Family reunions, stuffing overdoses, Black Friday hysteria and gift-shopping frenzy: the holiday season is upon us. And, reassuringly, so is the Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, the annual compendium of weird horror, fantasy and science fiction flicks playing at New People Cinema, Dec. 1–15. It may be counterintuitive to schedule a slate of cinematic nightmares amid the peak-decibel ballyhoo of goodwill to all, but it’s oddly comforting, as well.
Opening day (Sunday, Dec. 1) dawns with three programs of shorts, beginning with a compilation of 10 local films at 10:30am followed by a Q&A with the makers. The centerpiece is Pirate Ship, R.A. Morgan’s poignantly personal memory trip through ’80s San Francisco. Local writer-director Michael Meehan grabs the spotlight at 5pm with Hey Monster, Hands Off My City, a laugh-and-crime-filled satire featuring Johnny Steele, Reggie Steele, Michael Pritchard and other luminaries of the Bay Area community of comedians.
AHITH hosts the world premiere of another quintessentially local feature, Scott J. Ramsey and Hannah Katherine Jost’s sexually charged X (Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 9pm). A philanthropic lesbian stages monthly masked orgies, but the reappearance of an old flame puts those power trips at risk. A blast from the past, Christopher Coppola’s wryly unsettling 2000 drama Bel Air (Dec. 5 at 7pm) casts his brother Marc as a former child TV star perused, used and abused by an older woman (Barbara Bain).
Fame is a nasty addiction, and one of the toughest to kick. Presumably Coppola has advised his film students at the San Francisco Art Institute to be careful what they wish for. Their nightmare scenarios—stocking stuffers, if you will—screen Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 9pm, immediately after Bel Air. Sleep tight.