Midnight Mass in Manchester: Peaches Christ brings gruesome glamour to Cornerhouse

On Saturday night Manchester was officially dazzled by the glamour-soaked gore-spattered eye-poppingly fantastic UK debut of underground San Francisco phenomena Midnight Mass.

Horror hostess Peaches Christ, the drag alter ego of filmmaker Joshua Grannell, took to the stage for a full-on floor show before the International Premiere of his feature-length film debut, All About Evil. This horror-comedy features a roll-call of alternative idols – including Natasha Lyonne, Mink Stole, Cassandra Peterson and Thomas Dekker. The film tells a story where the owner and staff of an ailing movie theatre start churning out weekly slaughterous shorts to satisfy hungry audiences and save the cinema from closing.

Even before entering the cinema, the entertainment and intrigue began as drag queen librarians staged a protest on Oxford Road. Fans waited eagerly, dressed up for the night in beautifully bizarre Halloween-style outfits, jostling for position amid shouts of “Down with Peaches, we don’t need your filth!”

As people were admitted into Cinema 1, a ghoulish duet played ghostly tunes, adding to the build up. Once seated in the packed cinema, the suspense grew as dancers filled the darkened stage. Finally, the lights came up to reveal a gang of devilish hybrid monsters dancing behind Peaches Christ, a voluptuous gold sequinned feminine diva, standing at around eight feet tall with her huge wig and massive platform shoes. Sparkling scarlett lipstick framed her mouth as she sang “I’m a gore gore girl!” and introduced herself to the cheering crowd.

Peaches went on to entertain the audience with stories she’d picked up about Mancunian life, as well talking about her passion for independent cinema and her desire to keep showmanship at the movies alive with a ‘4-D’ experience. The night continued with lap-dancing librarians, jeering crowds, and a prize-giving for the strangest dressed fans, to name just a few highlights.

The film itself brought everything together as the clevely interwoven characters from the spectacular floorshow appeared on the big screen in front of us.

Following the screening, there was a surprise appearance from the actresses who played the two evil twins, before Peaches posed for photos with fans and handed the best-dressed creatures their prizes in miniature coffins.

If you were lucky enough to experience the Rocky Horror-style celebration of bad, trash and cult movie-making, you will understand the hype. If not check out the photos on the AND Festival Flickr Stream from last night. And if you can’t wait ’til then take a sneaky peek at the lap-dancing librarians right here…


Mary Stark – words and photos
AND Digital Reporter

Laura Swift – photos
AND Digital Reporter

Karl Doran – video
AND Digital Reporter