Peaches Christ’s “ALL ABOUT EVIL”: Movie Review

In her native San Fransisco, drag artist Peaches Christ is known for hosting “Midnight Mass“, a popular after-hours movie event series which was started in 1998.   Peaches (Forgive me for being so informal so quickly, but “Ms. Christ” just doesn’t sound right…) knows a thing or two about movies– especially the transgenerational world of horror flicks.  In 2010, Peaches’ alter ego Joshua Grannell wrote and directed All About Evil, an unabashedly over-the-top slasher film with equally generous amount of gore and campy comedy, seemingly influenced by the films of Troma Entertainment, John Waters, and others.   All About Evil enjoyed a world premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival and a limited theatrical run in 2010 before becoming pretty much unavailable to the… ahem, “masses”.  This month, the deliciously demented movie has, shall we say, risen from the dead. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.  Even though horror movies always had something of a “free pass” from our increasingly sensitive culture, All About Evil is almost like a cinematic “Fuck you!” to a world that has become so easily offended… although some viewers may get triggered by the sight of one character using (Gasp!) a flip phone.  This was made in 2010, after all…

All About Evil starts off with a flashback to 1984, where a shy little girl named Debbie is reluctantly introducing an amateur production of “The Wizard of Oz” at her father’s theater.   Taunted by a wicked stepmother and cruel classmates, Debbie gets humiliated in a major way (Without getting specific, it involves pee.)   Fast forward to the present day, and Debbie is now a thirty-something librarian (Natasha Lyonne) who manages her now-dead father’s theater on the side. Yes, Debbie is still shy.  Her stepmother (Julie Caitlin Brown) threatens to sell the family business.  Yes, the stepmother is still wicked.  A fed-up Debbie finally unleashes her pent-up range, and we learn that revenge is a dish best served… caught on a security camera.  The video accidentally makes its way into the theater, where it becomes an instant hit with the local horny high school horror fans.  Before you can ask, “Who wants to die for art?”, Debbie reinvents herself as Deb-OR-ah, and becomes a star amongst the midnight movie crowd. The newly emboldened snuffstress creates her own Manson-esque “family” consisting of the long-suffering theater projectionist Mr. Twigs (Jack Donner), the neighborhood old lady beater (Noah Segan), and a pair of psychotic twins (Jade and Nikita Ramsey) fresh from the nuthouse mental health facility.  More creative killings follow, all filmed and given such titles as “A Tale of Two Dismembered Titties” and “Maiming of the Shrew”.  Deborah soon grabs the attention of one horror fan, a boy named Steven (Thomas Dekker) who loves how “realistic” the special effects in Deborah’s films are.  His fanboying soon starts to curdle when he realizes that his idol may have has homicidal tendencies.  The climax of All About Evil comes when Deborah and her gang prepare their most ambitious project yet: a film premiere where attendees are all given complimentary blood-red cocktails.  These drinks promise to give new meaning to the term “last call”.  Will anyone make it out alive?

All About Evil is unapologetically shocking and bold with its bloody extravagance.  It is indeed fun to see some characters get their just desserts, especially one bitchy girl named “Courtney Cavanaugh” who insults Deborah: “She wouldn’t wear all that makeup if she was naturally pretty.  She looks like a DRAG QUEEN!”  We just know that this character is gonna get the slasher movie treatment.  The movie is bolstered by a fun cast, including Mink Stole and Cassandra Peterson, who plays against her Elvira persona as Steven’s doting mother.  Natasha Lyonne is fantastically over-the-top; the influence of drag art on her performance is clearly visible.  And of course, Queen of the Midnight Movies herself, Peaches Christ, makes an appearance as (drumroll please)… Peaches Christ!  Fans of cult cinema will also love all the seemingly all-you-can eat “blood feast” of horror movie references.

Peaches Christ herself will present the film at “Peaches Christ 4-D Screenings” along the West Coast, including the Los Feliz 3 in Los Angeles on June 9 and the Victoria Theater in San Francisco on June 11 where the film was shot. Fans in Los Angeles can also attend a Blu-ray signing event at Dark Delicacies on June 12 with Peaches Christ and members of the cast. All About Evil makes its debut on Blu-ray on June 10th. Shudder will release the film on its service June 13th to subscribers in North America.  Vist for more info.

One comment

  1. I laughed through this entire piece. So funny! And of course I was a Troma actress. They got a chapter in my book!

    Sent from my iPhone



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