Last Night I had a blast at the Colonial Theatre's Screening of Silent Night, Deadly Night.
Once again it was all put together by the "First Friday Fright Night Crew" Nick Lombardo, Cyanide Rush, and Joel Rickenbach. I have been going to their shows since last spring and this was by far their best show yet!
(That's saying something since they also screened "Maniac", "Pieces", and "The Fog" to name a few)
When I first heard they would be doing S.N.D.N. in December I got an idea in my head about hosting a "Mock Protest" outside the theatre the night of the screening to recreate the controversy the film stirred up when it was originally released back in November of 1984. Everybody shitted on this movie . . . Siskel and Ebert condemned the film and went so far as to read the film's production credits on air, saying "Shame, Shame" after each one!
The Parent-Teacher Association and other like minded organizations picketed outside any theatre that was playing S.N.D.N. until the manger stop playing it.
Now I don't know about you, but stuff like this only creates more interest for a movie 'imo'. If they said or did nothing the movie might have gone almost unnoticed.
Ok so back to my protest, I hit Staples a couple hours before the show to get some poster board (nothing like waiting to the last minute) and here are the 3 that I came up with . . .
I always loved how "Up in Arms" Mickey Rooney was about Silent Night when it first came out, only to end up staring in the 5th S.N.D.N. Movie. So I made a poster about that . . .
Now this one was just a silly spoof on the Leonard Maltin qoute "What's next, the Easter Bunny as a Child Molester?"
I was set to pick up Tom K. (Last Blog On Dead-End Street) around 7:30, but Chris Gormley called me around 6ish and asked if I wanted him to pick us both up, so that worked out really well, and that gave me a little more time to get ready and relax. Since I then had some time to kill now, I went and got "Black Santa" out of my Storage Room . . .
The story about how and why I own Black Santa goes like this: About five years ago at work we were told we could no longer display "Overly Religious Christmas/Holiday" Decorations in the office. Instead of donating them all the stuff we had was just going to get tossed in the trash . . . I opened one of the boxes and found this guy inside . . .
Ok where was I? (I'm getting worse then Bob Saget on "How I Meet Your Mother" here, sorry!)
When Chris picked me up I was happy to see he had some poster making supplies of his own in the car, so after we found a parking spot a few blocks from the Colonial, we got to work . . .
We made our way down to the theatre about a half hour before the show was to start. The bizarre looks we received from everyone we passed was priceless. 99% of the people in Phoenixville thought we were for REAL and the concept of sarcasm was completely lost on them! I tried to explain the movie and it's history to a group of teens but they were still lost, then again they all seemed pretty stoned. When more people showed up to the movie they got what we were going for, and joined in on the fun.
We got people to beep their car horns, hold our shitty signs, and also take part in our protest chants of "Don't See This Movie, Don't Support SCUM", and "This Movie Is Sick and It's Ruining The Spirt of Christmas!"
When Nick and the rest of the First Friday Fright guys came along we had a fake fight going between the two groups. We must have been more convincing then we realized cause we got word the cops were making their way down the street to see what all the racket was about. No biggie cause I was freezing my ass off standing outside and was happy to get inside anyway!
After warming up a bit, I made my way over to Chris Garofalo/Quiltface Studios' table to pick up one of the special posters he made for the event.
BTW Later that night I also picked up this bad ass Monster Squad print he made!
Nick and I made up from our "Fight" from earlier, maybe it was because we both have good taste in shirts ;)
Fright-Rags. It will be back in stock later in the week!
Before the show Joel, C. Rush, and Nick (now dressed as St. Nick) talked about S.N.D.N. They talked about the original controversy and also how a another company tried to re-release it a couple years later in the spring time (that I didn't know about)!
Next up was a Trailer Reel for all of the Colonial's Upcoming Shows . . .
Die Hard (12/30/11) , Friday The 13 Part VII (01/13/12) ,The Big Lebowski (01/20/12) , My Bloody Valentine (02/03/12) , Night of the Creeps (03/02/12) , Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (03/16/12) , and The Room (05/18/12)
Now it was time for the show! Watching a movie you love along with other fans always makes it a better viewing experience. There was a lot of great crowd participation and cheers throughout the movie. The scenes that got the biggest responses were "Grandpa Chapman", the cheesy montage at the Toy Store, and all of the sledding scene. Between seeing this movie on cable and dvd maybe about 20 times now nothing will compare to seeing it last night with a crowd and for the first time in 35mm!
I'm confident that I'm not the only one who feels that way as I left the Colonial.
Before I left I made sure to take a shot of Nick's original S.N.D.N. poster that was outside in the window since I was busy earlier.
How Sweet Is That?!?
After putting our gear back in the car, Tom, Chris, and I headed over to the Iron Hill Brewery. That place has some tasty eats and beer . . . I think we found our pre and/or post show bar lol.
Anyway that about wraps it up, before I leave I want to give major props to Nick, Joel, and Cyanide for putting together an amazing show as always. Chris Garofalo for making and saving me that awesome poster, and of course my fellow protesters Tom K. and Chris Gormley. We might have looked liked fools, but man was it fun and totally worth it!
- Tom Bryce