Friday, September 26, 2008

Guerilla Drive-in

A few months ago, one of my friends tipped me off to the Guerilla Drive-in, a real drive-in movie "organized over the internet, [that] appears for a short time in a random location, and disappears just as quickly as it came." In July, they set up shop on Treasure Island, offering viewers the opportunity to re-live the big screen splendor of Ghostbusters, feeding the souls of my immediate cohort—the same kids who ate dozens of Happy Meals with the hope of getting a crappy little Slimer toy and who practiced the “no ghost” symbol again and again on our spiral notebooks.

About an hour before sunset, 20 or so carfuls of us independently made our way to the secret location—a parking lot alongside a 2-story warehouse with a smooth white wall. (Note: I have mixed feelings about watching a drive-in movie from a fancy hybrid, a frontier boldly explored by two girls sporting skinny jeans. Sacreligous or environmentally sensitive? You be the judge.) After an impromptu tailgate with fellow movie-goers, we returned to our respective vehicles and snuggled in with our car-mates.

We all turned our radios to the designated frequency and as the opening credits rolled, the song we all once knew and loved crackled through our car radios. “When there’s something bad. In the neighborhood. Who ya gonna call?” As I sang along, I slipped right back into 1984.

Suddenly, I was a little gymnast again, warming up on the floor mat with my teammates. We’d meet eyes while upside down in backbends and mouth “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!” hoping our coach wouldn’t catch us playing around. (OK, so I was 9 and had nothing better to mouth such as hilarious client-bashing commentary during painful team conference calls.)

Now watching the movie in my 30s, I was amused to discover just how saucy it is. I remember the Gatekeeper/Keymaster relationship as a few vague interactions having something to do with the troublesome Zuul situation. Well, now I see that vague they were not! The scene where Sigourney Weaver is hovering above her bed in a revealing silk negligee (an awsomely jagged off-the-shoulder number tremendously capturing 1984) while possessed by the demon, begging Bill Murray to “take her!” is nothing short of naughty.

It's funny to consider what my 9-year-old self thought was going ON there? My guess is that I was too focused on how many Milk Duds remained in the box and what might happen to the great city of New York if the Ghostbusters accidentally...crossed the streams.

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