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Peaches Christ Chats About Midnight Mass's Final Season

Posted by Miss Ess, July 1, 2009 05:17pm | Post a Comment
It's officially summertime, and if you live here in San Francisco, you know what that means:

peaches christ

It's time once again for drag queen and performer Peaches Christ's wild and wondrous cult film screening series, the singular, epic entertainment fest known as Midnight Mass!

Though we have been informed that this is Midnight Mass' final summer season at the Bridge Theater, its home for the past 12 years, Midnight Mass has clearly left an indelible mark on both San Francisco's cult and its overall cultural scene, one that will reverberate through the city's history for all time. In the meantime, we'd all better get out there and catch our last chance to see Peaches in her native environs at the Bridge. Here I speak with Ms. Christ about what's to come at this final season of Midnight Mass, her future projects, plus her role in alter ego Joshua Grannell's upcoming feature film, which is sure to be a huge hit, All About Evil! Click here for more info on Midnight Mass, which starts July 10 and runs weekends through August 22. Tickets are on sale now! You can also click here to read a previous interview I conducted with PC. Read on right here for all the exciting news.

midnight mass 2009

Miss Ess: So, what new shows will debut this year at Midnight Mass?

Peaches Christ: For our 12th and final season, I'm thrilled to say we have a bunch of stuff we're doing for the first time heathersincluding Roller Boogie, The Exorcist, Heathers, and Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark. It gets harder every year to dig up new and exciting cult films we haven't programmed sometime in the past twelve years. 

ME: I hear you have finally scored Heathers! How pumped are you to have one of the most iconic cult 80s films this year? Any teasers regarding the preshow entertainment?

PC: I can't even believe we're finally going to be able to do Heathers! I was obsessed with this movie when it came out. Full-on obsession. So, I'm trying to create a pre-show that really celebrates the film with the audience, something interactive, and something that showcases other people's obsession. Picture a full-on Heathers inspired game-show from hell. Contestants competing in a corn-nut speed eating round, quote contests, a fashion parade and more. The movie is legendary and I want the audience to show up dressed up for the ultimate Heathers celebration, ready to play with us. It will be a fully interactive night and I cannot even wait!

ME: Your Showgirls Midnight Mass presentation is far and away my personal favorite. When will this show be going down? And will there be free lapdances with every large corn, as usual?

PC: We'll be doing Showgirls on two nights-- Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st. This is definitely our "signature show" and there are even people that fly into SF every year just to sepeaches christ showgirlse Showgirls at Midnight Mass. The audience really turns the whole experience into an event, almost like you're watching a rock concert instead of a movie. If you've only seen Showgirls edited for VH1 and on TV, then you haven't seen Showgirls. And yes! We'll be offering our annual "free lapdances with every large popcorn."

ME: Linda Blair is scheduled to make an appearance at this year's Midnight Mass -- will you be interviewing her and if so, is your head simply spinning with the many questions you'd like to ask her?

PC: I'm so excited about Linda Blair appearing at our opening weekend! She's truly a film legend and yes, my head is literally spinning thinking about about it. I feel like I'm going to vomit! We'll be doing my traditional "idol worship" style show where I sit down and do an onstage interview with Ms. Blair, have audience Q&A, followed by a fan meet & greet in the lobby. We're also working on an opening number elvira and peaches christthat celebrates both Roller Boogie AND The Exorcist. It will be as fucked up as it sounds, I promise!

ME: You will be closing this year's Midnight Mass season with your dear friend Elvira. What is your friendship like and what has she taught you about the cult movie scene, and also about life? What can we expect at this final show?

PC: It's surreal and dreamlike to realize I've become friends with Elvira. I worship her! I always have. Our friendship is super special to me and I think she's one of the smartest, most grounded, beautiful women in show business. I guess the biggest thing she's taught me is to not take yourself too seriously. I think her appearance at the final Midnight Mass show is going to be incredible. It's the perfect way to end 12 seasons of Midnight Mass.

ME: In addition to being a fabulous entertainer, you are also a recording artist -- what was the experience like of laying down "Peaches Christ is Gangsta" and do you have any plans to record anything else at this time?

PC: Oh, I love making music and singing live, even though I'm not that great of a singer. "Peaches Christ Is Gangsta" is best described as retarded rapping and was my attempt to do a hip-hop song. People really enjoy it. I've been working on some new songs with producer Ric Ray. He's brilliant and has been creating a bunch of new material that we'll be presenting this summer at Midnight Mass. The song we're working on for opening weekend is literally a disco inferno-- think satanic roller boogie.  all about evil

ME: I hear it is the last year Midnight Mass will be at the Bridge -- the definite end of an era. What projects will be keeping you busy from now on? What's next for you, Miss Peaches and also for Joshua?

PC: Well, it's the final season of Midnight Mass at The Bridge, which really does feel like things are coming to a close. However, I plan on continuing to do Midnight Mass shows throughout the year, just not a consecutive 8 week series-- more like one-off weekend events. I think that Peaches will continue to tour and appear places, produce midnight movie events, and hopefully be able to continue making a living as a drag thing. Joshua is going to continue working on getting movies made and out into the world. 

