The curtain rises for the eleventh shabbycon, organized in Madrid from passion to the most dandruff, delirious and ridiculous cinema. In this edition, the festival has established itself with an identity that has been strengthened in recent years. For this year, an official competition section has been incorporated, heartfelt tributes to the cinema of model-destroying monsters, such as dinosaurs and kaijus, have been programmed, and the premiere of the recovered film has been planned. new york ninja, rescued from an archeology job trash who reconstructs his B-series kung-fu from the original unedited negatives. In addition, an affectionate look has been cast at the Wakaliwood cinema, made in the Wakaliga neighborhood, Uganda, where all the residents work to record perhaps not the best action cinema of today, but the one that makes him want the most.
CutreCon tries to surround films with something more than cinema, programming vitamin combos of films plus documentaries seasoned with numerous talks with the protagonists of their stories. Beyond the cinematography, he characterizes this festival's audience, an audience that turns all the 'garbage' that is thrown at it into a diamond. The audience defends itself by yelling at the screen, making jokes, playing games, whatever makes the movie bearable.
The director of the Festival, Carlos Palencia, is clear: "The public is an essential element. This is a truism, but in a festival like ours, the public is what ends up making the films fun. Many are already fun per se , but if you add to that 500 people cheering, cheering, participating with jokes, insulting the screen or clapping the songs, it creates a catharsis, a sense of community and a festive atmosphere in the room ".
Palencia recalls that when Greg Sextero, star of the cult B-series film directed by Tommy Wiseau, visited the festival TheRoom, he said that watching a movie there was like "watching a football game". "She said: 'My goodness, the Spanish public', she hadn't seen anything like it, and that in the screenings of The Room It also messes around, but nobody beats us Spaniards to shout and mess it up".
28 films, four venues, numerous guests, CutreCon seems to be growing exponentially at the same time that the cult of crappy cinema is expanding through the internet. In one of the first screenings of this edition, which began on February 23 at different venues in Madrid, as soon as the CutreCon XI logo appeared, someone shouted "Cutreconchi!", and that is how the name of the show remained for all scheduled movies.
The fashionable name at the festival is "Ramón", which is continually referred to, especially because of how surprising it is that this traditional name is precisely also the name of the Wakaliwood film production company: Ramon productions. It is common to see people get up from their seats to dance, clap their hands or raise their hands imploring the screen, shouting "why, Lisa?", a reference to the aforementioned TheRoom, to the tormenting and poor John Liu, dismal actor of the extraordinarily bad New York Ninja.
"The cinema already has more than a hundred years of history, we are in 2022, in the new generations, more students have seen The Room what Citizen Kane, I don't know to what extent this is good or bad, I think that the new generations are digital natives and these types of movies have gone viral on the internet. Citizen Kane It is still a classic in the history of cinema, it seems to me an indisputable movie, but The Room or Birdemic, They are films that have been viralized and have accompanied them on social networks.
What would become of these films if festivals and fans didn't rescue them? What would be the fate of those exploitation Italians that flooded the windows of eighties video stores? The CutreCon festival rescues from oblivion and reformulates the films it exhibits. The signifier is the same, but the environment has changed, so the meaning of these films is reversed to the delight of everyone, including the director: "I give the example of Steven E. de Souza, screenwriter of The jungle of crystal, that we had the audacity and courage to invite him to CutreCon because we knew he was someone who knew a lot about cinema and had no qualms about laughing at his missteps. When we called him, he thought we were doing it to talk about Jungle Crystal, but no, we're doing it to talk about the biggest failure of your career, Street Fighter, and immediately told us that yes, he was tired of talking about The jungle of crystal, and that it seemed wonderful to him that someone called him to talk about street-fighter and being able to blow off some steam, it was amazing! He gave us an hour of colloquium talking about the miseries of filming," Palencia gets excited.
CutreCon XI also offers a wide range of activities around the movies. This year there are numerous talks with some of her protagonists, among them the estimable Alan Hofmanis, a New Yorker who was left by her partner the day she offered to marry him. Lost, aimless, he made a decision that would change the history of cinema in Uganda, he left everything and went to meet that director from the Wakaliga neighborhood who made such refreshing films. That was none other than Isaac Nabwana, an unapologetic director who produced high-voltage films for the house of culture in his neighborhood. Together they put Wakaliwood on the map for the most exceptional movie follies in living memory. "These movies achieve something that is always very difficult, which is to have that self-aware point. The best trashy movies like birdemic, are those that went wrong unintentionally. Wakaliwood wants to shoot real action, there are actors who know martial arts that surprise you, but since they are shot without a budget, they highlight the deficiencies on purpose. The voiceover in these films helps a lot, there is always an audio track, with a person making jokes about the film, making fun of it, that he is one of the inhabitants of Wakaliga itself, and highlights the mistakes. There's a double reading as you watch it, it's currently the funniest trashy movie currently being shot."
