This week: METER MAID ME MASSACRE!!!
Anyone who owns a car and lives in a major metropolitan area (especially San Francisco) is familiar with the relentless frustration of dealing with local parking enforcement agencies. The heartless detachment of the meter maid, the stress of an ever-growing stack of parking tickets on your kitchen table, and the constant fear of waking up to find a "boot" on your tire are all symptoms of city life, and the depressing futility of fighting back against such a system is enough to deaden a man's soul.
But one San Francisco man has found his own unique way of striking back at the DPT: Through independent film. The man? Cecil B. Feeder. The films? Meter Maid Me Mad and Meter Maid Me Massacre.
I met Cecil for the first time at The Vista in Eureka, during a late night basketball game in the parking lot following a performance by his long-running punk band, The Bar Feeders. Cecil went to film school at Humboldt State (10 minutes up Highway 101 from my old pad), and we had much to speak about in the way of film, music, horror, and zombies.
Fast-forward to a couple years later. I'm now living in San Jose (don't ask...), and one night I find myself on a boozer in SF, alongside my old buddy Bob (former owner of the aforementioned Vista in E-Town). We end up in Cecil's house, and after a few brews he kicks down a VHS copy of his new film, Meter Maid Me Mad. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can view this 11-minute masterpiece, in its entirety, below:
Although I certainly appreciated the independent spirit and quirky humor of this film, I had yet to experience firsthand the rage one feels when dealing with these so-called "meter maids". Why had Mr. Feeder chosen to target these innocent civil servants? They're just doing their job, right?
Fast forward again, this time to 2006. I've been living in SF for just under a year, and have sworn eternal war upon the meter maids of the city. I now truly FEEL the rage that fueled Meter Maid Me Mad, and have forever allied myself with the soldiers of the anti-DPT cause. The stack of parking tickets on my kitchen table gets an inch taller on a daily basis, and each day has become a constant battle to outwit the helmeted minions forever patrolling the streets in their despicable little golf carts.
Imagine the sheer joy that sprung in my heart, then, when Cecil B. Feeder announced the release of M4's sequel, Meter Me Maid Me Massacre. The voice of the anti-DPT movement had spoken once again, this time in the form of an all-out punk rock kung fu zombie splatterfest. Our legions again had aim and focus, and Massacre was our new battle cry.
Above: Just a small visual appetizer for the gore-soaked banquet that is Meter Maid Me Massacre.
With a slightly larger budget and a whole Hell of a lot more ambition, Massacre was tenfold the cinematic experience that Mad was, displaying a Troma-like affinity for homemade gore and special effects. Filmed entirely on location in San Francisco, this almost-20-minute epic was a lesson in the power of independent filmmaking, with an abundance of nudity, arterial spray, latex zombie makeup, large, choreographed kung fu fight scenes, and over-the-top, Evil Dead-esque silliness.
Massacre was an instant classic in the San Francisco underground horror scene, screening at many local bars and theaters to audiences hungry for DPT blood. It was even released on DVD! High tech!
As you all know by now, horror movies can be judged by a very simple equation. The smaller the budget of the film, the better it is. Meter Maid Me Massacre is conclusive proof of this principle. It was made on approximately NO budget, and as a result is superior to about 99% of what Hollywood passes off as "horror" these days. The frenzied excitement of creating a film completely beneath the radar is palpable in this movie, and actors can often be seen repressing giddy smiles while filming. THIS is what good horror is all about -- Fucking The Man, drenching the cast and crew in a SHITLOAD of fake blood, and shooting in abandoned warehouses in the middle of the night.
Below: A couple actors and crew members wrap filming (Cecil B. Feeder is second from the left, wearing the Maiden shirt).
I bet you guys want to see this movie really bad now. Well guess what? No waiting for a Netflix delivery on this one. You can watch it RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.
Ladies and gentlemen, Meter Maid Me Massacre:
You can watch another SF-based short film by Mr. Feeder, documenting the life of the infamous Tamale Lady, here.