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Puppets Gone Wild: A Look at Puppetsploitation X (With Video)

Puppetsploitation X, Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre's annual puppet slam, features live puppet plays and films that range from the creepy to the absolutely hilarious. Carmella Clements and Larkin Elliot debut two shadow-puppet satires at this year's festival, including Frogophobia, which is about the late, great Marvin Zindler. "I've been fascinated with MZ since childhood," said Clements via email. "His perfect balance of eccentricity and commitment to defending the little guy make him a perfect subject for puppetry. He's a Houston folk hero."

Joel Orr, the founder of Bobbindoctrin and the de facto majordomo of the Houston puppet-artist community, will also be working in shadow puppets this year with Problem Solver, in which a bold man sacrifices his life and family in a brave and tireless efforts to imagine a better world.

(That's Chris Thompson in the above video by videographer Ted Irving showing us how he assembles his puppet creations.)

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The title Blood is Love sounds a little violent, doesn't it? It should. It's part of the Puppet Slasher Film Festival, a segment of horror shorts being offered by various members of the artist concern Sketchy Neighbors. Anthony Butkovich's Kites Are Fun, Brenda Cruz's (silence) and Colin Kaeppel's The Melancholy Psycho Murders, Surfer Girl Detective Story complete the slasher line-up.

Catch the final two performances of Puppetsploitation X at 8 p.m. April 11 and 12. Midtown Arts Center, 3414 La Branch. For information, call 713-259-1304 or visit bobbindoctrin.wordpress.com. $13.

Jef with One F contributed to this post.

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