Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Night at the Improv

There's a moviehouse here in Seattle, that I've been to once before, called Twisted Flicks. Tonight Adrian and I went again. It is truly a unique experience, where really bad movies from the past are presented up on the screen, but without sound. A synth plays the music, and actors improvise the sound effects and speaking roles (and non-speaking growling, if necessary). To add to the challenge, the actors take suggestions from the audience, of items like a profession, a character trait, or a simple sentence, and incorporate these elements into the movie.

X From Outer Space tells the tale of a Japanese space crew investigating alien life on Mars, but the doctor on board gets sick when a flying chicken pot pie comes too close, and so they have to land on the Moon Base. Then they go on to Mars, but some asteroids that look like tribbles attach to the ship. Rather than going to Mars they decide to come back, and bring one of the tribbles with them. On Earth the tribble turns into an egg and hatches, and turns into a giant bird-reptile (considering their respective phylogenies, the most realistic part of the movie), rampaging through Tokyo and the Japanese wilderness, before it gets stopped by some clever goo they manufacture in outer space, which makes the monster look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy of Ghostbusters, before melting like the Wicked Witch of the West back into a tribble. That's the movie without any changes. Sorry if I gave anything away.

The Twisted Flicks crew did a great job tonight. I had a couple suggestions that I thought were awesome- for a character, a Scientology Auditer- those guys who determine what your level is in Scientology and how much money you need to pay them; and for a sentence, "Take me to the vivisection." However, neither of my ideas was picked- though I did get a reaction by one of the actors to the latter suggestion, namely that he thought he might be offended.

Three phrases from the audience begin and end the movie, with a phrase in the middle. The first line of the improv was therefore a command to "Don't forget the onions." as they unloaded the helicopter. Then throughout the actors just had fun with the movie. The two main female characters take a shower and drop the soap, and this in a 50's movie. So that was just asking for some additions. There was some great sound effects and music scores, such as "Suicide is Painless" as the helicopter rose and everyone ran around below. The monster growled out Communist platitudes during it's destruction of Tokyo, but then as it's in the middle of the wilderness, obviously around no humans or any structures, it complains about being hopelessly lost. But my favorite bits were probably when the astronauts are looking out at the planet as they leave orbit, commenting on the beauty of the Earth. The planet looks like a giant round rock.

"But I don't see the atmosphere."

"I don't see the continents either."

"I don't think that's the Earth guys. I think that's the moon."

Oh, and when the small Toyota crashed and burst into flames, a voice is heard from the car.

"OnStar. Are you okay?"

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