Community Vault was a one-night showcase of community media from local-access stations across my home state that ranged from the absurd to the incredibly poignant.
The criminal activity in Chinatown is escalating and the city’s police department doesn’t have enough resources. Violent gangs perform complex Tai Chi routines with impunity. Thugs in latex Halloween masks kidnap kids in broad daylight. Only a hero with a simple plan can make things right. 1991’s LETHAL NINJA spreads the havoc.
DANCE OR DIE is that rare American independent film that wants us to look at a table full of narcotics and say, “Ha! Cocaine! No big deal.”
Years before it was a hotbed of technological innovation and unaffordable housing, the San Francisco Bay Area was the “headquarters of occult and metaphysical activity in the United States.” This is just one of many bizarre assertions by the creators of the 1972 religious short film, THE OCCULT: AN ECHO FROM DARKNESS, that makes it perfect viewing for the spooky season.
While the Halloween costumes of today are often clever, shameless, or absurdly referential, their burlap and paper counterparts from last century still hold the all-time crown for creepy (doing an online image search for “creepy vintage halloween costumes” is the new “Bloody Mary”)! The main character in 1953’s HALLOWEEN PARTY brandishes one such mask in a way that inadvertently sets off a chain of events which concludes with him wearing a straw hat and made up in his mother’s lipstick.
The sort of film that gives you five straight minutes of old women eating chicken while a man in a kabuki mask performs magic tricks for a baby and a shirtless man twirls swords around in the back of a dimly-lit restaurant.