Oasis nightclub owner D’Arcy Drollinger tells SFist about ‘Shit and Champagne,’ her cult-hit play-turned-movie that's having a Castro Theatre premiere Saturday, and new streaming deals with Amazon Prime and AppleTV.
When SFist reviewed the original stage play Shit & Champagne back in 2015, we loved it so much we gave it Four Shits. So we were stoked when it was announced in early 2020 that the movie version of Shit & Champagne would premiere at the Castro Theatre for the 2020 SFFILM festival — but then, you know.
Corks will pop at the Castro Theatre Saturday night, though, as the 70s sexploitation movie send-up Shit & Champagne finally gets its San Francisco premiere on that storied silver screen. So we spoke to the film’s writer, director, and star D’Arcy Drollinger, co-owner of the the Oasis nightclub, about the film’s six-year journey from a low-budget stage play to full-fledged feature film.
And we’ve got a big poop scoop: Shit & Champagne will arrive streaming on Amazon Prime and AppleTV on October 12, after its September 7 streaming premiere on Altavod, and Saturday’s San Francisco premiere at the Castro.
The film already technically had its premiere during Frameline 2020 at Concord’s West Wind Solano Drive-In. “It was great. 3,000 people came,” Drollinger tells us. “But you were looking through a windshield and listening to your car stereo.”
And even if you saw it then, there’s been more than a year’s worth of technical post-production to polish it up. “It's the same movie, but there’s a lot of new music now,” she says. “There’s been a full new layer of sound on top of it. There's been really great coloring added to it. It looks super lush, and it sounds just great.”
"It really feels like an old-school movie from the 70s now," she tells SFist. "Our biggest star that’s in this film is Alaska (Thunderfuck) from Drag Race, who I love working with."
If you did see Shit & Champagne during its runs at Oasis and, previously, Rebel, you can expect the film to be a bigger-budget treat. “At the Oasis, we just had Debbie the sign girl with the signs of the location. It said ‘Freeway’ and you had the sounds of the freeway but you got no visual. Now we can go to places like the actual beach and the freeway, and you can see the interiors of the world. You can kind of bring the whole fantasy to a much more real level.”
“It allows us to do more sight gags that you can’t do on stage,” she adds. “On stage, everyone had three or four characters, but we can't do that in the film."
And those who saw the play may remember a viciously cruel but very funny celebrity joke in the second act that brought the house down with uproarious laughter. Yes, that viciously cruel celebrity joke is also included in the movie
“I changed a number of things,” Drollinger says. “I tried out some other jokes there, and none of them had the same guttural response.”
It’s been way too long since we last enjoyed a Midnight Mass-style drag queen movie theater takeover. The indoor vaccination mandate will of course be enforced at the Castro Saturday, with a card, photo of a card, or the QR code/digital card accepted. And you are required to wear your mask, even if that means you're getting foundation and lipstick all over it.
Saturday will be a homecoming in more ways than one for D’Arcy Drollinger and Shit & Champagne. She remembers her childhood when her uncle “took me to the Castro Theatre and I saw Charlie Chaplin for the first time. I look back on my comedy, and can really trace a lot of roots back to that physical comedy. And I just remember, I can still smell the Castro Theater, just from being there as a little kid. To look up and see my name where Chaplin’s was really does just feel, it's pretty fabulous.”
While Oasis continues its cabaret and nightclub stylings, we also know what’s next for D’Arcy Drollinger and Shit & Champagne
“I am currently working on the sequel,” she says, 100% not kidding. “I’m addicted to it.”
The San Francisco premiere of “Shit & Champagne” happens Saturday, August 28, 8 p.m., at the Castro Theatre. Tickets here.
Images: Shit & Champagne, distributed by Utopia