Best Film Festival

Super-8 Movie Madness

With all due respect to the mighty Webster Film Series and its continually impressive roster of films, there's nothing like Tom Stockman's Super-8 Movie Madness. The labor of love — heavy emphasis on love — happens on the first Tuesday of the month at the Way Out Club, and it celebrates the weird and wonderful world of Super-8 films. These relics from the pre-VHS era are short cuts (about fifteen minutes) of films that focus on the best parts of each individual movie, and no, we're not talking about dialogue or characterization; sex and violence are the order of the day. Stockman's a collector and a trader of these old gems, able to procure a copy of seemingly anything, which he sometimes organizes by theme. In the past year we've seen a tribute to special-effects genius Ray Harryhausen; a blaxploitation night; a disaster-film night; and the shudder-inducing politically incorrect night, which featured a film starring a five-year-old Shirley Temple as a prostitute (Polly Tix in Washington). On special occasions, Stockman stretches out with expanded cuts of films, busting out the 16 mm film projector as necessary. (Tod Browning's Freaks showed up in a 60-minute version at the aforementioned politically incorrect night.) Regardless of the length of the films shown or the profound weirdness of them, admission is always $3. So that's an obscure, strange and cheap night out for less than a gallon of gas. That's as St. Louis as it gets.

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