Short Cuts

Austin mourns Robbie Jacks.

So Long, Robbie Jacks Dept.: Literally moments away from wrapping up this week's column, we received word that Austin film/ music/everything icon Robbie Jacks passed away at 8:30am, Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Brackenridge Hospital. He was 38. The cause of death was a heart attack. According to Jacks' longtime friend Fritz Blau, the pair had been watching television late Monday night when Jacks began complaining of nausea. Tuesday morning Jacks still felt unwell and friend Teresa Taylor called 911, at which point an ambulance took Jacks to Brackenridge Hospital. Initial blood and lab work drew a blank, said friend Mary Jane Warren, and Jacks was kept overnight for more testing. "The nurse told me it was nothing neurological and that it didn't look like it was a cardiac event," says Warren. "His lab work was good; they wanted to keep his stomach empty because he was thirsty and his back hurt -- they thought it might have something to do with his abdomen. They said his heart rate was slow, and they were giving him Tylenol for pain, but they said he was going to be okay." When Warren called the hospital to check on Jacks at 7:30, Wednesday morning, the prognosis was good, but another call an hour later brought news that Jacks had just expired from a heart attack. Jacks was as much a part of Austin's creative backbone as anyone, a true link to what made (and still makes) the city such a fantastic place for filmmakers, artists, writers, and performers. Jacks was all of those and more, having, among many, many other accomplishments, portrayed beloved chainsaw-wielding psychopath Leatherface in Kim Henkel's 1994 film Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, for which Jacks also recorded a love theme (of sorts) with pal Deborah Harry. There's much more to say about Jacks' amazing career and life -- don't get me started on the radio show-cum-lunacy festival he did with Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes on their 101X radio show -- but suffice it to say Austin is far poorer for the loss. According to his friends, today, Thursday, Aug. 9, would have been Jacks' 42nd birthday… With all the grim death sneaking up on us of late -- Jacks' death comes just one week after Austin filmmaker David Boone's passing -- what we all need is a good, hot, heaping slab o' exploitation filmmaking to take our minds off our problems. Thank goodness Quentin Tarantino is almost here to toss some primo sex and violence our way. QT5, Tarantino's annual exploit-a-thon, arrives Friday, Aug. 17 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown (409 Colorado) with a Spaghetti Western Triple Feature, and the ever-popular All Night Sci-Fi Horror Marathon the next evening. Tickets and passes for the 10-day event are still available ($125 gets you the whole shebang, baby) -- check out www.drafthouse.com for all pertinent info, or give owner "Crazy" Tim League a call at 476-1320. Nil Infantum!… As if that weren't enough for you to drown your sorrows in -- and face it, it never is -- tickets to the 14th Annual Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival are now on sale. The fest runs Aug. 24 through Sept. 6 and will screen more than 170 films from 17 countries in 67 programs in two venues. Phew! That's a spicy meatball! Prices, times, dates -- you name it -- can be had at www.agliff.org… Finally, Robert Rodriguez's insanely great kid flick Spy Kids is back in theatres starting tomorrow, with all new footage, all new surprises, and god knows what else. If you missed it the first time around, gather up your hellspawn and schlep 'em off to this mind-bogglingly supercool film… Now, please, no more deaths for at least a month. Enough already.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Robbie Jacks, Fritz Blau, Deborah Harry, Leatherface, Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Kim Henkel, Mary Jane Warren, Teresa Taylor, Gibby Haynes, Butthole Surfers, Robert Rodriguez, Spy Kids, Quentin Tarantino, aGLIFF, Tim League, David Boone.

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