Sexy young women are stalked by a stranger with a video camera in “Day At The Beach,” an indie short by Burlingame native Dave O’Shea that subverts sexist horror movie tropes with its indictment of the male gaze and realistic portrayal of millennial female friendship.
This and other locally produced shorts are among the horror and sci-fi films invading Japantown’s New People Cinema this week at the 11th annual Another Hole in the Head film festival. Highlights include rare screenings of 1975’s “The Astrologer,” 35mm prints of “Aliens” and “Poltergeist,” and even the original version of a certain classic sci-fi epic that was later marred by too much CGI in various special edition, DVD and Blu-Ray releases.
The festival also is hosting “Zombie! The Musical!” for one night only at Terra Gallery on Sunday. The comedy rock opera tells the story of young lovers Trent and Violet, who are stuck in the perfect place for a zombie apocalypse: Colma, the graveyard capital of the Bay Area. Previously, “Zombie!” was presented with pre-recorded music, but this staged reading, for the first time, offers live accompaniment.
Event organizer George Kaskanlian jokes that Another Hole in the Head is SF IndieFest’s bastard stepchild. While its is emphasis is on quirky, undiscovered independent films, its inclusion of a few blockbusters (such as “Aliens”) isn’t necessarily incongruous, says Kaskanlian, who argues that enjoying those movies in a packed theater is more fun than watching them at home.
Kaskanlian fondly remembers the “Aliens” 1986 premiere: “I saw ‘Aliens’ with my dad at The Coronet the day it opened. It was sold out, with lines down the block, and everybody in the theater was screaming.”
Not all of the featured shorts are homegrown Bay Area creations. One example, from Savannah, Ga., is the horror comedy “Hellyfish,” which riffs on the “Jaws”-inspired beach horror genre with giant, crawling, CGI jellyfish that prompted on reviewer to say it “screams SyFy in a good way.”
IF YOU GO
Another Hole in the Head film festival
Where: New People Cinema, 1746 Post St., S.F.
When: Today through Dec. 16
Astrologer – 9 p.m. Dec. 9
Poltergeist – 9 p.m. Dec. 10
Aliens – 9 p.m. Dec. 11
Hellyfish – Short block 9, 5 p.m. Dec. 13
Day At The Beach – Short block 11, 3 p.m. Dec. 14
Zombie! The Musical! – 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison St., S.F.; tickets are $20