Event Review: Peaches Christ’s Midnight Mass
Picture the scene: It’s 10.30pm on a Saturday night and I am surrounded by glitter, false eyelashes and the distinct smell of hairspray; as a marvelously glamorous sequin-clad drag queen takes to the stage, welcomed by the rejoicing roar of an eclectic crowd of bourgeoisie zombies and blood-splattered doctors. One might be excused for assuming that what I am describing is a nightmarish Halloween night on Canal Street, that, however, is not the case. This evening saw instead, the UK debut of San Francisco’s underground drag sensation Peaches Christ and her notorious Midnight Mass, a one-off event exclusive to the AND festival that takes the ‘film screening’ format and furiously turns it on its head; treating cinema audiences to a camp, immersive pre-show before screening a cult, (and some might argue trashy), movie. The film in question tonight was the international premiere of All About Evil, a new indie horror flick, marking the feature-length directorial debut from Peaches’ alter-ego Joshua Grannell which pays homage to the much-idolised B-movies of yesteryear.
All About Evil is a wicked black comedy about a timid librarian (Natasha Lyonne, of American Pie fame) who inherits her father’s beloved but failing old movie theatre. In order to save the family business she discovers her inner serial killer when she starts turning out a series of grisly shorts, only for her blossoming career to reach an abrupt halt when the secrets to her overly realistic actors’ performances are revealed. The film is witty, smart, and hilariously funny, filled with genuine shocks aplenty, and the obligatory dosage of punctured jugulars that would be expected from Peaches’ brand of hammer horror.
Miss Christ’s provocative 4-D floorshow worked superbly to create a carnival-esque atmosphere, combining cabaret with lap dancing librarians and ‘gore couture’ fancy dress competitions, transforming the Cornerhouse into a Mecca for all things fabulous and gruesome.
Verdict: A thoroughly fantastic evening, I can only hope that this is the first of many UK visits to be made by the superb Peaches Christ. My only fear now is that, after this macabre display, normal cinema will never be as exciting.