If you ask the clerk at Five Star for a good stoner movie, he'll probably slip you a contemporary teenybopper flick stocked with cum jokes and laughably bad slapstick, something in the lineage of American Pie or Dude, Where's My Car? Or maybe he'll hit you with one of the great standard-bearers: a potboiler starring Jayne Mansfield, a hip-hop "blockumentary" about dope dealers who drive a particular model of Ford Falcon, or an Ed Wood sci-fi flick with cardboard dioramas that are supposed to represent moon craters. While the production values of these films vary, they all have one thing in common: To really get the gist, you kinda have to be, well, really high. Into this world of illogical plotlines and ham-fisted cinematography steps the Ghoul (né Ron Sweed), a Cleveland-raised horror movie and radio show host who apparently hit the pinnacle of his career making cameos on KBHK Channel 44 in the mid-'70s. You can get a pretty good feel for this dude's personal brand of screwball comedy by watching The Ghoul's Vault of Golden Garbage, a compendium of gags involving funny accents, one-liners like "Holy piroshki!," and pie-in-the-face-style humor. This weekend the Ghoul hosts Halloween Terrorama, a spook-fest featuring William Winckler's black-and-white indie horror flick, Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove. This low-budget Frankenstein-redux about a group of lab scientists who resurrect Shelley's infamous monster (reincarnated as a guy in a rubber suit and flippers) is supposed to mimic vintage noir films of the 1940s, though it more closely resembles modern blockbusters of the Hellraiser strain.
Sponsored by Bay Area Film Events, the Terrorama screens Saturday at Alameda's Auctions by the Bay Theater (2700 Saratoga St.). Judging by the entertainment lineup -- a bevy of geeky ghoul hosts and amphibious Frankensteins, along with a "boffo socko" costume contest -- it's perfectly tailored for stoners and their kid brothers. Doors open at 6 p.m. both nights; admission is $10. For more info: BayAreaFilmEvents.com' -- Rachel Swan
"Thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with instruments before them, and they will be acting like prophets," or so says Samuel 10:5. Little did you know that this meeting will take place Saturday night at La Peña (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley), when Brutha Los and Rashidi, aka Company of Prophets, host a night of underground, conscious, and revolutionary hip-hop, which also happens to be the release party for their new record, Done Deal. The Prophets will not be alone in their endeavors. Equally community-minded local heroes the Attik, Panama, and DJ Treat U Nice warm it up before Los and Rashidi's arrival. $8-$10. Ladies get in free before 10 p.m. For more info, visit www.lapena.org -- Eric K. Arnold
The Family Circus
How much do we really want to know about the people in Jessamyn Lovell's family? That's the question we'll be asking ourselves as we peruse the images in Catastrophe, Crisis, and Other Family Traditions, her frankly named exhibition of photos of her father, mother, sister, and brother -- all of whom have had their share of trials, troubles, and tribulations. Lovell was right there to record it all for the past eight years, and now her photos -- her family's dirty laundry, if you will -- are on the walls of Oakland's Mama Buzz Cafe and Buzz Gallery for everyone to see. The show runs through October 28 at 2316 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Info: MamaBuzzCafe.com -- Kelly Vance
"Love hurts," as '70s group Nazareth lamented in their classic rock hit. But if that's so, then art heals -- not only matters of the heart, but the body and spirit too. That's the idea behind Art Heals, an exhibition presented by the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission that encompasses different approaches to healing, from artwork by mental health and recovery program patients, to dream art by Diane Rusnak, to a meditation series by Dr. Gina Rose Halpern. This Friday, the exhibit kicks off with a 6 p.m. artists' reception at the Main Street Initiative office (1101 Macdonald Ave.), and continues through January 7. For more info, call 510-223-3882. -- Eric K. Arnold