Thursday, July 25, 2013
Riske Business: My 10 Weirdest Moviegoing Experiences
10. Bad Date
Shortly after I graduated from college, I returned to my hometown and reconnected with friends from high school, including my friend Jon’s ex-girlfriend Stacey. Jon moved to Florida, so I didn’t feel guilty about asking Stacey out. I was excited and Stacey told me she was too, and that she was happy I finally asked her out because she was jealous that I was always seeing someone when she was single. We went out to dinner and I ordered my meal. When the waiter asked Stacey what she’ll have, she told him nothing. “Why didn’t you order anything?” I asked her. “I just like watching you eat,” she told me. And so she did. After dinner, we went to see Garden State. During the movie, Stacey reached out to hold my hand and I held hers. She wouldn’t let go. At all. Whenever I made a motion to let go of her hand, she gave me an "I’m going to kill you" look. I told her I had to go to the restroom and she finally released me. I stayed in the bathroom for 45 minutes. Years later, I told Jon that I went out with Stacey and he laughed at me for a really long time.
9. Don’t Ruin Fair Game!
A few years ago, I was one of seven people on Earth who saw the Naomi Watts/Sean Penn classic Fair Game. In a theater! One woman in there was pumped for Game. During the pre-show countdown, a couple was talking. The woman leaned over to the couple and asked "Are you going to be talking during the whole f**king movie?" The couple looked at her, stunned. A different guy behind her said "Hey, why don’t you calm down?" and the woman turned to him and said “YOU SHUTUP!”
I went to see Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace a few days after it opened in a pretty empty theater. Even though there was probably 200 open seats, this Santa Claus-looking guy sat right in front of me. I sighed and got up to move seats. When I sat down a few rows back, I looked up and the guy was staring at me. “Sorry, your highness!” he yelled out. Ironically, I was also sat on during a movie once. The theater was dark and someone thought I was an empty seat. I had to say “You’re on a person.” Guess what movie that was? The Santa Clause.
7. Awkward Product Placement
About an hour into a screening of Batman Forever, two women began to loudly argue. All of a sudden, one stands up and throws AN ENTIRE LARGE SODA AT THE OTHER WOMAN’S HEAD. The thrower ran up the aisle and out of the theater. The wet woman screamed in disgust. When the movie was over, the police were waiting in the lobby. For what, I don’t know. Soda thrower made an escape that would have made Batman proud.
6. I’m So Excited
I went to an opening night screening of Kill Bill: Vol. 1 when I was in college and my anticipation couldn’t have been higher. It was the first Tarantino movie in six years. I was beyond pumped, but not as much as one of the fellow audience members. Around the part when Uma Thurman is willing herself to wiggle her big toe, a guy had a full-blown seizure in the theater. They had to stop the movie. The sad thing was I was angry at him for interrupting Kill Bill. If it were Mystic River, I would have been concerned.
I was a very pukey child. On Christmas Day 1991, I went with my family to see Hook with much of my extended family. I wasn’t feeling good. I had a migraine and, worse, I was watching Hook. About halfway through the movie, I barfed. In the theater. My Dad said "Get to the bathroom, get to the bathroom," but I couldn’t. I puked in the aisle. I retched in the bathroom. I ruffio’d all over that place. On the way home, I told my parents to pull over at least two more times. I hate Hook.
4. Mud Butt
I went to go see an early show of Up on opening day. Big mistake. Lots of kids there. One kid in front of me turns around and looks at me. I said hi. He said “I HAVE FIRE IN MY BOOTY!”
3. I Didn’t Even Have to Pay Extra
When I went to see From Dusk Till Dawn, I was terrified, but not by the movie. I was scared because another teenager in front of me turned around and was calling me a gay slur that starts with an F for the entire movie. “Stop looking at me, ***got.” He must have said it a hundred times. I just wanted to watch the movie. So I did what any kid would do: I totally cried. I wish I had something cool to say, like I kicked him in the face one of the times he turned around but that wouldn’t be the truth. I didn’t know what to do with that kind of evil. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
On a lark, I went with a couple of friends to see a midnight movie at the Music Box called Blood Scarab. It looked like a campy vampire movie and the director and cast were in attendance. I noticed the audience was a little bit scuzzier than usual. After the first 10 minutes, we came to the realization that we were watching a soft core porno. With the actors in the theater watching themselves fucking on screen! It was AWKWARD! The cast looked disappointed when we got up to leave.
1. What’s Happening to Me?
Sometimes, Asian cinema goes too far for my tastes. I went to see the horror anthology called Three Extremes and the first segment, called Dumplings, featured a woman eating a baby in graphic detail (e.g. sound effects of crunching). I felt like was going to be sick. I took off my hat and started to fan my face. It didn’t help. I tried looking away. It didn’t help. I went to stand up to run out of the theater and I couldn’t move my legs. Then I felt a tingle like when your foot falls asleep but rushing over my whole body. After that, I noticed my vision was going away. Things were getting blacker and blacker and blacker and then...boom! I fainted and was passed out for 25 minutes.
What are some of the weirdest things you’ve seen or had happen to you in a movie theater? Please share. I can’t wait to read your stories!