Welcome to Wakaliwood, Uganda: home of “DA BEST OF DA BEST MOVIES!” and the vanguards of DIY commando cinema. Under the guidance of writer/producer/director Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey (IGG) and with producer/star Alan Ssali Hofmanis, this crack crew of self-taught filmmakers and martial arts aficionados produce dozens of gonzo action films in the Kampala ghetto with budgets that rarely exceed $200 USD. Utilizing scrap parts to build computers, machine guns and a full-sized Huey helicopter, these real-life superheroes inspire more heart, imagination and soul than a thousand Hollywood blockbusters. In BAD BLACK a mild-mannered doctor, portrayed by real-life Wakaliwood producer Alan Hofmanis, is trained in the art of ass-kicking commando vengeance by a no-nonsense ghetto kid named Wesley Snipes in an effort to steal back a family heirloom from Uganda’s toughest gang.
Dir. Nabwana I.G.G.
Action, Comedy, Uganda, 2016, English, 68 min.
Brain Damage is surreal horror comedy about a young man named Brian who emerges from a night of bizarre hallucinations to find an alien attached to his body. The creature, a brain-eating parasite called an “Aylmer”; or just Elmer hitches a ride with Brian, administering doses of a highly addictive psychedelic drug to keep him under control, and sends him out in search of human brains. After limited cinema screenings Brain Damage had a successful VHS video run and over the years became a cult classic.
Dir. Frank Henenlotter
Horror, Comedy, USA, 1988, English, 84 min.
In a world that undulates between fact and fiction, digital and physical, a group of SoundCloud rappers lives a solitary, post-societal existence in the desert town of Crestone, Colorado. Once a religious and spiritual mecca for many, Crestone’s endless sand dunes, waterfalls, and dark caves act as a backdrop for images of tattooed bodies, cosplay wardrobes, and clouds of weed smoke. “Crestone” explores the often hidden aspects of collaboration and friendship as well as the human desire to persist against all odds. What does music sound like if there is no one left to repost and share it?
Dir. Marnie Ellen Hertzler
Documentary, Music, USA, 2020, English, 73 min.
EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE!: DOGGIEWOGGIEZ! POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ!
Everything Is Terrible! is the video and performance collective that is responsible for some of the Internet’s most hilarious and bizarre videos. Those krazed VHS-hunting pupz prepared an inner-eye-opening feature, containing a feat never before attempted in either human or canine history. EIT! asks but two simple questions: 1. “What if we make a movie composed ENTIRELY out of dog-related found footage?”, and 2. “What if this magickal movie, made up of thousands of other dog movies, is also a remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 masterpiece The Holy Mountain?” Well, let’s stop asking dumb rhetorical questions because this never-ending spiral of World-Pup winning, sunglasses-wearing, murder-solving, skateboarding pooches is real!
Dir. Everything Is Terrible!
Comedy, Found footage, USA, 2012, English, 55 min.
EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE!: THE GREAT SATAN!
Since the dawn of time, man has searched for answers… and failed. But the fog of existence has finally cleared thanks to the eternal fruits of EIT!! With their longtime collaborator Lucifer, Everything Is Terrible! has ingested over 2,000 satanic panic, religious kook, and D-horror VHS tapes. They have recontextualized them and created a narrative feature that reminds us all who we are, why we are here, and what we should be doing with our paltry time on this dumb planet. And now they invite you to be an initiate of the psychedelic devotion of EIT! As you take your blood oath, your journey will brim with evangelical ducks, goopy ghouls, and sad white men who believe that Dungeons & Dragons summon actual horned demons. Be warned… If you really want to see your mind, you’ve got to be ready to rip your skull open.
Dir. Everything Is Terrible!
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Found footage, USA, 2018, English, 72 min.
FONOTUNE: AN ELECTRIC FAIRY TAIL
In another time and place, where people barely communicate and an impending apocalypse is in the air, lone drifter Mono makes an odyssey to experience mysterious rock star Blitz’s final cosmic performance out in the Big White Nothing, a desert surrounding the city. Here, people escape from reality, and each other, through music. A constant companion in their headphones is Radio, nihilistic DJ of radio station FONOTUNE, playing his own joyous soundtrack to destruction! On his journey, Mono shares fleeting connections with a gang of strangers: Teen-hooker Stereo, lo-fi cowboy Analog, and the sassy Bubblegum. Their paths finally collide in an audiovisual showdown with the mythical musician many thought dead or long-gone. They each carry Blitz’s cassettes and vinyl; a strange and electrifying call-to-arms where he proclaims “the Universe is my Rock-n-Roll! Destruction is my music!”. The final explosive result is an incendiary performance to remember! And it may finally make them feel something.
Music, Sci-Fi, Japan, USA, Germany, 2018, Japanese, English subtitles, 74 min.
HARD TICKET TO HAWAII
Bullets, bikinis, bazookas and radioactive pythons! No film captures the playful chaos of action cinema’s Golden Age like directors Andy Sidaris undisputed masterpiece. An inexhaustible geyser of top-notch sex and violence, HARD TICKET TO HAWAII exists beyond entertainment’s maximum limits. The Agency is a tough-as-nails, tech-savvy squad of physically ideal humans who defend Hawaii’s Molokai Island from diamond smugglers, narcotics slingers, and a skateboarding maniac armed with an inflatable sex doll. Tirelessly and shirtlessly, they deal out homicidal justice at every turn – unleashing helicopters, motorcycles and deadly frisbees to ensure the safety of every bronzed boytoy and babe on the beach! It‘s a Pacific Ocean pearl in an era dominated by action-packed VHS tapes.
Dir. Andy Sidaris
Action, Crime, Thriller, USA, 1987, English, 96 min.
SPIRITS OF THE AIR, GREMLINS OF THE CLOUDS
Dust, dirt and hypercolored skies are everywhere in SPIRITS OF THE AIR’s overwhelming desert landscape, onto which Proyas has constructed a unique post-apocalyptic fantasy homestead. Here, eccentric siblings Felix and Betty live together in an isolated cabin where modern tech is absent, with wheels and gears operating a house full of broken devices to assist their struggle to survive. In wanders a stranger named Smith, and their simple lives become instantly tumultuous. The wheelchair-bound Felix dreams of flying, and Betty believes their new arrival to be a demonic presence.
Dir. Alex Proyas
Adventure, Sci-Fi, Australia, 1987, English, 93 min