Monday, July 09, 2007

The Bad Film Club at the Newbury Comedy Festival

Another night another comedy review! It was back to New Greenham Arts on the former Greenham Common Airbase to see The Bad Film Club, a name which says it all and indeed rarely would be sufficient for a would be punter to anticipate the show.

I was joined by the unfailingly affable Robin Winnett of Win IT and deserving winner of this year's West Berkshire Business Club, Business of the Year competition, who readily accepted an invitation to comedy without knowing what it was about. Such bravery was rewarded!

Without further wittering, here is the review that will appear in this week's Newbury Weekly News. A potted version has also been written for newbury today:

The Bad Film Club
New Greenham Arts

The idea is as terrific as it is original; pick a truly awful movie (for our evening of cinematic ridicule it was Patrick Swayze’s 1989 ‘classic’ Roadhouse) add three razor sharp comics on a sofa, armed with laser pointers, and rip the hell out of the film.

And so another audience was introduced into the firmly established and thoroughly infantile practices of The Bad Film Club. Created by our hosts ‘Nicko & Joe’ a veteran BFC guest Brendan Burns.

Self-confessed movie geeks they are clearly passionate, near evangelical about their work; spreading the withering word about some of the truly appalling films that have somehow been made.


Audience participation was encouraged, indeed if Swayze was ever caught gazing slightly off camera it was essential to utter, starting low and raising to a crescendo: “Sway-zeeeee!” Jazz hands were optional. Equally, if we found ourselves actually enjoying its true awfulness then a slow hand clap – ideally not co-ordinated – was required.

Their attention to bad detail was awesome and you have to wonder how many times they have subjected themselves to such awful cinema to be able to criticise distant hair crimes almost off camera or a pout from an actress who truly sucked. Presumably to get the fleeting part.

So it was good fun and they kept everyone laughing. However, sadly, and fittingly like a bad movie, the show went on – actually just a bit longer than the movie – an on; it was essentially the same jokes or variations of the same humour hammered home again and again.

The theory would be you could enjoy this show again and again by just substituting another bad movie, but unless it was a film that had some unlikely resonance with me, I suspect I’d rather go and see a good movie.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Spot on Nigel - it was a giggle and well worth my faith in you - or should that be faith in the Newbury Comedy Festival?!

For me the first 15 minutes dragged on as long as it would do if I meant to go and see this awful film. (Did people really pay money to see it?!). I put this down to the fact that you were encouraged to do all the things you are not meant to do when watching a film in public; talk, laugh, heckle - all loudly. Bascially participate.

This goes against the years of ingrained behaviour for watching a film that people follow - how annoying is it when watching a film if someone is even whispering or eating pop corn loudly?

I must confess I did find myself at one point thinking, 'I didn't hear what was said then'. But that of course is the whole point of awaful films - it doesn't matter! You could probably watch and hear 20% of the film and still know what was going to happen!

So, as soon as I learnt how to watch the film in the way the 'Bad Film Club' encourages, I found the time flew with lots of laugh out loud moments.

I certainly share Nigel's concern that going to see the 'Bad Film Club' again could be risky.

However, as we all know there are many many bad films out there that deserve to be truly ridiculed.

As long as they chose a film from a completely different genre and did their research properly - ultimately how good they are depends on the material they have to work with - I think I would take that risk.

Robin Winnett