The most exciting and anticipated film premiere in SF this year is very nearly upon us! [Now that it's happened, read a wrap up of all that took place right here!] Legendary San Francisco drag queen Peaches Christ's alter ego Joshua Grannell has written, directed and is starring in the new film All About Evil, which is having its grand debut as a part of the San Francisco International Film Festival at the fabulous Castro Theater this Saturday! The event will be marked with a star studded preshow, a la Peaches Christ's historic and completely over the top Midnight Masses.
The film stars Natasha Lyonne, Mink Stole, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Thomas Dekker, and some seriously scary twins. This is a blacker than black black comedy -- full of thrills and chills as well as major laughs. I've actually had the pleasure of seeing the film in its earlier state and can guarantee we have a crowd-pleasing hit on our hands! Joshua's particular brand of genius comes from his geniunely deep obsession with horror films coupled with an understanding of camp and comedy that only someone with years of drag experience can bring! And I love that the main character Deborah (Natasha Lyonne) goes from shy librarian to small movie theater owner to unstoppable, out for blood serial killer, all in the name of quality films! Wait'll you see how it all unfolds!
In addition to having a premiere here in SF, where the film was shot, Peaches and Joshua will be taking this show on the road! There will be a series of premieres around the country, starting in Austin, TX! And if you aren't lucky enough to be in the Bay Area or Austin, stay tuned to the Peaches Christ website for more date announcements.
Joshua took some time out of his increasingly busy schedule to chat with me a bit about his concept for the film, the surreal aspect of finally shooting a feature after being a film nut for so long, and his love for his home city, among other things. Please read on to find out All About Evil!
Joshua Grannell: I was running Landmark's Bridge Theatre at the time, performing in my Midnight Mass movie series, and watching as some of city's coolest single-screen neighborhood movie houses were closing down. Fantastic theatres like The Coronet and The Alhambra were disappearing and I developed a lot of fear and paranoia around the extinction of these kinds of movie houses in San Francisco. I began thinking about what lengths we should go to in order to save these businesses, any lengths whatsoever. This is where the concept really began taking form.
ME: What was the experience of directing and acting in a feature film you'd written like?
JG: It was the hardest thing I've ever done and also the most fulfilling. I loved it. I feel like our stage-shows and short films prepared me for the hat-juggling that had to take place being a writer, director, producer, and actor in the movie but it was still very challenging. Every finished day felt like a major victory. I can't wait to do it again.
ME: What was the most surreal moment during the filming?
JG: Hmmm, I think it was when Jen Taher, the actress who played the original lead character Deborah in our no budget short film version of the movie, flew in to SF to film a scene with Natasha Lyonne, who's the new feature film version of Deborah. It really just felt like the merging of these two worlds and I found the whole thing to be incredibly surreal and strange.
ME: What was it like filming in our city, San Francisco? Would you have made the film anywhere else?
JG: I would not have filmed the movie anywhere else. It just wouldn't have made sense for us to do it. Filming All About Evil in San Francisco was perfect. We were so well supported by the community and I was able to work with all of my regular long-time collaborators. I think that the folks that came into SF from LA and NY really enjoyed the experience as well.
ME: What can we expect at the premiere and at the traveling All About Evil movie extravaganzas? Please tease us!
JG: Anyone who's been to Midnight Mass in the past will have a fairly good idea of what to expect. It will be very Midnight Mass inspired. We're planning on doing a pre-show full of entertainment and fun celebrating the launch of the movie. We've been creating shows celebrating all my favorite movies for the past thirteen years so to finally have the opportunity to put together a show celebrating our very own movie is a real thrill!