To every yin there is a yang, yes?
I was out of high school and vaguely kind of discovering what it was like to not be there. A good friend of mine had run off to Los Angeles for a while to try his hand at acting and had come home to Texas with a handful of interesting stories and a good-natured shrug at having tried his hand at Hollywood.
We saw quite a few movies together on a pretty regular basis and I got a call one night: “Hey, what are you doing tonight? I got tickets to a sneak preview of some English zombie movie.”
Very seldom do I find movies laugh out loud funny, but Shaun of the Dead is an exception. Even more seldom is finding an audience in tune with the humor. While a different friend and I laughed ourselves silly at Team America: World Police, the few moviegoers in our theater gradually shuffled out during the movie, disgusted and unamused. From the moment the very first scene rolled, it was freaky – like the audience was perfectly in mental sync with the movie and other patrons around them, giggling and smirking at all the right parts.
It was pretty much the most involved movie showing I’ve ever attended. Everyone was polite, quiet and no screaming children were causing a ruckus anywhere; attendees sipped on Cokes and munched Twizzlers with aplomb while totally getting IT, whatever IT may be. I don’t think I’ve ever attended a movie showing where the people in the theater were so good-natured, polite and had a fantastic sense of humor.
I have often thought that this effortlessly contributed to the warm, fuzzy feelings I have for Shaun of the Dead, but walking out of that theater was like walking out of a good version of the Twilight Zone.
Often, when I find myself in packed late showings of films where I’m squeezed in next to Mr. Wide Stance on one side and the guy behind me is slobbering popcorn kernels into my hair and the lady in the front row brought her two year old to an R-rated movie, I wish it were possible to go back. They really should just have a “cool people” movie theater.