9 Cheap and Free to Do in L.A. This Week

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is among the horrifying kids fodder honored at Nerdmelt's Insane Movie Hour.EXPAND
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie is among the horrifying kids fodder honored at Nerdmelt's Insane Movie Hour.
Atlantic Entertainment Group

A festival that celebrates the Netherlands, a Kurt Vonnegut podcast taping and more fun stuff to do in L.A. this week for 10 bucks or less.


Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, the more daring half of the 2007 double feature Grindhouse, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the New Beverly Cinema is showing the "extended international version" in 35mm. The grungy aesthetics pay homage to the high-octane car flicks of the 1970s (Vanishing Point, Gone in 60 Seconds, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, et al.), but the white-hot revenge plot — in which four women pursue a psychotic, homicidal movie stuntman (Kurt Russell) in an extended bout of road rage—is pure QT. "Buckle your seatbelts," Bette Davis once said in another movie, "it's going to be a bumpy night." New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., May 26, 11:59 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

Eli Olsberg watches bad entertainment so you don't have to. Olsberg is a stand-up comic and writer whose credits include the Laugh Factory, Comedy Store and UCB, and hosting the ongoing comedy show Performance Anxiety at the Pleasure Chest. For his first, monthly Insane Movie Hour, Olsberg screens clips from children's movies, TV shows and commercials mostly from the 1980s and early '90s, which were intended for kids but are almost too dark and weird even for adults. He's joined by fellow comedians Gaby Dunn, Allison Raskin, Alexis G. Zall and Julian McCullough, who provide commentary. The evening features films such as 1985's Return to Oz and 1987's The Garbage Pail Kids Movie; a commercial for a kids' toy line for 1990's R-rated Terminator 2: Judgment Day; and a 1988 anti-drug PSA with McGruff the Crime Dog and a 13-year-old Drew Barrymore, just before she entered rehab. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., May 28, 9-10:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

In these troubling times, it's all too easy to tilt at windmills about this, that and the other. A more relaxing way to spend the day might be the 28th Annual Holland Festival presented by the Netherlands American Society of Southern California. The fest celebrates the shared cultural heritage of the Netherlands and Indonesia (former Dutch East Indies) with a wide array of tasty Dutch and Indonesian food specialties and plenty of Heineken beer on tap; live music and numerous vendors selling Dutch and Indonesian products and food make for loads of fun for the whole family. Gemmrig Park (Police Park), 7390 E. Carson St., Long Beach; Sun., May 28, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; $10, free 12 and younger. nassocal.org/announcements/holland_festival.html. —John Payne

Upcoming Events

Elaine May is gradually building a cult reputation as one of the great unsung writer-directors, and the New Beverly Cinema knows it. The two films they've selected demonstrate her comedic range, as well as her wonky humanism. A New Leaf, in which she co-stars alongside Walter Matthau, is a painfully funny comedy about a middle-aged playboy who conspires to marry a socially maladroit heiress. The underrated Ishtar, a toothsome sendup of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, is also ripe for reappraisal. A notorious box office bomb, it has gracefully withstood the test of time, thanks to some expert clowning by Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman (trying for some Bob Hope/Bing Crosby magic) and Vittorio Storaro's handsome cinematography. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sun., May 28, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

Five Came Back, the new Netflix documentary based on Mark Harris's best-selling book, profiles five American directors whose state-sanctioned propaganda helped bolster morale during the darkest days of WWII. As a Memorial Day tribute, the Egyptian is presenting five of these wartime documentaries, one for each featured director: Prelude to War (Frank Capra), How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines (John Ford), The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (William Wyler), Nazi Concentration Camps (George Stevens) and Let There Be Light (John Huston). Huston's was singled out by the National Film Registry as an important contribution to the history of cinema, but the others are no less worthy. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Mon., May 29, 3 p.m.; free with RSVP. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

Watch a group of guys bring shame to their gender in host Joe Tower's podcast and bimonthly storytelling hour, Tales of Male Folly. Everyone loves a funny story, and in each show, four comedians, actors and directors recall embarrassing moments they experienced as kids or adults, whether it's being high at the Magic Castle, leading a church youth group, entering a Chinese gang or even surviving testicular cancer. Tonight's holiday-themed Father Knows Best edition features guests who are all dads, including playwright Mark Sitko, film producer Nate Matteson, Emmy-nominated writer/producer Alex Gradet and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Brett Dalton. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood; Tue., May 30, 7-10 p.m.; free. thevirgil.com. —Siran Babayan

For all those whose parents yelled at them for wasting all those quarters or unplugged the game console after one too many arguments, "Continue?: The Philosophy of Japanese Arcade Culture" is a moment of vindication. Video game enthusiast and artistic director Oliver Payne will discuss Japan's arcade games and culture, including so-called "bullet hell games" like Radiant Silvergun and Batsugun — games that seem deeply, fucking impossible because of all the bullets heading your way. Payne also discusses how arcade culture is wrapped up in issues of labor, identity and artistic expression, concepts that are probably still totally lost on your mean parents. Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., May 31, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

Kurt Vonneguys are Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, two comedians and contributors to the humor and video website Cracked, who dedicate their literary podcast to their favorite writer: Kurt Vonnegut. Launched last year, the episodes chronologically break down Vonnegut's entire canon of novels, short stories and plays, beginning with 1952's Player Piano and continuing through such major works as Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions and The Sirens of Titan. On the podcast, Schmidt and Swaim also discuss their favorite quotes, characters and artwork by the author, as well as any Vonnegut-related news, including the upcoming TV version of Cat's Cradle by Noah Hawley, creator of FX's Fargo. For their first live taping, the two will analyze Palm Sunday, Vonnegut's 1981 collection of short stories, essays, letters and speeches, and host an audience Q&A. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Wed., May 31, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan

Still Undiscovered stars two actresses who are just that, which is why they create their own sketch comedy. Annie Cavalero and Cammy Brickell are not content with remaining unknowns, so they wrote a show in which they can pursue their dreams while performing various female roles — a Groupon stripper, a wannabe QVC saleswoman — even if Hollywood never takes notice. Cavalero's husband, Tony, a Groundlings main company member, who plays Dewey Finn on Nickelodeon's School of Rock, directs the cast, which features Katierose Donohue and Matt Hobby. Cavalero and Brickell also share some of their professional humiliation, screening video clips of their past failed auditions for movies and TV shows, including 2 Broke Girls and Grey's Anatomy. The Groundlings Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Thu., June 1, 10 p.m.; $10. (323) 934-4747, groundlings.com. —Siran Babayan


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