Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hecklefest 2009

I just gave myself the best gift any heckler can give herself.

A DVD set of the 1991 revival of "Dark Shadows," the only show to ever jump the shark during the opening credits.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Dark Shadows franchise, it began as a daytime soap opera in the 1700's, and was then revived as a prime-time soap opera in 1991. The cast is a veritable Who's Whom? of acting: Ben Cross, Michael Weiss, Adrian Paul, and the formidable Jean Simmons, who takes bewilderment to a level so committed, it is almost ethereal.

As a young teenager when this show aired originally, I was of course too young and immature to fully appreciate it. I loved this show when it first aired. We taped every episode and, when the show was cancelled after only twelve episodes (thanks, Gulf War!) we watched it again, and again. By "we" I of course mean my sister and myself. My mother never would have indulged in such shlocky, tasteless fare.

I am, of course, kidding. My mom is the queen of shlocky tasteless fare. The only thing she knows better than the Scriptures is 1950's Science Fiction B-movies, preferably the ones where you can actually see the crew members hoisting the alien spaceships on hempen ropes.

But, I digest. Loving the show Dark Shadows as I did then, I failed to see the amazing level of humor so present for me in the show now. It has become a new experience.

The way the psychic indicates that she is using her powers by bugging out her eyes, for example:

Maggie: {Eyes half-closed} I don't know what's going on in this town...but I'll tell you this: {Eyes POP open, as though she's just noticed a large tarantula in the corner of the room} the evil has just begun!

Of course, my pitiful blog cannot convey to you the sheer magic of the magnificent Ben Cross wailing in pain after he attacks his cousin/descendent Caroline because he aged 200 years in an hour because the doctor who was treating him for the malignant vampire cell got jealous that he was really in love with the reincarnation of his former fiancee and gave him a bogus injection. Whatever else this show has, the writing is awe-inspiring.

So, to truly share in the magic of heckling this masterpiece, I'm declaring my intention to establish Hecklefest, a yearly event in which priveleged few will spend a day with me and heckle. This year's theme: Gothic Romance. We will begin the day with a viewing of Twilight. (Selected scenes will be played with the commentary track, so Rob can heckle with us.) From there, we will watch the first six episodes of Dark Shadows. Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca will follow to cleanse the palate, a visual sorbet, if you will. (Rebecca very much fits in with this theme, both in overall tone and eye-bugging.) The final six episodes of Dark Shadows will round out the evening.

I expect those attending to treat Hecklefest as audiences at Bayreuth treated performances of The Ring Cycle: total committment to the event. Bathroom breaks will be tolerated. Snacks will be provided.

It sounds like heaven to me.


Kristina P. said...

I think that you should heckle the move Mystery Science Theater: 3000. Wouldn't it be awesome to heckle a movie about heckling?

Barbaloot said...

I have never seen nor heard of Dark Shadows----but I'm pretty sure I'm afraid of it.

Joanna said...

Dear Deb:
Rewriting the will.
Love, Mom

Boy Mom said...

Adrian Paul!!!!Yummy! So what snacks will be provided...i must know before I make my decision. I take it for granted that I'm invited.