ME: Speaking of, the upcoming All About Evil is the feature film directorial/writing debut for Joshua Grannell and Peaches also appears in the movie. I am so proud and excited about it! Please tell us all about the film!

PC: Well, the film is currently in the final stages of post-production and we hope to have it ready for festivals this fall. It's best described as a wicked black comedy set in the world of a horror movie starring Natasha Lyonne, Cassandra Peterson, Thomas Dekker, Mink Stole, and more. I'm really proud of it and can't wait for folks to see it. And yes, even Peaches and [flawed sidekick] Martiny made their way into the movie! I think the movie is very true to the world we come from and is an homage to so many of the classic old horror movies, drive-in films, and b-movies I grew up loving. 
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ME: How long did it take you to write the script?

PC: I guess it took about three years, but that was on and off again writing so it's hard to say. I was constantly having to put it on hold while working on another project, so three years sounds longer than it actually was.

ME: What was the experience like of directing a feature for the first time?

PC: It actually didn't feel like a first time because I've made a bunch of short films [click here to watch a clip from one] and have directed the stage-shows for so many years. It was different directing on such a large scale where so much had to happen so quickly, but I think that coming from the DIY underground of no-budget moviemaking and stage-shows, I was better prepared than I realized. I loved it. I can honestly say that I love making movies. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, but definitely the most fulfilling and rewarding.

ME: What about directing yourself? Musta been a bit odd.

PC: Yes. I think "odd" is a great way to describe it. And as odd as it was for me, I think it was even harder for the other actors who never knew if Peaches or Joshua was going to show up on set to direct a scene. It got confusing.

ME: I'm sure the shoot was full of them, but what was the highlight of making the movie, the shoot itself, for you?

PC: I think one of the most memorable moments was the day that Jen Taher (aka Troll Girl at Midnight Mass) flew in from NYC to do a scene with Natasha Lyonne. It was super surreal because Jen had played Natasha's part in the short version of the film I made over five years ago. It was like the marriage of these two worlds was happening in front of me and I remember being a bit overwhelmed by it. I've known Jen since I was 15 years old and having her there on the set, with so many of the people that have been part of our world was a really magical thing.victoria theater san francisco

ME: I love that you filmed this movie all in San Francisco, especially at the historic Victoria Theater. How did you make this happen, when SF is notoriously difficult to film in? How important to you was the setting being here in SF?

PC: I felt strongly about filming in SF no matter what. I don't think I could have had my career in any other city and the film was designed to take place here. All of my creative collaborators are here and so many of the people that came out and worked on the movie, for free, the extras in the movie, the support from the community, could have only happened in San Francisco. I do wish that the city would make it more accessible to local filmmakers. It's amazing to see what other U.S. locales are doing to attract and nurture movies being made in their towns. We have a long way to go here.

ME: As you mentioned before, the film seems to give a tip of the hat to so many cult movies! Can you name a few of your enduring favorites here, perhaps even some that inspired you while creating your own film?

PC: Theatre Of Blood, Demons, Female Trouble, The Bad Seed, Carrie, Psycho, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, Peeping Tom, and more were inspiring elements that helped me create All About Evil.

ME: One of my favorite things about the film is that Patrick Bristow, Marty from Showgirls, has a plum patrick bristowrole. How did you arrange this and does Patrick/Marty know what a fanbase he has?

PC: I think that Patrick is humble about the fact that there are people out there obsessed with him. I don't know how much he knows he's adored, but I was thrilled to get him in the movie. He actually plays the part that I played as Joshua in the short version of the film so I was extra excited to have someone so truly amazing filling my boy shoes. Patrick is a comedic genius and a master at improv. There were moments while filming where he and Natasha would go off-script and stay in character, continuing to act out a scene that wasn't ever written. I would be laughing so hard and not yell "cut" just to see how far they could take it. They're both brilliant.

ME: When is the film expected to premiere and when do you think the masses will be able to see it at last?

PC: I'm hoping that the film will premiere and that masses will be able to see it within a year. It's hard to say for sure, but that's our hope.

ME: What is your favorite film soundtrack?

PC: My favorite film soundtrack right now is Mulholland Drive. I love all the David Lynch soundtracks-- Fire Walk WIth Me is another favorite. Put them on as you're going to sleep and I promise you'll have better dreams.nightmare on elm street tina

ME: Just curious: what grotesque, over the top horror film death is your personal favorite, and why?

PC: I think it's the scene from the original A Nightmare On Elm Street where Tina is being slashed up while she's sleeping and her bloody body flies up onto the ceiling, getting dragged around the room while slash marks and blood pour over the walls. It's great and so totally classic. 

ME: And finally, as always, what has been your best find at Amoeba?

PC: I think most recently it was when I felt like seeing Russ Meyers' Vixen and went to Amoeba to buy it, where not only did they have multiple copies, but [they also had] an entire section dedicated to Russ Meyers DVD's. I don't know where else in town I'd be able to access something like that so quickly. I love Amoeba.

ME: Thanks so much for your time!

midnight mass 2009

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Interview (273), Peaches Christ (33), Midnight Mass (8), All About Evil (5), Natasha Lyonne (3), Elvira (6), Showgirls (10), Linda Blair (5), Patrick Bristow (1)