Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tonight, Live in San Francisco: Cartoon Dump At The Eureka Theatre

Following last night's "Pre-Code Follies", here's another can't miss event: S.F. Sketchfest presents Cartoon Dump.

I caught the September 2007 taping of this wonderfully dark satire of sickly sweet "New Zoo Revue" style kidvid at the Steve Allen Theatre in L.A. In the immortal words of Hubie from Chuck Jones' Hubie and Bertie cartoons, it was a riot! I'm looking forward to enjoying some good comedy and bad cartoons, courtesy of producer, author and raconteur Jerry Beck, TV's Frank from Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Erica Doering, Kathleen Roll, Andy Kindler and more tonight!

And if you can't go to that, there's still some killer film noir on the big screen at the Castro Theatre.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More Info On The Pre-Code Follies Show

I'm getting questions about the upcoming Pre-Code Follies extravaganza, this Friday at 8:30 p.m. at Niles' Edison Theatre.

  1. Can you buy advance tickets online? Yes, the good people of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum have made this possible. Click here, then scroll down.

  2. How do I get there? Check out a Google map.

  3. When should we show up to get a seat? I suggest no later than 7:45. The Edison Theatre seats about 120 max - and this sucker is selling out.

  4. Got a frame grab from something you're showing? Inevitably.

  5. Can you post another cute picture of Kitten On The Keys?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Burt Bacharach Day

Over breakfast with one of my favorite human beings, I watched the inauguration - and am still, many hours later, soaking in the importance of this event. I'm uncharacteristically speechless.

That said, it's the 20th of the month, which means Burt Bacharach Day, and a clip of the legendary Dusty Springfield singing one of his greatest songs. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Bob Wilkins (1932-2009), R.I.P.

Today's posting pays tribute to Bob Wilkins, an inspired, witty and idiosyncratic Northern California television personality who passed away at 76 on January 7. Pretty much the entire underground movie event scene in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento can be proudly counted among the incorrigible progeny of Bob Wilkins and Creature Features. Bob was a friend, mentor and colleague to many of the creative talents who make the KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival happen.

Bob Wilkins hosted and worked on a wide variety of productions for KCRA-Sacramento and KTVU-Oakland, paramount among them the Creature Features and Captain Cosmic shows. The shows exemplified the long lost tradition of freewheeling local programming and captivated the imaginations of Northern California viewers. Demonstrating his ability to have fun with the medium, both shows were imbued with Bob's trademark droll humor and style.

Here's Bob, bringing his customary deadpan delivery, laid-back approach and dry wit to the Creature Features opening:

Creature Features, a late-night Northern California institution, well established before Saturday Night Live and SCTV hit the airwaves, ran for fourteen years: Bob hosted through 1978, while John Stanley hosted from 1979-1984. Movies ran the gamut from old school Universal Pictures horror to 50's sci-fi, 70's schlockers and everything in-between. Guests ranged from movie stars to the fellows in the following clip:

The show is the subject of an entertaining documentary produced by Tom Wyrsch, Watch Horror Films, Keep America Strong. Tom is also the author of The Bob Wilkins Scrapbook and The John Stanley Scrapbook.

I would be remiss to omit the opening title segment from The Captain Cosmic Show, which brought the high camp and humor inherent in Japanese monster movies to the attention of impressionable young minds in the latter 70's.

The wide-ranging influence of Bob Wilkins on filmmaking, animation and entertainment events in Northern California reminds me of a comment I read about the 1960's avant-rockers The Velvet Underground: their records may have not sold a gazillion copies (like, say a 45 RPM single by The Cowsills), but everyone who bought one formed a band. So Bob Wilkins' greatest contribution may not have been his uncanny knack for creating entertainment from whatever means he had at his disposal, but his talent for inspiring others to do the same. . . and then say, "don't stay up late - it's not worth it!"

Monday, January 05, 2009

Upcoming Movie Nights

I'm seriously tickled to be bringing a pungent slice of our customary KFJC Psychotronix Film Fest style mayhem to the wine country. On January 17 at 7:00 p.m., the Mendocino Film Festival presents the Mend-O-Tronic Incredibly Strange Short Subjects night at historic Crown Hall, 45285 Ukiah St., Mendocino, CA 95460.

And I'm equally tickled to be the producer/curator of the following pop culture slice n' dice at a historic venue:

At the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum's Edison Theatre (the town nickelodeon 95 years ago), we will present a hallucinatory blend of outrageous clips from 1930's musicals, lecherous and absurdist comedy shorts, surreal cartoons, etc. - with a performance of ditties from the Pre-Code era by the fabulous
Kitten On The Keys. Yes, LIVE IN PERSON, our hostess with the very mostest will m.c. and live up to her Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence sobriquet, St. Tickle-The-Ivories.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Andy's Gang And More Twisted Kid-Vid

The Andy's Gang TV show served up a hilarious and at times unsettling blend of the quirky and bizarre with kids' entertainment in the 1950's.

Here's the completely indescribable "Squeaky The Mouse's Circus" segment.

To follow the irresistible strangeness of Andy's Gang, I select Ernie Kovacs' equally twisted variation on The Howdy Doody Show.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Let's ring in the new year with a classic comedy clip - and continue the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams thread!