When screaming terror, gut-munching frenzy and gore galore collide, Dr. Gangrene can usually be found in the wreckage. The host of weekly spookathon Chiller Cinema (now showing on CATV Ch. 19 and UPN 30), the Doctor follows in the bloody footsteps of legendary Nashville horror hosts such as Sir Cecil Creape and Dr. Lucifer. But he's got a little something extra in his crypt: guitars from beyond the grave. The Doc has helped cultivate a growing audience for psychotronic trashabilly right here in Murder City by giving horror bands a slot on his show.
This atom-brain army rises to do his bidding 7 p.m. Friday at Dr. Gangrene's Horror Hootenanny, a night-long reign of torment featuring short films, the grisly feats of human pincushion Sideshow Benny, and four flesh-stripping bands. New York's Psycho Charger headlines, but the hometown acts'll make 'em work for it. Nashville's Monster Zero and The Creeping Cruds are joined by The Exotic Onesthe band named for the Nashville-filmed Ormond Family classic in which caveman Sleepy LaBeef clubs a man with his own ripped-off arm. They don't make 'em like they used to.
The 18-and-up show will also have gore prizes, I mean door prizesOK, stop already. (Blame it on a childhood misspent reading Famous Monsters.) Wanna win a life-size working Terminator head? Here's where you do it. In between acts, the Doctor will screen shorts from his recent Unlucky 13 horror-film contest. The $5 cover goes toward keeping Chiller Cinema on the air.
The show's at The Runway, the new club at 1609 Murfreesboro Road near the Donelson-Harding turnoff. Look for the giant "LIQUORS" sign or Nort's on the right. For more information about the show or the bands, see the Doctor's own site (www.chillercinema.com) or the excellent www.horrorbands.com site, which provides links to most of the acts and many more. And be sure to visit the many fine sponsors, who should be commended for backing something so utterly unredeeming in social value. As the great Ghoulardi would say, "Stay sick!"
♦ Sadly, we hear that Exotic Ones guitarist Zoomga is no longer with Trauma Team, who made a memorable Chiller Cinema appearance back in the day. But his work is preserved on the band's long-awaited first LP, just released this month. It's a fierce blast of garage-y Nashville punk, with Laurel Parton's vocals packing all the savage sass of Chrissie Hynde on the first Pretenders album. You can find it at Grimey's or the band's site, www.traumateamgo.com. Or you can pick it up Saturday night at Springwater, where the band plays on a bill with Bosco Stravinskya Louisville band featuring Lewis Lowrey, whose brother Allen performs with Trauma Team as well as Lambchopand highly touted Pittsburgh group Shopping, who come recommended to Television lovers.
♦ Speaking of television lovers, when did documentary-watching in America become a Super Bowl-sized social activity? On Sunday afternoon, hot on the heels of Fahrenheit 9/11, MoveOn.org will sponsor house parties across the country (including in Nashville) to watch Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, a new documentary that purports to expose Fox News' pattern of blatant right-wing propaganda. (This is news?) Featuring copious clips and interviews with former Fox personnel, the doc dishes dirt such as a Fox VP's agenda-setting memo warning war reporters not to "fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives." Now if only they can prove Australian mogul Murdoch was behind the conspiracy to infect American cinemas with Yahoo Serious. We hear one party is already full, but to check (or to sponsor another), see http://action.moveon.org/outfoxed/.
♦ Also on Sunday, head from your Outfoxed party right over to NV on Second Avenue for Nympho's Desire, featuring DJs Jimmy and Nephilim. There's a prize for the most erotic costume. Dress for both events by going as Howard Dean.
♦ Using an unprecedented opportunity to suck up from coast to coast, Joel Siegel will interview writer-director M. Night Shyamalan in a live "In the Director's Chair" Q&A broadcast to 41 Regal Cinemas theaters across the country, including Nashville's Opry Mills 20. Pre-selected audience members will be allowed to ask questions by satellite, which sounds like a sure-fire way to spark open discussion. Clips from Shyamalan's new film The Village will also be shown. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tuesday, and tickets are $10.
♦ This week's art offerings at the Belcourt: the fine doc Lost Boys of Sudan, which illuminates the plight of Sudanese refugees relocated to Americasome of whom live in Nashville and may speak at a screening Tuesdayand Guy Maddin's demented musical-tragedy farce The Saddest Music in the World. At Green Hills: the Cole Porter musical biopic De-Lovely, with Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, and the Sundance fave Napoleon Dynamite.