It’s Fall in Santa Cruz. The homeless people are wearing more earthy tones, the tweekers are already dressed as zombies and the marquee at The Del Mar Theatre says Big Ass Spider is playing. If this type of discordant triptych is in your wheelhouse you need to catch the last two weeks of the Del Mar Theatres: Special Movies for Special People.
One of the special people behind the screens is local stand-up comic and film connoisseur Chad Opitz. The iconic bearded and mustachioed Opitz is reminiscent of a young George Lucas and verbally excited about the series, but quick to point out that, “Scott Griffin is the guy that books the films. I barely did anything beyond suggest the concept and some of the content they're showing. He would definitely be the person to credit for getting it done. I just kind of pushed him to get it off the ground.”
The series has so far titillated the faithful with Bad Milo (about a stress induced intestinal ass goblin) and Big Ass Spider (“self explanatory," says Opitz), but there is time to catch We Are What We Are (10/25 & 10/26). According to the movie monster magnate Opitz, this weekend’s feature is, “A tastefully made, rural South cannibalism family feature."
Not all of them are horror genre, according to Opitz. “It’s movies made outside the mainstream with bizarre story line and odd plots. This series is made of movies that would not do well in a full length run, but people who are interested in lower budget genre features should come out for the shows.”
Next weekend (11/1 and 11/2) features Mr. Nobody. Opitz has only seen the trailer for this one but comments, “That it's a fantasy/drama about a 118-year-old man who is recounting his life to a reporter and the various paths and turns it could have taken if he would have only done things differently.” If ass goblins, Southern cannibals and big ass spiders were too weird for you, this might be the one to catch.
Opitz is passionate about getting people to see movies that are not available on Netflix. “The ticket prices are only $6.50 to see it on a big screen and I love seeing movies with a great crowd," says Opitz. “Every year the Del Mar does the Secret Film Festival which is so much fun and that’s always packed. We’re trying to find our crowd. But frankly, if you’re the kind of person who sees Big Ass Spider on a marquee and you don’t go, you’re probably a dick!”
We Are What We Are runs on Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th at 11:50 pm. Mr. Nobody runs Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd at approx. 11:50 pm. Tickets are $6.50. The Del Mar Theatre is located on 1124 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz.