Most "UFOlogists" are desperate to prove the mere existence of Area 51, the Roswell alien, the "men in black," Sasquatch, et al. Kuchar is more interested in the sex habits and bathroom functions of our extraterrestrial pals. Using the conceit that he's making a movie about UFOs, he interviews all manner of crackpots and deviates, who under the director's simpatico spell, come off as more endearing than crazy. Author John A. Keel tells him "We have an airplane that's completely invisible"; a student describes the horror of finding "a Sasquatch turd," which occasions one of the director's more lurid orations; and other friends talk about their operations, cannibalism, and cats. Kuchar's style is endlessly digressive and playful, constantly alive with visual puns and riotous color. He also secretly, gleefully undermines his interviewees. While the alleged cannibal friend is disavowing such ghoulishness, and Kuchar seems to be listening sympathetically, the camera lens slowly fills up with drops of blood. Of course, he can also be the most helpful of friends, telling his old buddy Florine Conners, who's just finished vividly describing her operation, "You need a hot lobster!" At some point yet to be determined, Kuchar's mind wandered; happily, it never came back.
Secrets of the Shadow World plays Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Yerba Buena Center Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 978-ARTS.