The same twisted genius that brought us the Bigfoot Bonanza in March has a new film fest coming to the Balboa Theatre that’s even more otherworldly.
Kai Wada of the Super Shangri-La Show really knows how to program a film festival. In March, he brought a full slate of Sasquatch hunters, In Search Of episodes, and a live jug band to the Balboa Theatre for the Bigfoot Bonanza. This weekend, he returns to the Outer Richmond movie house promising “16 hours of space madness” for the Space Visitors Film Fest.
“This world is starting to suck, and it’s cooler to talk to people from out of this world,” Wada tells SF Weekly by phone. “There seem to be a lot of people who have had contact with people from out of this world and I’d rather party with those guys on a Saturday.”
“As a firm believer in Bigfoot, I’ve never been one for flying saucer stuff other than movies,” he explains. “But then when I was at City College, I interviewed a guy who’d been abducted and it totally changed his life, and his whole family’s life, and that really raised my eyebrow on the whole thing.”
At the festival, talks by members of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and Unarius — an alien and reincarnation outfit that started in the 1950s – will be interspersed with screenings of such space junk as Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958) and a 16mm print of Laser Blast, a 1978 Star Wars ripoff. There will also be the mandatory In Search Of episodes, and The Mind Stealers from Outer Space, a two-part episode of TV’s Wonder Woman from (of course) the 1970s.
“It’s the most disturbing episode of Wonder Woman ever,” Wada proclaims.
For the cineastes out there, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning alien abduction classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), will be preceded by a “Devil’s Tower Mashed Potatoes Sculpting Contest.” The mounds of spuds shaped like the obsessions of Richard Dreyfuss will be judged by Judge Dredd, Emperor Norton, and a woman astronaut from beyond this world.
Filmmakers Brad Abrahams and Matt Ralston will be on hand for the Bay area premiere of Love and Saucers, their 2017 documentary about David Huggins, a 72-year-old New Jersey man who claims to have led a lifetime filled with sexual encounters with extraterrestrial beings.
“When I was 17, I lost my virginity to an extraterrestrial,” Huggins says in the film’s eerie trailer, as he’s shown standing next to a life-sized painting of a naked alien woman holding up her breasts.
Like everything else Wada does, this premiere will be kicked off with some more show biz razzmatazz as a green Orion woman from Star Trek performs unearthly dances that no earthling can resist.
The Orions “don’t like to be called ‘slave-girl’s anymore,” Wada says.
And if all this wasn’t enough, remember the Balboa serves beer.
Space Visitors Film Fest at the Balboa Theatre, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22, 3630 Balboa St. $20-$25; cinemasf.com/balboa/