Lucha Mexico
Friday July 15 and Saturday July 16 at IFC Center: $14
I remember very clearly my first time at a Mexican wrestling match, aka lucha libre– like almost any arena you can imagine staging such an event in the U.S., the place was barebones and there were troughs carrying swiftly flowing rivers of piss presumably into the storm drains outside. But let’s just say I’ve never been to a sporting event north of the border where it was a-OK for muscley men in masks to grasp a group of little people by the wrists, and one by one, ignoring their struggle and cries, toss them off into the stadium abyss. Where was it these little luchadores were on their way to? Not anywhere nice, is all I can say.

Anyhoo, Lucha Libre is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon in Mexico– one that attracts people of all incomes, age, size, and skin shade– but we don’t get to see much of it up here in Los Estados Unidos. Perhaps it’s too frio for such madness. Or maybe we’re just that boring. But don’t take Jack Black’s word for it, either hop in a car and get to your closest border town, or go see Lucha Mexico– in which two American directors were given “unprecedented access” to the major Lucha organizations and partner up with famous faces– er, masks– 1000% Guapo, Blue Demon Jr., and El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo, for what IFC promises is a “no holds barred look” at this wacky sport.

Fist Church 
Sunday July 24, 3 pm at Spectacle: $5
Why would you ever submit to spending your Sunday in a real church for the price of your soul, when you could spend it in Fist Church for just $5? Well, the answer’s easy– you wouldn’t. And watching whatever this “bi-monthly, mystery Kung-Fu matinee” has under its ninja belt is guaranteed to be awesome anyway, but judging by the above reel it’s bound to be mega on-point. I’m no martial arts expert (I only made it to blue-belt-with-red-stripes or something in Tae Kwon Do), but fire-breathing Samurais, decapitation by-sword, and  and  and anyway is there even one church you know of where a quart of Clamato and your brown-bag special are allowed? Didn’t think so.

We know for sure that Spectacle has some sick selections in their repertoire including Sister Street Fighter (1974) and Fighting Madam (1987), both notable appearances at their bygone series, Female Kung-Fu Midnights. but since the whole of the genre’s output, including whatever craziness they can mine from the internet, are game, it truly is a mystery what and who’s gonna be on their unholiest of Reverend Reel’s prayer docket for the day. Let’s just say it’s not gonna be anyone Father Dick Jr.’s lighting candles for. BOOSH.

And just because PCP and Kung-Fu-movie-watchin go together like salt and pepper, doesn’t mean the stuff’s welcome at Spectacle– hey, they said it, not me. Save the angel dust for real church.

Wednesday July 27, 7:30 pm at Spectacle: $5
Mark your calendars and get your tickets in advance, coz something’s on the horizon that’s super specially fit for all you socialist nerds out there like me who tend to lose your dang face over any former-Yugoslav cultural nuggets that come your way. And we’re not talking any old Tito-fetish movie or ideologically-attuned agit-prop film. No– this is a documentary about Satan Panonski– “beat poet, punk utopian, performance artist, and war criminal” whose ultimate goal was to foment revolution and consolidate a new kind of socialism based on rock n’ roll and self-mutilation. I mean, he’s no Satanic gallerist JJ Brine or anything, but the guy led a pretty fascinating life as the Yugoslavian GG Allin.

As your average Socialist kiddy, then Ivica Culjak was just another red-scarfing wearing Little Pioneer, but when puberty hit he became something of a terror. He was sent away for boarding school where he discovered punk, and it was all downhill from there, as they say. When little Culjak returned to Yugo he assumed a whole new personality, Satan Panonski,  and joined the band Pogreb X. After spending a decade-long stint in a psychiatric institution where he was sent for killing a man, Satan was released and returned to punk, where he became well known all over the republic of Croatia for his brutal sound and confrontational performances.

Just a year after Serbian director Milorad Milinković (then a film student) made this film, the Breakup of Yugoslavia began and war broke out. Panonski joined the Croatian Ustaše and died under some freaky circumstances, which I’m sure you’ll hear about at this event, which also features a reading from a new fanzine (dealing with “the creative and destructive urges of the punk movement, and their parallels to the collapse of Yugoslavia and Socialism”) as well as readings from a brand new biography about this legendary punk figure’s crazy life and times.