Bad Movie Nite! is a monthly showcase of classic bad movies shown in a handful of theaters around the country. I first came across them at Studio 35 Drafthouse and Cinema in Columbus, OH, and had to know more about the folks behind the madness. I recently caught up with Scott, the mysterious figure behind the programming, and ran a few questions by him.
“Bad Movie Nite!”: The title might be self explanatory, but what is it that you do?
Scott: The name “Bad Movie Nite!” to me means these are not good movies we’re showing, but only not good by conventional standards. I also mean bad as in Baaaaad. Movies your Mom and Dad wouldn’t be happy you’re watching. Wait ’til they go to bed and keep the sound low. Bad in that way. As long as the movies entertain, they can never be all bad, right?
What can you tell me about the mysterious (and, I assume, cloaked/hooded) figures behind “Bad Movie Nite!”? What inspired you to start doing these shows?
Scott: BMN! is the brainchild of me. I grew up watching Nite Owl Theater, USA Up All NIght, and TNT Night Flight. This show just basically recreates fond memories of my childhood. I started watching some of my favorites with a few friends on a weekly basis maybe 10 years ago as a way to ensure we get together consistently. Many of my friends had never heard of any of these. We loved cracking up watching them, but also getting caught up in the world of b-movies. We were getting exposed to any of the same actors, directors, stock footage, etc.
Missing a BMN! became sacrilege. I’d play some trailers or a cheesy educational/social hygiene short beforehand. Shortly thereafter we started watching two movies and making a clip show of youtube clips in-between the movies like and intermission we call FILLER (to this day we call the clip show FILLER). The FILLER would get more and more elaborate. People took turns making it. Sometimes we would call in sick to work just to get it done. Over time, friends of friends would come over and either be baffled or engaged with BMN! I started getting the idea that what we were doing would be something others might be interested in seeing. 90% of the shows have been made by me, but early on and increasingly lately a few of my friends (including my wife) have been getting more and more involved. My wife designs the graphics for the show and the buttons we give away.
The BMN logo has a definite Svengali vibe to it. Is there a reason for that? Are you subconsciously controlling our minds with your show?
Scott: Thank you! That’s exactly the feeling I was going for. Become intoxicated by the insanity of BMN…
A handful of theaters have shown your stuff around the country now. Where are they? Do you attend the shows? How did you wind up with multiple venues?
Scott: We have about 6 theaters all across the country. Just small theaters similar to S35 [Columbus, OH’s Studio 35] that we’ve known over the years for various things. We contacted a majority of them, but a few sought us out. Have never been to another location, but the Pittsburgh locale is on our to-visit list.
Do you consider what you do akin to “horror hosts”? Or is this something that you think of as totally different?
Scott: I don’t really see myself / ourselves as a horror host. I see BMN! as a more of a secret broadcast that you tune into. I secret, sinister channel between the regular channels. A broadcast you’re not supposed to see. Goes back to the Svengali aspect of the logo you mentioned…
Part of the charm of your shows is definitely the editing. How much time do you spend on each new show?
Scott: Oh boy. Usually about 3 weeks from inception to finished product. It’s not really enough time. Every other month involves at least one sleepless night. The concrete showtime is the only thing that gets the show done each month. We’ve scraped entire shows the week of (The Hard Ticket show a few months back was made in less than 3 days). Long time… It’s never perfect, but I suppose that’s part of the charm too. The extremely gracious and loyal fans (BMNers) is ultimately what the drives the show to get finished. Disappointing them is not an option.
The first time I saw your show, I was reminded in some ways of “Everything is Terrible” (particularly your amazing pre-features). Are you fans of theirs?
Scott: I do like EIT. Also Found Footage Festival. There was a public access show in Albuquerque, NM a few years back called Forbidden Transmission. I loved that so much…
You’ve shown a lot of love for old VHS cover art in your pre-shows. What are a couple of your favorites?
Scott: Hmm… Let me peruse some. BRB… (Frantically looks at VHS tapes)
Too many to list really…
What was your introduction to the world of “bad movies”?
Scott: Again, watching late night shows like Nite Owl Theater and USA Up All Night. These cheesy movies, along with the hosts, and the late night commercials… I was seeing a whole different world. Taudry, violent, gratuitous… Loved it.
Are you MSTies (fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000)? If so, Mike or Joel?
Scott: I do enjoy MST3K. Don’t have a fave host.
What is your favorite “good-bad” flick that people probably haven’t heard of?
Scott: #1 with a bullet for all-time: DR. ALIEN
Do you have a particular favorite “good-bad” movie director?
Scott: Jim Wynorski is probably too obvious. Adam Rifkin has made a couple legendarily bad b-movies that I love…
What do you think is the most important element to a “good-bad” movie?
Scott: FUN. A movie that delivers the goods on a variety of these fronts (lasers, aliens, nudity, teens, drug use, cheesy dialogue, explosions). A movie that feels like it wasn’t just a cash grab. Something unique…
What has been your favorite movie covered so far in your show, in terms of entertainment value? Related: what do you think your best show has been so far? Is it the same?
Scott: Hard to say. I think the absolute show-stopper was DEADLY PREY. I really enjoyed showing STAR SLAMMER. The crowd liked that one too.
Are there any “bad movies” that you absolutely will not cover for BMN?
Scott: THE ROOM / BIRDEMIC / SHARKNADO The b-movies I love come from a by-gone era. Although there are redeeming qualities to all of these, there’s something missing, something hollow that I’m never totally on board with.
You’ve recently booked a second monthly show at Studio 35 in Columbus, OH, where you are doing shows dedicated to specific actors.The inaugural show, Nicolas Cage-a-thon, was a blast. Who can we expect to be featured in the future? (If you don’t do a Christopher Walk-a-thon, I will be disappointed)
Scott: HELL YES Walken will be a subject. Norris, Stallone, Busey are all in the pipeline. Arnold is the next one on February 27th.
What, in your opinion, are 5 movies that every bad movie lover absolutely must see?
Scott: Chopping Mall, Prom Night 2, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Star Slammer, Frankenhooker
Do you have any upcoming shows to plug?
Scott: The Real Arnold Classic on 2/27 and our Gettin’ Unlucky in Space themed show on March 6th.
You can follow Bad Movie Nite! on Twitter and Facebook, and catch them every month at Columbus, OH’s Studio 35.