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Quick Q+A: The Twin Cities Psychotronic Film Society + Scares That Care Marathon

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While a lot of the schlocky films regularly shown throughout Twincy have their scary moments, they’re nowhere as scary as fighting illness, burns, or breast cancer in the real world. That’s the mentality of non-profit group Scares That Care, who are partnering with the crazies in the Twin Cities Psychotronic Film Society for 12-hour scare maratharon to raise money. The admission is a sliding scale of donations, and we strongly recommend going for one, two, or all of the showings throughout the day and making a big donation when you get there. 

Before the physical and psychological endurance test, we checked in with Psychotron Daniel McNellie about the team-up, the movie selections, all the additional fun of the event, and more.

Secrets of the City: How did you get hooked up with Scares That Care—which is such an awesome organization—for the marathon?

Daniel Mcnellie: Donald from Scares that Cares has been coming to our events for awhile now and after finally getting to know him he mentioned doing a benefit screening. I’m always down to do benefits any chance we can, Earth is a pretty scary place these days, and I think people really need to be kind and help each other whenever they can. I was trying to think of a way to make it unique and fun as opposed to just a normal screening, so I put together the 12 hour marathon, hoping an all day open marathon would be able to raise a bit more than a single screening, since people have busy schedules.

Nobody will be turned away, and people can give what they can at the door any time throughout the day.

The Psychotrons have been on such a programming tear for these last few months, how will you still have cult film material to show??

Believe me, there’s no end to the material we could show, through various private collections/archives, constant discovery of new outside artist filmmakers, etc. We haven’t even had a chance yet to show the more rare and weird stuff that I originally set out to do. In my free time (not very much since our daughter was born) I’m constantly searching out completely off the radar stuff from outsider artists. It’s taken me to some strange places around the U.S. for sure. Be it from a flier hanging on a street-pole, to going through phone books trying to track down a guy in the deep south who made some 8mm shorts in the 80’s, there’s no end to finding new and interesting things.

Last year I came across a 2 part urban action film series shot on VHS in the 80’s in a Chicago housing project that was discovered in the directors closet by his son. It was never released and nobody knows anything about it, including the son. Would love to show it here, but again, would anyone show up?

Do you agree with our assessment that this event fits nicely in our new golden age of the local B-Movie scene?

I hope there is a golden age with weirdo cult movies happening! That’s the hard part about doing this, the average person generally doesn’t like to get too adventurous in their movie viewings. That’s why you have to do mainstream stuff like Evil Dead, which I love as well, but that is what brings people, which will hopefully in turn allow the weirder stuff to happen. Showing movies is tough these days anywhere, your average person doesn’t hold the social experience as high as say, going to a bar or watching live music. I personally think the experience of being in a theater where everybody is in the same mindset and totally engaged with the film (for better or worse) is just as powerful and fun as any other form of entertainment, and we’ve all made a lot of great new friends just from interacting with people before or after a screening.

But in the end, I’m honestly just grateful to be able to put on all these events for people to enjoy either way, regardless of attendance.

What percent do you think will make it the whole 12 hours? We’d guess 50% because there are some real maniacs here in the film scene.

I’m guessing at the end of the final movie it will be me, Donald from Scares That Care, a couple sleeping people, and maybe a couple of the fellow TCPFS folks. I usually attend various 12 and 24 hour marathons throughout the country so I’ve become good at pulling through these, but I know how brutal they can get though. You need to average about 1 large red bull and large black coffee per movie at some of the 24 hour ones. Maybe half of that at the 12 hour ones. The best part is when you finally get to sleep your brain is all destroyed and you have crazy dreams/night terrors. Worst part is when you’re sick for the next 2 days. This is also a test run for a 24 hour (all rare 35mm films) we’re trying to plan. if this goes well, that could happen sooner rather than later.

If people had to pick just one time to stop in and see some crazy stuff, would you recommend 7 PM and, as you say, “LGBTQ equivalent to THE ROOM”? How bonkers is that going to be!?

