Freaks and Greeks

''Attack of the Giant Moussaka''

by Randy Shulman
Published on July 18, 2002, 12:00am | Comments

In the annals of science fiction, our planet has been attacked by, among other things, Crab Monsters, Giant Leeches, Killer Tomatoes, Eye Creatures, Mushroom People, and a Fifty Foot Woman.

Add Moussaka to the list.

Sure enough, the Greek lunacy known as Attack of the Giant Moussaka features a six-story helping of the eggplant and béchamel sauce-based dish, globulating and undulating down the streets of Athens, burning hapless (and overly hysterical) victims alive with its special acid spray. Not only that, but the Moussaka also gets its own musical number -- a kind of "Why Won't Anybody Love Me?" torch song -- in Panos H. Koutras's one and, thank God, only film.

The movie, which aspires to camp comedy but mixes in several bizarrely bleak and morbid moments (such as a sudden spate of mass suicides among the Athens middle class) is Greece's answer to Plan 9 from Outer Space, and Koutras, the country's very own Ed Wood.

Attack of the Giant Moussaka is about as coherent as you would expect from a film that features a Divine-like leading drag queen, several moments of fairly gratuitous homosex (of both the French and, naturally, Greek variety), and a spaceship filled with bimbette aliens who can't steer their neon purple-n-pink saucer in a straight line.

It's a nutso-whacko movie -- riotous, perhaps, to some, a cinematic curiosity to others, and a mountain of big fat Greek stupidity to everyone else. Trouble is, you won't know which category you fit into until you sit through it to the psychotic, stratospherically over-the-top end.

Attack of the Giant Moussaka plays this Friday, July 19, as part of the Reel Affirmations Xtra series at the Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC, 16th & Q Streets NW. Two shows only, at 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $8 and available at the door.