Gag Me with a Plastic Spoon
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – there was a movie, and a girl and transvestite. I am of course referring to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Back when I was 15, I started going to midnight showings of Rocky Horror. Once a weekend, off-and-on (but mainly on) for about three years, I would go to RHPS at the Village East Cinemas. I never officially joined the performing cast, but I was definitely a welcome regular, and I had a few cameos. I loved it. I loved the absurdity of it, the camaraderie, the creativity and the risque overtones. I also just loved being part of a group. A wacky, dysfunctional group, sure. But that wasn’t the point. But the actual movie? The infamous call-outs? Eh. I liked it, I enjoyed particularly witty or clever new spins, but that wasn’t the point. Eventually, I got bored. I outgrew it, it lost it’s sheen. Whatever. Every once in awhile I have gone to a show (now at a new theater) or taken some “virgins” but it lost it’s sparkle.
One thing that hasn’t – is really bad movies. The only thing I like better than tragically, earnestly bad movies is making fun of bad movies with my friends. Bonus points if there is a Rifftrax involved. (If you love bad movies or MST-3K, check out Rifftrax!) So, when my friends found out about a movie called “The Room” that was doing a Rocky Horror style midnight showing at Village East – I was in. There was no resistance. Just check out this amazing clip.
The only thing more amazing than the film is the absolute earnestness of the writer/director/producer. With all of the non-sequiters, ridiculously long and inappropriate sex scenes, the … insaneness – I expected something awesome from the apparent rabid fans that have been seeing this monthly, midnight special. The line was super-long and even sold out. There were people in costume. Everyone was super excited. I was excited!
Bad. Bad, bad, bad.
People were just out of control. The theater was too big, and these drunken idiots (everyone other than my friends) were just yelling out lines. And the lines had no wit, or cleverness or … anything too them. For example, there’s this one awesome scene that for some reason (never mentioned again), Lisa’s mom reveals a secret.
Okay, fine. So, any time Mom shows up again (thank goodness it’s often – she may actually be the best actress in the movie – seriously) everyone just yells out “BREAST CANCER!!!” Why? Okay, she randomly has cancer. But where’s the wit or humor or anything at all involved in the callback, other than just the sheer joy of yelling in a movie theater?
The Rocky Horror experience has props. Lots of props. People throw cards, rice at the wedding, toast. So, I guess the Room-lovers decided this was a good idea. For some unknown reason there is a random framed photograph of a spoon in the room that most of this masterpiece of film takes place. Whenever this spoon is on camera, for their sole prop, people throw plastic spoons. Which was cute the first time. But as I said – the whole damn movie, when not panning over shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, or the green screen on the roof, takes place in this room. Which means people are always throwing spoons. And when the variety packs of cutlery reach their limits, plastic knives and forks. This stops being funny quickly. That deters no one.
I spent most of the film (when not cringing or ducking plastic tableware) wondering if I just simply got too old for this stuff. And then I remembered how much fun I had a Rocky-style Buffy Sing-a-long. That too had witty call-backs and interesting, relevant props. So, it’s just these idiots. I also wonder if being a musical has something to do with it. Believe it or not, I was actually irritated that I couldn’t hear the movie here. “Do they explain why they were wearing tuxedos and playing football?” (no.) Maybe in a musical, you already know all the dialogue, or it’s not as important, or maybe these fans were just annoying idiots. Either way, I wouldn’t do it again. What I will do, as soon as the pain subsides – is watch the movie again, with my friends, in my livingroom with Rifftrax.