniac: Vol. I
2. Mira Barkhammar in We Are the Best!
3. Mira Grosin in We Are the Best!
4. Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha
5. Emma Watson in The Bling Ring
Honorable Mentions: Kathryn Hahn in Afternoon Delight, Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine

Best Scenes
1. Alien plays Britney Spears' "Everytime" on piano in Spring Breakers
2. Brit and Candy intimidate Alien with a gun in Spring Breakers
3. The quaaludes scene in The Wolf of Wall Street
4. "I'm So Excited" song in I'm So Excited!

Best Special Effects
1. A Talking Cat!?!
2. Evil Dead

Best Hansel & Gretel Movies from 2013
1. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
2. Hansel & Gretel
3. Hansel & Gretel Get Baked
4. Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft

Best Cameos
Jennifer Tilly and Alex Vincent in Curse of Chucky

Best Comedy Special
1. Kristen Schaal: Live at the Fillmore
2. Pete Holmes: Nice Try, the Devil
3. Kumail Nanjiani: Beta Male
4. Louis C.K.: Oh My God

TOP 10 BEST FILMS OF 2013

1. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine)
2. We Are the Best! (Lukas Moodysson)
3. Moebius (Kim Ki-duk)
4. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
5. Gravity (Alfonso CuarĂ³n)
6. Curse of Chucky (Don Mancini)
7. Jodorowsky's Dune (Frank Pavich)
8. The Punk Singer (Sini Anderson)
9. A Talking Cat!?! (David DeCoteau)
10. Evil Dead (Fede Alvarez)
MORE HERE

Sunday, February 16, 2014

David DeCoteau


A Talking Cat!?! is truly one of the best films of 2013. Has it been recognized by the Academy? Perhaps not, and that is a shame. Will it be nominated for a Razzie Award? Perhaps it will (or already has), and that’s an even bigger shame. The Razzies are for ironic assholes who like to shit on things they haven’t even seen to make themselves feel cooler. Fuck the Razzies. I hate the Razzies. A Talking Cat!?! deserves better. I love this movie. I love the special effect for the cat’s mouth when it’s talking. I love that Eric Roberts recorded his voiceover work over the phone, and was clearly distracted most of the time. I love that this is supposed to be a family film, and one of the main characters wears a t-shirt with a Spanish phrase on it that translates to “a fucking day at a time.” I love that the cat gets sick, and this is what he looks like after being seen by the vet. There is a moment in this film that may have shocked me more than anything else I’ve ever seen in a movie. The mother of the film is baking cheese puffs in the oven, and when they’re done, she casually takes out the metal tray with her bare hands. She then hands it over to someone else, who immediately drops it because it’s too hot, meaning it’s not a flub. It was an intentional choice by the director to have the mom be impervious to pain.


The director of this film is named David DeCoteau. And A Talking Cat!?! is his 100th film. He’s already made a dozen more since, including A Talking Pony!?! and My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?!. I’m obsessed with his career, and of his 100+ films, I am ashamed to say that I have only seen 31 of them. If you are unfamiliar with David DeCoteau, it’s about time you learned.


DeCoteau started his career in the 80s directing pornography, both gay and straight, with titles like New Wave Hustlers, Revenge of the Babes, and Totally Awesome. He was then hired to work for Full Moon Pictures, and directed the film Dreamaniac. Not one of my favorites, save for an amazing scene where someone gets their entire head chopped off with a power drill. Through the 80s and early 90s, he made a bunch of camp classics and some legitimately fun T&A classics like Nightmare Sisters, Beach Babes from Beyond starring Joe Estevez, Don Swayze, Jackie Stallone, and Joey Travolta, Creepozoids, Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000, and the legendary Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, one of many films made with 80s scream queens Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer, and Brinke Stevens, who would later reunite in DeCoteau's 1313: Cougar Cult.


