It’s on weekends like this – perfect weather, so many great community events underway or being planned – that I reflect on how far we’ve come as a city. Yesterday’s tribute to Ray Ackerman reminded me of just how bad things had gotten 20 years ago. If you were in college (I graduated in 1990), odds were more of your friends than not were planning to exit Oklahoma City as soon as possible. They were even being encouraged and urged to do so by professors.
Sure, we had a few good things still tying us all together – most notably the Spring Festival of Arts. But the festival wasn’t enough to keep folks rooted to Oklahoma City. It seemed as if we were going no where fast.
As thousands gather this weekend at the Oklahoma River, it’s easy to get caught up on how big huge events have helped make Oklahoma City an exciting place to call home. But sometimes its the smaller efforts that can be just as effective in changing hearts and minds.
One of the latest reminders of this was nothing less than a really, really bad movie; Zardoz.
Now, before you think I’ve lost my mind, keep in mind, this moment in time was not about the movie. Zardoz was without a doubt a low point in the career of Sean Connery. It has a Charles Manson hippie vibe mixed with bad sci-fi, naked chicks, effeminate violent bad guys, and a homicidal talking diamond. It’s the very sort of bad movie that would have been fodder for the classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys (see the You Tube clip above if you never watched this show).
Debuting as “The Movie Clubbed,” the roles of Joel and bots were filled by Greg Elwell (former co-worker at The Oklahoman and a true artiste with all the pastel colors of sarcasm), Rod Lott, Richard York and Brian Winkeler.
The guys were brilliantly funny and provided yet another original, wonderful cause for community to come together. For a couple hundred people, including myself, it was a night not to be forgotten (though my friend Andrew Black, a Jamaican raised with a different sense of humor was more bewildered and worried about my mental health in choosing this as an outing). In other cities, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema provides such entertainment on an ongoing basis. Could the the Movie Clubbed turn into a greater venture and valued part of our city’s quality of life? I’d vote for it. And there’s a certain unappreciated old MidTown theater I hear may soon be losing its tenant (a church)…
All the guys involved with The Movie Clubbed have day jobs of course. For now, we can look forward to a couple of occasional performances a year. But I can dream, can’t I?
In the meantime, for those who really care to know more about the movie itself, enjoy this trailer (or don’t):