For locals, the cringe-worthy phrase "only in San Francisco" is as tired and stale as Rice-A-Roni. But for Eddie Guerriero and Mitch Deprey (pictured), the old cliché rings true. With the release of "Shut Up, Little Man," their story of an apartment nightmare-turned underground sensation has been immortalized. And soon, San Franciscans can take a front row seat.
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The Sundance-approved documentary, "Shut Up, Little Man," tells the tale of two punk twentysomethings in a gaudy pink apartment in the Lower Haight in the '80s. After waking frequently in terror, the pair dangled a microphone from the kitchen window to record the nightly abusive (yet quirkily entertaining) arguments between their drunken, elderly neighbors, Peter Haskett ("a flamboyant gay man") and Raymond Huffman ("a raging homophobe").
"The first recording was in response to feeling intimidated, feeling frightened," explained Deprey. "But then it became entertaining, and we became obsessed with it."
The result: 18-months-worth of old-men-fighting footage and outbursts of sound bite gold: "You wanna stick me with that fork?," "I've killed before and I'll kill again," and, of course, "Shut up, little man."
The tapes circulated. Friends made copies, and the recordings became a fixture in the underground art scene. "It just kind of spread like wildfire," said Deprey. Clips from the footage showed up in TV shows, comic books, stage plays and music albums.
Filmmaker Matthew Bate explores the bizarre occurrences on Haight Street in his critically acclaimed documentary, showing at the Roxie Theater on Friday night.
Check out the official trailer for a preview below: