Wednesday, August 03, 2005

the man with the screaming brain

still super busy, but i should be able to bust out a quick writeup of last night's movie & signing...

we arrived at 7:30 or so, bought our books & such, and made our way into the signing area. when you bought your book (or showed that you already had a copy of one), you received a number. there was a line leading to the signing area; they would call numbers in batches of 30 or so, so when your number batch was called, you got to get in line.

the book itself lists for $23.95. but they sold it to us for $25.39 ("they" being borders, who ran the signing). what's the extra $1.44? it would make sense if that were sales tax, though the handwritten receipt they gave me doesn't mention anything about tax. so did i pay sales tax on the book? or is that pure profit for bruce? profit for borders? i don't know.

the signing rules were not what was listed on the website. the site said that if you wanted bruce to sign non-book items, you needed to buy one book for each item. essentially, the site said bruce would sign one item for each book your bought: either the book itself or something else... in fact, and these are supposedly bruce's own words: "If they have purchased a book, but would rather have me sign memorabilia, I'm happy to do it on a one-for-one basis - not one-plus-one. For example, if they buy three books, I'll sign 3 pieces of memorabilia instead, no sweat."

how it actually worked was that he would sign any books you had, plus one non-book item. that was it. drbmd bought two books in hopes of getting him to sign two memorabilia items, but that was not meant to be. i think he didn't get his second book signed, so that he could return it. if we had known in advance that they would change the rules, we easily could've gotten his second item signed (by having one of the rest of us get it signed), and he wouldn't have had to buy a second book. so that was lame. but i don't blame bruce; i blame borders: they're the ones who told us he would only sign one piece of memorabilia per person.

but i'm getting ahead of myself. we arrived at 7:30 & got our numbers. my number was 341. so we had a lot of waiting to do. fortunately, the bloomington crew had staked out some seats right at the front of the theater (where the signing was taking place), in the second row, so we could overhear many of bruce's comments. he's a very funny, charming guy, much as you'd expect.

by the time we got called & i got my book signed (we also got a few non-posed photos of drbmd & i with bruce), it was about 9:50. at 10pm, bruce was scheduled to make opening remarks and take questions before starting the movie. needless to say, even though the movie was shown on both screens (and both screens were packed, which was very refreshing for a small indie cinema like key), the movie did not start on time.

but it didn't start all that late. the autographing was somehow completed by 10:15-10:20 or so, and bruce rushed off to the first screen (which had filled up while we were waiting for autographs and such) to give his opening remarks. not too much later, he returned to talk to us and answer some questions. again, he was really funny and charming. drbmd took some video during this; the video part will probably be too dark but the audio might turn out pretty well.

the movie... well, it was uber-cheesy. over-the-top cheese. i definitely enjoyed it, but it's a low-budget b-movie that was filmed in bulgaria because, as bruce told us, the sci-fi channel films all its movies in bulgaria these days (because it's so damned cheap). according to bruce's intro, the movie was originally supposed to be set in east LA, but he knew they couldn't realistically make it look like LA if filming in bulgaria, so he rewrote it for bulgaria.

it's a mind-swap movie, with stacey keach as the archetypal east-european mad scientist and ted raimi ("because he makes me look subtle," bruce said) as the assistant. bruce co-wrote, directed, and stars as an american pharmaceutical executive who ends up with half a brain from a taxi driver/former KGB agent in his head... and of course the brains battle for control. bruce's wife in the movie has a similar accident and ends up with her brain implanted inside a breakdancing robot called p-money mobo (i think).

i already knew a lot of the story from reading the comics, which are still campy (with this plot, that's a given) but not nearly as cheesy as the movie... for example, in the comics, the robot is metallic and looks like an old-school chrome robot (with a blonde wig). in the comics, the robot looks like devo's mascot, booji boy (with a blonde wig).

but like i said, i did enjoy the flick. it's a total b-movie, but it knows it is and doesn't take itself very seriously. lots of chuckles to be had.

overall, it might've been nice to show up earlier (and not have to wait so long) or to have gotten the book for less than list rather than the puzzling more than list that i paid. but whatever; i had fun, and i got bruce campbell's autograph.

1 comment:

dj empirical said...

we missed meeting him last night at the theater.

we could have gotten into the film, but our plans hadn't worked out so well, so we gave it a miss.