TRASHPALACE is a meetup to celebrate trash, camp, cult, surreal, bizarre, incredibly strange, outsider, experimental, avant-garde, exploitation and genre cinema.
in 2017 we hosted weekly screenings from february through to december.
each screening started with a 30min WARMUP film, usually ambient/background vibes (sometimes with the soundtrack or atmospheric background music) while people arrived and got settled. this was followed by lights out, a trailer reel and then the FEATURE PRESENTATION
we sometimes showed short films before the feature, a few double features were thrown in the mix for special occasions and one all-night marathon to get us through the winter.
i have archived each screening here along with promo text and images from the TRASHPALACE facebook group. although the text is my own (unless in quotes), some copy/paste phrases from online reviews was necessary to capture and hype films i hadnt seen - thank you if your words helped me share these awesome films.
click on each entry for text and posters
Tp01 - Decoder (1984)
FEATURE: Decoder (1984)
an “oddly forgotten” West German cyberpunk and counter-cultural film roughly based on the writings of William S. Burroughs (who cameos in the film).
a burger shop employee discovers that by changing the background music from pleasantly calming to industrial “noise”, he can incite riots and a revolution against the looming power of the government
Tp02 - Surf II The End of the Trilogy (1984)
video-art remix of a 60s surfing vhs called ‘The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun’ (cyberboy666)
this footage was condensed into a experimental audio/visual fanfic-trailer for surf ii : watch SURF II
FEATURE: Surf II The End of the Trilogy (1984)
continuing with theme of ‘some of my all time favorites that have fallen into obscurity from the year 1984’ i have some unfinished business with this film. It was scheduled to play at the end of the 2014/15 trashpalace run but never made it out when i went on hiatus.
Heres what i wrote about it back then:
‘Long ago in “The Good Old Days”, surfers ruled. It was bitchin’! That was before the threat of chemical pollution, nuclear waste and the horror of Buzzz Cola.
Menlo Schwartzer was a high school genius who hated surfers. He invented a weird soft drink, involved local businessmen and set out to rule the coast. He nearly succeeded. This is the story of Buzzz Cola and Menlo’s revenge’
This off-the-wall independent comedy/parody of the teen beach party genre nearly fell in to obscurity after it bombed at the box office and failed to generate much interest - luckily for us, a few VHS copies have resurfaced and been distributed online - the premise of a soft drink turning surfers into garbage eating zombie punks is funny enough, and the writing can be quite clever at times - its difficult to gage exactly what was meant to be a joke and what was just misguided insanity/low budget 80s surfer aesthetic. Regardless of the intent, this film (partly due to its sweet punk/new wave soundtrack) was extremely memorable for me and (still) hugely under appreciated
Tp03 - Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
Illuminated Manuscripts (John S Banks)
secret short :
Sándor Reisenbüchler’s A Nap és a Hold elrablása (1968)
FEATURE: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
After a bumpy but worthwhile ride into the bizarre (and extremely sleazy) world of 80s american surf culture, this film will be a refreshing splash of cold European strangeness. Valerie, a 13-year old girl on the brink of womanhood finds herself transported to a magical world by a pair of enchanted earrings. Filmed shortly after the beginning of the Prague spring, and at the tail end of the Czech New Wave, this film conceals taboo themes of womanhood, women’s role in religion, the hypocrisy of the church and incest under a thick layer of strange dream-like surrealism.
Tp04 - Warriors of Virtue (1997) on VHS
group TAI CHI for beginners with Dr Paul Lam Gold Medal Winner
FEATURE: Warriors of Virtue (1997) on VHS
“Generic junk made for the international action market, a cheap hybrid of Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles and Captain Planet”
“Film critic Kale Klein of the Carlsbad Current-Argus was so physically distressed by the film that he actually vomited during the initial screenings”
“Have you ever been watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies and found yourself thinking, Hey, this movie isn’t bad but I want to see something with a creepier group of anthropomorphic animals doing kung fu?”
“Furries, look no more, you have found it! the kangaroos were wonderful - kinda hot for just a suit too, they were that realistic, like, I don’t even understand it, the eyes are the actors but look totally natural. The tails, well they didn’t always look real, but they did for the most part. I only wish I could find the suits online someplace. I’d love to get all nastalgic and see a Movie studio wears and advertises old kangaroo suits collecting dust in storage for fun” (wot?)
Tp05 - Deep Red (1975)
spooky A/V noise-art transmissions from VIDEODESTROYER (???)
