Friday, April 16, 2010

Robot Roll Call


To the Calvin Theater in Northampton last night to see Cinematic Titanic, a.k.a. Mystery Science Theater 3000 LIVE AND ON ICE. Well, not on ice, but LIVE.
It was very fun, and I'll get into descriptions of the fun in a minute, but before the show started, when Joel was still making introductions, he made an interesting point. He said that Mystery Science Theater fans are the best in the world because they are so patient. Not only did they watch a 2 hour television show, they still love it twelve years after it was canceled. Twelve years. And that's when it hit me. I was nine when the show went off the air, and while I did enjoy it, I rarely watched an entire episode. I tended to either fall asleep or change the channel. It is a fond cultural thing from my childhood, and it had a big impact on the way I watch movies though. I remember going to see "Step Mom" for my tenth birthday with the express purpose of making fun of it, and almost getting kicked out of the theater.
I love looking around at events to see what kind of people like the thing being presented. I think I'm looking to see if I fit in, if these are MY people. Chris Pureka was full of older lesbians, so, not my people. Last night's event was a lot of heavy men with odd facial hair, so I have to say they weren't my people either. It's ok though, as I like to not blend with the crowd. It makes me feel eclectic and cool to have the same interests as heavy men with mutton chops, and 40 year old Melissa Ethridge lookalikes, and crazy toned Amazons. The crowd was pretty old last night too, which is consistent with the whole canceled-12-years-ago thing. I was more suprised to see how old Joel looked. Dude looks old. Plus the opening act was Dave Gruber Allen or, the second troubador from "Gilmore Girls". I guess he did stand-up, but it seemed an awful lot like rambling, although it was funnier than the town players. He made several self-conscious, middle aged references to youth culture, (Justin Bieber, Twitter, and the like), and sang a song, and then just sort of wandered on stage while other people were talking. There was a funny bit about how people lack attention spans, and so soon radio stations will just play people's favorite parts of songs instead of the whole thing, and a pitch for a cartoon about a hero called Convoluted Man, complete with an exposition-filled theme song, but everyone in the room had come for one reason-robots, and that never really delivered. We got to see the people who had supplied the voices for the robots, but the actual puppets weren't on stage, which I thought was sad.
The movie was called "Terror on Tiki Island", and it totally lived up to the name. Portugese horror movies don't get the credit they deserve in the US. Joel's description of the monster as the Michelin Man after a horrible flaming car crash was about spot on, and a character had a household staff entirely comprised of dwarves, and there were killer mutant trees, so that was good. The movie didn't start until 9:00 though, and so by the end I could have been nine years old again, struggling to stay awake.

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