Fiend footage festival

“Feast Of Flesh VII” at the Coolidge
By SHAULA CLARK  |  October 1, 2008

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Many a literary luminary has graced the Coolidge Corner stage, but none could ever command a three-ring circus of lust, gore, and rock fury as deftly as J. Cannibal (the wicked alter ego of Black Ocean Press founder and real-life undertaker Janaka Stucky) does in his “Feast of Flesh” series. No wonder, then, that despite the rain last Saturday, by 11:45 pm the ticketholder line is already snaking way behind the building. The costumed diehards cluster up front, among them a zombie in a bloody banana suit, an undead schoolgirl, and a pot-bellied dude in a ghoulish '50s housewife getup whom my friend mistakes for a pregnant zombie. Whoops.

We shuffle into the theater to the garagy, horror-tinged strains of Rock City Crimewave. Then Cannibal bursts on stage in his signature skull facepaint and leopard-print pants. He promises “bloody titties.” The crowd goes apeshit.

The Black Cat Burlesque revue begins with Devilicia and her astronaut-themed striptease; she removes her space helmet to reveal a grinning skull mask. J. Cannibal picks up the discarded astro-bra and inhales deeply: “Ah, space rot.” Next up is Mary Widow (Cannibal’s real-life fiancée), who pulls a rope of glistening entrails from her panties. After whipping his betrothed’s fake guts into the audience, Cannibal kicks off the zombie-costume contest.

We’ve got a formidable line-up here: Banana Zombie and Housewife Zombie are joined by Harry Potter Zombie, Bike Courier Zombie, and a mangled-shirt-and-tails zombie Cannibal dubs “Dr. Teeth.” After three elimination rounds, Dr. Teeth proves to have an unbeatable shuffle-and-moan technique; it nets him first place.

Finally, Dead Alive starts rolling, and as we watch the crisp 35mm print of this sublimely gross early Peter Jackson zombie classic, each new explosion of viscera provokes ecstatic cheers. I glance behind me during the film’s sickening finale, which involves an exquisitely gooey unbirthing scene; the entire audience appears to be squirming. Peristaltic waves of nausea have never felt so right.

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