In the second half of the 90s, he made a few cheap horror movies, of varying quality. I’m a fan of The Killer Eye from ’99 starring Jacqueline Lovell (my favorite 90s softcore actress), but most of them can be skipped. In the 2000s, though, is where he really hit his stride, proving himself as a true visionary by creating the homoerotic softcore thriller. I highly recommend the films Leeches, Beastly Boyz, and the first two films of The Brotherhood series. The Brotherhood II: Young Warlocks is especially good. It’s about a group of boys who are having trouble adjusting to college life, and they meet a charming blonde who does card tricks that promises them the world. Below is an abridged version of the scene where the guys are indoctrinated into the society of warlocks.


So that’s the kind of thing you can expect in a modern DeCoteau film. There’s even a pool scene in A Talking Cat!?! Lately, he’s made a bunch of film under the 1313 banner. These films, which are all shot in the same mansion, exist solely to show off men’s bodies. There’s about 15 minutes of story, then an hour of boys walking around in their underwear and taking showers. And it’s great, but it’s also barely even softcore. The boys are all supposed to be straight, so they never make out or anything. The licking in Brotherhood II is the closest it’s ever gotten. And it’s surprisingly tame with nudity. Even in the shower scenes, you never get to see any ass, you certainly don’t get to see any dick. It’s all tease. It’s like these movies are made for people who think softcore is just too hardcore. Almost all of those are streaming on Netflix. And right now, he’s mostly making family movies about Christmas and animals and stuff. He may not put in the same effort as he once did, but his filmography is so amazing. He started in gay pornography, and now he makes family films. At the very least, no one else can claim that.


Ranked: The Films of David DeCoteau

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sleepaway Camp Comes to SF


BAY AREA!

Get ready for an all out invasion of comedians from Los Angeles (and comedians from SF too)! Straight from the beautiful Skid Row™ of Downtown Los Angeles comes the boys of SLEEPAWAY CAMP®! They're going to the #legendary Cynic Cave© At Lost Weekend™ stage. So be there on January 17 to be a party of true magic.

Lineup:
DOUG FREEDMAN
AUSTIN WOLF-SOTHERN
JAY WEINGARTEN
TRAVIS RUST
RYAN SCHUMAKER
MARY VAN NOTE
ALISON STEVENSON
FINN STRALEY
Hosted by KEVIN O'SHEA

Friday Night, January 17, @ 8:30pm
The Cynic Cave @ Lost Weekend Video, 1034 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA - $10

More info here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sleepaway Camp Holiday Christmas Party

Merry Holidays, Campers!


It's that time of year again. Time for our 2013th Annual Holiday Christmas Party! Get to the Downtown Independent early to hang out and dance in the lobby with food, drinks, a Santa photo booth, and whatever else is supposed to happen at parties! I've never been to one!

Then, at 9:30pm, join us in the theater for our regularly scheduled comedy show, featuring a live staging of the birth of Jesus AS IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

Don't miss out as Sleepaway Camp puts the "fun" back in "Xmas".

Lineup
Nativity Scene*
Hosted by AUSTIN WOLF-SOTHERN
STEVE HERNANDEZ
ADAM ALLGOOD
LIQUID FEET (Dave Child, Amber Kenny, Tamra Brown)
DOUG FREEDMAN
Christmas Video
RICHARD BAIN
MEGAN KOESTER
ANDY HAYNES
Turtle Christmas Sing-Along

*Featuring Sage Price, Megan Koester, Steve Hernandez, Adam Allgood, and Andrew Meredith.

NATIVITY SCENE


A HOOP DREAMS CHRISTMAS


Preshow Videos (Theme: Christmas)
We Wish You a Turtle Christmas (1994) TV Special
Charo "Feliz Navidad" from Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special (1988)
Santa Buddies (2009) German Trailer
Fay's 12 Days of Christmas (1995) Clip
Female Trouble (1974) Christmas Scene
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) Clip
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000) Trailer
Get Around Santa
Emmanuel Lewis "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" from A Christmas Dream (1984)
Santa Buddies (2009) "Christmas Miracle" Song
B2K "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" with Dancing Santa Animation
Treacherous Three "Santa Rap" from Beat Street (1984)
Last Christmas/Gangnam Style Mashup