People, It’s What’s for Dinner

Alfred Hitchcock’s great contribution to postmodern unease was thrusting murder into the center of everyday life. Killing was no longer the exotic province of cunning, sophisticated masterminds but the base response of ordinary (and occasionally deranged) people to unhappy circumstances. Hitchcock’s shocking revelation was that most of us have the capacity to commit murder, given the moment and the means. (We didn’t spoil your eggnog latte, did we?) The San Francisco Cult and Psychotronic Film Society pays perverse and entertaining homage tonight to the master’s legacy with a double bill of blood-soaked horror-comedies. Bob Balaban’s deliciously disturbing takedown of 1950s suburbia, Parents, is a pitch-perfect depiction of a boy discovering the ghastly truth about his perfect parents (Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt). Cursed with mixed reviews when it came out in 1989, Parents’ reputation has improved greatly in the ensuing years. The same could be said of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, whose 1993 debut, Alferd Packer: The Musical, was inspired by an 1870s prospector tried for killing and eating fellow miners. Made when the South Park duo were students at the University of Colorado, the film was released a few years later as Cannibal! The Musical. Hitch would have approved.
Tue., Nov. 27, 7 p.m., 2012

 
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