FEATURE: Deep Red (1975)
Dario Argento popularized Giallo (transgressive Italian thriller/horror genre films containing elements of mystery and eroticism) for international audiences. These ‘proto-slashers’ had significant influence on John Carpenter’s Halloween, kickstarting the american slasher movement. Anyone who has seen Suspiria (1977) should have some idea of what we are in for! Italian progressive rock band Goblin creates memorable atmospheric soundtracks for both Suspira and Deep Red. With his visual flair, crawling cameras and progressive soundtracks, Dario Argento sets the perfect mood for the on-slaughter of blood, screams and elaborately violent murders.
Tp06 - WENG WENG DOUBLE FEATURE
WENG WENG is starring in: For Y’ur Height Only (1981) and The Impossible Kid (1982)
In anticipation for the ROXY’S director screening of the new cult-documentary ‘The Search For Weng Weng’ next month we want to saturate you in the bizarre world of Philipino James Bond Kung-fu B-Films !
Tp07 - Transfigured Nights (2007)
conspiracy tapes (from a strange antique shop in reefton) …
secret short :
compilation called ‘Twisted Animation’ by extreme Marseille based publishing house/underground art collective LE DERNIER CRI
FEATURE: Transfigured Nights (2007)
While on holiday in the South Island i obtained a rare copy of transgressive New Zealand filmmaker David Blyth’s experimental, wildly perverse and sexually charged documentary - Transfigured Night
Tp08 - Werner Herzog's Stroszek (1977)
herzog’s 16mm experimental documentary of ravaged oil fields in post-Gulf War Kuwait (Lessons of Darkness - 1992)
FEATURE: Werner Herzog’s Stroszek (1977)
Bruno S plays a recently incarcerated man, who with a prostitute friend and his elderly neighbor abandon their harsh Berlin existence for a new life in the almost equally bleak Wisconsin. Herzog wrote the script in four days specifically for his friend Bruno S, a street musician who has been in and out of homes his whole life, using a number of biographical details from his life. Most of the lead roles are played by non-actors giving the film a sense of reality that is often countered by the more surreal elements of the plot, particularly the film’s bizarre yet brilliant climax. A bleak and sad yet endearing and humane study of isolation and dissatisfaction as these stumbling misfits explore the failed American dream.
Tp09 - Death Bed - The Bed that Eats (1977)
Michael J. Murphy’s super-8 ultra-low budget Bloodstream (1985)
FEATURE: Death Bed - The Bed that Eats (1977)
a demon conjured up a bed on which to make love to a young woman. when the woman dies in the process the demon sheds tears of blood onto the bed they lay upon, rendering the bed eternally homicidal…
The most euphoric discovery for a trash film junky is finding a film-maker with pure (albeit strange) intentions whose delivery is so misguided, out of touch and removed from any instituted influences that the film can’t help but be unlike anything you have ever seen. George Barry started writing, producing and directing Death Bed in 1973 inspired by dreams he was having. With no money, experience or any outside support the project was abandoned. a rough cut was pirated in the early ‘80s and copied to VHS where it gathered a small cult following in Europe. Barry claims to have essentially forgotten he had made the film until stumbling upon a internet forum discussing it in 2001 - He was like, “Wait a second are you talking about the movie that’s rotting in my attic?”. This is the rush we spend hours scraping the bottom of the barrel for - it truly needs to be seen to be believed !
Tp10 - The Ginseng King (1989)
cooking ambience from IRONCHEF
FEATURE: The Ginseng King (1989)
The Ginseng King (1989)
The most batshit and baffling taiwanese children fantasy film about an 1000 year old ginseng king you will ever see !
staring (pictured below):
- the wiggling ginseng,
- 1000year old ginseng king (grampa ginseng)
- zombie/vampire nazi monks
- bathing with grampa earthgod
- the lumpy giants Magic Eyes and Magic Ears
- The Three Headed Monster and more !
Tp11 - Gates of Heaven (1978)
THE SECRET OF MAGIC ISLAND (1956)
FEATURE: Gates of Heaven (1978)
“There’s your dog; your dog’s dead. But where’s the thing that made it move? It had to be something, didn’t it?”
