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Bruce Campbell As Elvis Presley & Other Gems From 20th S.F. IndieFest Week Two

Bruce Campbell playing an elderly Elvis Presley is just one of the gems to be found in the 20th San Francisco Indie Fest’s second week. The Bruce Campbell film is part of Indie Fest’s 20th anniversary celebrations. But this second week also has new films that are worth checking out, from a tribute to ramen to the election night celebration of two Trump supporters.

The California No

Los Angeles freelance entertainment journalist Elliott goes into a tailspin when he discovers he’s in an open marriage. His inability to deal with the news leads him to make increasingly terrible decisions. As a result, he will suffer such mishaps as getting throttled by a movie star and constantly repelling women.

The Manhattan Front

In 1915 America, the U.S.’ involvement in the First World War is limited to selling arms to the British. While American industrialists see the conflict as a financial windfall, the radical workers’ union The Industrial Workers of the World see an opportunity to fight for better working conditions. A German saboteur’s plan to exploit the labor unrest endangers the union’s future.

The Misogynists

On the night of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, two Trump supporters celebrate the unexpected victory with a bacchanalia of drugs and hired sex. The celebrations reveal not only the shabby lives of the Trump supporters but the sometimes unwitting complicity of others in bringing about Trump’s win.

Musclecar

Aspiring filmmaker Bambi seems stuck. She’s blown the last of her savings on a red Dodge muscle car. The gas-guzzler can’t run because Bambi can’t afford fuel. Enter her discovery that blood from highly intoxicated people gets her car’s motor purring. Soon the bodies start piling up and Bambi’s looking into automobile voodoo to keep her car going forever.

Ramen Heads

In Japan, making ramen is a slurpable art form. Follow master ramen maker Osamu Tomita as he finds the perfect blend of broth, noodles, and extra ingredients to create his dishes. Get ready to hunt down a ramen shop after watching this film!

Revivals From Previous Indie Fests

Berberian Sound Studio–Reserved sound engineer Gilderoy (Toby Jones) has been brought over to Italy to provide audio punctuation for a particularly violent giallo called The Equestrian Vortex. The disturbing material causes Gilderoy’s sanity to slowly slip away. Aside from the title sequence, director Peter Strickland cleverly never shows footage from the giallo. But that’s no bar to appreciating the film within the film.

Bubba Ho-Tep–Bruce Campbell delivers one of his greatest performances as an elderly Elvis Presley. Stuck in a Texas nursing home, he discovers that a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy has been preying on the home’s residents. Elvis’ only ally is a still-alive Jack Kennedy (Ossie Davis), who may be missing a few marbles.

Funny Ha Ha–Andrew Bujalski’s quietly touching first film follows the misadventures of awkward 20-something Marnie. She struggles with such problems as just okay jobs and unrequited love. Her hope is that someday her life will make sense without something embarrassing happening to her.

Ron Goossens Low Budget Stuntman

Ron Goossens turns his overnight YouTube fame into making money falling off balconies and crashing cars while drunk. However, his ultimate goal is to prove he’s still sexually potent by bedding Dutch superstar and model Bo Maerten. Yet any progress with Maerten depends on Goossens being sober. And that clear-headed perspective soon makes him wonder about his life.

Ruminations

Rumi Missabu co-founded the famed 1960s gender-bending theatrical troupe The Cockettes. Learn how Rumi went from being a roommate of actress Cindy Williams to becoming a notorious avant-garde performer. Rumi’s outrageous tales spice up the film. Two of them involve a sister who cut off her toe to get attention and a loaf of homemade bread with a very special glaze.

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

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