In the second week of December, I came across some extra money, and decided not to use it to pay off massive debt. I will die with that debt, so they can go fuck themselves. What was more important was to get out of my stuffy shack, so I drove over to the Silent Movie Theatre in piece-of-shit Los Angeles and bought a ticket for Nicky Katt's Smackum-Yackum Saturday. Nicky Katt is an actor who's been in some cool movies, so you probably caught one of them. You can find out here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0441588/
This past year, Mr. Katt hosted two other all-night movie marathons at this place. The first one involved Good Ol' Boy Southern type stuff, and the second one was called Mug-Melter Monday and was just different movies that were all cool. I went to both of those and they were a good time. They had a barbecue grill available to anyone who brought hot dogs and they had lots of free beer; Shiner Bock and Asahi. They were not nearly as well attended as you figured they would be though, which may have had something to do with being scheduled on weeknights. But the city of L.A. missed out, because they was good times, especially Mug-Melter Monday. That one started at 7pm and ended around 5am. They had a D.J. and a fog machine that went haywire and we saw the first 20 minutes of a crazy-as-fuck supernatural kung-fu flick called Boxer's Omen through that fucking fog. I went by myself, as usual, and if I didn't get so drunk on free Shiner early on, watching everyone else have a good time with their friends would've crushed my goddamn soul. Which is why I love booze. I could always try talking to people, but my testicles are too huge, making it difficult for me to walk all the way across to speak with strangers. Plus I've seen the brave souls who do that, and when they leave, they are usually mocked by those fuckin' assholes. Fuck 'em.
I arrived at 6:30 with a flask bottle of Jack Daniels so I can kill the lonely bug as quickly as possible, but I find out it's not necessary because in addition to Shiner and Asahi, Mr. Katt and the fine folks at the Silent Movie Theatre have supplied free hard liquor! Vodka, JD, orange juice, and whatever the fuck else. Fucking Awesome!
But you know what ISN'T awesome? That there were only about 8 or 9 people when I got there. On a Saturday night. Maybe it's just too early in the evening and it'll get better, I thought. I sit down and watch an old stop-motion short about some lumberjack who makes a clarinet out of wood and plays jazz music with it. Pretty cute. After that, they start the first movie, which is called Something Wicked This Way Comes.
It's about a carnival that comes to a small town, sometime in the 1920's or 30's or 40's, I can't fucking remember. Like most carnivals, the people working for it are evil scary motherfuckers lead by an more evil scary motherfucker and evil scary motherfucking shit happens. This was a Disney flick, and I don't think you'll see Disney make movies like this again, because it's pretty freaky. This is probably the only Disney family movie with a shot of a boy's decapitated head in a basket. There's a lot of freaky shit in this movie; a merry-go-round that either makes you younger or older depending which way it goes, scary bearded guys with moving tattoos, silent red-headed boys and motherfucking tarantulas. There's also midgets. I'm sure lots of little kids went to see this shit and had nightmares for a while. It's pretty fucking sweet, though.
The movie ended somewhere a little after 8pm and by then there were around 25 people, which is better than 8, but still pretty small. There's a break and by 8:30, Nicky Katt and this dude Hadrian, who's like the main dude at the Silent Movie Theatre came out to talk about the next movie, called Enter Laughing. I noticed a faint whiff of the sweet, sweet Sonny Chiba in the air before the movie started. To each his own.
Enter Laughing is a movie from the 1960's starring Poppie from Seinfeld. Poppie was a pretty handsome dude back then, playing this kid from New York City who wants to be an actor. He's got the dream of being a famous movie star but doesn't know the first thing about acting. Plus, he's got his parents who want him to become a pharmacist. The title of the movie comes from a scene where he auditions for a play and the first thing he says is "enter laughing". Poppie doesn't know that he's reading the stage directions as dialogue. There's a couple of cute chicks in the movie, and there's another one who's pretty but way too fucking skinny, and it reminds you that chicks like that were the exception and not the rule back then, like they are now. This chick is played by Elaine May, and I know that name because Alec Baldwin compared Tina Fey to this broad, so I guess she's a big deal. Another big deal is that Meathead's father Carl Reiner directed this movie, and it's based on a play that was based on a book he wrote that was kinda based on his life, if you got all that. I dug it, man. It was pretty funny and the audience seemed to dig it as well. There was a part where the director of the play is counting up the donations from last night's performance and he says something like "15 dollars? There were 30 people in that audience..." and either Nicky or Hadrian said something like "I know the feeling" and the 30 or so of us in the audience laughed.
