Q&A with Eric Bresler of the Philadelphia Psychotronic Film Society

From the poster for Never Too Young To Die (1986) starring Vanity and John Stamos, a past Philadelphia Psychotronic Selection. The lineup for Friday’s Action Movie Marathon is a mystery.

True, “psychotronic” has an easily Googled definition: “a genre of movies, typically with a science fiction, horror, or fantasy theme, that were made on a low budget or poorly received by critics.” But fans of the form might tell you it’s more of a “I know it when I see it” kind of situation.

The Philadelphia outpost of Psychotronic Film Society — there are iterations all over the world — has been operating for about a year, offering free, BYOB screenings of forgotten/forgettable screen gems to a growing fanbase. This Friday’s Action Movie Marathon seemed like a good excuse to talk to PPFS co-founder Eric Bresler, whom you might already know as the director/curator at PhilaMOCA and programmer of the Cinedelphia film fest. Turns out he was in Japan… Read more »

28 Things to Do This Weekend

No Good Sister plays Boot & Saddle on Saturday. (Lisa Schaffer Photography)

No Good Sister plays Boot & Saddle on Saturday. (Lisa Schaffer Photography)


Femme Freedom @ Connie’s Ric Rac
Giant night of music featuring Raw Honey, Ali Wadsworth, Cicada Jade, Dani Mari, Sweetbriar Rose and tons more. Benefits women and kids in local shelters. Bring feminine hygiene products, diapers and/or cash.

Philly Loves Prince @ Johnny Brenda’s
Damn. It’s been a year since Prince died. DJs Mike Nyce, Cosmo Baker and Lean Wit It pay tribute. Read more »

Eight Things to Do in Movies, Books, Comedy and more

M. Night Shyamalan's Split plays at the Troc on  Monday.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split plays at the Troc on Monday.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch @ Forrest Theatre | Through April 23
Broadway Philadelphia delivers the modern-classic rock musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, directed by Tony-winner Michael Mayer. Hedwig is the funny, heartbreaking story of a transgender East German singer.

Weeding Out The Stoned @ Good Good Comedy Theatre | Thursday, April 20
The official description: “Sixteen comedians enter. All but one of them are stoned. It’s up to all of us to find the sober individual so the entire audience can win prizes.” Since it’s 4/20, host/wrangler of high people Alex Grubard is doing a double header (8 and 10 p.m.). Read more »

Wednesday: Secret Cinema Delivers Famous Films

Elmer Fudd in 1957's What’s Opera, Doc?

Elmer Fudd in 1957’s What’s Opera, Doc?

Usually, Jay Schwartz of Secret Cinema likes to dig deep in his archives to come up with obscure gems that would otherwise never see the light of a projector. For Wednesday’s Famous Films program, however, he… still came up with some pretty rare stuff.

But these short films were once considered important, groundbreaking and/or necessary, to film students, cinephiles and general audiences alike.

Which is not to say they will all still “hold up” to today’s standards of taste and morals. In modern parlance, a few of them are “problematic” products of less enlightened (more racist) times. Read more »

27 Things to Do This Weekend



Cinedelphia @ PhilaMOCA
Through April 29, Philadelphia’s beloved rock mausoleum plays host to the wonderful and strange Cinedelphia film fest, putting cult favorites and rare gems on the big screen. I watched a bunch of trailers earlier in the week and liked what I saw. By the way, PhilaMOCA is once again displaying a one-of-a-kind Ghanaian Movie Posters throughout the fest.

Stinking Lizaveta @ Johnny Brenda’s
Stinking Liz has been doing it dark, deep and instrumental in Philly for years. They continue to crush it on their latest, Journey to the Underworld. Victor Fiorillo just did a big ol’ piece on them. Read more »

Eight Things To Do in Lit, Movies, Theater and Comedy

Poet Andrea Gibson plays the Trocadero on Friday.

Poet Andrea Gibson plays the Trocadero on Friday.

Ghanaian Movie Posters @ PhilaMOCA | Wednesday, April 12
A rare non-screening angle on the Cinedelphia film fest calendar, and a recurring favorite: Deadly Prey Gallery in Chicago brings its collection of one-of-a-kind movie posters from the bygone “Ghanaian Mobile Cinema” days. Basically, merchants would travel around Ghana screening movies and artists from outside the entertainment industry would make posters to advertise those shows, often coming up with something new and fantastic. See Also: Let’s Watch Some Cinedelphia Trailers.

Black Thought Presents: Delirious @ Punch Line Philly | Thursday, April 13
The Roots MC continues his comedy series, this time featuring Wyatt Cenac (ex-Daily Show and TBS’s underappreciated People of Earth), Morgan Murphy, Cipha Sounds, Brandon Pankey and Michelle Buteau. Read more »

Let’s Watch Some Cinedelphia Trailers

I, Olga Hepnarova tells the story of a real-life Czech mass murderer.

I, Olga Hepnarova tells the story of a real-life Czech mass murderer.

