EMP: Yesterday, Today, and Beyond…

EMP Collective’s Odd Sunday Cine Club presents EMP: Yesterday, Today, and Beyond…

This month’s theme features films that shed light on EMP’s origin, present, and destiny. To understand why these films were chosen we’ve included a little EMP history lesson, as well as a regional social studies review.

Odd Sunday #1 (3/4/12): Vernon, FL (Errol Morris, 1981) and Heavy Metal Parking Lot (Jeff Krulik and John Heyn, 1986) (Double Feature, totaling 72 mins)

Yesterday…
Florida is: a place where serial killers, fugitives, and sweet, old grandmothers go to bask in the hedonist swamps of Walt Disney’s anti-Semitic dreams. It is between the blissful beaches of the Gulf and Atlantic that the warped imaginations of ill minds are harvested. And it was there that a handful of misfit artists formed a syphilitic-strong bond that would hold true even after everyone got the hell out of Florida and went their separate ways.

Vernon is: named after Mt. Vernon (namesake of George Washington’s original home outside of DC). Vernon was dubbed “Nub City” because it was speculated that people were intentionally cutting off their own limbs for insurance money. A young Errol Morris (The Fog of War) intended to make a documentary about the insurance scandal but the town’s people threatened his life so he abandoned that idea and instead spent time with many of the towns eccentric “characters.”

Today…
In 2009, the Florida runaways teamed up with some equally awkward Maryland/DC locals to put up the first ever EMP Collective multi-media event, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!, in Baltimore.

Maryland/DC is: a place where government grifters amass wealth so they can retire down in the Sunshine State. But on the flip side of that coin, countless others are economically and psychologically broken down and pushed to the fringes of society until they commit enough heinous acts of desperation that they’re forced to flee south. Luckily for the eventually-would-be downtrodden and criminally insane, the 80s temporarily provided a magical medium of escape known as heavy metal music.

The second film in this series, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, highlights the raging enthusiasm for heavy metal as fans tailgate before a Judas Priest concert in Landover, Maryland in 1986. Bring your devil horns.

Odd Sunday #2 (3/18/12): Dark Star (John Carpenter, 1974)

Tomorrow is: not so different from today? I don’t have a crystal ball but if the Discovery Channel’s Future Weapons has taught us anything, it’s that intelligent bombs are right around the corner. The last film in this series, Dark Star, is about what happens when future EMP members grow beards, presumably do drugs, and travel intergalactically with advanced weaponry. At least I think that’s what John Carpenter (Halloween) had in mind with his first feature film; a hyperbole for a typical EMP road trip.