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Overture, curtain, lights!

August 5, 2008 - Wes Burns
I went to the movies last night.

Not normally a big deal, especially in the summer. And this summer in particular I have spent entirely too much time at the movies, most of it waiting in line to see Batman. But my movie experience last night was quite different than the drudgery of waiting in line to see a movie I've seen five times alreadym, only to have my summer escapism shattered by some chattering teenage ninnies that seem to think a half pound of hair gel entitles them to talk during all of the Joker's scenes.

Last night was quite a different experience all together. "The Season", an indpendent horror film shot on location in Iowa, premiered. I had never been to a movie premiere before and I needed to attend. Assuming with full confidence that I would be able to circumvent the $20 ticket price by simply showing my press (blog) credentials and be treated to a VIP section of the theatre in an attempt to curry my critical favor.

Unbeknownst to me I have no credentials of any kind, press or otherwise. So how did I gain entrance to THE independent film event of the greater Cedarloo area? The great American tradition of knowing somebody.

Marshalltown's own Julianne Mason stars as the female lead of "The Season". Despite her artistic talent and creative mind she has continued to show horrible judgement in that she has remained my friend for years. With her by my side we walked into the opening night.

First thing that happens was someone shoves a camera in my face. A bid video camera. This was unsettling. The movie was premiering in the College Square theatres, the regular mall movie theaters. While I thought it was cool that this independent movie was showing at a regular theater the College Square theaters don't really have a big lobby. This means that if you and a couple of your friends decide to film inside the lobby with a camera so big it looks better suited to be shooting down planes you are going to be in the way.

Aside from the huge camera there were also a battalion of cell phone cameras, hopelessly clicking away in a dark theater with no chance of developing. Entering the theater was a bit surreal. Julianne's picture is used as the title screen for the movie; this means that as you walk into the theater there is a 30 foot tall picture of your friend's face staring at you until the movie starts.

The movie itself centers around a band of Amish here in Iowa that lure unsuspecting motorists into their secret cabal of vaguely religious homocidal shenanigans. I did enjoy watching some patrons leave the theatre during the movie, clearly not expecting the elevated levels of gore. Not that I enjoyed people leaving the movie but I always get a kick out of someone storming out in a huff, muttering "oh, well, I never!"

It was funny to watch the reactions of the actors watcing themselves, ranging from chagrin at the very sight of themselves on screen to the perpetual grin from a guy who is entirely too happy since his character was killed in the first 20 minutes.

SPOILER ALERT! Sorry, I was a little late on that.

It really was a great time. I'm a big supporter of local independent films as well as homocidal Amish so this movie really struck a chord with me. If you get a chance try and snag a copy; my bootleg should be on Youtube momentarily.


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