Program Type: 
Go To Hell For The Holidays: Horror In December
December 02, 2010 - December 18, 2010
Screening Room


For holiday haters, adventurous cinephiles and degenerate thrill-seekers alike, we present this unconventional series of horror films, in which we’ve combined serious, gut-wrenching drama with gut-bucket schlock. After all, from the Tea Party to torture porn, horror means different things to different people. Fun for the whole family, take a sleigh ride down to YBCA and have your bones broken, your head ripped off, and your children eaten alive.

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  • Red White & Blue
    Dec 2, 2010 7:30pm
    Screening Room

    By Simon Rumley
    We can’t tell you much about this remarkable new independent feature without ruining it. A damaged and detached young woman spends her nights trawling the bars and beds of Austin, Texas. When she meets an older, mysterious Iraq veteran it seems like her life may change, but something from her past is about to catch up with her. A film without heroes or villains – everyone is guilty, everyone does wrong - Red White & Blue has a slow-burn and a very hard-edge. (2010, 102 min, digital video)

  • Feast Of The Assumption: BTK and The Otero Family Murders
    Dec 4, 2010 7:30pm
    Screening Room

    By Marc D. Levitz
    In 1974, 15-year-old Charlie Otero came home to find most of his family murdered in their Wichita, Kansas home. Orphaned and plagued by the mystery surrounding the slayings, Otero fell into drugs and crime, eventually landing in prison. While there, he learned that the person responsible for the murders was the serial killer “BTK” (bind, torture, kill). This offbeat, quite strange documentary is not so much a “true crime” film. It is a study of trauma and its aftermath, and a survivors search for truth. (2008, 86 min, digital video)

  • Wolf Creek
    Dec 5, 2010 2:00pm
    Screening Room

    By Greg Mclean
    Hardly anyone saw this terrifying film when it came out in 2005, misguidedly released on Christmas Day – a bad idea for the multiplex crowd. Possibly the best horror film of the decade, it is the story of a group of hikers who run into big trouble in the Australian outback. It slowly and quietly draws you in to what seems like an overly familiar horror cliché, then pulls out all of the stops straight into a total nightmare, with no solid ground to hold on to. (2005, 99 min, 35mm)
    Followed by an informal discussion about issues in contemporary horror.

  • Meat Grinder
    Dec 11, 2010 7:30pm
    Screening Room

    By Tiwa Moeithaisong
    Imagine a gore film directed by a brain damaged Wong Kar-Wai and you have some idea of this totally weird Thai art/horror hybrid, a big hit in its native land. Set in 70s Bangkok, it’s the story of a deranged woman trying to make ends meet selling noodle soup, who discovers that a special ingredient really boosts her sales. (2009, 93 min, digital video)

  • Night Train To Terror & A Night to Dismember
    Dec 17, 2010 7:00pm
    Screening Room

    Tonight we pair two extraordinary horror obscurities, neither of which makes one thread of sense. A colleague describes Night Train to Terror "It delivers everything you could ask for… Sex, extreme gore, stop motion, full frontal nudity, dayglo spandex dancers, Cameron Mitchell, Duran Duran, monsters, Nazis - I mean come on!" (1985, 98 min, 35mm)
    A Night to Dismember is directed by Doris Wishman, considered by some to be the female Ed Wood and perhaps best known for her turgid, pointless nudist camp films. This one, however, is different. In it, 80s porn star Samantha Fox is released from an asylum and the body count begins. Incomprehensible yet insanely riveting, it cannot simply be described as "bad." Prepare to have your ideas about reality questioned, as you sink into the films tragically idiotic universe. (1983, 69 min, digital video)
    *Double-Feature; Ticket price includes both films

  • Life And Death Of A Porno Gang
    Dec 18, 2010 7:30pm
    Screening Room

    By Mladen Djordjevic
    Not exactly a horror film, and not exactly an entertaining film, this subversive freak show is the leading example of a Serbian new wave of extreme cinema, which uses shock tactics partly as commentary on the societal chaos and collective trauma of the post–Milosevic era. A porn producer flees Belgrade, taking his actors on the road to perform tawdry live shows for rural villagers. As you might have guessed by the title, things take a very dark turn. (2009, 107 min, 35mm)

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Curator Statement

This series is presented as part of our “Dare” Big Idea, in which we investigate relationships between art and audience. The horror film presents an ideal platform for this, as the genre is so directly involved with provoking an audience response. All of the films in this series are confrontational to different degrees – some quite aggressively, and some unintentionally. A film like Life and Death of a Porno Gang is deliberately designed to disturb and challenge the audience – combining sexual and violent imagery in an attempt to force a reaction. An attentive viewer can use this opportunity to reflect on his/her own responsibility, even complicity, in participating in such extreme subject matter simply by being part of the audience. The series as a whole presents an excellent chance to think about both the emotional and intellectual issues raised by viewing such material — and, certainly, the curator’s role in presenting it.

— Joel Shepard, Film/Video Curator

YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
The San Francisco Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Koret Foundation
Adobe Foundation Fund

YBCA Film/Video media sponsor:
SF Weekly