Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Non-Conformist Cult Radio Show 3/2/04

Last Tuesday evening, Kristina and I attended the Carolina Classic Films Series screening of ALIEN at the beautiful Carolina Theatre in downtown Greensboro. I was excited for three reasons… I have never seen this film on a big screen, this marked the first time the Carolina Theatre implemented its new Surround Sound system, and they serve beer. I mean really… A classic flick in Surround Sound in an historic joint with a few adult beverages… What’s not to love?

At first, we didn’t know if we were gonna make it. Kristina had a busy day with lots of things on her plate, but I got the call and everything was looking A-Okay. Roger that!

I met her at Shucka’s Alley just across the street from the Carolina Theatre. I got there early enough to get a couple of beers flowing through my system. They were out of one of my favorites, Old Town Brown from Natty Greene’s, but they did have Salem Gold from Foothills Brewery in Winston-Salem. And minutes before Kristina’s arrival, I ordered her a glass of white wine to get some alcohol in her blood stream to caress those corpuscles with sweet intoxication.

It’s not that I wanted to get her drunk. It’s because the film, as I remember it, is a little on the boring side. And in my opinion, alcohol can make things seem better than they are. If my love life doesn’t prove that theory, then nothing does.

I was a kid when the movie came out, about 13 years old. I was in seventh grade at Northwest Guilford Junior High where I remember “Mark” constantly drawing the alien in Mrs. Miller’s fourth period Social Studies class. He was in love with that film.

Me? I was more into KISS, television, and trying to get to the “on deck circle” in order to hit a home run with the ladies.

I had pretty much given up on science-fiction types of things because girls, for the most and prettiest part, didn’t give a damn about it. I was on a mission and trimming the sci-fi fat was necessary in order to appeal to the fairer sex.

Sadly, KISS’ popularity waned BIG TIME a few years after that, but I was still the constant fan that wouldn’t die. That love for KISS worked against me and my homerun goals because KISS was something for geeks and losers. So eventually I gave ALIEN a try when it premiered on network television.

My God… I thought the flick was one of the most boring things in the world, but I toughed it out. Parts of it were cool, but I didn’t see why “Mark” and some of my other friends like Jonathan Everett loved it so much.

When the sequel ALIENS came out, Jonny boy was hot and heavy about that one. He kept telling me about its greatness and I dismissed his opinions the same way the ladies dismissed me.

But one day, Jonathan and I were hanging at his house eating out of a 5 gallon drum of Planter’s Peanuts from Pace Warehouse watching a little HBO. Up next was ALIENS. With nothing else to do, I watched it and I was impressed. It was pretty damn cool.

A few years later, I rented ALIEN on VHS from Action Video and nothing had changed. It was still a pretty boring flick.

The alcohol didn’t really help the other night at the Carolina Theatre. Kristina and I weren’t really that “into” it. We had resorted to making snide comments like Joel and the robots on Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

Kristina made a couple of trips to the concession area for more beer and vino. When we arrived, I wanted a seat near the aisle so that I could get up without trampling over someone in order to lessen my bladder. She wanted to sit in the very middle of the row. You know who won…

Eventually my bladder started hollering at me like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ recording of “I Put A Spell On You”. On my way out, I knocked over a tiny plastic wine cup that rolled around on the concrete floor of the darkened and once quiet theatre. In the bathroom, I found the reasons why cows look forward to giving milk (get that reference, Brad K.?).

I walked back into the theatre to find the scene where the cast were searching for the little monster than burst from John Hurt’s chest. Believing in the NHL rule of waiting until stoppage of play, I stood by the door until the scene reached it’s ending. I easily found my row and made my way back to my seat finding another small plastic wine cup to knock over once again with my foot. In my mind, it probably sounded to the rest of the audience as if a couple of drunken hillbilly’s came out of the woods to come see the big, black space lizard moving picture show.

The biggest laugh came when a spaceship door closed and there was a familiar design on it. I leaned over to Kristina and said, “This scene brought to you by Purina.”

“I was thinking the same thing,” she whisper shouted before bursting into laughter heard throughout the theatre.

No one complained about us or even turned around to “shush” us. A guy behind us did get up and move to another seat, but I think it was because he couldn’t see over my bulbous head.

Before leaving the theatre, I hit the bathroom once again. A guy was about to wash his hands the same time I was and asked, "Remember when this was considered an action/thriller?"

Apparently he felt the same way I did.

Whatever happened to the “Mark” guy?

He was convicted of murder or manslaughter (I tried googling him to no avail for fact checking) a short time after graduation. Merely a coincidence? You be the judge.


  1. Anonymous1:16 PM

    Run along, Katie, and next week I'll show you why cows look forward to giving milk.

    What do I win?

  2. I think I can find you a cool and groovy Rock 92 Hanes Beefy-T T-shirt.

  3. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Knocking over the plastic wine glasses reminded me of the time I smuggled a Foster's oil can into Brassfield theater years ago. I took a few sips, sat it on the floor and promptly knocked it over with my foot. The slow klunk-klunk it made as it rolled it's way forward steadily increased in it's frequency and pitch as it emptied it's contents, followed by the eruption of a brew aroma all over that section of the theater. I don't remember what the movie was but I do remember laughing uncontrollably.

  4. First off - how'd I miss you? I guess because I got there about 15 minutes before the movie and I sat up in the balcony. But I thought I might've seen you afterward. Oh, well.

    Second - I really have to disagree with you on Alien. It's a slow, creeping, suffocating, claustrophobic movie. The tight head shots in a lot of scenes just help reinforce the oppressive confines of the ship. Unlike the subsequent sequels (especially the James Cameron-directed Aliens, which is good), it relies on the 'less is more' dictum of good, suspenseful horror films. But to each their own.

    Thirdly - I used that same Purina joke to make my date laugh. We might've even made it at the same time. Obviously great minds think alike.

  5. I was big into Kiss when I was in 7th grade. I remember for Christmas I got their album, a poster, and a t shirt with their faces on it. When my grandmother visited I had to move out & she got my room. She did not like waking up to that Kiss poster. In 8th grade I switch from Lindley Jr High to Kiser. I didn't find many Kiss fans there.

  6. Jeff Baker, Jon Sullivan, Mike Hicks, and I were busted trying to carry in beer at the old Quaker Twin when we saw Full Metal Jacket. They were pretty pissed at us.

    Once, I can't remember the picture, I kept hearing bottles being opened. Then after about an hour everyone heard a bottle rolling all the way down on the concrete.

    Funny stuff.

  7. Josh!

    Damn! I hate I missed you!

    I really wanted to sit in the balcony, but I let her decide. Oh well.

    Oh, believe me... I get the suspenseful "less is more" thing. That's one of the big reasons I totally dug Blair Witch Project. ALIEN just moves like a snail to me. I guess the quick-edits of The Monkees ruined me for life.

    Yes! Great minds do think alike.

    Next time... Plug "J's Indie Rock Mayhem" heard on WQFS 90.9 FM Guilford College Radio.

  8. Joan... Are you planning on seeing the Original KISS Army tribute band this Saturday night?

    If so, look me up!