“These words, by a woman who has just buried her dog, are spoken in “Gates of Heaven.” They express the central mystery of life. No philosopher has stated it better. They form the truth at the center of Errol Morris’ 1978 documentary, which is surrounded by layer upon layer of comedy, pathos, irony, and human nature. I have seen this film perhaps 30 times, and am still not anywhere near the bottom of it: All I know is, it’s about a lot more than pet cemeteries.” - Roger Ebert
Tp12 - Malá mořská víla - The Little Mermaid (1976)
MOODTAPES - TRANQUILITY
FEATURE: Malá mořská víla - The Little Mermaid (1976)
“Featuring a captivating orchestral / electronic score, psychedelic swirls, and tech assists from Czech New Wave regulars like cinematographer Jaroslav Kucera (DAISIES, MORGIANA, FRUITS OF PARADISE), editor Miroslav Hájek (LOVES OF A BLONDE, THE FIREMAN’S BALL) and set decorator Ester Krumbachová (VALERIE & HER WEEK OF WONDERS), Karel Kachyna’s adaptation of Hans C. Anderson’s classic is a vision that could’ve only come from 70s Czechoslovakia” -SpectacleTheatre
Tp13 - Death Drug (1978)
androgynous “help pixie” who embodies the “spirit of fun in music” in the sponsored short MR. B NATURAL (1956)
FEATURE: Death Drug (1978)
“1978’s Death Drug (AKA Wack Attack) is more than just a simple drugsploitation movie – it’s a look inside the delusional mind of its star, Miami Vice’s Philip Michael Thomas. Convinced that he would one day win the “EGOT” (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony), and driven mad with jealousy over co-star Don Johnson’s hit album Heartbeat, PMT decided to re-release the film eight years later as a vehicle to plug his own album, Living the Book of My Life. The result is a fascinating trainwreck and a study in pure, unbridled hubris” -SpectacleTheatre
Tp14 - Teorema - Theorem (1968)
shorts from ARIA (1987)
FEATURE: Teorema - Theorem (1968)
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s divisive art-house feature. ambiguous, visionary, haunting, provocative, enlightening, oblique.
Tp14.5 Blackmass - BLACKMASS - a half marathon of filth
BLACKMASS - a half marathon of filth
around december each year we make the pilgrimage to aucklands hollywood theatre for the incredibly strange 24-hour movie marathon.
as winter sets in, teetering on six months since the last procession, even our weekly wednesday penance won’t atone us. join me for a service through the darkest hours. welcome to BLACKMASS
all the films played unannounced. in hindsight the programming wasnt quite as aggressive as i made out (probably less than ~4 hours of filth), but it’s good to set expectations low…
19:00 - HÄXAN (1922)
20:45 - BASKIN (2016)
10:30 - VAMPIRE’S KISS (1989)
12:15 - PAROXISMUS, VENUS IN FURS (1969)
02:00 - ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL (1979)
03:30 - INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA (1996)
05:30 - BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986)
Tp15 - Gymkata (1985)
more ARIA shorts
FEATURE: Gymkata (1985)
Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas stars as an Olympic gymnast who combines his gymnastic ability with martial arts to enter a deadly competition to fight for America’s right to build missile bases in tiny eastern European countries
Tp16 - Downtown 81 (1981)
a found homevideo vhs labelled ‘clarence’s tape’
FEATURE: Downtown 81 (1981)
Downtown 81 (1981)
Jean-Michel Basquiat plays an exaggerated version of himself, as he was pre-Andy Warhol fame - penniless and homeless; trying to sell paintings for daily income, trying to pick up girls to have someplace to sleep… This film effortlessly captures a snapshot of 1980s New York City - from the hip, arty, clubland Manhattan to the forgotten corners of a decimated Lower East Side. A New York where no-wave, hip hop, post-punk, and street art movements coalesce and the marginal existence of the artistic underground who tried to survive in between these worlds
Tp17 - Troma's Superstarlet A.D. (2000)
ACTUALLY HUIZENGA’s Lo-fi musical home movie VIKING ANGEL (2014)
FEATURE: Troma’s Superstarlet A.D. (2000)
Troma presents: Superstarlet A.D. (2000)
shot on 16mm for $16,000 with 16 starlets over 16 days…
a post-apocalypstick world.. men are cavemen and women rule! they have broken off into cult factions based on the colour of their hair… They search the remains of our civilization in lingerie looking for ammunition and burlesque films made by their grandmothers…
a tongue in cheek homage to Russ Meyer era sexplotation ? a hidden gem of low-budget experimental film-making ? a painfully cringy (& morally questionable) reinforcement of the woman-with-guns genre flick ? im not sure - but it definitely sounds strange!
