Feast for the Soul

Peaches Christ's annual summer movie series "Midnight Mass"

It's hard to figure out which is the main attraction at Peaches Christ's annual summer movie series "Midnight Mass": The delicious romp through cinematic camp intended and otherwise, or the alternately hilarious and frightening pre-film spectacles Peaches tacks to the bill. It's sort of two shows in one, and some of this year's combinations are dizzyingly perfect: mother-daughter mud wrestling paired with Mommie Dearest, a spaghetti-eating contest (from a cadaver's belly, of course) with Italian horror genius Dario Argento's Suspiria, and a drag-queen roller derby before Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! With drag queens plying the aisles and a sometimes-costumed, hootenanny crowd stumbling in from whatever Saturday night trouble they've gotten themselves into, it's a cross between a Halloween party and the weirdest religious pilgrimage you've ever seen.

The nine-week series kicks off with Russ Meyer's cult favorite Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), which was co-written by a pre-Siskel Roger Ebert. In the film, three buxom bombshells head to L.A. to strike it rich with their all-girl band the Carrie Nations. Of course, these girls will do anything for fame, and anything nasty is pretty much what we get flashed across the screen: mountains of T&A, lesbian sex, orgies, fun with drugs, murder sprees, and enough other sundry excitement to earn the film an X rating. That's not to mention bad dialogue, worse acting, and more ludicrous plot details than any midnight mind needs to follow. It's the movie you always wished was on when you got home from a late-night bar excursion. Tonight it can be.

And the pre-show entertainment? Peaches orchestrates a Carrie Nations reunion of sorts, as local queer punks Pansy Division play soundtrack glories and more. The action begins Saturday, June 10, at midnight at the Bridge Theater, 3010 Geary (at Blake), S.F. Admission is $5; call 352-0810. "Midnight Mass" continues Saturdays through Aug. 5; go to www.demonkitty.com/midnightmass/ for details.

 
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