Pop zombies

As is my wont, I spent the better part of last weekend at the movies. Mostly they were the movies of Bob Moricz. So, next weekend: therapy.

I’d been hearing about Sacramento’s B-movie schlock-horror virtuoso since I first arrived at SN&R last summer, and it’s about time I finally acquainted myself with his canon. What, I’d wondered, was this guy all about?

In brief: sordid Dada-esque dreamscapes involving witches, ax-wielding maniacs and mad scientists. Mysterious death machines. Campy riffs on soured Tinseltown glamour. The perils of renewing domestic bliss through laser brain surgery. Yikes!

Around here, anticipation for Moricz’s new feature, Palace of Stains, has been running high. Seems like everybody and their cat had something to do with the thing. In this week’s cover story, SN&R contributor Jennifer Greenman files a spirited report of Moricz’s wild working life, braided with some compelling inside info about the man himself. What drives a mild-tempered only child of Hungarian immigrants to grow up—if that’s the right expression—and become the king of, as Greenman puts it, “Sacsploitation,” parsing collective-unconscious anxiety and churning out homegrown slices of nightmare? Just why does Moricz feel like Sacto is his kind of town—and why do most of his pictures seem like they just couldn’t come from anyplace else? Read “Sacramento’s master of horror” here, if you dare, to find out.

I also saw V for Vendetta last weekend (the review’s here), and let me just say that the Wachowski brothers could learn something from Moricz. Like, um, a sense of humor?

Well, maybe some glumness is in order. After all, pop culture is a relentless zombie, hunting us down, eating our brains. Consider Joel Hartse’s music feature (here), which tracks the eerie cultural ascendancy of the Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.” Of “the eye-gougingly awful single,” Hartse warns, “Remember: We asked for it.”

Elsewhere in our hardworking arts section, you’ll find blog excerpts from Christian Kiefer (no relation—seriously) about South by Southwest adventures, and, from food critic Kate Washington, a good place for spicy pig ears. Yum. Sounds like the title of a Bob Moricz movie.