Text by Monica Uszerowicz
Miami is nicknamed The Magic City, mostly because it is magic: picturesque (no matter how long you’ve lived here), in bloom, and a strange combination of metropolitan and weirdly untamed—you can watch a rotten and smelly mango fall onto a very nice car. You can party with local celebrities at abandoned marinas. It is equatorially warm and, appropriately, the birthplace of an especially nasty and awesome brand of booty bass—South Floridian kids got to hear it in roller rinks growing up.
The Supermeng receives powers from a Vodou priestess, infiltrates the Coral Castle (moonlighting here as another planet), and fights the Annunaki to free Blowfly— Blowfly, born Clarence Henry Reid, is frequently cited as the first rapper ever.
Otto Von Schirach occupies a funny intersection between Miami bass, funk, and E.D.M. (I.D.M.), and purveys an aesthetic that is part cosmogenic wizard, part Calle Ocho abuelo, and part shiny superhero. (He also has a Wikipedia page peppered with grammatical errors and absolutely no alerts that the page “needs editing,” which means his presence actually transcended Wikipedia. No small feat.) Though he’s associated with Schematic Records and has worked as a producer for the likes of Modeselektor, you’ll find that most of his recent—and maybe his best—releases function first as love songs to Miami, and secondly as the type of stuff you definitely want to hear while you are roller skating. To fully understand Pineal Warriors, you need to understand the city in which it is filmed.
But luckily, there is absolutely no reason to understand it. A short film by Von Schirach and his brother Egon, Pineal Warriors was produced by Borscht Corp (the founders were part of the Sundance New Frontier Story Lab; they created the Borscht Film Festival, “the weirdest film festival on the planet”) and stars Supermeng, played by Schirach. Although the film initially premiered a year ago, it has re-premiered, this time accompanied by the release of its soundtrack. And so the story goes: The Supermeng receives powers from a Vodou priestess, infiltrates the Coral Castle (moonlighting here as another planet), and fights the Annunaki to free Blowfly— Blowfly, born Clarence Henry Reid, is frequently cited as the first rapper ever. He is certainly the raunchiest, and probably the most charming. Pineal Warriors also features Nayib Estefan and Armando Feathers, and a particularly cheeky Anunnaki played by one Frank Falestra—a.k.a. Rat Bastard, the Godfather of Noise, founder of International Noise Conference, and probably the bastard to whom Robert Pollard refers in “She Lives In An Airport.” That’s a lot—and it’s definitely better viewed than reviewed. See for yourself below.
And yes, as Pineal Warriors, the heroes in question are all about Descartes’ theory of the titular gland as a kind of trippy, third eye-opening tool, which is exactly what this movie is.