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Monday, August 23, 2004
Movie Banter from Beyond the Realm of Reality - (The Goonies in Pioneer Square 8/20/04)
What sort of crowd turns out for an outdoor screening of a two decade old kid's movie? Unsurprisingly, hipsters, yokels and religious zealots.
I work on Saturdays so I arrived late and had to sit in the back of Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Goonies devotees in the front row, camped with lawn chairs and coolers, must have been there since the early afternoon. Prior to the main attraction, an Astoria tour guide introduced one of the actors from film. Who could it be? Sean Astin? Naw. Martha Plimpton? Naw. A resurrected John "Sloth" Matuszak? Nope. Instead, the organizers tracked down...the guy that stands next to Mr. Perkins when he arrives at the Goonie house with foreclosure papers.
He gave a quick, enthusiastic intro before the screen fired up and Pink Floyd's "Is There Anybody Out There?" played through a series of speakers littered throughout the square. While the humongous inflatable screen was impressive, the movie itself was transferred off a store-bought DVD. The crowd had to wait a few moments before someone backstage clicked on the correct icon to start the film.
The sound was loud enough but the ambient light from passing cars and office buildings made the scenes in the caverns hard to see. Even more distracting was the crowd itself, not that I'm complaining. During the opening scene, the God Squad , regular fixtures in the squares lately, stood next to the screen and stared at the crowd for the duration. Each wore sandwich boards, one of which read "FEAR GOD."
Perhaps more interesting was the group I was sitting next to: four women and one guy in a "Nothing Says I Love You Like...SEX!" t-shirt. Covered in tattoos, he looked like a Flea impersonator and impersonated nearly every character in the film. His Mama Fratelli was pretty spot on. As the women took turns sitting in his lap and making out with him, he offered up a loud, rolling commentary that I wish I could have somehow recorded for a home-made, special edition DVD. Among the highlights from this guy, not verbatim:
"Yeah, I stink. Clothes make me sweat. I was born to be naked."
During the opening scene, 45 minutes before Sloth shows up: "SLOTH! SLOTH! SLOTH! HEY YOU GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYS!"
When a faint pot cloud rolled in from somewhere behind us, he jumped up and angrily surveyed the crowd. "Somebody had better share. SOMEBODY had better share." I don't think he was joking around. He gave up the search after a minute or so.
During the Sloth/Chunk kiss: "HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! GET SOME, SLOTH!"
During a scene when the Mikey encounter a pirate skeleton with two daggers in its eye sockets: "If I was him, I'd take those knives out and put 'em in my pocket."
When one of his girlfriends asked him to scoot over: "I can't do that. There's a little HANDICAPPED girl behind me. I'll block her view."
And while Sloth is watching the Errol Flynn movie (no, I am not making this up): "You see that movie that ugly motherfucker is watching? That's Errol Flynn on there. He was a huge back in the '50s and '60s." FYI: Flynn passed away in 1959, 20 years after his silver screen heydays.
UPDATE: Nate, of Flirting With Coherence, has posted photos of the event over at his site.