There Will Be Blood… and Heckling

Posted on July 1, 2010 – 6:58 AM | by OldManFoster
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By Tony King
The venerable splatter-fest known as the Trash Film Orgy has been sating Sacramento’s cinematic bloodlust for a decade now, providing weird and warped midnight entertainment for its ravenous inmates… er, audience. Over the past 10 years, this midnight movie showcase has featured some of the goriest, sleaziest and utterly bizarre movies ever committed to film. For the festival’s 10-year anniversary, the Trash Film Orgy’s producers are pulling out all the stops.

Christy Savage flanked by TFO regulars

The Trash Film Orgy is the demon spawn of producers Christy Savage, Darin Woods, Amy Stockbower, and local comedian Keith Lowell Jensen. In the late ‘90s, Jensen hosted the Tuesday Night Grind House at the Colonial Theater on Stockton Boulevard with his partners who owned Cinemania (a J Street video store specializing in cult B-movies). When Cinemania’s R.J. and Lisa closed the store and moved to Florida, Jensen’s supply of gritty cinema went with them.

“When Keith fell out with them and fell out with the Colonial, he came to us knowing that we had the same sort of knowledge of these films,” recalls Woods, an ardent science fiction and horror aficionado.

Having formulated the idea of what they wanted their midnight movie showcase to be, the group then approached Sid Garcia-Heberger, general manager of The Crest Theater, which has hosted TFO since the beginning. “Well, you see, I have this wanton money lust that keeps me inviting them back,” jokes Garcia-Heberger. “It’s a shameful thing.”

Darin hands out TFO flyers on K Street

Imagine a cross between The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and absolute bedlam, and you’d have the Trash Film Orgy. The six-week summer festival starts in July and encompasses more than just film screenings; the often bloody pre-movie variety show (which has evolved over the years to include ambitious and elaborate undertakings such as a full musical version of Macbeth with chainsaws and Deadside Story, a zombie take on the Sondheim and Bernstein classic Westside Story), a live DJ, locally-made short horror films, prize giveaways, and The Retro Trash Lounge all play an integral part in the Trash Film Orgy experience.

The on-stage antics consist of the “the legendary luchador,” El Tigre Diablo and his faithful sidekick, The Mighty Tiki, introducing the movies, all the while defending themselves from Sid the Evil Crest Manager. This year promises the return of the Bloody Bunny and the original Trash Film Orgy host Francois Fly, as well as a special appearance by Sid Haig (Galaxy of Terror, The Devil’s Rejects), and an opening night Zombie Walk – the nation-wide flash mob phenomenon that the Trash Film Orgy is credited with inventing.

“[The Trash Film Orgy] is a place where people under 21 can go in the middle of the night and get a little crazy and a little loose and explore the trashier side of our culture,” explains Jensen.

Amy Stockbower hard at work

“There’s a lot of sexually charged energy, too,” adds Savage. “You can come and be a little more free. I think we provide that underground fun that gets people out of their normal routine.”

Indeed, it’s the audience participation that makes the Trash Film Orgy unique and fun. “It’s more of an interactive experience,” explains Stockbower. “It’s not just like ‘Oh, I just paid my nine bucks and I’m going to sit in the theater and watch my movie quietly.’”

Trash Film Orgy’s audience heckles their movies mercilessly, without pity or remorse. Sometimes the quips are inspired and hilarious, ala MST3K, other times they are not (“Show us your tits!” is a common, trite chestnut). Needless to say, the movie-going experience at the Trash Film Orgy is not for quiet or passive audience members.

On the slab for this year’s event is the classic Sam Raimi/Bruce Campbell splat-stick masterpiece Evil Dead II, the Alien-inspired interstellar gorefest Galaxy of Terror, John Water’s rockabilly musical Crybaby (starring Johnny Depp, Tracy Lords and Iggy Pop), Nightmare, the most controversial, blood-drenched horror movie of the ‘80s, and the legendary Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee. Concluding the festival on August 14th will be the Trash Til Dawn all-nighter featuring three back-to-back “bad-girls-gone-wild” flicks, the live on-stage “Naughty Nighty Knife Fight,” and the premier trailer for TFO Productions’ most recent cinematic undertaking.

Yes, after all these years hosting splatter-iffic movies, the crew behind the Thrash Film Orgy has taken to producing their own low-budget, all-volunteer-made B-movies, such as Monster From Bikini Beach and this year’s Planet Of the Vampire Women.  Ten years on, the Trash Film Orgy is still providing Sacramento with a bloody good time.

The Trash Film Orgy begins July 10th, with the doors opening at 11:30PM. Tickets are $9.50, with $1 off for audience members who show up in costume. Given this level of blood, gore and boobs, the event is for trash fans 18 years and over only. For further details and movie dates, log onto

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