Plan 9 - After six B-Fests and seeing it in the theater twice on other occasions, plus however many times I’ve seen it on video at home, I’m starting to think I’m missing something by not hanging out with the BMMB crew who skip it and talk in the lobby, but dammit, this thing is just so much fun to watch with an audience and it’s such a charming little load of crap that it’s kind of like an old friend. See you next year, old friend.
The Room - Jesus H. Christ. I have an issue with things that it becomes hip to like in an ironic fashion, and this is the new darling of the ironic hipster scene. But it so deserves to be trashed on! The suckery on display here is of a flavor and weird ineptness that I’ve never quite seen the like of before. And remember that wrinkle I mentioned up top? Thanks to a happy accident of technical incompetence by the new A&O crew, the subtitles couldn’t be shut off. However, there are several awful songs during the love scenes which Ed described as being like watching the mating of two homunculi made of raw beef. This meant instant singalong classic! I could see running this with subtitles on becoming a B-Fest tradition in years to come. During an inexplicable (really, there aren’t any scenes in this load which are explicable) football scene, Tim and myself and Captain Wow were going to rock a little stage skit, which got shown up by the only two people in a room full of nerds who could throw/catch a football from any measurable distance. Listen up you miserable cock goblins, physical prowess is NOT THE WAY TO IMPRESS US! I hope you were raped to death by pterodactyls as you were walking to your car.
Hard Ticket to Hawaii - During the raffle, four Andy Sidaris movies were given away, and they all went to women. Then we all got some Sidaris love. I kinda wish I hadn’t been so tired from all that fish looking, but about halfway through this thing I knew I wasn’t going to make it. Apparently I missed some fun stuff with a rocket launcher and a toilet, but I felt I got my money’s worth hearing the line, “The snake has been infected with toxins from cancer-infested rats”.
Naptime - I’m the odd one out who thinks Buckaroo Banzai is an overrated steamer, so it was time to get some sleep. Knowing 90 minutes wasn’t going to be enough, Mal and I planned to sleep for four hours, which would mean missing the second of Ed’s sponsored movies, Sextette. We woke up and had a lovely quiet chat with Ed in the lobby, only to find they’d switched the blaxplo movie around, so I still got to see Sextette later! Even though we all keep in touch through the BMMB, and know each other pretty well, only having a couple of days together with so many good friends makes it hard to have any real one-on-one sit-down time with any one of them for a serious conversation. I’m glad it happened this year, and I’m glad it happened with Ed. You’re a good man, brother, and I love you.
Live It Up! - I knew I had to see this one or Tim would skewer me. As he put it, it’s an even more innocuous British Invasion version of Don’t Knock the Rock from last year, which I described as “weapons-grade boring”. The music in this one was better, excepting the Little Richard number from Rock, which is the only thing that made that movie worth sitting through, but otherwise there wasn’t a whole lot to hold my attention. Maybe some year they’ll show a metal musical.
Fiend Without A Face - These black and white 50’s monster flicks have a wonderful dual advantage for me. They’re obviously easy and fun to riff on, but I find them incredibly enjoyable to just sit down and watch on their own, so even if the crowd has died down, I can sit back and simply enjoy the movie. The folks in my area all cracked off a good few fun jokes at this one’s expense. Not too long ago I rented this, and my three-year-old daughter raptly watched the whole thing, even though it’s almost all talking and only about ten minutes of action at the end. She still asks sometimes to watch “the brain movie”. It features some pretty damn cool stop motion effects when the brains finally show up, and attention to detail that you wouldn’t expect from such a cheap little flick.
Sextette - Remember when I said I was glad I hadn’t missed this? Yeah, about that… My notes simply say, “Mae West is old and scary”. That pretty much sums it up. She does a lot of what I think may be interpreted by some as an attempt at sexy hip movements, but I’m pretty sure it’s just a faulty pump causing hiccups in the hydraulic equipment used to keep her shambling corpse upright and semi-mobile during the shoot.
War of the Robots - Holy shit, it wouldn’t stop. IT WOULDN’T STOP! Who would’ve guessed that, with all the unbelievable garbage they showed this year, the mildly boring Italian Star Wars ripoff played second-to-last on the lineup would be this year’s Soul Crusher. Part of the reason this load proved so lethal is the print they showed played the seemingly interminable final star craft battle TWICE. It’s not so easy to get away from…
The Giant Claw - Giant antimatter space buzzard. Do you need more than that? Best joke of the final 2010 B-Fest movie goes to Telstar, doing a bang-on impersonation of the aforementioned giant antimatter space buzzard when General Ineffective von Clueless picks up the phone during one of the many “planning strategies to beat a giant antimatter space buzzard” scenes.
And that’s all she wrote, folks. Another year in the bag. Time for some cleanup and a little bit of final chat before the BMMB group photo and the bittersweet knowledge that although we’ll see each other in a year to do this craziness all over again, our time together for now is short and precious. Many of us meet for supper at the Seven Brothers and plan for next year. According to Santo, there’s a museum full of artwork by mental patients somewhere in Chicago. But the evening has taken its toll, so after an hour or so of chat with Telstar and El Dogo in the lobby of the hotel, it’s time for bed to prepare for the journey home in the morning. Breakfast at Marilyn’s, like the rest of this year’s trip, is greatly improved by the absence of FrontMan. We bid a fond farewell to our friends (and thanks to Tim for stealing Morton Grove Best Western’s copy of The Lovely Bones and sticking it in Mal’s purse) and aim the Chariot of Doom toward home and the mundanity of everyday life until we can once again cast off the shackles of the usual and meet our friends in that sweetest of nerd sanctuaries - B-Fest.
Thanks again to Tim, Ed, BJ, Santo, Sean, Chad, Mike, and everyone else who made this year extra special for us. We love all of you and we’ll see you in 2011.
Addendum: On the very first Brotherhood of Bad Movies trip to B-Fest way back in 2002, we pulled the whole thing off in one go with no hotel. Driving seven hours, sitting in a theater for 24, and then driving home another seven during the night was bad enough, but at about the halfway point we realized we were in the middle of fuck-all nowhere and were almost out of gas. Approaching a little town that had pretty well packed in for the night, we saw lights on at this little mom-and-pop gas station, nothing more than a brick cube with a pump out front. The lady was locking up for the night, but she was kind enough to reopen for us to get some gas to get home. Turns out we were on the outskirts of Galena, and that Dubuque was probably within reach of the fumes in our tank, but it was the first time any of us had made that trip and we had no idea where we were. It was only this year that I figured out where that gas station is. In all the subsequent Fest trips, I've looked for it, and assumed it went the way of the buffalo as the economy put the squeeze on private businesses, but they're still going strong, selling all manner of local-made goods along with your usual Kwik-E-Mart fare. So here's to the little brick cube and the nice lady who, it turns out didn't exactly save our bacon, but was kind enough to keep her doors open for three panicked teenagers in the middle of the night.