Tp18 - SECRET VHS DOUBLE FEATURE 1
FEATURE ONE (daves pick):
FEATURE TWO (tims pick):
Tp19 - Zardoz (1974)
background vhs video-art (cyberboy666)
FEATURE: Zardoz (1974)
thanks nziff! (we took a break for the duration of the NewZealand International FilmFestival) but anyone else notice the lack of giant flying stone heads and future Sean Connery in knee-high-leather-boots-and-a-red-nappy? luckily TRASHPALACE is back to satisfy exactly this craving. After the success of Deliverance, director John Boorman essentially had the freedom (and budget) to make whatever he wanted… and what a bizarre, confusing, erotic and immortal vision it turned out to be!
Tp20 - Motel Hell (1980)
INVITATION TO HELL(1982) : more spooky horror ambiance from Michael J. Murphy
FEATURE: Motel Hell (1980)
complementing Zardos in a tangent of trashy films i watched as a kid, its finally time to revisit this ol’ piece of work! low-budget, american horror/splatter satire(?). i dont wanna say too much more because i havnt seen it in about 16 years and wanna relive the trauma as naively as possible !
Tp21 - Liquid Sky (1982)
whet the weird waldrobe appetite with DAS TRIADISCHES BALLETT (1970)
FEATURE: Liquid Sky (1982)
reflective fluorescence, alien soundscapes, androgynous beauties. a flurry of hard drugs, narcissism, fashion and nihilistic sex. a feverdream of sexuality, gender identity, and alienation. a hypnotic neon-heroin New York City: deliriously aesthetic and brutally raw. Slava Tsukerman (a recent Soviet immigrant to NYC’s pretentious art scene) captures this hyper-saturation like nothing else before or after it.
this film contains a jarringly lucid sexual assault segment
“And I was taught that to be an actress, one should be fashionable, and to be fashionable is to be androgynous. And I am androgynous not less than David Bowie himself. And they call me beautiful, and I kill with my cunt. Isn’t it fashionable? Come on, who’s next? I’ll take lessons. How to get into show business: be nice to your professor. Be nice to your agent. Be nice to your audience, be nice. How to be a woman: want them when I want you. How to be free and equal: fuck women instead of men, and you’ll discover a whole kingdom of freedom. Men won’t step on you anymore, women will. So come on, who’s next? Who wants to teach me? Come on, teach me. Are you afraid? You’re right, because they’re all dead. All my teachers”
Tp22 - The Boxers Omen (1983)
BATTLE WIZARD (1977)
FEATURE: The Boxers Omen (1983)
For a large part of the twentieth century Shaw Brothers Studios was the powerhouse of Hong Kong films. At its peak during the 60s and 70s Shaw Brothers were producing over 40 films per year (including some classics for fans of martial arts cinema) but as the 80s rolled round SBs grip on the Hong Kong film scene was slipping. During this time, interest in old school kung fu films was dropping, ticket prices increasing, the first ‘new wave’ of Hong Kong art films were emerging and TV was keeping more people at home.
“In other words, Shaw Brothers was terrified. Time was running out and the sun was setting on their empire. So what did they do? Everything. The early 80’s were when Shaw Brothers pulled out all the stops. They had to show audiences something they couldn’t get on TV, leading to a glut of softcore porn, gory horror and brutal action movies.”
Full creative control was given to young inspiring directors who started to erupt out of the once-dignified house of Shaw with bat-shit insanity. I could write more but the posters say it all!
more late shaw bro horror posters
Tp23 - The Cassandra Cat (1963)
background scenes from A TALKING CAT!?! (2013)
FEATURE: The Cassandra Cat (1963)
The Cassandra Cat, aka When the Cat Comes, aka The Cat Who Wore Sunglasses, aka That Cat
To welcome Harry, our newest (and furriest) TRASHPALACE member, we take another trip to the czech new wave with a film that hopefully lives up to its many great titles and even better posters.
a mysterious traveling circus arrives in a village accompanied by a sunglass-wearing cat named Mokol. When the cat’s glasses are removed, people in the village appear bathed in different colours that reflect their true feelings
Tp24 - Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)
Polish animator Piotr Kamler’s masterpiece CHRONOPOLIS (1982)
FEATURE: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)
“A contentious Cannes winner, it represents something of a triumph for contemporary art cinema and artistic integrity, with the director’s inscrutable but ineffable whisper of becalming images, jungle sounds, and mysterious atmosphere a true pleasure for those prepared to surrender to the unknown.”
