The previous other night, I had covered the Spike TV Scream Awards red carpet and there were fifty top journalists elbow to elbow. And now here we were at the Arclight movie theater and we were one of only two print media outlets covering the event -- the other being Fear.net. There was a spacious fifteen feet between us reporters and the press folks handling the event had a stack of media no-shows. Where was everyone, we wondered?
We waited two hours outside for superstar Neilson to show up, along with a handful of other photographers who also waited along the red carpet wishing they had picked another event with actual celebrities to photograph. This was clearly not an ‘A’ event or even a ‘B’ event and I was wishing I was home watching the American League Playoffs.
Finally, two hours later, the big star of the night, Leslie Neilson, arrived on the red carpet and Victoria and I waited for him to take a few snapshots before heading in our direction on the red carpet. I had barely uttered, “Hello Mr. Neilson nice to meet you, we would like to interview you for...” When this old fart, smelling of formaldehyde, glares at us and growls, “Maybe, next time.”
Huh? Did he actually say, “Maybe next time?!” ‘WTF? !! The word “maybe” put it even more in perspective, meaning that if Leslie Neilson survived long enough to make another one of these tired comedy spoofs, and if I was on the red carpet again, that we “might” have another shot at interviewing him. Might.
The journalist next to me from Fear.net had the same WTF expression on his face. Meanwhile, Neilson having brushed us both off, chatted with some friends on the red carpet right in front of us, and then slowly waddled into the theater to change his Depends.
So, what did Neilson think we were doing there on the red carpet with a camera and microphone? There were only two magazine outlets... TWO... on the red carpet, standing there waiting to help him promote his crappy movie. Did he really fathom himself that big of a star, and at this point in his flagging career, not to at least be cordial and help promote his movie, that no one was going to see anyhow??
I mean let’s be honest... who the fuck wants to see Stan Helsing with Leslie Neilson? And with Saw VI opening the same weekend this movie will sink faster than the Titanic on an ice rink.
As we walked into the theater shaking our heads, still intending to see the film, Victoria turned to me and said, “I don’t want to see the movie now, he’s ruined it.” And I couldn’t have agreed more. Why did I want to waste my precious ninety minutes to see a movie that several media folks had actually suggested I bring a book too because it was so painfully slow and unfunny. Also, the theater must have been practically empty considering no one came to see the screening. There were maybe thirty people who went into in the theater and I’m being generous.
I spotted Neilson in the lobby as we walked out. just standing there, still killing time with the few friends he could convince to go to the screening. So I tried one more time and nicely said to him, “Excuse me, Mr. Neilson, we are here on the red carpet invited by your movies own press and we would love to talk to you for a moment about your movie for our print magazine.” Neilson snapped back, “Not interested.” So, I paused, and then simply ripped up my ticket, in front of this old fucker and said, “Well, we’re not interested in covering your lousy movie.” And we split.
So, how do you review a movie without ever seeing it? The same way you go into a restaurant and get that funny feeling as you see that it's empty except for one employee eating a bowl of rice in the back of the dingy restaurant. The place smells kind of rancid and the only customer brushes past you as he races out of the restaurant with their hand over their mouth.