tura satana...john waters...mink stole..peaches christ...& midnight mass

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 15, 2007 02:10pm | Post a Comment
Midnight Mass just had its tenth year anniversary opening weekend. I can hardly believe that it has been 10 years. Both Josh "Peaches Christ" and I moved to San Francisco in 2006. So it was also just my anniversary of moving to San Francisco last year. Peaches Christ has been entertaining the film freaks of San Francisco for the last 10 years with his amazing summertime movie series at the Bridge Theater. But this is not just your regular midnight screenings. He really puts on an amazing live preshow that is often better than the film he is showing. The movie itself often starts at more like 1:00  am or 1:30 am. Before the movie there is usually some sort of musical number spoof of the movie we are about to see. Sometimes there is roller derby or costume contests.

The crowd is often as entertaining as what is happening on stage. There is nothing quite like a San Francisco midnight movie crowd and it is the reason we all live here. Most of us have come from all over the country and world to live in this wonderful place we call San Francisco. We feel safe and at home here because of the sense of community. And there is always someone weirder and crazier than you when you live in San Francisco. Midnight Mass has always been a place for the freaks of the city to meet and celebrate the movies that have helped make us who we are.

The first weekend of midnight mass was dedicated to our hero John Waters. Friday night was "Desperate Living" and Saturday night was "Female Trouble." Mink Stole, star of many John Waters films, was on hand on Friday for some live performances and a little talk with the audience. Divine was usually the star of most of the John Waters films. But the costars of the movies were often given the best lines and the most amazing characters to portray. Two of Mink's best roles were as Taffy Davenport in Female Trouble and Peggy Gravel in Desperate Living.  Friday also featured some of the best performances from past midnight mass nights. Tura Satana was also on stage with Peaches Christ for a brief chat. John Waters was in the audience but his day was really Saturday.

Tura Satana also did an instore at Amoeba on Haight Street on Saturday. I have to say, she is the nicest lady you will ever meet. Much like John Waters, she just seemed like one of us. Seriously, she is stil as tough as her original character Varla, but she was also charming and hilarious. She just celebrated her 69th birthday and is really not that different now from the character "Varla" that we all grew to love from the brilliant "Faster! Pussycat!...Kill! Kill!" in 1965. Tura signed autographs, took pictures, and met with fans for almost 3 hours. Most of the fans acted out there fantasies in front of the camera as they acted out scenes in the movie with her. Most just wanted to be but in a headlock. She asked one fan what he wanted to do for the photo and he asked to put her in a head lock. She of course put him in a headlock instead. I am sure Tura never thought she would have developed such a cult following from her film over 40 years ago. This is the power of cult films and the fanatical devotion of its fans. These films really change our lives and having lasting impressions on us. It is hard to imagine filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino even existing without Faster Pussycat. The movie is still brilliant and amazingly holds up after all these years. And in glorious "black and blue" it still looks great on DVD. It is hard to believe that Tura has not made a film in over 30 years. I can only imagine all the great roles she could have filled in the 80s. Someone has finally decided to bring her back to the big screen and cast her in the new film "Sugar Boxx." It will hopefully be coming to a theater near us very soon. Here is a picture of me and Tura Satana at the instore....

Saturday was the night of the John Waters interview. I have already met him at the two in-stores we have done at Amoeba and have seen him speak at various events over the years. But it is always new and exciting to see him again. He has amazing stories of his life and all the films he has made over the years. It was really an awesome night of midnight mass to see Peaches on stage with John Waters. Midnight Mass has really come a long way. I did get a little tear in my eye when the talk moved to the subject of Divine. I would have loved to see Divine up on the stage with John. Divine really made all those John Waters movies what they were and really paved the way for many drag queens.

Like many in their 30's, "Hairspray" was my first John Waters movie. I was only 14 and quickly realized the genius of John Waters. After Cry Baby in 1990 I was on a mission to find his other films. It was not until college that I could find them all at a video store in Santa Barbara. Each movie  became my favorite after I watched it. That still kind of happens. As soon as I watch one of his films again, it quickly becomes my new favorite. Until I watch the next one. There is nothing like John Waters and there is nothing like a John Waters movie. His movies have never really been gay movies. But they have been movies that are obviously made by a gay man.

I have been planning to skip the new version of Hairspray which comes out in a couple weeks. But I think John and Peaches kind of talked me into it. It is a movie version of the musical based on the original movie. But we can't think of it as a remake of the movie that we have loved all these years. As my first John Waters movie it has a very special place in my heart. I am going to think of it as sort of a tribute to John Waters. It only shows how far he has come and how much of an influence he continues to have. And as Peaches Christ said, it will only get him more fans and they will then go discover his older films just as we had. This will insure that there will always be John Waters fans and there will always be fans of the Midnight Mass and midnight cult movie screenings around the world.

Relevant Tags

Mink Stole (6), Tura Satana (3), Midnight Mass (8), Peaches Christ (36), John Waters (22), Hairspray (2)