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It’s madness, I tell ya’

Friday’s are midnight movie madness at the Carousel Cinemas

Published: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 09:01

When most think of Midnight Madness, a seedy 1970s theater comes to mind. Not any more as WUAG’s “Movie Show” guys, Mike Compton and Joe Scott, gave Friday’s midnight oil burner’s a ripping round of bad flicks and cheap booze at the Carousel Cinemas on Battleground Avenue.

As an extension of the Mix Tape Film Series, the midnight screenings gave a March madness feeling to viewers more interested in movies than basketball. Running every Friday in March, the movie lineup echoed the glory days of “USA’s Up All Night.” The best in bad cinema included, Troll 2, The Room, No Retreat, No Surrender, and Switchblade Sisters.

For the low price of just five bucks one received entry into the world of bad movies, three beers (or soda and popcorn for those who abstain), the fun of slightly obscene conversation, and access to dive thru hundreds of old movie posters, with the blessing to take as many as one could carry.

The madness took place in two back rooms near the bistro. The refreshment lines were out the door before the movie. But once the film rolled, it was fairly easy to make a trip for more provisions. Booze options were pretty solid; one had the choice of either Natty Greene’s Wildflower or the down-home classic of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Like any typical theatrical experience, the madness began with a roll of trailers for other releases. However, this was no typical experience as trailers wet the B-movie appetite with campy treats like 1,000 Convicts and a Woman, or The Italian Stallion, which featured a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone.

The midnight madness series kicked off with a 1980s horrific wonder, Troll 2. For the event, numerous participants came dressed as their favorite residents of “Nilbog,” passing out flyers which outlined the drinking game accompanying the film. During a particularly tasty scene, the Nilbog citizens passed out delicious green sugar cookies, compliments of Spring Garden Bakery.

The next Friday took patrons to The Room. As Compton mentioned in Go Triad!, “The Room” is, “basically an hour-and-a-half of failure. Tommy Wiseau didn’t know how to act, write, or direct and did all three for the movie.”

Although the movie was horrible, the theater was filled with cheers, jeers, and a whole lot of fun.

No Retreat, No Surrender featured a young Jean-Claude Van Damme as a karate-chopping thug who takes on a kid taught to fight by none other than the ghost of Bruce Lee. It was non-stop laughs with some sweet action scenes sandwiched in-between moments of pure camp.

For the opening of Switchblade Sisters, a 1970s feminist stab at Othello, two ladies duked it out in a chugging competition while Scott outlined the rules for drinking along. Anytime a switchblade was drawn, a drink should be taken. Those attempting to follow “the rules” found themselves back in line at the bistro real quick.

Booze and bad flicks go together like peas and carrots, and the good people of Greensboro agree; the theaters were packed for every showing. Scott wafted through the crowd, gaining petitioned support to keep the madness going.

Sound like fun? There are no formal plans to keep the madness going, but fear not! There’s still more fun left in the Mix Tape series. The next film will be Riki-oh: The Story of Ricky, on April 1 at the Carousel.

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