Around 10:30 the movie ended and Nicky & Hadrian returned and talked about the next movie they would play after the break, called Prime Cut, a movie from the 70's with motherfuckin' Lee Marvin and motherfuckin' Gene Hackman. Everyone was pumped and then it was time for another break. Most people went to the back patio to eat hot dogs, talk and drink. I milled around, going back and forth, trying to look like I had something going on, all the while attempting to work my way to higher state of drunkeness.
Prime Cut started around 11 and it was a pretty decent flick. No great shakes, but it's cool to see Marvin being his typically badass self. He's a dude who works for the mob in Chicago, and he's sent down along with a few other dudes to Kansas City to collect some long overdue money from Hackman, playing a guy who runs a meatpacking joint named Mary Ann. Yup, homeboy's name is Mary Ann and they never explain that shit either, so you don't know if it's just a nickname or if it's just the cover name for the company like Sara Lee or Aunt Jemima or if his father was just a fucking asshole who never listened to that Johnny Cash song about a boy named Sue. Mary Ann's a real scary dude too, since the last guy the boys from Chicago sent to collect was sent back to them as a pack of sausages. He also sells drugged-up chicks on the white slavery market. Mary Ann's an asshole.
Of course it's not going to be easy, and there's a couple of cool scenes of Marvin and Hackman standing off and giving each other a hard time. There's a cool chase scene that leads to Marvin and Sissy Spacek (the only time I've ever seen her play the hot chick role) running from a combine as it tries to chop their asses up. The film climaxes with a shootout on Mary Ann's property, which starts at a sunflower field, then a greenhouse and finally in a barn. It's a pretty simple movie with a fast pace and the occasional weird moment, like when one dude tries to stab another dude with a sausage. This was back when you fucking believed in guys like Lee Marvin, you believed they were fucking badasses along with dudes like Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, the last of their generation. As far as I'm concerned, they were quite capable of doing the shit they did in movies. I don't believe any of the movie star tough guys of today, seeing them as no more than just actors playing tough. Bunch of slack-jawed faggots, to quote the great Jesse "The Body" Ventura in Predator.
There was another break, and I went to get some more free JD. Two college-age girls were serving themselves some booze, and one of them said to the other something like "ok, we're not going to end up as Girls Gone Wild tonight, ok?" and they both giggled. Based on their behavior during Prime Cut, they were more like Girls Gone Really Fucking Annoying. Sorry girls, but nobody likes a drunk chick unless there's sex involved.
By the time the next movie started around 12:45, I was just the right amount of drunk, which was perfect because it was none other than Dangerous Men that appeared on the screen. This movie is like the Second Coming of Plan 9 from Outer Space. Well, the guy who made it passed away a some time ago and the movie kinda disappeared after it's original release. But now it looks like the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre are gonna bringing it back. They had two sold-out screenings the week before this marathon, and I understand they're going to screen it again in late January. Sounds like they're going to make it the new "So Bad, It's Good" flick to watch, alongside Tommy Wiseau's The Room. Twenty minutes into the movie, the Girls Gone Really Fucking Annoying got up and left, never to return. It was like the movie was too much for them to take. Or maybe they just thought it sucked. Or maybe they were just late for a date rape by some future NFL star.
By 2:10, Nicky & Hadrian returned and let the audience vote by applause which of the three choices given would be played next:
--Star Hops, a goofy T&A movie from the late 70's
--It's Always Fair Weather, a Gene Kelly musical
--Revenge, the Kevin Costner flick about bloody motherfuckin' Revenge.
It came down to a tie between Revenge and Fair Weather. We left it to Nicky to be the tie-breaker and he chose Fair Weather.
