Bullet Points of Awesome:
* The weather didn’t treat us too badly: drizzle gave way to not-quite-even-drizzle while Cort and Fatboy did their monthly live broadcast (AVAILABLE ON PODCAST HERE; REALLY, YOU SHOULD LISTEN YOU MUST LISTEN, THE CHOICE IS MADE, THE TRAVELER HAS COME…um, was I saying something?) from the Bagdad lobby, so eventually we had a line and a near-sellout show. We should have a sellout, with a film like this!
* The radio show (featuring, as usual, Aaron “Geek in the City” Duran and David Walker, with Eric D. Snider stepping in for an elsewhere Mike Russell for the movie review segment) not only hyped the film, it hyped a new Ghostbusters comic book that Duran talked about in his comic book segment. With that, the “Ghostbusters go to the New York version of Hell” computer game that’s coming out, and the rumblings that the original Ghostbusters players, even Bill Murray, are seriously pondering a new Ghostbusters film, it’s a good time to be a Ghostbusters fan. (I’m getting excited just typing this. Yep, I’m a geek over this film.)
* Street Fight, Cort-and-Fatboy-and-Elections Edition (politics is getting into everything right now): right across the street from the Bagdad, during the pre-film show, a drunk guy in a sweatshirt (adorned with art of a ribcage) accosted a street musician, screaming “You fucking Democrats!” and less coherent profanities. Passerby and listeners, and later even Cort and a KUFO engineer, intervened to stop the altercation, while Fatboy gave play-by-play on the podcast-only part of the show (AVAILABLE AT THAT PODCAST LINK, SO BE GOOD, FOR GOODNESS SAKE, WHOOOAAA SOMEBODY’S COMING…wait, you’re saying I said something?). Non-confrontational me stood back, wide-eyed, until Ribcage finally broke it off and stumbled north up SE 37th. “That was the first fight we’ve had,” Fatboy said. Apparently it was the night’s last fight. I’ll hope it was the last fight, anyway, okay? (Update: the coverage of the fight starts around the 54:00 mark on the podcast.)
* I was useful! I’d volunteered to the DJs to help deliver the Bagdad’s Cajunized tater tots, as Fatboy likes to do (calling it “the ceremonial passing of the tots”). Fatboy wasn’t sure at first if there’d be enough of a line for it, because the weather at the start of their show sucked, but after the drizzle stopped, people started queuing. By the time the line was down one side of the Bagdad and around the corner, even after people had started buying their tickets and were newly queuing inside (yep, we were gonna sell out), Fatboy and I fanned out with platters of tots. He went outside, I stayed indoors, proffering to those waiting to get refreshments – with me saying things like “It’ll give you the strength to go on!” “It’s an appetizer!” “Tater tots, created in Oregon!” and “Cort and Fatboy like to get people fed” – and when I’d made my first pass through the lobby, I had enough tots left to reach the end of the outside line. ALL THE TOTS FOUND GOOD HOMES IN STOMACHS.
* Oh, and I recited a line from Anchorman, replacing “scotch” with “tots”: “Tots, tots, tots, I love tots, tots-y tots tots.” I did that once.
* As always, the audience was primed and hyped; and the energy in the theater was good, even with the screening starting late. A four-man team (including a Dr. Venkman who Fatboy said looked more like Adam Baldwin as Jayne) wandered the front of the room in homemade Ghostbusters costumes. We cheered our hosts when it was time to show the pre-movie clip show Fatboy now puts together for the late-night movies: we cheered even louder when Fatboy gave the news that O.J. Simpson had just been found guilty on all counts in his theft and kidnapping case, 13 years to the day he’d been acquitted of the 1994 murders. At that moment, we all were Karma fans.
* The pre-film clips – which in the past have included redubbed G.I. Joe PSAs (“Pork Chop Sandwiches!!!”), the bunny reenactment of The Shining, that Batman-versus-the-Joker-the-Alien-and-the-Predator short, and much else – began with the trailer for Army of Darkness, the third Evil Dead film and November’s late-night movie. We also saw the “in five seconds” versions of The Empire Strikes Back, Scarface, The Big Lebowski and The Passion of the Christ (one shot, one line: “AAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH!”), a scary fake energy drink ad, and the portentous-’til-it’s-hilarious trailer for Revenge of the Nerds.
* The audience, most of whom were too young to have seen the film in 1984, soaked up the flick’s big-screen/wide-screen glory. We cheered the team, because how can you not like Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore? We were hot for Sigourney Weaver, pre- and post-possession. (Plenty of us appreciated Annie Potts, too.) We thoroughly booed William Atherton, one of the great on-screen asses of Eighties cinema, here as the EPA official who orders the grid shutdown that lets the ghosts escape. “You sort of can’t say ‘Ass’ without ‘Atherton,’” I stumbled through saying at one point. (Damn and blast it, I meant it the other way! You can’t say ‘Atherton’ without ‘Ass.’ There, history’s been revised…) And wow, those special effects still look good, 24 years later. Made me wonder how the may-be-happening Ghostbusters III maybe shouldn’t get all CGI’d and instead stay kind of old-school in its look, to tie in better (maybe) with the original film. Maybe, maybe, maybe. OK, Ramis and Ackroyd and their producers, if you make another film, DON’T SCREW IT UP. Seriously. Ghostbusters is special to a lot of us. We’ll be watching like a hawk.
Now, let’s not have it be 24 years before Ghostbusters is shown again, you hear? It could be an October perennial! It could be like The Nightmare Before Christmas! Yep, I’m still a geek over this film…
* P.S. And hey, here’s one more link: did Ghostbusters influence Buffy the Vampire Slayer?