Cineplex Odeon Memories: The Night I Was Ghostface

In addition to donning the bat costume earlier that year for the premiere of Batman and Robin, I was also tapped to play Ghostface from the Scream series in honor of the premiere of Scream 2 in December ’97 when I worked at the local Cineplex Odeon Theater at the Menlo Park Mall. My coworkers were aware that I was a huge horror fan as well as completely obsessed with the first Scream film. Electing me to stalk the popcorn gorging, giant soda drinking filmgoers while threatening that that I’d “gut them like a fish,” was a given.

Compared to spending 6-8 hours shaking hands and sweating in the hot, awkward bat costume, I took much pleasure running around in the free flowing, comfortable Ghostface costume. Stalking theatergoers with a fake knife and sneaking up on unsuspecting girls coming out of the bathroom became my pastime for the evening. The most memorable part of being Ghostface happened during each presentation of the film. Right after the moment Jada Pinkett has her excessively dramatic death scene in the film within a film STAB, the Scream title slashes onto the screen. During the short fade to black, a theater usher slammed through the emergency exit door and up the aisle in the dark theater as if he was being chased. Seconds later, wielding a knife high above my head, I barreled through the door and sprinted up the aisle after him. When I reached the door to the lobby I blasted through it and had a laugh with my fellow employee, Victor. In the fleeting seconds that the stunt took place, I remember feeling quite a rush as I heard almost the entire crowd scream and gasp in shock and fear.

What made the occurence even that much more clever was the fact that that part of the movie featured a “film within a film,” which blurred the lines of fiction and reality. I like to believe that my performance magnified that idea and added a little more thrill to the atmosphere.

Would you expect something like that to happen when you’ve spent nearly 10 minutes immersed in a film that you payed $8 bucks (at the time) to see? Nowadays anything that can be classified as an “interruption” would start a line of 12 people complaining in attempts for free passes. As I noted in “The Day I Got To Be Batman” I give credit to the Cineplex Odeon theater staff for taking liberties and being creative as film exhibitors.

It’s not everyday you walk into a movie theater and see a cavernous homemade Batcave erected or a knife wielding killer from a horror film chasing innocent ushers through the theater at high speed. I would’ve liked to have been one of the people watching Scream on that Friday night. It was almost a throwback to gimicks like “smell-o-vision.” I would love movies to become more of an event, like when I go to see an film in IMAX. Do you think witnessing the killer chasing someone through the theater would intensify your viewing experience? Maybe if it doesn’t succeed at creeping you out, it would definitely make for a memorable bit of conversation!


Thanks to Kevin Dubrow, We’ll always BANG OUR HEADS!

I was saddened today when I read that Kevin Dubrow, lead singer of Quiet Riot, was found dead in his Vegas home. I was lucky enough to meet Kevin on several occasions and interview him on my radio show. From my contact with him he seemed like a truly warm and lighthearted person. Talking to him gave me the feeling that he was just happy to have been a part of the rock/metal scene in one of it’s most important eras. Unfortunately, no information has been released on the cause of death. I remember seeing Quiet Riot open up for Poison at the PNC Bank Arts Center one year, and boy did they show up everyone on the bill! They were fantastic and sounded like they were just breaking onto the music scene. Just yesterday I was playing “Metal Health” on Guitar Hero and today he’s gone. On behalf of The Sexy Armpit, we’ll miss you Kevin…

SPECIAL EDITION: Dreaming of Death on 287

Last night I had a dream where I died. It wasn’t the typical “death dream” where you see yourself in a coffin at your own funeral. In this one I was still living here on earth as a spirit watching over how the situations of my life were changing without me. It was morbid and bizarre, but strangely cool. Today I thought of reasons why I might have had this type of dream. I’m sure it’s possible that I’m looking for ways out of certain facets of my life. But it’s more probable that my daily commute on 287 is to blame.

I think I must have a death wish. It’s purely a miracle I’m still alive. When I’m in that big 287 in the sky, (which is actually known as 280-Heaven) I know for a fact I won’t be driving a PT Cruiser or a Taurus. I actually drove in front of a PT Cruiser today that was labeled TOURING EDITION? WTF makes it a “Touring Edition?” If I’m about to tour the great highways of the United States I sure as hell ain’t gonna be choosing a PT Cruiser Touring Edition for my ride and I don’t care how much you pimp it. I also won’t be picking the defunct Taurus which for some reason I’ve seen the occasional black souped up Ford Taurus driving on 287 as of late. I can’t fathom this. Perhaps you’ve inherited your grandfather’s old beat up Taurus and you wanted to be Xhibit for the day. You soup it up and slap a paint job on it, but the fact of the matter is: You’re driving around in a mid 90’s low ridin’ FORD TAURUS!!! Oh yeah I forgot to throw in the 2 most special letters to the owner, SE. Special Edition, bitch! They will not let you live down that they own a special edition vehicle because it makes THEM feel special. For instance this conversation that I had at work the other day:

JAY: So Wally, what kind of car are you driving around lately?
TAURUS OWNER: A fuckin’ pimped out 1992 Ford Muthafuckin’ Taurus yo…Special Edition!
JAY: Ohhh fuck here we go with the friggin’ Special Edition bullshit. Does your Taurus come with a ton of extras and a ‘making of’ documentary? You know what Wally? Go fuck yourself and your Special Edition cause I know some guy Gary who has a mad phat TOURING EDITION PT CRUISER!!! Top that you freakin’ whacko.
TAURUS OWNER: Oh daaaammmn son, I don’t think I can top it. That’s pretty fucking killer shit, yo. I heard they are super rare! They are like mad dough son! Something like 14 g’s! Even if I sold my sleek special edition ride, I doubt I would have that kinda scratch!

SO back to the matter at hand. Occasionally a song comes on the Ipod in my car that even I might get embarrassed of having. I always wondered if I was to die in a car accident on 287 what song would be playing? I hope for some reason that it’s not NKOTB, but Hangin’ Tough is pretty badass to die to. They really put me in a trance with that Funky song. In all seriousness, here is a list of songs from my Ipod that I wouldn’t want to die to because
with the Ipod’s shuffle feature you never know what’s gonna pop up next. Fate could play a cruel joke. You never know when Gwen Stefani will decide to become a New Jersey State Trooper patrolling 287. Think of how turned off she might be if she found me all bloodied with my car smashed up and the ipod/radio still intact blasting Debarge’s “Rhythm of the Night”?? I wouldn’t want her thoughts of me to be that of a pansy ass guy who has Johnny Gill’s “Rub You the Right Way” on his Ipod.

Songs that I hope aren’t playing on my ipod if I ever die in a car accident on 287:
Among others… in no specific order

1) Out for the Count – Winger
2) Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
3) The Hustle – Van McCoy
4) Burn in Hell – Twisted Sister
5) Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes
6) Dancing in Heaven – Q- Feel (From the Girl’s Just Want to Have Fun Soundtrack)
7) Point of No Return – Nu Shooz
8) I’ll be There – Jimi Jamison (the Baywatch theme)
9) Candy – Mandy Moore
10) She Works Hard for the Money – Donna Summer
11) Butterfly – Crazy Town
12) Kyrie – Mr. Mister
13) Good Vibrations – Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
14) The Neutron Dance – The Pointer Sisters
15) According to Our New Arrivals (Mr. Belvedere Theme) – Leon Redbone

Which songs would you NOT want playing during your 287 demise?