9 PM is the one you don’t want to miss. Trust me, you haven’t seen it, and it’ll be a blast. Even the people trying to guess what it is are all wrong. The 7 PM LGBTQ equivalent to the room is another insane one though, haha. I came across the LGBTQ film on one of my digs and started spreading it to friends and some programmers a few years ago and they love it, so hopefully it will find an audience someday because it’s a riot. Honestly every movie at this is tons of fun and there’s maybe only 2 movies that people might have seen before. We’ll hand out cheat sheets with clues at the door and the trailers leading up to each film will hint at whats about to come.

The thing I hope people will keep in mind is that when I programmed this marathon i did it in a very specific way. It’s not just random movies I wanted to show. They flow in such a way to compliment each other and mess with the audiences expectations and minds, especially with the final movie. Wooooo boy…if you sit through the whole marathon, you’ll probably be delirious by then and this one is gonna make your head explode from laughing at the chaos that unfolds, But if you’re just coming in, you’re gonna think everyone laughing in that theater is a complete moron or insane.

Can you give us a scoop on some of the surprises you’ve been teasing for the event? (If not we understand.)

Hmm, I think we announced most of them. Bunch of cool raffle prizes throughout the night donated from various people/businesses, free food from Raising Canes later in the evening, a lot of giveaways from Surly brewing throughout the night, more giveaways we can’t talk about till day of, so you just gotta show up.

I just really hope people will take the time to consider coming to the event. This is a chance to do some good by helping others who are less fortunate and see some rare, fun movies on the big screen.

The 12 Hour Movie Masochist Marathon takes over the Parkway Theater on Saturday, November 18th. 


Win Tix: Brother Ali & The Own Light Tour

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Over the past 17 years, Brother Ali has earned wide critical acclaim for his deeply personal, socially conscious, and inspiring brand of hip-hop. Under Rhymesayers Entertainment, he’s unleashed a series of lauded projects, establishing himself as one of the most respected independent voices in music. The latest chapter in that celebrated journey is All the Beauty in This Whole Life, a 15-track collection produced entirely by Atmosphere’s Anthony “Ant” Davis.

“This entire album is based on the reality that beauty is the splendor of truth” says the MPLS MC. “Beauty in all of its forms is the outward manifestation of love and virtue. It soothes the soul and pulls it gently toward the truth it communicates. Every word and note of this album is intended to either reflect beauty, or expose the ugliness that blocks us from living lives of meaning. Brother Ali’s The Own Light Tour with the stacked lineup Immortal Technique, Sa-Roc, Last Word, and Sol Messiah returns to MPLS at First Avenue’s Mainroom on Thursday, 7 PM. $20.

We love Brother Ali, we love his message, we love the openers for this incredible tour. We want to send some lucky reader to this awesome show—just reply to this email for a chance to win!


Weekend News & Notes: Drop A Couple S-Bombs

Since many of our readers don’t read anything except advice from Boomers on what Millenials should and shouldn’t spend their money on, we feel we should share some of the important-to-you stories being shared around the SotC virtual water cooler, so that you’re properly briefed before your happy hour.

News: Walker Art Center Executive Director Olga Viso steps down

Notes: We’re still laughing at that quote from a reader about the Merce Cunningham exhibit. Even though followers of the national art scene were maybe not surprised that Olga announced her leaving, it’s huge news in the local arts scene—we’re on a first name basis after all. It’s typical for leadership of major arts venues to move on after successful capital campaigns, and Olga just brought $75 million into the Walker for its campus and sculpture garden remodel. Did the Scaffold debacle have anything to do with it? Probably some? That, and all the departures from other curators, and the unhappy working environment for staff, and we’re sure some of slippage in local prominence, had garnered the heat from the Walker Board to ask her to leave. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see the new director’s vision for our beloved and critically important art center. 

