When I arrive at the theater I pass through a sea of people with mohawks and back patches that simply read “Danzig.” The singer’s directorial debut is supposed to be so bad it’s good, but how many so bad it’s good movies can there really be? I receive a wristband and frightened worker says “Whatever you do, don’t laugh.” Before I can question him I’m pushed through the doors of the theater and given the option of a $7 beer or taking an early seat. I opt to take my seat.
The theater looks like a theater, except for the burning funeral pyre at the front of the stage. As hundreds of black clad metal and horror fans fill their seats the M.C. for the evening stands at the lip of the stage and professes his love for Glenn Danzig and “hard rock” before reminding us to take advantage of the house’s artisanal popcorn and the Verotika lobby cards. His job done he dives face first into the flames with his arms stretched out like Christ, or whatever the opposite of Christ is I guess.
There are, of course, celebrities in attendance. Betty White, that guy who ate a bunch of hot dogs a few years ago, and Fred Armisen are all in the theatre. They look solemn, ashen; they don black robes and kneel at the flames of the pyre until the M.C.’s carcass burns to ash. A fourth druid walks up and down the aisles remind the audience that the film is serious, that we shouldn’t laugh. A guy with liberty spikes and a dog collar around his neck laughs in the druid’s face, but then he’s pulled out of the theater kicking and screaming. I hear what sounds like a shotgun blast but that can’t be right. The guy with liberty spikes is never seen again.
The funeral pyre is doused with water. Betty White gives an unholy incantation. The guy who ate all those hot dogs carves the hidden names of Lucifer into his chest. The movi begins.
The lights go down and it doesn’t take long for a buxom woman to appear onscreen. After a tense make out session she reveals two things: She’s French, and she has eyes where her nipples should be. I cackle. I bellow. My laughter rises into the balcony and strikes Glenn Danzig in the head. As the woman with a heavy French accent and eyes for nipples cries a single tear onto a white rose it hits a spider that transforms into a six-limbed rapist and murder. He’s also French. I can’t stop myself from curling up with laughter, I bend over in my seat and let it flow out of me. When sit up a meaty hand is waiting at the back of my head. It’s Glenn.
“Were you just laughing at my movie?” I say the first thing that comes to mind, “I was looking my contact.” I don’t know why I’m lying to Danzig.
“There are to things that I refuse to tolerate.” Danzig says in a voice that washes over the audience with a demonic boom. “People laughing at my work, and lying.” With those words the film stops and I’m hoisted over Danzig’s shoulders as he pumps me my body like so much iron in front of a thousand of his most die-hard fans. The audience is screaming for the movie to re-start. “Not before I break this shrimp,” Danzig’s words silence the unruly crowd. He pile drives me in front of the audience and signals for the movie to start again.
As the next segment of the film begins I curl into a ball and nurse my bruised ribs. I watch as an exotic dancer named “Mystery Girl” slices off women’s faces for no apparent reason other than to use them as wall decoration. Or maybe she just needs friends? Whatever the reason as soon as the police enter the scene to say that they have nothing to link the 13 murders aside from the fact that their faces have all been sliced off I’m betrayed by my body and break out into another wretched cackle. A distinct baritone howl breaks out from the balcony and the film stops once again. Half empty beer cans and popcorn sail onto the stage, drenching me as Danzig floats above me holding a samurai sword and a pair of handcuffs. “Do you want the sword or the cuffs?” He asks. I choose the cuffs.
Glenn handcuffs me to the railing along the balcony and I try to stay on my best behavior. As the final segment of the film lurches through a story about a countess who bathes in the blood of virgins I do my best to keep my composure. When she slits a girl’s throat and showers herself in blood I’m no longer in control of my body. The scene goes on for five minutes too long and I convulse so hard with laughter that the balcony railing breaks away from the wall and I fall directly onto Fred Armisen. I was certain that he was the kind of guy who’d have a private seat, his is the last face I see before blacking out.
When I come to the movie is finished, the Q&A is long over, and the theater crew is cleaning the floor and throwing out the long burnt out funeral pyre. None of them have handcuff keys but a guy on Hollywood Blvd has a saw and that’s good enough for me.