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!
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I wish I could say I had a movie going experience as interesting as any of those. Great stories!ReplyDelete
The best I can come up with are two that involve my younger cousin Andrew yelling things in the middle of the movies. First, at a screening of The Secret Garden, my cousin loudly exclaimed "THIS MOVIE'S ABOUT NOTHING!" Clearly, he was not a fan.
And then also at Muppet Treasure Island, I guess one of the characters gets shot with either a cannon or a gun or something, because I remember him shouting "THAT GUY JUST GOT SHOT IN THE BALLS!"
These are just humorous moments, and you may have had to be there, but they definitely stand out in my mind.
Also, I am a fan of Asian cinema, and Three Extremes was actually a movie I was curious to see (because I haven't gotten around to it yet), but now I'm not so sure, haha...Delete
Three Extremes is quite good but the title is not a euphemism.Delete
I really love that The Secret Garden story.Delete
I went to see E.T. during its re-release a few years ago. Just when we get to the part where Elliot thinks E.T. is dead and is saying goodbye to him, 3 teenagers walked into the theatre. They watched the screen for a few seconds before finally realizing they were in the wrong theatre (apparently reading the sign out front was too labor-intensive for these geniuses). Just as they were leaving, the last one yelled "FUUUCK!" at the top of his lungs. In a theatre that he had to have known was filled with children. It takes a special alchemy to make a great film-going experience. It only takes one asshole to ruin it. That moron reminds me of Patton Oswalt's admonition to a heckler at one of his shows who yelled out at an inopportune moment: "You're going to miss everything cool and die angry." One can only hope.ReplyDelete
For the most part all of my memorable film-going experiences are so because of an exceptionally annoying patron. My brother, Marlon, tells of an experience that he had that allowed him to be downright heroic.ReplyDelete
On one of his first dates with a girl, he took her to see Aladdin. There was a trio of Indian girls aged about 6-10 sitting in the row ahead a few seats over. A pair of white girls sat directly in front of him and then proceeded to antagonize the Indian girls with “dirty Paki” remarks. The oldest of the Indian girls swapped seats with her younger sister to put herself closest to the instigators to take the brunt of their harassment. After observing this for a few moments, Marlon was feeling guiltily apathetic. He kicked the offending girl’s seat hard enough to bounce her out of it and when she turned around to see what happened he gave her the ole’ “I’ve been watching you” look. Afterwards she sat back down and behaved herself. And Marlon had earned himself some good points in the eyes of his date, now his wife.
Nice story! Your brother sounds like a cool guy :-)Delete
I'm sorry, but the guy that said "Sorry, your highness!" is awesome. Stuff like that and most of your other hilarious stories just don't happen that often here in Canada.ReplyDelete
As such, my experiences have pretty much all been uneventful but I've got one:
When I was about 10 I went to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a buddy (sidenote: he made a huge bag of popcorn at home that I used an old TMNT bookbag to sneak in - figured I'd just look like a fa...n). Anyway, during the movie, some older kids started razzing us about something and were throwing popcorn at us so I chucked my 1/4 full thing of pop at them. After the show, as we were waiting for our rides outside, they started threatening us and one of them grabbed my bag and started trying to hang it on something out of reach. I was pumped from the movie and I did like a jumping sidekick at him and he was like, "What do you think, you're a Ninja Turtle or something?" Then the theatre owner came out and chased them off. It was pretty rad.
Flawless Victory Sol!Delete
Not in the cinema but related to your Kill Bill story, when we were watching Pulp Fiction in Media Studies class in year 12 (yeah, our teacher was pretty cool, not JB cool, but still pretty cool) a girl fainted during the adrenaline shot scene right at the moment that the syringe hit Mia. We stopped the video to look after her and when we started again the first thing that played was Rosanna Arquette saying "that was trippy" and I remember thinking to myself "yes. Yes it was".ReplyDelete
In cinema though. A group of us went to see Space Jam after smoking a lot of weed before hand. One of our friends who was having her first weed experience threw up in the middle in the movie. When we stopped laughing we just moved over a seat or two and kept watching the movie.
