Wednesday, December 06, 2006

KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival

Another December has rolled around, so that means it's time for the customary KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival. Huh? The customary what?

"Psychotronix" is a variation on Michael Weldon's "Psychotronic History Of Cinema", the encyclopedia of all varieties of under-the-radar B-films: monster movies, horror films, science fiction, cheap comedies, rock 'n' roll flicks, etc. The
KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival presents a unique spin on this hallucinatory excursion through the irritated bowels of popular culture. The first half of the show focuses on short films: trailers from truly wretched movies, well-meaning 50's educational films, schlocky drive-in movies with guys in stupid-looking robot and gorilla suits, vintage TV commercials and theatre ads, cartoon rarities, Japanese monster epics, Scopitones, Soundies and other even more obscure musical shorts, silent film clips, kidvid, serial chapters, puppet animation, double-entendre packed pre-Code comedies and more. Our gala feature films are plump holiday turkeys that would invariably make the heart of the late Edward D. Wood Jr. go pitty-pat. . . We consider the evening a smashing success when the audience starts heckling the feature before the projection lamp goes on.

The festival is also something of a reaction against all standard rules of film programming. Instead of devoting a screening to one director, one genre or one series, our celluloid concoctions throw a wide variety of films from different places, genres, techniques or time periods together. As far as content goes, the more obscure, the lower the budget, the more under-the-radar, the better. If we can establish a subject link or a Monty Python-esque visual or verbal link between the segments, great, but this is not absolutely necessary. Or to make a further Monty Python reference, this could be called the "And Now For Something Completely Different" approach to film programming. Some of our best shows are essentially improvised, with archivist-producers Bob Ekman, Scott Moon and myself creating the program on the fly, responding to audience reaction and choosing films accordingly.

The next KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival will occur on Saturday, December 9, from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM, in room 5015 on the Foothill College campus in the lovely Los Altos Hills, not far from the dreaded Silicon Valley. There will be a $5 donation which benefits the innovative, refreshingly un-corporate and fearless KFJC 89.7. You'll also need $2 quarters for a parking permit.

Rob Emmett, host of "The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show", presides over the festivities with panache, bon mots and a boatload of cheesy door prizes. Special guests will include the Mighty Megafant, the Queen Of Trash and the host of Cinema Insomnia, Mr. Lobo.

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