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Another Hole in the Head

A Film Festival With Guts

The seventh Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, San Francisco IndieFest’s annual celebration of slasher flicks and sci-fi fantasies, kicks off July 8th at the Roxie Theater with the West Coast premiere of Death Kappa, a deliciously campy Japanese import about an atomically enhanced, city-stomping water goblin.

The following is a list of festival highlights, not including Future X-Cops, director Jing Wong’s Terminator-like tale of cyborg assassins traveling back in time to kill the world’s foremost proponent of solar energy. X-Cops, along with Death Kappa and the splatterific Mutant Girls Squad, will close the festival at the Viz Theater on July 29th.

Alien vs. Ninja: The title says all you need to know about Seiji Chiba’s latest, a delirious geek show featuring better-than-you’d-expect effects and a generous helping of severed flesh. (Roxie, 7/21; Viz, 7/25, 7/28)

American Grindhouse: Featuring interviews with big-name Hollywood directors like Joe Dante and John Landis, Elijah Drenner’s documentary explores the various subgenres of American exploitation movies (among them, soft-core porn, film noir, and blaxploitation) and their long-term impact on mainstream cinema. (Roxie, 7/18; Viz, 7/25, 7/27)

Dr. “S” Battles the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies: Inspired by the 1936 cult classic Reefer Madness, Zombies chronicles the fallout from a batch of tainted dope that transforms midnight tokers into raging psychopaths. Alicia Shaddeau, of NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,” stars as Mary Jane, the all-American sweetheart under siege. (Viz, 7/23, 7/26)

The Exterminator: One of the few films to receive Roger Ebert’s less-than-coveted no-star rating, The Exterminator (1980) follows a crazed vigilante determined to clean up New York by mutilating one criminal at a time. Improbably, it returns to the big screen in time to celebrate its 30th anniversary, giving a new generation of moviegoers the chance to witness what Ebert dismissed as an “exercise in shame.” (Roxie, 7/10)

Metropolis 1984 Redux: Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent classic gets an extreme makeover — complete with colorization, re-editing and an 80s soundtrack featuring Freddie Mercury, Adam Ant, and the Canadian rock quintet Loverboy — in this long-forgotten but lovingly restored relic. (Viz, 7/24, 7/26)

Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: Tracing the evolution of American horror films from 1910’s Frankenstein to the present, Andrew Monument’s fascinating, exhaustively researched documentary examines the psychology that drives the genre, as well as the social conditions in which our nation’s most infamous Nightmares have thrived. (Roxie, 7/11, 7/12, 7/14)

RoboGeisha: Noboru Iguchi (Machine Girl) takes sibling rivalry to deliberately preposterous extremes in his tale of two sisters competing for the attentions of a wealthy steel baron. That he plans to wipe out Japan with his trained army of brainwashed cyborgs barely puts the brakes on their ever-escalating feud. (Roxie, 7/9, 7/15, 7/20)

Shadow: David (Jake Muxworthy) thinks the worst is behind him. A solider returning from Iraq for a leisurely mountain-biking tour of Europe, he discovers unimagined terrors, at the hands of twisted butcher, in Federico Zampaglione’s bruising thriller. (Roxie, 7/16, 7/19; Viz, 7/23)

Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives: Israel Luna’s controversial homage to the grind-house cinema of the 70s finds Bubbles (Krystal Summers) and her crew of blade-wielding divas out to avenge a savage beating. The resulting mayhem is delightfully dirty, gratuitously gruesome, and definitely not for the faint of heart. (Roxie, 7/22; Viz, 7/23)

The Violent Kind: San Francisco’s Butcher Brothers, whose chilling 2006 debut, The Hamiltons, earned them the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Gold Vision Award, return here with an unsettling tribute to the majesty of gore: blood-soaked bodies, unadulterated evil and, as Alex DeLarge might say, a bit of the old ultra-violence. (Roxie, 7/11)