Thank you, Brad.Delete
That needle scene REALLY bothers people.
I've heard it happening every so often with the syringe scene. What I heard was that it is because the scene operates in relation to brain wave activity in the same way that Japanese Manga/flashing strobes can trigger epilepsy. As the shots tick over from one to the other it apparently syncs up with some part of the brain so when the cuts stop with a jolt the brain has a mini seizure which appears like a sudden fainting spell. The girl in our class said she wasn’t disturbed by the scene and that it was all very sudden. I wonder if it’s an editing style Tarrantino favours which was somehow replicated in Kill Bill.Delete
Alternatively the people I've heard that from may be all full of shit. Its possible. I tend to hang around with a lot of bullshitters. I really should stop doing that.
I can totally sympathize on Dumplings. I think it took me three nights to get through that in chunks, great as the lead performance is (Miriam Yeung, playing WAY above her actual age of 30 at the time).ReplyDelete
So I guess the scene that made me faint is not in the full-length version of Dumplings. It's only in the short version from Three Extremes.Delete
When I went to see Fincher's version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I noticed at least half a dozen separate heavyset men- all wearing sweatpants- file in and take seats behind me. I didn't dare turn around to look at any of them. After the scene (you know which one I'm talking about), four of them got up and left, never to return. Do I want to know what was going on back there? No.ReplyDelete
@Myke - I've seen the same kind of thing happen at Monster's Ball. About half the theater left after they got what they came for. They had to really work for it, that movie's DARK. I also remember seeing a bunch of people leave during Baby Boy but that was because Snoop just got shot and they weren't having any of that. It was pretty funny.ReplyDelete
Great stuff, Adam. One of my favorite movie-going stories...I went to see Home Alone in the theater. As I was walking out, a kid turns to his brother and says, "I would have done the exact same thing."ReplyDelete
And that kid grew up to be James Bond #SkyfallDelete
Great Article Adam. You have "special" luck. My weirdest was opening day of the Love Guru(midnight screening no less [I know...]), there were only a handful in the theater, but the guy behind me downed the better part of a fifth of vodka. He kept making incredulous comments as he was legitimately confused by what he was seeing. Normally I would be put off by this kind of theater behavior. On this night I was very jealous.ReplyDelete
I went to see the original Poseidon Adventure when I was nine. I was so taken with Gene Hackman hanging from that steam vent at the end that I leaned forward in my seat and whispered to my Mom, "Is he going to make it?" (Spoiler Alert) The guy in front of me turned around in his seat and said, "No, he dies. I saw this already!" and turned back around.ReplyDelete
I fainted at the movies once too! It was during the brain-eating sequence near the end of Hannibal. It sounds like you were alone when you fainted, Adam, but I was lucky -- I was with JB. When I started to fall out of my seat, he lovingly (and by "lovingly," I mean "without taking his eyes off the screen") reached over with his free (i.e., non-popcorn) hand and propped me up. I was just coming to when an usher approached us and asked if we needed help. "Her? Oh, she's okay," I heard JB say... right before I passed out a second time. WHAP! He caught me again, right on the sternum. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is movie love.ReplyDelete
*Sniff* that was so beautiful *wipes tear*Delete
Fainting at a movie is a badge of honor.Delete
I love the instinct that tells you to say "You're on a person." This is how my nightmares begin.ReplyDelete
I was at "Revenge of the Sith," and after the previews ended, just before the movie started, a guy near the front yells out, "Anakin becomes Darth Vader!" Most of the theater chuckled, but another guy got really pissed off and threw something (not sure what) at him. An usher hurried over before it could escalate further, though.ReplyDelete
Do you suppose that guy actually thought the first guy had spoiled something? "Dammit, don't give away the end of the movie!"Delete
Either that, or somehow that second guy truly was spoiled (only watched "A New Hope" before seeking out "Revenge of the Sith"?) and was *pissed*. But neither option really makes any sense!ReplyDelete