Screening of The Gore Gore Girls
8 p.m., Friday, Feb 5
The Screening Room
127 E. Congress St.
Few American films have been so awfully clichéd and fundamentally amateurish—while simultaneously appealing—that they wind up as cult classics.
Herschell Gordon Lewis' 1972 film The Gore Gore Girls is one of those true cult classics.
"This film is hilarious," said Tucson Underground Film Festival director David Pike. Stereotypical slasher-movie characters, over-the-top violence and intentional and unintentional humor create a great crowd-pleaser, he said.
The plot goes something like this: Ditzy newspaper reporter Nancy Weston (Amy Farrell) hires hotshot private detective Abraham Gentry (Frank Kress) to look into the extremely strange murders of a series of San Francisco strippers.
Nancy tags along as Gentry proceeds from one titty bar to the next, interviewing strippers who are brutally murdered soon after. While the murder scenes are undoubtedly gross, their over-the-top nature, combined with Lewis' uncanny ability to develop weird storylines, makes for a highly entertaining film, said Pike.
The Gore Gore Girls has been touted by some to be the first slasher movie to play at the Screening Room—a claim that Pike would like to clarify.
During the first week of December, the Screening Room presented Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl to a large crowd. "The audience was really getting into the film, so I thought, 'Why not bring in another great horror classic?'" said Pike.
In addition, Pike said Lewis might—just might—debut his newest production at the Tucson Underground Film Festival, slated for Sept. 20-25.
"The movie is in post-production, and Lewis lives in Europe, so we aren't sure whether he will come," said Pike. "But I think this will be a great way to introduce people to Lewis' work and get them excited about the festival."
Admission is $5. —W.F.
"In Person: Documentary Filmmaker Noland Walker"
4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building Auditorium (Room 202)
1130 N. Mountain Ave.
Noland Walker, who has worked on productions that have garnered honors including an Emmy and a Peabody Award, will present an overview of his film career and show clips from several of his documentaries as part of the UA Hanson Film Institute's "In Our Own Voice: African American Film Makers."
Walker said he has strived to work on documentaries that expose an untold human element in his work's subjects. His award-winning 2004 documentary The American Experience: Citizen King explores the last five years of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
"I wanted to reveal a side of King that many people weren't aware existed," said Walker.
The documentary focuses on King as an advocate for economic justice and an end to the Vietnam War, rather than just showing him as the 20th century's most renowned civil-rights activist. The work shows that King was at odds with many influential black leaders during the time, and had personal issues that many of us can relate to, he said.
Walker said his success is partly due to his willingness to develop a personal connection to many of his films. He revealed that he had several relatives who were members of Peoples Temple, the cult headed by Jim Jones who orchestrated the largest mass suicide during the 20th century. He co-produced the film Jamestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.
"It's hard to tell a story you are personally involved with, but I think it makes the film much more powerful," Walker said.
Vicky Westover, director of the Hanson Film Institute, said Walker's appearance is part of a tradition of great African-American filmmakers who have visited the UA, including Stanley Nelson.
Admission is free. —W.F.
Eb's Camp Cookin' band
3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6
Himmel Branch, Pima County Public Library
1035 N. Treat Ave.
594-5305, ext. 3
Eb's Camp Cookin' band has been said to sound like Hot Tuna—and that has nothing to do with Chicken of the Sea.
Himmel Park Library will open its doors to the band to kick off Tucson Rodeo Month on Saturday.
If you're still under the delusion that libraries are sanctuaries of silence, you'll be surprised by what you hear.
"We're a mix of Americana and old-school country, and a touch of bluegrass, blues, old-timey and folk," Eb Eberlein said.
Frontman Eberlein will be on vocals, guitar, harmonica and dobro. Phil Anderson will be playing bass, and Tim O'Connor will be on the mandolin and fiddle. (The band's accordion and banjo players will not be at the performance.)
Eberlein has made a name for himself around Arizona. He's played at the Tucson Folk Festival, had a show on KXCI FM 91.3 and owned a guided-tour business at the Grand Canyon. Currently, he's teaching.
"We have no goal to be touring," Eberlein said. "This is just fun for us."
The library has welcomed Eb's Camp Cookin'—and many other musical, informational and support groups—in an effort to draw people to the libraries and into the community.
"Entertainment, information and education is what the public library is all about," said Suzanne Parker, a librarian at the Himmel Park Branch Library.
Other performances will be hosted by the branch libraries through April.
"We want to reach out to the community and let them know we're here," Parker said. "We're not just books anymore."
There's no word yet on how the public libraries will be affected by government budget cuts, and for now, Himmel Park Library will continue offering events such as these.
"We'll just roll with the punches," Parker said. —S.F.
"Sugartime! An Evening With Deborah Lederer"
7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8
The Gaslight Theatre
7010 E. Broadway Blvd.
One of the Gaslight Theatre's own will be moving on in April; she's heading to California. But before she goes, Deborah Lederer is heading up a farewell show to be remembered.
Singers such as Patsy Cline, the McGuire Sisters and Rosemary Clooney will be reincarnated by Lederer in "Sugartime!"
"We're celebrating music from the golden age of American pop music," Lederer explained.
The celebration will include covers of popular 1950s songs, as well as their backstories. The show also has an underlying love theme, in anticipation of Valentine's Day.
"There's something about the nostalgia evoked from that time that really appeals to people," Lederer said of the '50s.
The Gaslight Theatre's old-school melodrama style and 1950s musical medley will be blended together in an environment where audiences are expected to eat, drink, laugh and talk.
The cast will include some of Gaslight's well-known regulars, including Todd Thompson, Charlie Hall, Nancy La Viola, Katherine Byrnes and Sarah Vanek.
Lederer has been with the Gaslight Theatre since 2003. Originally, she was just passing through Tucson, but after experiencing Gaslight's fun, upbeat atmosphere, she was hooked.
"Sugartime!" is a revamped version of a program with the same name that Gaslight produced last year.
"It'll be a really fun evening," she said. "There are puppets and nuns and some really silly stuff."
Tickets are $17.95 for adults, and $7.95 for children. Groups of 15 or more can receive a 10 percent discount.
A sense of humor is required, but the poodle skirt is optional.—S.F.