Tp25 - The Visitor (1979)
surreal early computer animation with Beny Tchaicovsky’s CYBERSCAPE (1997)
FEATURE: The Visitor (1979)
“A leaking lava lamp of insanity”
An inexplicably star-studded Italian space oddity from the (otherwise unknown) 8 1/2 assistant director Giulio Paradisi (but credited as his alter-ego Michael J. Paradise). an acid-tinged tangle of regurgitated hollywood horror/scifi:
“an intergalactic warrior who joins a cosmic Christ figure in battle against a demonic 8-year-old girl, and her pet hawk, while the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. Multi-dimensional warfare, pre-adolescent profanity and brutal avian attacks combine to transport the viewer to a state unlike anything they’ve experienced… somewhere between Hell, the darkest reaches of outer space, and Atlanta, GA.” -DrafthouseFilms
Tp26 - SECRET VHS DOUBLE FEATURE 2
FEATURE ONE (daves pick):
FEATURE TWO (tims pick):
Tp27 - Daft Punk's Electroma (2006)
the beginning of INTERSTELLA 5555 (2003)
FEATURE: Daft Punk’s Electroma (2006)
a science-fiction abstract/arthouse feature directed by the French electronic music duo;
Tp28 - The Apple (1980)
Chick Strand’s experimental documentary; Fake Fruit Factory (1986)
(world premiere of) WEMAKEPORN’s Getting Out of Bed (2017)
FEATURE: The Apple (1980)
a truly awful dystopian disco-glam musical trainwreck; (few films i have ever researched have provoke such aggressive and spiteful reviews) - made in an unfinished shopping mall in East Germany by mad Israeli mogul Mehaheim Golan from the famed Cannon Films shed, The Apple is a colossal collision of Eurovision and a projectile vomit, a tragic attempt to harvest Rocky Horror’s “quirky” cult appeal, grounded into fluorescent dust-chalk, blended with glitter and snorted furiously
Tp29 - La Soufrière (1977) + Vernon, Florida (1981)
watch LES BLACK film WERNER HERZOG eat a SHOE for ERROL MORRIS (Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe 1980)
FEATURE: La Soufrière (1977) + Vernon, Florida (1981)
two mid length features by masters of outsider documentary film-making:
La Soufrière, 30mins: When Werner Herzog heard about the impending volcanic eruption, “that the island of Guadeloupe had been evacuated and that one peasant had refused to leave, [he] knew [he] wanted to go talk to him and find out what kind of relationship towards death he had”
Vernon, Florida, 55mins: Originally titled Nub City, Errol Morris’ follow-up to Gates of Heaven initially focused on residents of the Southern town who cut off their own limbs as a way to collect insurance money. After Morris’s life was threatened by the subjects of the film, he re-worked Nub City into Vernon, Florida, profiling various residents living within the town.
(and yeap, a picture of werner herzog and errol morris hugging under a rainbow)
Tp30 - August in the Water (1995)
relax to HAWAIIAN ZEN - Virtual Vacations
FEATURE: August in the Water (1995)
Japanese Director Gakuryu (Sogo) Ishii is better known for carving out the aesthetic heavily influencing the Japanese underground cyberpunk movement (Crazy Thunder Road 1980, Burst City 1982 etc), however with AUGUST IN THE WATER, he creates a subtler yet hypnotically cosmic mood. A New Age teen romance; narrative through forms of sound, textures and a dream-like atmosphere. Transcendence, dolphin speak, eerie alien soundscapes. An uncannily vivid example of the seapunk aesthetic 16 years before it hit tumblr…
Tp31 - Lot in Sodom (1933) w/ live score + Pink Narcissus (1971)
ease* into some surreal biblical erotism with Carmelo Bene’s SALOME (1972)
FEATURE: Lot in Sodom (1933) w/ live score + Pink Narcissus (1971)
** LIVE CINEMA! ** WEMAKEPORN performs an original score to the 1933 experimental film LOT IN SODOM (30mins)
James Bidgood’s PINK NARCISSUS complements this performance with more NYC-arthouse-homoeroticism. a grainy pink window into the erotic fantasies of a gay male prostitute, a visual ode to the male form, “draping in finery, stripping them and gazing upon them in repose, in pleasure, in ecstasy, in pain, always finding their aesthetics rather than their anatomies”