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Holiday Underground Shopping Guide 2010

“Ho Ho … What the hell is this?”

If that’s the type of reaction you want to get out of somebody — or everybody! — on your Christmas list, then pick something out of this collection of bizarro movies, gross-out flicks and mind-bending reads.

The New Underground Classics

Altamont Now

Altamont Now, dir. Joshua von Brown
Chosen as Underground Film Journal’s 2008 Movie of the Year, this balls-out, punk-rockin’ apocalypse comes firing at you like a nuclear missile. (Seriously, it was filmed in an actual missile silo.) Part social commentary, part fame whore busting, part punk rock musical — and all freakin’ hilarious! (Review)

Every Other Day Is Halloween

Every Other Day Is Halloween, dir. C.W. Prather
Screw Santa. Who you’ll really want to see on Christmas is Count Gore De Vol, Washington D.C.’s beloved TV horror host who for years thrilled late night viewers with scares and laughs before taking his act online for the whole world to enjoy. As for the “other” in the title, that’s reserved for when De Vol’s alter ego, Dick Dyszel, takes off his cape and dresses up like Bozo and Captain 20 to entertain daytime audiences. (Review)

Sex Galaxy

Sex Galaxy, dir. Mike Davis
Know somebody who absolutely loves old sci-fi movies and dirty jokes? Then give them this foul-mouthed remix of old Russian and Roger Corman space movies featuring a planet filled with sexy women and a robot pimp. Plus, you’ll be helping the environment since this film features 99% recycled material. (Review)

Burning Inside

Burning Inside, dir. Nathan Wrann
It’s an experimental film! It’s a revenge thriller! It’s also one of the most unique, measuredly-paced suspense movies ever made. An amnesiac man wakes from a coma, shacks up with his kindly nurse and tries to piece together his tortured past — all the while never uttering a single word. (Review)

Being Michael Madsen

Being Michael Madsen, dir. Michael Mongillo
Remember when all the tabloids were reporting that Michael Madsen killed that hot young actress? That was pretty crazy, right? Oh wait, did that really happen or was it a big hoax? If you think the way the paparazzi stalk celebrities is out of control, just wait and see how out of control a madman celebrity can be in this spin on Hollywood culture. (Review)

Bumps

Bumps, Palace of Stains, et. al., dir. Bob Moricz
Filmmakers these days have to come up with all kinds of innovative ways to get their movies in front of audiences. To that end, Moricz has set up his own Etsy shop selling one-of-a-kind hand-packaged DVDs of his films. Teenage girls in trouble, suburban monsters, hillbilly feuds and more: If you know people who love their films good and trashy, Moricz is your one-stop shop.

INCITE

Winnipeg Film Group DVDs, dir. various
Winnipeg; a small, chilly city nestled in the heart of Canada; has as vibrant a film scene as many sprawling urban metropolises. And at the center of that scene is the Winnipeg Film Group, which sells DVDs of its members’ work from their full, rich history. Give a friend something they absolutely haven’t seen before, like films by Jaimz Asmundson, Mike Maryniuk, Noam Gonick, Cindy Murdoch, Heidi Phillips, Jeff Solylo and many more.

Horror Flicks for Discerning Tastes

The Double Born

The Double Born, dir. Tony Randel
Longtime indie horror director Randel gets down and dirty for this heady trip into this seedy, sexy and spooky backwoods territory, all shot guerrilla-style. Indie It Girl Sammi Davis makes a welcome return as a lonely, desperate wife who hires a pair of psycho teenage handymen to to remodel her dead baby’s bedroom. But, who’s really seducing who? Based on a story by Bram Stoker! (Review)

Brain Dead

Brain Dead, dir. Kevin S. Tenney
This over-the-top gorefest has it all: Boobs, beasts, blood and bad jokes. And lots of ’em! Tenney takes a familiar horror trope — a group of strangers stranded in a remote cabin surrounded by flesh-hungry zombies — and pushes the action to insane levels for an energetic romp that makes horror fun again. (Review)

S&Man

S&Man, dir. J.T. Petty
If you have a creepy relative or friend who loves watching horror movies waaaay too much, give ’em something that will really freak them out. Director Petty delves into the disturbing world of underground horror where the focus is on torturing women in the name of good old fashioned entertainment. (Review)

Books for the Cinephile

INCITE

Impossibly Funky by Mike White
Cashiers du Cinemart was perhaps the greatest movie zine ever published and now writer/editor/publisher White has compiled all the best bits into this handy and comprehensive absolute must read. From celebrating the most obscure and trashiest cult movies to taking Hollywood down a peg or two to becoming the center of a Quentin Tarantino flavored shit storm, White published nothing but the most engaging, educational and assaultive articles on cinema. (Review)

INCITE

INCITE! #2, ed. Brett Kashmere
The second edition “The Journal of Experimental Media and Radical Aesthetics” is a real doozy, taking an exhaustive and thought-provoking look at the history and practice of remixing media and manipulation of film archives. It’s a bold move to start up a new periodical in our “Print Is Dead” age, but Kashmere proves exactly why the world needs more great paper publications. This is an absolute “Must Have” for any underground film fanatic. (Review)

INCITE

Subversion by Duncan Reekie
For those who might be bored with traditional histories of underground cinema will be surprised and happy by Reekie’s unconventional romp through the underground, which actually starts hundreds of years before film is even invented. This is a detailed and provocative exposé of underground entertainment that challenges every single historical assumption that everybody takes for granted these days. (Review)

INCITE

Me and You and Memento and Fargo by j.j. murphy
Remember the good ol’ days when indie films were challenging and unpredictable? Murphy astutely covers over a dozen classic indie film scripts and picks apart exactly what made them so original and enduring. From Stranger Than Paradise to Slacker to Gas Food Lodging to Mulholland Dr. to, yes, Memento and Fargo and more, these are the films that broke all the so-called “rules” to become beloved classics. (Review)


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