It was on a sunny day back in 1982 when I rode my ten-speed (this was before the days of the “Mountain Bike”) down to Edwards Cinema West in the lovely city of Westminster, California to watch some of my then already “old” heroes from Saturday Night Live and SCTV who were appearing in a film called “It Came From Hollywood.” It was a documentary of sorts, which chronicled some of the most notorious Hollywood B-movies of the past, narrated by the likes of Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, John Candy, and Cheech and Chong.
One of the films featured was “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” directed by the now infamous Edward D. Wood Jr., who many folks now know from the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton classic “Ed Wood.” I made it a mission to see this dreadful film as soon as I could. In those days VCRs were relatively new, a little more expensive, and not everyone had one – and Blockbuster Video was but a gleam in some entrepreneur’s eye – through hard work and determination I managed to catch it on one of those late-night shows. I expected to see a shining example of how not to make a movie – and I got that – but I got so much more. The movie is not just completely inept and misguided, but features a lack of storytelling ability that is to this day unmatched in a theatrical release. The darndest thing was…it was truly one of the most entertaining films I had ever seen! It became one of the most-watched movies in my collection. Over the years, friends would gather, cocktails would be poured, sooner or later someone would say, “you ever seen Plan 9?” And it was ON, baby.
It was the first film I had ever seen that was truly so bad, it was good. It was an anti-classic, great for all the wrong reasons. Quotes from true Hollywood classics like “Here’s looking at you, kid,” and “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” had been joined by nuggets like, “Where is Bucky! And what has he hay-ad!” and “Bitch are you for ree-yal!” Over the years these types of films have carved themselves a unique niche in filmgeekdom – Xanadu, Showgirls, Roadhouse, Gymkata, anything starring Rudy Ray Moore – and I recently was seized with an idea: A FILM FESTIVAL. It’s one thing to enjoy these abominations on your couch with some Chinese take-out, it’s another thing entirely to see them with an audience. That’s right, enough cyber-sophistry, it’s time to venture out of your parents’ garage, give You-Tube a rest, and see some of these fantastic steaming turds on the big screen where they belong. Wait! I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start! But it’s not till next month. The first “So Bad It’s Good” Film Festival will debut at the New Beverly on January 30th. You will have already broken those New Year’s resolutions, so what the hell? Come down and enjoy some cinematic atrocities with the Masked Movie Snobs, have a cocktail or two down the street, and come rub elbows with the incognito internet icons you’ve grown to barely pay attention to over the last few years. And if you’ve already seen Plan 9, well, bring a few folks who haven’t seen it yet. Spread the joy, that’s what the movies are all about. Along with Plan 9, we will be screening the accidentally hilarious and most amazing musical misfire "The Apple." This one is quickly taking on cult-favorite status so get it on it some of that.
Trust me, this is an evening not to be missed. There should be some fun and prizes as well, so pencil us in for Tuesday January 30th, won’t you? Look for the New Beverly’s schedule online. There’s even a myspace site devoted to the screening: myspace.com/sbigfilmfest