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Another Hole in the Head Film Festival

There's a whole lotta horror goin' on this month

Some of my favorite movie memories involve trying to stay up past midnight on Saturday nights to watch Channel 2's Creature Features with my dad. If you weren't living in the Bay Area in the 1970s, you wouldn't remember this late night horror showcase, hosted by Bob Wilkins, and later, John Stanley. They would show all forms of the horror genre, from masterpieces like Night of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre to lovable lesser fare, like Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space. They also showed tons of cool vampire movies from Britain's Hammer Studios.

If I could stay awake, which wasn't often, I was allowed to watch until there was graphic nudity or graphic ritual violence, or both, at which point I was sent to bed. In the morning, I'd spend the car ride to Sunday school begging dad to reveal how the previous evening's lesbian vampire coven was ultimately defeated, or why The Wicker Man or House That Dripped Blood was titled as such. Once, I was particularly discouraged that I had fallen asleep during the opening credits of Vampire Circus, which was about a traveling circus of vampires, which sounded awesome. Years later, when I realized that one of the vampires was played by none other than Darth Vader bodysuit actor David Prowse, and that Vampire Circus was not available on video, I made a solemn oath to seek the film out in the cult festival circuit.

Which brings me to the Another Hole in the Head film festival in San Francisco,  running from June 5-June 22, and worthy of my highest recommendation. Two summers ago, this killer horror-sci fi fest unearthed and screened a rare print of Vampire Circus, and saved me from having an empty, unhappy life. This year's lineup doesn't feature that Hammer classic but there's still lots to look forward to. Here's the lineup:

I can't decide if I'm more up for the 40th anniversary print of Barbarella, the brand new Asian chiller Alone, or the locally produced short film Date of the Dead, about a blind date with zombies. Don't make me choose!