Now in its fifth year, Cinedelphia — an “alternative celebration of film” — returns to PhilaMOCA with a full roster of rare gems and revisited favorites. Curated by organizer Eric Bresler and a small cadre of movie buffs, the festival is so eclectic you might want to do some advance homework to make sure you’re not missing something secretly awesome. So. Let’s watch some trailers.

Blue Velvet Revisited
The fest begins on Thursday with this companion piece to David Lynch’s cult-hit 1986 neo-noir staple Blue Velvet, (appropriate, given the venue’s Eraserhood locale). Filmmaker Peter Braatz was actually on set with Lynch and co., collecting behind the scenes footage and interviews. It’s like DVD extras from an alternate universe and it looks dreamy. (Thursday, April 13) Read more »

33 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Screaming Females headlines Pilam's Human BBQ on Saturday. (Girlie Action)

Screaming Females headlines Pilam’s Human BBQ on Saturday. (Girlie Action)


First Friday @ All Over The Place
Yesterday I ran down five visual art shows you should check out: Chris Peters at Gravy Studio, Poets and Painters at Painted Bride, David Eichenberger at Space 1026, Wind Challenge 2 at Fleisher Art Memorial and JohnF at Head Games.

Art Unleashed @ University of the Arts
Annual exhibition and sale of some renown. This year’s Art Unleashed shines a spotlight on beloved multidisciplinary artist Shelley Spector. Through April 10.

Pigeon Poetry Slam @ PhilaMOCA
Live, original poetry in a competitive atmosphere, featuring award-wing poet and podcaster José Olivarez. Bring a haiku.

Cabaret @ Academy of Music
Theater critic David Fox had this to say: “Cabaret is a brilliant piece of theater, and it looks as good as ever here — in fact, I’ve seen the staging three times over the years (once on Broadway, twice on tour), and what I saw at the Academy last night strikes me as perhaps the most vividly acted of all.” Runs through April 9.

Cryptopictos @ Fleisher/Ollman
Group show of create cryptic pictures. Through May 26

The Fighter and the Kid @ The Trocadero
Live/standup interpretation of the podcast by ex-UFC fighter Brendan Schaub and comedian Bryan Callen.

Kingfisher @ Creep Records
The local psych/jam/funk/rock instrumental band releases its debut record.

Anna @ EgoPo Classic Theater
Theater critic David Fox had this to say: “Trees, lights, tents, rugs, screens — who could resist the gorgeous decorative excess of EgoPo’s Anna (scenery designed by the multi-talented Aaron Cromie)? Over the next two hours, this marvelous adaptation of Anna Karenina, devised by director Brenna Geffers and the ensemble, will build on that magic.” Runs through April 16.

Todd Barry @ Punchline
The dry-witted comedian sets up shop all weekend long.

Half Waif @ Everybody Hits
Nandi Rose Plunkett especially crushes it when her baroque pop synth sound bleeds into other genres, be it classical, Celtic or trip-hop.

The Prisoner of Zenda @ Hedgerow Theatre Company
Anthony Hope’s 1894 adventure novel — in which a hapless Brit must stand in for the king he happens to look like — gets a new adaptation by Matt Tallman. Through April 8.

DeadMau5 @ BB&T Pavilion
The DJ with the big giant mouse mask.

The Broken Heart @ Sedgwick Cultural Center
Quintessence presents the John Ford 1633 tragedy, performed in rotating repertory with Love’s Labor’s Lost. Through April 23

Pilobolus Dance Theater @ Annenberg Center
The renowned performance group presents Shadowland, “dreamlike dance narrative” about “about a teenage girl who wakes up one day to something incredible lurking behind her bedroom wall — her shadow.” Warning/bonus: The show contains “brief nudity, strobe lighting, haze and gunfire.” Through April 8

You for Me for You @ InterAct
Theater critic David Fox had this to say: “Don’t try too hard to make all the pieces fit. Mia Chung’s provocative, gripping, occasionally frustrating play is rich in ideas. Some are fully developed; others appear and disappear out of nowhere, without a resolution. Even the genre is an open question. You for Me for You is a comedy, a drama, a thriller, and pretty much everything in between. Don’t ask why — just go with it.” Runs through April 16.

Great Philadelphia Comic Con @ Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
Really, this is in Oaks, PA. Includes appearances by LeVar Burton, Alan Tudyk, Marina Sirtis and more pop culture/sci-fi notables. Through April 9.


Our Heavenly Bodies @ International House
A restored version of Hanns Walter Kornblum’s 1925 silent sci-fi film Wunder der Schöpfung with a live score performed by the band Coupler. Looks amazing.

Electrifest Day 1 @ the Rotunda
This two-day LGBT/QPOC wellness and healthcare festival is full of workshops, readings and live performances. Day 1 acts include King Azaz, Ramona Cordova, Pinkwash and more.

Swampoodle: A Philadelphia Noir Novel @ Big Blue Marble Bookstore
Author DP Curran presents his new novel, set in Irish North Philly “in the years between the Easter Uprising in Ireland the boon years of Prohibition in the underworld of Philadelphia and Atlantic City.”

