High-glamour child abuse, anyone? You are in luck. On Saturday night, Peaches Christ (Midnight Mass creator, All About Evil writer/director) will once again screen Mommie Dearest, this time in honor of its 30th anniversary. Obviously, it's a show not to be missed. For the uninitiated the Hollywood biopic tells the tale of movie legend Joan Crawford's relationship with her slow-swimming, rare-meat-hating, can't-clean-a-bathroom-worth-shit daughter, Christina. Though a critical and box office disaster upon its release, the flick has since garnered loyal fans throughout the world, making it the foremost cult film of our time. Calling Mommie Dearest underrated would be an understatement. To learn more about the movie's unprecedented phenomenon, SFist talked to Peaches for further insight about Crawford, abusing your offspring, and, of course, Faye Dunaway and her crazy ass.
SFist: Outside of the movie's alluring camp angle, do you consider Mommie Dearest a good film?
Peaches Christ: Yes, definitely. I think it was always a good movie. A great movie, in fact It was just too over-the-top for the general public and it made people uncomfortable. The film itself is so beautiful; it tells an epic and legendary story. The writing is great, the performances are great. People need to loosen up to enjoy it. I love the Hollywood it portrays and, unlike most movies made thirty years ago, its anniversary will be celebrated across the country by a dedicated and loyal fan base.
SFist: Tells us your favorite scene in MD.
PC: Oh God, there are too many favorites to pick just one! But right now, I'm really loving the swimming scene. I love the performances between the mom and daughter characters: the competition, the drive, and the insanity of it all. I think it shows that Joan meant well and that, well, Christina was a little bit of a brat. And, of course, I love the now-famous dialogue: "I'm bigger and I'm stronger. I will always beat you."
SFist: Have child abuse victims ever sent you hate mail or approached you in anger for screening MD?
PC: No. In fact, it's the opposite. Some actual victims of child abuse will perform with us onstage this Saturday. While growing up with an abusive mother isn't really all that funny, I find that, within our group of misfit performers and fans, comedy can be a healing way of dealing with things. It's sorta like how victims of bullying love the movie Heathers.
SFist: One of the primary reasons MD is so very watchable is Faye Dunaway's take on Joan Crawford. Care to comment on Dunaway's (brilliant) performance?
PC: Well, you said it. The performance is indeed brilliant. I think she was unfairly treated by critics and the press at the time because, honestly, she's a genius... and her movies prove it. Yes, it's an insane performance, but she was completely dedicated to it and is so good at it. Also, the movie is so iconic now that people continue to confuse the real Joan with Faye's Joan. She's that good.
SFist: Speaking of Dunaway, what the hell is wrong with her? Seriously. She's crazy, right? And why won't she appear at your screenings of MD?
PC: She has an open invitation from me to come and do a show with Peaches anytime! I'd love nothing more for her to experience how much people love her in this movie, how people genuinely think she's incredible. I hope she embraces it someday. I've heard she can be a handful...but I also have a friend who knows her and says nothing but nice things about her. So, who knows?
SFist: What's your favorite Joan Crawford movie?
SFist: Anything else you want to tell our readers about Saturday's big show?
PC: Bring your mother! Biological, drag, spiritual, or otherwise.
SFist: Thanks, Peaches!
We should also point out that, in addition to screening of the classic biopic, Saturday's show will also include the return of “Trannie Dearest” with Peaches Christ, Heklina, Martiny, the Midnight Mass Players.
Even better, Saturday's show will also boast specially priced VIP Hollywood Royalty Ticket availability, which gives fans early entry, preferred orchestra seating, two cocktails, an autographed program, and an the chance to win an extra special gift basket. Details below.
What: Ultimate Mommie Dearest: 30th Anniversary Birthday Celebration
When: Saturday, May 7
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m.; show starts at 8 p.m.
Where: Castro Theatre (Castro & Market)
Cost: $20 (online), $25 (box office), $40 (VIP)