DANGER GUERRERO: Brains for Dinner, Brains for Lunch, Why Can’t We Have Some Guts
So there was this girl I liked back in 2001, right? Like, like liked. Valentine’s Day was rapidly approaching, and since we were both single I pulled the old “Hey, since neither of us have a date…” thing that dorks in movies do, and asked her if she wanted to see a movie with me, instead of staying at home by herself. (I am very smooth.) She thought about it for a second and said “Sure. I really want to see Hannibal.” SCORE. I mean, I generally don’t watch scary movies because I am a huge baby, but I was willing to make an exception here, for obvious reasons.
Here are two things you need to know about Hannibal: 1) It is the sequel to Silence of the Lambs. 2) There is a scene where Anthony Hopkins removes the top of a very much alive Ray Liotta’s skull, extracts a piece of his brain while talking to him, cooks it, and feeds it to him front of Julianne Moore.
After this series of events happens on the big screen, a few hours into what had been a very pleasant evening to that point, we started to hear some whispering behind us. Then more, louder whispering. Then we heard the unmistakeable sound of someone puking their guts out onto a hard floor. Apparently some dude had a very weak stomach and/or was very drunk, and the brain-eating scene had caused him to involuntarily empty his stomach in the theater. It smelled bad. It smelled very bad. We spent the remainder of the film holding our noses and hovering our feet above the floor so none of his bile trickled down the slanted floor and onto our shoes, and after it was over my disgusted, now-also-green-faced date wanted to be taken home immediately.
The moral of the story is this: That guy is an asshole.
JULIEANNE SMOLINSKI: Crazy Heart of the Matter
I saw “Crazy Heart” in one of those theaters that has wine at the concession stand. There was this old couple sitting in back of us, wearing those old people berets, drinking wine and getting louder and drunker as the movie progressed. It was funny, especially given the subject matter (Don’t remember? IT WAS ALCOHOLISM). When Jeff Bridges puked for the third time, they were like, “OH GAWD. He’s hit rock bottom!” and the whole theater was laughing, which only confused the hell out of them.
LAREMY LEGEL: When Scary Movie Got Scary
There was a time in my life when I was seeing just about every new release that came out. I wasn’t getting paid for this, mind you, I was just heading off to the ol’ cinema, by my lonesome, checking out the latest offerings. Basically, I was a marketer’s wet dream. Looking back, I think it was a healthy mixture of OCD and wanting to be ready for any potential water cooler situations. You know the ones, “Have you seen NEW MOVIE X?” Yes. Of course I have. I have seen all of your movie choices. Let us discuss, and then partake of water.
Anyway, this is the story about the time I went to see Scary Movie and almost lost my life in the bargain. It is not a rebel story.
It was July of 2000 (or “aught aught”) and I was planning to see the 11pm showing of Scary Movie. It was probably a Saturday night, because I can’t imagine they had a Friday midnight showing of frickin’ Scary Movie. I had just finished my shift at the restaurant I waited tables at, so I had cash in hand, ready to dip into the delicious satire that was Scary Movie.
Note: I knew even then that this movie would not be good, but that wasn’t part of the equation. It was simply a new movie that I hadn’t seen, and my recollection is that only one film came out that week. It was poised to win the weekend, so I couldn’t let the chance pass. What I’m getting at is I didn’t head into this like some sort of idiot thinking Scary Movie would be hilarious. I knew instinctively that it would be awful. But I got my ticket thirty minutes early, took my normal (far left, last row) seat, and waited for the action to commence. This was a box to be checked, nothing more, and there was always a chance that the trailers were misleading and they were saving the good stuff for the show (Ha!).
Okay, so me, alone, back seat of Scary Movie. The place I lived at the time, Norfolk VA, was pretty much known for rougher crowds. It’s a navy town, and a place where fellas like to drink, so I didn’t expect huge amounts of decorum, but it wasn’t a big deal because Scary Movie wasn’t really worthy of anyone’s attention anyway. About 30 people were seated in the theater when the trailers started (“Nutty Professor 2? BOSS!!”)
The first three minutes of the movie were fairly non-eventful. Then, a group of about five dudes in hoodies came in, sat in the front row of the stadium seating, and started making comments to the screen. People shushed them. More comments, more shushing.
Finally around ten minutes in, one of the gentleman had had enough of the censorship and waived a gun around, slurring something to the effect of “I will have my say, sir, you shan’t silence me.” You could tell it was a 9mm or something of the like, its silhouette clear against the screen. This caused the crowd to pipe down extremely quickly. Cold fear swept over the group in short order.
At this point my self-talk was “Wow, I’m going to die in a manner that will make even the obituary writer snicker.” I won’t sugarcoat it, I was extremely sad about the whole thing, especially because I hadn’t even been shushing the group. They were annoying, sure, but I figured they’d pass out eventually. After about five minutes of further heckling someone made a run for it, you could tell because they did that “duck around the corner, don’t shoot me” thing. Three minutes later cops came in with a theater manager and hauled the guys away. Two minutes after that I left the movie. They had an employee handing out rain checks, but I demurred. It just felt like I should immediately start repressing the whole thing.
To this day, I still don’t know how Scary Movie ends, but I like to imagine it was in a hail of gunfire.