Bizarre film fest takes 'Backseat'

The Baltimore Sun

The fifth annual Backseat Film Festival, promising an evening of "zombies, hot chicks, bad jokes, great music and cheap booze," is set for tonight at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. For those not faint of heart, the evening's double feature includes Alex Orr's Blood Car (6 p.m.), the tale of a new kind of automobile, which utilizes a highly unusual fuel source, and the Baltimore premiere of Doug Sakmann's Punk Rock Holocaust (9 p.m.), the twisted story of a headless corpse terrorizing rock bands on the 2004 Vans Warped Tour. The film includes music from (and appearances by) such bands as Aquabats, Bouncing Souls, The Casualties, My Chemical Romance, River City Rebels, The Planet Smashers and Teenage Harlets. Said one poster on "Even though I had to watch my favorite band get their heads smashed in, I laughed for the majority of the film." Tickets $5 each, $8 for both. 410-276-1651 or

The horror, the horror

Moviegoers who want the horror to last all week may want to sample the After Dark Horrorfest, a veritable orgy of fright films running through Nov. 18 at the Muvico Egyptian 24 Theatres in Arundel Mills. Promising "8 Films to Die For," the festival kicks off at noon today with George Bessudo's Lake Dead, the story of three sisters who find more than they bargained for at their late grandfather's lakefront cabin, followed at 2 p.m. by Rolfe Kanefsky's Nightmare Man, centering on the unexpected consequences that arise from using an ancient fertility mask. At 4 p.m., Mark Young's Tooth & Nail watches as a group of apocalypse survivors gets attacked by cannibals. The rest of the evening plays out with Matthew Leutwyler's Unearthed (6 p.m.), Dario Piana's The Deaths of Ian Stone (8 p.m.), Zev Berman's Borderland (10 p.m.) and Jim Mickle's Mulberry Street (12:15 a.m.). For a complete schedule:

Lost and found

Documentary filmmaker John Chester's Lost In Woonsocket follows a group of filmmakers who, while working on a cable TV series chronicling efforts to help needy strangers throughout the country, found a pair of men living in a tent outside Woonsocket, R.I. The men had been missing from their families for 15 years. Film will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. Tickets are $10 and include a pre-film reception, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and a post-film Q&A; session with the director, people from the film and Harold A. Smith, executive director of Baltimore's Catholic Charities. 410-547-5329 or

Sci-fi to surreal

With its retrospective of Russian science fiction and fantasy films over, the Charles Theatre continues its embrace of the bizarre with Eraserhead (1977), David Lynch's puzzlingly perverse visit with a vacationing printer struggling to care for a baby that looks like something truly only a mother could love (and that's being charitable). Showtime is noon tomorrow, with encores set for 7 p.m. Monday and 9 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $6 tomorrow, $8 other times. 410-727-3456 or

Avant-garde doc

Director Alison Chernick's Matthew Barney: No Restraint, a documentary following the avant-garde filmmaker and his frequent collaborator, Bjork, as they make the movie Drawing Restraint 9, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Maryland Institute College of Art's Brown Center, 1301 Mount Royal Ave. Sponsored by MICA and the Maryland Film Festival. Tickets are free for MICA students, staff and faculty and the MFF's Friends of the Festival, $10 for all others. mdfilm or 410-752-8083.

Jewish films

The Jewish Community Center's Cinefest 2007 continues Tuesday with a double feature of Israeli director Gilad Goldschmidt's A Green Chariot (2005), the story of a 22-year-old Russian immigrant's search for his identity, and American director Ari Sandel's Oscar-winning 2004 short, West Bank Story, a musical-comedy set among dueling falafel stands. Showtime is 7 p.m. at the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Jewish Community Center, 5700 Park Heights Ave. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased ahead of time at the Owings Mills JCC, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., or the Weinberg Center, or at the door 30 minutes before show time. 410-542-4900, ext. 4900.

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