Listen up, freebie addicts. The Viva Dallas! Hispanic Expo is this weekend, and it has great potential to be a pack rat and knickknack-junky heaven. A variety of more than 250 local employers, health professionals, university representatives and other education-related organizations, not to mention tons of vendors vying for the attention of Latino consumers, are setting up shop. It'll be free samples galore in other words. Not surprising, considering Latinos are the nation's largest minority group and more than 35 percent of Dallas is Latino. Organizers have geared the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event toward Latino consumers and the metroplex's approximate 30,000 Latino businesses. But that doesn't mean there isn't a little something for a broader audience. A cultural pavilion features local entertainers as well as performers from all over Latin America. And if that doesn't do it for you, Dallas Cowboys and Desperados cheerleaders are slated for both days at the event. Sorry, girls, apparently the football players weren't invited, a major organizational oversight. The Viva Dallas! Hispanic Expo is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway. Admission is free. Call 214-521-6007 or check out www.vivadallas2003.com. --Cheryl Smith
Texas Filmmakers show Dawn at dusk
David Cronenberg. Terry Gilliam. Michael Bay. What do these gentlemen have in common? If you said, "They're all compelling filmmakers," you'd be incorrect. Sorry, Mikey. Geographically speaking, the truth is that none in the trio hails, resides or works primarily in our Lone Star State. Have no fear, though. There's still a bubblin' crude of Texan talent in the realm of cinema, and the Texas Filmmaker's Series hosted by Angelika Film Center is out to prove it every second and fourth Monday of the month. August's entry is a flick called Dawn, Jay Reel's fanged morality/coming-of-age tale that thematically splices the blood-soaked action of Blade with Carrie. Sure, the concept of "the conflicted vampire" may be creaky as a coffin, but there's a reason the on-screen history of the creature is as immortal as its mythology: We can't get enough. After all, we Texans have more to offer the industry than Harry Knowles, right? Right? The Angelika is located at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Call 214-841-4700. --Matt Hursh
MTV's second family is all wet
Apparently two wrongs do make a right. Consider Richardson's own Jessica Simpson, not blessed with Britney Spears' body (or her plastic surgeon) or Christina Aguilera's pipes and neither one's record sales. And yet she's managed to stay in the public eye. How? Mainly through her marriage to 98 Degrees "singer" Nick Lachey, whose band wasn't as good as, say, me singing in the shower in the middle of a wicked hangover. We can't explain how she continues to make records (In This Skin hits in August) or why she has her own married-life reality show on MTV in the fall, but it's true. Sometimes celebrity doesn't make sense. Deal with it. Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey and Carson Daly participate in the KISS 106.1 Beach Bash on Friday at Hurricane Harbor, 1800 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington. Tickets are $10. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000. --Zac Crain
No way would I sit in a dark theater next to any sumbitch wacko enough to buy a ticket to see Cannibal Holocaust. Scheduled for Friday and Saturday during the Dallas Observer-sponsored Midnights at the Inwood, this 1979 gross-out/mock-documentary/horror flick's about a film crew's torturous demise in the jungles of South America. Reviewers have called it one of "the sickest films ever produced." For a time it was even thought to be a genuine snuff film. Tickets are $7.50. Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane. Call 214-352-6040. --Carlton Stowers
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