News: More Super Bowl details emerging like Jimmy Fallon and LRT takeover

Notes: We’re hoping to finishing up our “Places Other Than Twincy Where You Should Vacation During The Super Bowl” listicle in the next month so you have some lead time before February. Look, the Super Bowl isn’t for us and it isn’t for you. It’s not for fans of the arts who go to small room shows or book readings or art openings. It’s for rich guys from around the country and suburban/out-state residents who otherwise shit talk MPLS + STPL and local business leadership to try and get prestige plus a few extra dollars. Our recommendation has always been to just to get out of the way—and that’s even before the newest offensive news about the NFL invasion. No, not that Light Rail Trains will only be available to Super Bowl ticket holders on game day and everyone else gets replacement buses. We’re actually fine with that. We’re talking about the “Night Before” show is a concert at the Xcel with Dave Matthews and that Jimmy Fallon will be bringing his Tonight Show to Twincy for tapings for some reason. Sheesh. Reader Jess makes a good point that maybe ?uest Love will do a small show, but all the venues will be too full or closed to the public so that’s no real silver lining. Have you ever been to Tulum, MX?

News: Phi Phi O’Hara and Queens United/ Reinas Unidas raised $80K for Puerto Rico

Notes: Yes! Amazing. Remember the Drag Queen fundraiser at First Avenue two or three weeks ago? It brought in big numbers for Somos Una Voz, the relief initative started by Puerto Rican performers Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.


On Our Radar: Trips Around The Sun

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Get a glimpse of into the distant future—the weekend! We’ll have different recommendations for fun Arts & Culture things to do throughout the week, check them all out collectively at the On Our Radar Page.

Thursday

Indeed Brewing is releasing their bottles of wild fruity Mango Helio at their tap room. It’s the Cine Latino film festival, stories from across the vast cultural, social and historical landscape that is Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, at MSP Film Society. One of the big DJs in the world, Objekt from Berlin, comes to town and plays with TML and Andrew Broder at honey.

Friday

Inara Verzemnieks’s reads from her new book, Among the Living and the Dead, at Milkweed Editions. Finesse releases their album at Icehouse with Graveyard Club, Cheap Fantasy, and Xylophone Jetty. 

Saturday

The criminally underrated Insight Brewing celebrates its Third Anniversary with a bunch of beer and rock ‘n’ roll at the tap room


Burger Hunter: Miller’s Corner Bar

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It’s everyone’s favorite Secrets of the City feature! The only one people ever mention. We’re basically an empty vessel for Mike S.’s burger hunting exploits and that’s just fine. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Now you might want to sit down or just make sure you are paying very close attention. Before us is probably my number 1 most favorite hunt so far. They’ve all been great but this one . . . OMG. Okay, so we park get out and boom there’s a smell of something fried and it’s hitting my memory banks. Miller’s Corner Bar in Columbia Heights is the epitome of a classic Minnesota burger joint. You can find these joints up north or in Northeast, small towns, or off the beaten path. Any which way here in Minnesota we cherish them . . . They are part of our Big North culture. Anywho, upon opening Miller’s front door I’m greeted by a dude tuning in his pedal steel guitar to to Johnny Cash song. Almost fainted. Didn’t and ordered the bacon cheese. Bun is lightly butter toasted. Crunchy and soft. Meat is chuck and very traditional tasting. Salted perfectly. Full onion flavor on the meat sear. Cooked to med well but hella juicy. Drips McGee and Drips Malone showed up. Holy heaven now there’s a guitar picker and he’s got honey in his voice. Feeling so good and proud to be a Minnesotan I’m tearing up on each bite. Now the cheddar is perfect and blankets the bacon to the meat. They do toppings on bottom and I chose only raw daddy onions this time. The burger is really enjoyable and exactly what you’d expect here. Go on Saturday afternoon and you might catch their sound check like we did.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.3   Presentation: 5   Originality: 5

Miller’s Corner Bar, 547 N 40th Ave NE, Columbia Heights; millerscornerbar.com