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XMas Drag Queens and Lady Scrooge Vs. X-Rated Movies and Horror Festival

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Winter is hitting San Francisco hard - but mostly with fun stuff and holiday cheer.

"The Golden Girls Christmas" starts its second weekend of shows Thursday and they will likely continue to sell out. These festive, campy retelling of classic "Golden Girls" TVs with four of San Francisco's most diverse drag queens started in a small house and have gotten so big for their padded bras that they moved a few years ago to the 491 seat Victoria Theatre. And still, they sell out.

Don't miss them as the show runs through Dec. 22 only. More information and tickets is at www.trannyshack.com.

Christmas also takes center stage in the new show, "It's Christmas, Carole!"

Premiering Dec. 12 at the Creativity Theater at the Children's Creativity Museum, the tale is a fresh interpretation of the Charles Dickens classic.

Carole is an executive assistant at Scrooge Industries in San Francisco. She hates holidays almost as much as her curmudgeonly boss... until she is visited by three colorful and quirky spirits on Christmas Eve and embarks on a holiday adventure unlike any other! But can she change things at the office, cheer up Scrooge, and find the true reason for the season in time for Christmas dinner?!

Written and co-starring the wonderful Michael Phillis, you know you're in for a good time especially with Sara Moore by his side and Andrew Nance directing the show.

The family friendly show is only $20 for adults and $10 for kids. Get tickets and show times at www.itschristmascarole.com.

"X" Mas is coming to an end soon at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and their program, "X: The History of a Film Rating." For the past several weeks, they have been showing acclaimed X rated movies - one even won an Oscar for Best Picture.

Before you starting thinking "Deep Throat" or "The Devil In Miss Jones,", YBCA is showing controversial, mainstream movies that were rated X when they first came out due to their subject matter. These are movies that actually lead to the addition of the rating NC-17, meaning that it's not porn but too adult for anyone under 17. Unfortunately, there are still numerous theatres that won't even show NC-17 films so being rated X or NC-17 still won't get a movie into a mainstream theatre which in the end hinders the movie from making a good showing at the box office.

Of course, most X or NC-17 movies are rated that more for sex and sexual content. Violence, murders and decapitations are now often just PG 13.

Furthermore, as time goes on and tolerance changes, even some of these X movies have become tame.

Take for example Dec. 12's screening of "Midnight Cowboy." That movie won the Best Picture Oscar, is often on TV and was X rated when it first came out. Why? Well it deals with MALE prostitution. In 1969, women can be hookers in movies but if a guy does it, it's X rated (there might be one flash of a penis as well).

The series of X rated films at YBCA ends with the last mainstream movie rated X before NC-17 was developed. Next Thursday, Dec. 19, "Henry & June" screens and it too was Oscar nominated and was produced by a big Hollywood studio. Alas, the ratings board decided that the sexually frank lesbian scenes were too much for an R so the Phillip Kaufman period piece was doomed to an X rating and made just $11M while the violent "The Godfather III" made $66M in the U.S.

"Midnight" and "Henry" play at 7pm and tickets are $8-10. Get tickets and more info at www.ybca.org.

Another Hole in the Head Film Festival continues to celebrate horror, fantasy and science fiction at various venues through Dec. 19. Unless noted, all of these highlights below are at the New People Cinema.

This week's highlights include a screening of "The Shining." But it presented in a peculiar way - it plays backwards silently as its superimposed on it running forward, making it even more eerie and perhaps showing off secret messages from director Stanley Kubrick. Perhaps 3D has run its course. It shows at 9pm, Dec. 12.

"Top Guys," the LIVE spoof of the "Top Gun" movie continues to take parody to a whole new level. This plays its final three performances at 8pm this Thursday-Saturday at Stage Werx.

Friday also offers the comedy horror film "Slew Hampshire" which tells of the most brutal mass slaughters in history and then, months later, history is about to repeat itself. What begins as a humorous comedy of errors quickly becomes a Darwinian gore fest. Sounds scary but it is billed as a comedy. Remember, "Shaun of the Dead" had blood, guts and laughs. It shows at 7pm Dec. 13.

Saturday's 7pm movie offers parody and sorority girls! "Jurassic Block" tells of how dinosaurs go on a rampage in prison, seemingly leaving just a few to protect mankind. Enter our sorority girls.

"The Night Visitor" has a lot of buzz about it and might keep you up at night. While it does seem to have the "Paranormal Activity" gimmick of videotaping what's going on in your home while you sleep, it promises to actually push the envelope in true suspense of a couple who videotapes their going-ons as therapy discover their son is meeting with an entity in the home. See it Nov. 14 at 11pm.

Check out more on the festival at www.sfindie.com.

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