school of the holy beast

One thing I haven’t really had a chance to do in my years of living next to New York City is have a classically sleazy NYC theatrical experience. Last night seemed as good a night as any, as I found out last minute (via Steven McVey) about a midnight showing of Norifumi Suzuki’s School of the Holy Beast at the awesome Landmark Sunshine Cinema.

I first read about this ’74 shocka in Patrick Macias‘s Tokyoscope book, and I’ve actually owned a bootleg DVD of it since, I don’t know, 2005? Since this illicit media languished so long on my shelf, I figured I owed it to myself and Suzuki to go see his masterpiece in the theater. An essential quote from Macias’s book sums it up nicely:

“Trashy as it may sound, Suzuki’s film is absolutely gorgeous to gaze upon (an arts center projectionist once swore to me that it was the most beautiful looking film he’s ever shown), many of its shots carefully framed and lit for maximum fearful symmetry.”

But maybe the trailer speaks for itself (NSFW):

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