Surfing Dead Channels in SF

Dead Channels report!Dead Channels film fest kicked off it’s first year last Thursday night, August 9’th at the legendary Castro Theater in San Francisco with screenings of the ultra-rare film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday, Wanda June and Takahi Miike’s Big Bang Love, Juvenile A. But the center of the evenings programming was undoubtedly the U.S. premiere of Uwe Boll’s highly anticipated gonzoid comedy Postal (Nomad’s review, McCannibal’s review).

The film stars Zach Ward (A Christmas Story, Transformers) as Postal Dude, an everyman driven to the edge by an infidelous wife and a dead end job. Co-stars Dave Foley (“Kids In The Hall”, “NewsRadio”) as Uncle Dave, a shyster posing as a new age guru who draws Postal Dude into a plot to pull a heist on a shipment of coveted “Krotchy” dolls. Then Verne Troyer (yes, Verne Troyer) and Osama Bin Laden get involved and things basically go fucking haywire. Brutally violent and deathly funny, Postal takes a blowtorch to anything and everything deemed “politically correct”. Religious, racial, sexual, or political … no group is spared, Boll snipers each one expertly. Each bullet fired in the film shoots some other real world social convention right in the fucking head.

After the film, the attending crowd also was treated to a Q and A with Mr. Uwe Boll himself, as well as cast members Zach Ward, Larry Thomas (hilarious as Osama Bin Laden) and Michaela Mann. To cap the night off, an after party was thrown at local club 12 Galaxies, where the audience was invited to hang out, have some drinks and meet the people behind Postal up close and personal. We were there repping Nightmare Alley and Dread Central and had a chance to speak with Uwe and Zach on camera, which you will be able to see in our upcoming episode. Not to be cryptic, but let’s just say I’ve never seen an interview done in this setting before…

Dead Channels continued the following day with showings of World Sinks Except Japan by director Minoru Kawasaki (The Calamari Wrestler, Executive Koala) in which, well, the world sinks … except Japan, as well as short-films package Short And Scary and 50’s atomic horror send-up Trail Of The Screaming Forehead (by Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra director Larry Blamirey)

Now for my favorite film of the festival so far, End Of The Line (review). Written, produced, directed, and edited by one man fear factory Maurice Devereaux, End Of The Line plays like a zombie survival-horror flick, but instead of the shambling undead we get worshippers from the Church of Hope, religious zealots hell bent on saving mankind … by viciously stabbing them to “heaven” on the eve of what they claim to be the Apocalypse.

End of the Line!End Of The Line could very well signal the arrival of another smart and inventive director in the vein of John Carpenter or Neil Marshall with the chops to make some serious impact on the horror genre; I highly recommend seeing this film.

Night two closed out with the inaugural Dead Channels midnight movie as well, and it was a good one! Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, an old school TV horror film from the early 70’s about a young bride being terrorized by demonic creatures in her recently inherited ancestral home. This was one flick I grew up on, and while quaint by today’s standards, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark still features some very effective atmosphere and has a creepiness all it’s own.

For a running day-to-day report on the festival, which runs through August 16’th, go check out Jason Watches Movies, an insanely informative and massively cool blog written by uber film nut (and all around great guy) Jason Wiener. Keep an eye out for Jason and Dead Channels coverage on an upcoming episode of Nightmare Alley as well!

Meanwhile, bay area readers get out there and see some of these films! There are still four nights left of Dead Channel’s insanely cool programming!

Sean “The Butcher” Smithson

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Jon Condit

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