THRILLVILLE: Will "the Thrill" Viharo's weird, wild world of Pulp Fiction, B Movies, & the Lounge Lizard Lifestyle.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Will the Thrill: "Best B Movie Survivor"!

Will and Monica, Parkway, circa 1998

The San Francisco Bay Guardian recently voted me "Best Movie Survivor" in their 35th annual Best of the Bay issue. Not sure who the competition was, and I get the idea this category was created just for me, but I appreciate the recognition. After such a topsy-turvy year, it's nice to be noticed, and I feel oddly vindicated and validated by what they wrote:
BEST B-MOVIE SURVIVOR The crappy economy has ruined many things. It's the reason both the Parkway and the Cerrito Speakeasy theaters — where you could openly drink a beer you'd actually purchased at the concession stand, not smuggled in under your sweatshirt — closed their doors this year. But even a bummer cash crunch can't dampen a true cult movie fan's love of all things B. Deprived of a permanent venue for his long-running "Thrillville," programmer and host Will "The Thrill" Viharo adjusted his fez, brushed off his velvet lapels, and started booking his popular film 'n' cabaret extravaganzas at other Bay Area movie houses, including the 4-Star and the Balboa in San Francisco, and San Jose's Camera 3. Fear not, devotees of film noir, tiki culture, the swingin' '60s, big-haired babes, Aztec mummies, William Shatner, the Rat Pack, Elvis, creature features, Japanese monsters, and zombies — the Thrill ain't never gonna be gone.

Actually, my beloved and patient wife Monica Tiki Goddess deserves this honor for sitting (sleeping) through so many crappy movies for over a dozen years. That's love.

Thrillville has evolved several times over the years, from a Saturday night midnight show at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater in April 1997; to a prime time Thursday show beginning in January of 1999; to a road show around the Bay at places like the Werepad in SF and an annual Halloween show up at Copia in Napa (both venues now defunct, like Speakeasy - is it me?); and most recently the regular monthly attraction at the Cerrito Theater, until it too closed as a Speakeasy and recently reopened under new management. Now I have to roll with the times once again. Thrillville lives! Cheers!