Dark Stars Rising: Films from the Outer Realms


Presented by New York author and filmmaker Shade Rupe

For this series, I chose seven films directly related to artists in the book and one from the reviews section in the back. All of them were made by people who deeply inspired me, and who enjoy a true cult status among cinema lovers across the world.

William Lustig worked on various films in New York before putting together his own porn films. His second adult feature gave him the seed money to get “Maniac”, a $50,000 16mm gore classic, which now celebrates a reimagining in a 2013 release. Starring Joe Spinell, the greasy pock-marked face familiar from “The Godfather” and “Cruising”, sears its way into nightmares we can’t ever wash away.

Jim VanBebber claws his films to completion, with the monstrous “My Sweet Satan” preceding the release of Jim’s years-in-the-making “The Manson Family” recently released on Blu-ray in 2013 for its tenth anniversary.

The Chilean artist Alejandro Jodorowsky lives in a constant world of creation. His mind so fertile any act is art and magic. After many years of live performance art, Mr. Jodorowsky created a short, a feature, and then “El Topo”, a highly fantasmic excursion into becomingness through cinema. Upon screening in New York, Beatles frontman John Lennon brought Allen Klein’s money to Jodorowsky’s next feature, “The Holy Mountain”, an even further smashing of the senses and immersion into the mirror of man’s soul. Due to several misunderstandings and a breakup between partners “The Holy Mountain” remained difficult to see for many years, only recently resurfacing for a greater audience.

Alex Cox’s “Repo Man” is thrown in for its zany freakishness.

In the summer of 2011 Teller gave me a call and asked if could videodocument his off-Broadway spookshow “Play Dead”. Having seen the cinematic flexibility of such a recording, we decided to create the live performance film you’ll see at this festival. Though the live audiences were subjected to complete and total darkness (even the exit lights go out), we give some behind-the-scenes chills as infrared cameras give away some secrets of this claustrophobic box of doom. If you’ve ever wanted to experience a Grand Guignol play, “Play Dead” is your ticket to a bloody good time.

Shade Rupe
Dark Stars Rising programmer

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