Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Whatever?!?" Frank Henenlotter and Mike Hunchback visit The Castle, tonight!

2008's Bad Biology is my favorite Frank Henenlotter film. In fact, it may be my favorite film on the topic of sex, ever. I just watched it again last night, and it continues to increase in my estimation. In exploitation film (so called), you can pretty much get away with anything, and Frank Henenlotter takes ample advantage: sudden fourth-wall attacks from the female lead, fresh fetuses dropped in trash cans, vagina's-eye view, cock's-eye view, vagina-face masks in a Vinnie Paz video, aw hell, you name it. And WHAT you name will not be as penetrating (joke intended) or as lurid as what the director came up with for Bad Biology.

The man whose films are so often obsessed with sex, gore, birth, violent death, a general silliness masking heavy emotional issues, and what the hell IS actually happening between a woman's legs, comes to My Castle of Quiet. Frank fucking Henenlotter!

The American screenwriter, director, archivist and film historian is known primarily for his classic horror-sexploitation comedies, like Basket Case, Brain Damage, Frankenhooker, titles that were inspired by, and staples of, the 42nd Street theater market, pre-cleanup. Henenlotter has also been instrumental in rescuing many low-budget classics from eternal obscurity, mostly via his involvement with the Something Weird Video label and catalog.

If you're my age, give or take, you grew up watching Frank's films, whatever you may have thought of them. Bad Biology showed that the power is still very alive in this gentleman, one-upping most contemporary film that passes for horror, and in fact surpassing the current work of many of Frank's contemporaries who are still in action.

Mike Hunchback is a well-known local celebrant of all things "low culture"—early comics, punk rock, and the kind of films Mr. Henenlotter makes, among many other things.

Together, Frank and Mike join me for a discussion of Frank's latest film, a documentary on Herschell Gordon Lewis, another legendary American schlockmeister, known as the Godfather of Gore, and creator of the "gore" or "splatter" film. Frank's doc on Lewis screens in early March at Anthology Film Archives in NYC, along with the Lewis classics Blood Feast, Something Weird and Scum of the Earth.

The fun begins promptly at midnight.
WFMU 91.1 FM (NY/NJ)
WMFU 90.1 FM (Hudson Valley) live on the Web

Screen capture taken from Bloody Disgusting.

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