Mumbo Jumbo: Jazz, Poetry and Invention @ African American Museum
This “family fun day” promises crafts, performances and such for the kids.

Dirt Day @ The Dirt Factory
If you want your soil tested, bring it. If you need “high quality organic compost” come on by. Plus learn about dirt.

The all-day barbecue/punk tradition continues with another “flesh-roastin’, face-meltin’ day of sacrifice” and live performances by Brandon Can’t Dance, Laser Background, Sad13, Screaming Females and more.

Ars Moriendi: Visions of Death Made Beautiful @ Mutter Museum
Joanna Ebenstein, co-founder of Brooklyn’s lamented Morbid Anatomy Museum, presents a “heavily illustrated talk.” Then writers Chris McCreary and David Spolum read pieces influenced by the Mütter’s collection.

Boss Hog @ Underground Arts
Cristina Martinez and Jon Spencer — ’90s punk-blues power couple — revived their old band to see if they’re still as loud and weird as they used to be. They are. “Shh Shh Shh” is off their comeback record, Brood X.

Emily Wells @ Boot & Saddle
Part trip-hop, part classical, a little hip-hop and rock and pop and soul. At shows, she loops her violin over echoey beats and belts out breathy vocals that build to big-belting choruses. I’m listening to her new odds-n-sods record In The Hot right this minute and her take on “In My Time of Dying” is sort of freaking me out.

Where We Belong: Artists in the Archive @ Historical Society of Pennsylvania
The South Asian American Digital Archive presents a “day-long symposium bringing together archivists, artists, activists, and academics to explore ways to challenge the systematic erasure of stories of marginalized communities in America.” Includes music, visual arts and dance by Rudresh Mahanthappa, Chitra Ganesh, Chiraag Bhakta, Joti Singh and Zain Alam.

Tom Brokaw @ Nesbitt Hall
NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw in conversation with his former producer at the Today Show, Karen Curry. Free.

Joe Jack Talcum & Dandrew @ Connie’s Ric Rac
Live music by two Dead Milkmen. Also a celebration of the release of a new EP by The Founders.

Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq @ Penn Museum
A new exhibition that explores “the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East by showing what’s at stake — the rich history of the region and the diversity of its people — and what’s being done to prevent the loss of this history and cultural identity.” Saturday’s opening reception features music, discussions and family activities.


Agnostic Front @ Boot & Saddle
Thrashy hardcore forefathers just dropped a fresh one, My Life My Way. Still heavy and ornery.

Electrifest Day 2 @ the Rotunda
The two-day LGBT/QPOC wellness and healthcare festival continues with more workshops, readings and live performances. Day 2 acts include SWARM, M|GHTHAUNT, Solarized and more.

Morgan James @ World Café Live
Soulful singer-songwriter with a Broadway bent. Check out her cover of a Hall & Oates classic.

Dancing Figures @ Class of 1923 Arena
Figure skating/dancing “featuring the choreographed works of Brooke Frieling.” Not every day you see something like that. Free, too.

Le Cabaret Melange @ Johnny Brenda’s
A “sort of” revival of Robert Drake’s late night cabaret/variety show with Jeffrey Marsh and lots of old favorites doing new stuff.

Arty Dozen: 12 Things to Do in Theater, Dance, Movies and more

Pilobolus Dance Theater presents Shadowland at the Annenberg Center, April 6-8.

Pilobolus Dance Theater performs Shadowland at the Annenberg Center, April 6-8.

Art in the Age of Injustice @ Da Vinci Art Alliance | Wednesday, April 5
Group exhibition of works by women artists, presented by the Philly chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Reception tonight, 6-8 p.m. Exhibition runs through April 26.

Oxford Coma III: Resistance @ Wooden Shoe Books | Wednesday, April 5
Poems of Dissatisfaction and Political Nihilism hosted by Angelo Colavita and featuring music by Little Strike. Doubles as a food drive for Food Not Bombs.

Understanding the Alt-Right @ Big Blue Marble | Wednesday, April 5
What’s a cuck? How many red pills is too many? A talk by Matthew Lyons, author of CTRL-ALT-DELETE. Read more »

33 Things to Do This Weekend

Chicano Batman plays Fillmore Philly on Saturday. (Josue Rivas)

Chicano Batman plays Fillmore Philly on Saturday. (Josue Rivas)


Lambchop @ Underground Arts
Kurt Wagner and his alt-country rock band is back with FLOTUS (For Love Often Turns Us Still), released late last year. Their first video from the record is a collaboration with filmmaker Elise Tyler and highlights their hometown of Nashville.

Phantasm @ Boot & Saddle
Prog/thrash metal that makes use of “power tools, live looping, unconventional percussion” and other atypical instrumentation.

La Giara, The Water Jug @ World Café Live
Longtime Philly Brazilian band Minas Ensemble help celebrate the release of Patricia King’s new book La Giara (The Water Jug), “a memoir about immigration and longing.” Read more »

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