Wrapping up its fourth season of Midnight Radio, Bricolage Production Co. pushes the boundaries of taste, humor and patience with Cult Movie Classics. Prepare to cringe, groan and pound the chairs (hey, they're new) as you double over, laughing at the Bricolagization of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Mothra vs. Godzilla. The originals are painful enough, but with the careful editing and live dialogue and special effects, Cult Movies is truly a classic.
Wonk that I am, I can't help but be curious about the legal, i.e., intellectual-property, mayhem visited upon the Japanese films by Bricolage artistic director Jeffrey Carpenter. Needless to say, these renderings stray far from the intense sincerity of the respective kung-fu masterwork and monster flick, with a large helping of adolescent body-function jokes, sexist non sequiturs and mind-bending asides. The themes of sex, flatulence, violence, Asian pop culture and just plain weirdness continue in Midnight Radio's customary "fake breaking news," "commercials" and audience-participation "game show."
I won't drop any spoilers, except to note that in the "ads," Japanese words are freely mixed with Chinese, Korean and probably other Asian-language characters — and I wish I knew what the gibberish (or secret message) translates to.
Adding to the festivities, a "cooking show" dodges the Cult Movies slant for pure Pixburgh, complete with yinzer accents that would crack cast iron, er, ahrn. Credit Ange Vesco as writer and star of this parody of culinary competition. Much praise, too, to the voice actors in a variety of roles each, plus their ensemble (live!) dubbing the movies' new dialogue: Sheila McKenna, Amy Landis, Patrick Jordan, Jason McCune and Foley artist Skyler Sullivan. And a big hand to writers Gayle Pazerski, Brad Stephenson and Joe Lyons.
Completing the entertainment are musical director Deana Muro; sound engineer Brendan Kepple; multimedia effects by Andrew J. Paul; stage manager Caitlin Roper; and musical guest Josh Verbanets, from the band Meeting of Important People.
Midnight Radio is for broad-minded adults only. Reveling in the raucous (not to say unsettling) political incorrectness of Cult Movie Classics, with its Asian themes, is definitely dis-orienting.