World Premiere of “Danger Diva” At SIFF Egyptian Tomorrow

SIFF Cinema and Northwest Film Forum present the World Premiere of “Danger Diva,” a new feature-length film, written, directed and produced by Robert McGinley. The film/concert debuts on April 13th at 7:30pm at Seattle’s Egyptian Theater.

Filmed entirely in Seattle with a local cast and crew, “Danger Diva” stars Molly Sides, as a hard-rocker in Seattle in McGinley’s cyberpunk, musical thriller. The screening will be followed by a live rock concert from Thunderpussy.

If you haven’t heard of Thunderpussy (TP), you’re not alone. Rest assured, Thunderpussy is not first cousin to King Kong. Nor is TP a monstrous cat with metal paws and a tendency to fart. No, Thunderpussy is an all-girl pop/rock band whose members have potty mouths and dominatrix attitudes. Think Madonna in the 1980s.

Danger Diva Sides Performing with Thunderpussy

Sides performs with Thunderpussy. Photo by Christine Mitchell

In real life, Sides is the lead singer of Seattle-born Thunderpussy [Their name refers to an erotic fingering technique. If you want to know more, ask our president.] The group composed songs for the film, and they are showcased. Other members of TP are guitarist Whitney Petty, bass player Leah Julius, and Lena Simon on drums.

“Danger Diva” takes place in the near future and tells the story of hard-rock singer Devi Danger, as she is coerced into becoming an electronically enhanced new-music diva. It seems that high-tech investors got their hands on Devi and turned her voice into a weapon by creating a harmonic vocoder.

Sides plays the ultra-enhanced human, Devi, whose singing voice is used to control and energize the brains of indoctrinated employees, who become known as “Brain Cattle.” They are used as external processors for the advancement of corporate high-tech clients. Operating in a digital sweatshop, these “Brain Cattle” process binary algorithms that serve as a chorus.

Twenty-something Sides is also a choreographer and dancer, as well as the curator of Trigger: New Dance Happenings, a quarterly dance showcase. On her left forearm is a tattoo of a diamond inscribed with the letters “TP”—short for “Thunderpussy.” (Her bandmates share the tattoo.)   A critic once described Sides’ singing, “Sides belts her lyrics, her smoky voice channeling Billie Holiday and The Stooges in one breath.”

Thunderpussy and Danger Diva

Thunderpussy’s lead singer, Molly Sides; Photo by Zoe Rain

The founding artistic director of Seattle’s On the Boards performance space and award-winning filmmaker, McGinley, took inspiration for “Danger Diva” from cyberpunk literature and films. In particular, he sites William Gibson’s “Neuromancer,” and the science-fiction classic, “Blade Runner.” McGinley’s other notable films include “Jimmy Zip” and “Shredder Orpheus.” They too focus on high-tech, science-born mutations.

“Danger Diva” explores the conflict between high tech vs. high touch, and what it means to be human in a digitally enhanced bio-tech future. McGinley wants audiences to ponder future technology nightmares. [Attention: Bill Gates] Music anchors these themes with an eclectic rock score, songs by Thunderpussy and composer Regan Remy.

SIFF fans will recognize other lead actors in “Danger Diva” including Seattle theater/film favorites, Tim Gouran, Ray Tagavilla, Amy Thone, and Conner Neddersen.

“Danger Diva” debuts on April 13th at 7:30pm at Seattle’s Egyptian Theater. Following the screening, Thunderpussy will perform.  Tickets $20.00 online at




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Starla Smith

Starla Smith

Starla Smith is a career journalist, writing features for such publications as The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily News, The Des Moines Register, Vibe and a prize-winning Gannett Newspaper. She helped launch Theater Week Magazine and eventually became its publisher. As a regular contributor to Playbill, her interviews and photos were featured in Playbill and Playbill-on-line. Smith was featured in the New York Times "Style" section for her "Word Portraits," specialized tributes, speeches, and presentation profiles. And she covered theater and features for City Search, Digital City, and the Tena Duberry WOW! Radio show. She previously served as astrology guru for Out Magazine, and she hastens to assure her readers that "Starla" is indeed her real name.

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