The Jess Franco award, which the festival awards to someone who has done "a great job spreading crappy cinema" this year, goes to Isaac Nabwana, "who in little more than ten years has created a small industry from nothing, and when we say out of nowhere we say out of nowhere, they are 200 dollar films, he simply bought a camera and assembles them on a computer with parts found in landfills, the cranes they use, they make them all with used car parts, that is who make an entire action movie industry out of nothing that is also making this town of Wakaliga prosper financially, and they sell the blu-ray in the US and they are talked about all over the world. We can present this award to him", considers Carlos Palencia.
The CutreCon offer covers all possible modalities. Self-aware and iconoclastic cinema that knows it's bad, but tries to amuse and have a good time, such as the American film in official competition, Crabs. There are also those without qualms, which are so shameless that they do not heed copyright or any minimal film rule, such as the so-called Turkish Star Wars, the protagonist of one of the most anticipated nights of the festival, the Turksploitation. “Turkish Star Wars, if you haven't seen it, will change your life. This has been released in theaters in Turkey in the 80's and people were going to see this? That it is not a film that four colleagues have recorded in a wasteland, it is a real commercial film, I did not know that crappy cinema could go so far," warns Palencia.
There are also failed films by good directors, films that stain the curriculum in such a way that everything looks black. This is the case of the two works by the Italian director Sergio Martino. "Martino is a good director. He was delighted that a film festival invited him to talk about those exploitations that he did in the 80s. We remember that Martino shot giallos very good quality as Torso, is a quite competent director", he points out. Of him they are going to project 2019 after the fall of New York and destroyer, two films "very unsuccessful, very ridiculous but they have a rhythm, a sense of entertainment, a montage that doesn't stop, you can see that there is a director back there who is always dedicating himself to entertaining the public".
The tremendous story of the Galician director Toñito Blanco also has its space, with the projection of the iconic The cannibalistic slaughter of the lysergic garrulous and the documentary dedicated to his figure and work Toñito Blanco só, lost and vicious. The public celebrates each gratuitous bloodshed that is on stage, some students from the Faculty of Information Sciences of the Complutense University of Madrid, where the first screenings of the festival are held, approach the event with curiosity, others flee in the middle of darkness. The audience, hurt, yells at everyone with a resounding "cowards!". Silvia Superstar and co-director Ricardo Llovo tell anecdotes celebrated with joy by the public. It is tremendously amusing to discover that the wildest movie of that time was shot in a town in full celebration of Holy Week. A toy dinosaur fell off the table at that moment from the speakers' table, a macabre joke after the screening of a very poor quality, sexist, misogynistic and racist film entitled The Last Dinosaur, a filmic aberration that made the attendees sing and cheer the terrible melodies of the film's soundtrack, more than anything because the film was no longer supported.
There is also room for the nicknamed "Asturian John Wick": Eduardo Castejón and his JL Detective, very fan of the series Narcos, Corruption in Miami or Fast and Furious. "It was said 'I'm going to shoot an action series, we'll shoot a pilot and see if any network buys it'. They had such a good time that they started shooting without knowing if they were going to sell it to any network, without means, but with a lot of passion " and in the end they made two seasons of ten episodes of one hour each, which they have not been able to sell. "But it has a sense of fun, that when we saw it we said, 'it must have gone wrong, but what a good time they had' and that is admirable. I think they will have more success through CutreCon than if they had reached any streaming platform or any television", says the director of the show.
A single approach to the atmosphere of the festival is enough to realize that beyond the general jocular atmosphere that an unlimited admiration is distilled towards the creation without complexes, the creative impulse and the magic of cinema. Everyone, artists, audience and programmers, seems to reach a tacit agreement that the miseries of life are not so miserable as long as there is a funny cardboard dinosaur on the screen. Putin has just invaded Ukraine, but at CutreCon everything is a bubble of transformation in which taking things seriously is not possible. "To those who accuse us of laughing at the authors of the films, we tell them that it is not true. Many times they generate admiration for me, people who without money, without knowing how to make movies, have said: 'Well, I like cinema! !', I'm going to start making a movie, and I'm hot, people laugh, and let it be what God wants. That's super admirable, "he concludes.