Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Alamo Drafthouse Blog-a-Thon: Nilbog is Goblin Spelled Backwards!

When the word came out that Jette Kernion (the go-to Austin guy at was asking for Alamo Drafthouse memories in honor of the closing of the Alamo downtown, I thought about what one moment defined the Alamo experience to me.

Was it seeing my girlfriend at the time woo a crowd of rollergirls to a stunning rendition of hopelessly devoted to you?

Was it playing Halo 2 on the massive screen and yelling obscenities without one complaint?

Was it any of those amazing moments while volunteering at SXSW like when I got on the "This Film is Not Yet Rated" DVD?

Nah. None of those come close to the moment last fall when me and a group of amazing friends went to a midnight screening of Troll 2.

I had first watched Troll 2 when I was around 8 or 9. I was channel surfing one Saturday morning when I came upon Cinemax. I started watching it and I couldn't really tell that the movie was bad until the young boy defeated the goblins by eating a double-decker sandwich. Even at 9, I could tell that killing goblins with bologna was not exactly the most cinematic of ideas.

Fast foward 10 years and I'm at a Weird Wednesday with my good friend Sierra. We're all walking out after the movie when the host that night says "Oh! We're playing Troll 2 soon!"

My jaw hit the floor.

I hadn't seen that movie in 10 years and yet the title still was stuck in my head just because of its pure badness. I told everyone I could that they should prepare for Troll 2. The day of the screening comes and I'm thinking it's going to be a regular Terror Thursday. I check the website and my jaw drops again. Now by this time I am looking at a) a swollen jaw and b) a sold out screening because they are bringing cast members!


These people are human? Get outta town. With the acting I had saw I would have assumed incomplete robots. I start letting even more of my friends know about the screening, trying to get a posse to see this because I know it will blow them away. Finally, I think we got about 10 people to come to the Alamo. We're waiting in line when the dad from the movie comes out to talk to the people in the line. There's a camera behind him and we later find out, as we're signing the releases, that they are working on a doc about the cult following. The guy is truly a nice fellow and I enjoy telling him that this movie has already scarred me for life.

The screening was pure Alamo. Midnight, school night, packed house, free cookies and milk, Q&A. All the little things that make the drafthouse the best theater I've ever been to. I get to ask the cast a question, got some goblin masks, but most importantly, share this amazing movie and this amazing screening with a big group of friends. When I look at that night I see why I love living in Austin, and why I love my friends.

I'll miss the downtown location, but as long as I can take the 1 or the 5 to the Ritz, and as long as they keep showing the movies that nobody else will touch, then I will continue to be there as much as possible.

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