Local “Sacsploitation” filmmaker Bob Moricz recently announced the premiere of his new film, Spree! All the Way to Mexico, but the news was tempered by the fact that the event is also a farewell party, as Moricz soon will be off to resettle in the much damper Northwest. In his press release, Moricz, taking the Chico Escuela approach, states that “Sacramento’s been very good to me. It’s a wonderful, strange, and haunted place I’ve been proud to call my home over the last several years. I will miss this city immensely.” Yeah? So why are you leaving us, ass? Oh, we don’t mean that. We’re just speaking from the hurt.
Moricz’s surrealistic, splatter-filled films, both shorts and feature-lengths, have been a fixture of the local scene, and the film-festival circuit, for about a decade, attracting both a loyal following and a dedicated community of collaborators, including a number of SN&R staffers (excepting yours truly). Horror is rather too narrow a description of his style. Despite the high blood and gore content, Moricz’s films prefer to take an allegorical bent on the slasher genre, and many are inspired in part by his own childhood nightmares. It’s equally misleading to give the impression that Moricz and his films can be appreciated only by Sacramento residents or insiders. Behind the over-the-top slasher- and pop-film references, previous works like Palace of Stains or The Midnight of My Life retain a personal, sympathetic core. You don’t have to be privy to the filmakers’ in-jokes to connect to the films. In the end, above all this interpretive bull, Moricz’s films are just a whole lot of fucked-up fun. Come out to the premiere and bid farewell to Sacramento’s dark prince of the lens.