Saturday, January 18, 2020
Freaked! at the Egyptian 1-17-20
Last night I had the absolute pleasure of seeing the 1993 movie Freaked at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Freaked is a film I don't think I had ever even heard of before a few weeks ago, when I caught sight of the screening via Beyondfest's Twitter. Even though I didn't know the film, I saw them tweet that Paul Leary would be present "with his guitar" and bought two tickets immediately.
Turns out, that was a very good thing...
Written by Alex Winter, Tim Burns, and Tom Stern, and directed by Winter and Stern, Freaked is an absolute marvel of practical FX, courtesy of Screaming Mad George, Alterian FX and XFX. The movie is an testament to a Hollywood that no longer exists. Costing Thirteen Million and boasting a cast that includes but is not limited to Winter, Brooke Shields, William Sadler, Gibby Haynes (yes, that Gibby Haynes), John Hawkes, Randy Quaid, an uncredited Keanu Reeves, and so many more, Freaked is absolute madness. And since this was a Beyondfest event, there was, of course, special guests.
The evening began in Peter Seychelle's comfortable study...
The evening began with Burns, Stern, and Winter explaining how Freaked grew out of their MTV show Idiot Box. From there, they played a first pass at a conceptual Rock n Roll Horror Movie they had attempted to spin out of the show, a feature-length film that, well, in their words, "Was basically The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the Butthole Surfers as the cannibal hillbilly family."
The footage was, of course, as insane as that might lead you to believe. They began with this clip from Idiot Box, to clear up a joke at the beginning of the film:
Then moved to the aforementioned Rock n Roll Horror Film, Entering Texas:
From there Freaked played, with a stop motion "Holo Rollins" Henry Rollins discount "hologram" set in time to sing with Freaked, the Rollins/Blind Idiot God title song that plays over David Daniels' brilliant hand-animated title sequence title sequence. During the film, Paul Leary did indeed take the stage several times to play live guitar over key "freak out" sequences.
By this time, I considered my investment to have already paid off ten-fold.
After the film the special guests took the stage and Burns, Stern, and Winter were joined by Catherine Hardwicke, John Hawkes, composer Kevin Kiner, the real Henry Rollins, Lee Arenberg, Megan Ward, and FX maestros Bill Corso, Tony Gardner, and I think Jim Eustermann, although by the time we got to the three FX gurus, things were a bit of a blur.
Every time I get frustrated with living in LaLa Land, something like this happens and I am reminded why I absolutely love living in this city. Special thanks to Beyondfest, Mondo/DeathWaltz, and @troniks on Twitter, who provided the beautiful 35mm print of the film. A wonderful night all around. Oh, and all that wonderful Idiot Box and early Winter/Burns/Stern footage comes from turdburglar27's wonderful youtube channel where you too, can watch Entering Texas.
While I was at the Egyptian last night witnessing early 90s Cinematic Magic, the Melvins played a pop up LaLa Land Gallery. Here's Inky Psyops and Printed Schemes, a song I am not familiar with at all, courtesy of Baby Gorilla, whose channel is always chock full o' great live music.
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer OST
Steve Moore - Bliss OST
93MillionMilesFromTheSun - Towards the Light
Mol - Jord
Godflesh - Hymns
Zonal - Wrecked
Butthole Surfers - Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac
The Air of Water, a reminder to temper emotion with intellect, not always an easy thing to do.