I’m not really a fan of karaoke. I get annoyed when I go to a bar and discover that it’s karaoke night. If I want to listen to a song, I’ll listen to a good version, not some terrible cover by a drunk chick who really loves Total Eclipse of the Heart. Maybe I’m a stuffy jackass who is incapable of having fun, but that’s just how I feel.
Last night I went to a midnight movie showing of The Princess Bride. Now I don’t expect a midnight movie crowd to behave in the way I expect a general release crowd to behave. I’ll put up with people shouting at the screen at certain points or behaving like little kids who suddenly are without adult supervision. Unfortunately, last night’s showing was in a tiny theater (really more of a screening room) that only seats 30 people. That meant I was stuck two rows behind a group of eight to ten morons who had to recite every line of dialogue along with the characters.
I dealt with it as best I could and tried to enjoy it. It was impossible. I don’t want to hear a bunch of snarky 20-somethings chant along with Mandy Patinkin as he proclaims, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Before you say I should have known better and expected this behavior out of a midnight movie crowd, I’ll just say that I am a midnight movie veteran. I’ve encountered problems before, but they were movies where I expected problems. After going to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I knew never to see a midnight movie where the cult around it has built up because the film had been turned into audience participation. I didn’t expect this kind of reaction to something as charming and innocuous as The Princess Bride. Maybe this is something that has built up around the film that I was not aware of, but I doubt it. The film still stands on its own and is much funnier when Wallace Shawn is spitting out his ridiculous lines and not idiots who are only entertaining themeslves.