I voted for Revenge, but I'm glad Nicky picked It's Always Fair Weather, because it's pretty damn good. This was the follow-up to Gene Kelly & company's smash hit Singin' in the Rain, but this one didn't do nearly as well in the box office. Too bad, because it's got some great set-pieces, my favorite being a dance sequence with Kelly on rollerskates. I almost jumped out of my seat and screamed "FUCK YEAH" at the end of that one, and if I was sloppy drunk at that point, I would've, but luckily I was calming down with the booze by then. I wasn't alone in my enthusiasm; there was crazy applause at the end of most of these routines.
Some weird shit happened, though. I guess there was a mistake and we watched the movie with one of the reels in the wrong place. What this meant was that it got to a point in the movie where people were referring to shit we didn't see, leaving us scratching our head wondering if maybe this was like Reservoir Dogs, where you never see the robbery but only hear about it. But then, after the exciting climax, the missing reel was played and it was like some Memento/Tarantino shit, where we now get to see all the shit they were referring to that happened before the events we DID see. Once that reel ended, everything was back in order. The audience was still with the movie the whole way, though. It felt like that anyway. The applause seemed genuine.
Another break, then the next film at 4:05: Star Hops. STAR HOPS? What the fuck?! Hardly anyone applauded for that movie when we voted. Fuckin' Revenge was the runner-up -- we should be watching Kevin Costner banging Madeleine Stowe and slicing motherfuckers throats open (not at the same time, though) right now! Someone behind the scenes had a hard-on for this movie and got his or her fuckin' way, I'm guessing.
Whatever. Star Hops is about two chicks who decide to buy the drive-in burger joint they work at after their boss quits. To improve business, they spruce up the place, wear skimpier outfits and hire a French chick who graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu but isn't taken seriously by her peers because she's a woman, or something like that, to work the grill. There's also an evil oil magnate who wants that property, so he recruits his son to get a job there and fuck shit up from the inside. It's pretty goofy and harmless and it ends the way you'd think it ends, with the bad guys punished and the good girls living happily ever after. The only thing keeping me interested was the main chick, the late actress Jillian Kesner. She was very pretty and had a smokin' body, so Ms. Kesner -- along with the free coffee I was drinking -- kept me awake.
A couple of interesting things during this screening occurred. At one point, it looked like Hadrian and Nicky were having a bit of a heated discussion. Hopefully not. But it did look kind of serious. Then halfway through the movie, Nicky stood up with his lady companion and said out loud: "Hadrian? This movie sucks!" then they both left. I don't remember seeing him at the end of the evening. Maybe I was in the john for his closing remarks.
It was around 5:40 after Star Hops and our last break, then it was on to the final movie of the night: a documentary called Blue Water, White Death, about a team of oceanographers looking to capture footage of the Great White Shark for the first time ever. This was before Jaws and before Shark Week, so this flick was a pretty big deal back then. Hadrian told us that it also served as partial inspiration for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
It was pretty interesting, and I could totally see what Wes Anderson took from it for his movie. My favorite being the onboard folk singer, who I figured was just an Anderson original, but no, he took it from here. It would make a cool double bill with Life Aquatic. Cool shark footage too.
By 7:30, it was all over. Not even a "thanks for joining us". Just lights on, blank screen and silence. Get the fuck out. Only 8 or 9 of us remained, which was also the same number of people at the beginning of the evening. We slowly got up and made our way out of there. I noticed Marc Heuck from the Nuart Theatre and the tv show Beat the Geeks was there with his lady friend. I threw away my coffee cup and empty beer bottles and got ready to meet the day.
I would like to think they'll do more of these marathons, and it kills me that not nearly as many people showed up as I thought should. Come on, there was free beer and booze! And a place to barbecue hot dogs! That's some really cool shit for a movie theater to offer people and unless more show up to take advantage, I fear they'll just stop going out of their way like that in the future. Then when I tell people what the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre used to do for its patrons, they'll just tell me I'm full of shit. And that's fucked up.
Anyway, goodbye 2008. You fucked my shit up something awful and made me consider drastic things to kill the pain. Fuck you, 2008. Don't let the door hit you on the ass, you motherfucking cocksucking low-life piece-of-shit scumbag asshole cocksucker motherfucker. Fuck you and die.
2009, I hereby warn you to come correct. Be good to me, baby.