I attended an orgy. THE MOVIE ORGY, that is!

New Bev presents Joe Dante's The Movie Orgy!

New Bev presents Joe Dante's The Movie Orgy!

In April of 2008, the New Beverly Cinema hosted a festival curated by one of my favorite all-time directors, Joe Dante. It was called DANTE’S INFERNO and one of the highlights was a screening of something suspiciously titled, THE MOVIE ORGY. It was one night only and free admission to the general public.

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Apparently, back in 1968 when Joe Dante and Jon Davison were in college, they compiled a huge collection of old film footage and edited it all together in a very clever and self referential way. The result was called THE MOVIE ORGY or 2001: A SPLICE ODYSSEY. It originally ran almost 7 hours long and toured college campuses around the country. The idea was that “baby boomers” could walk in and experience a steady wave of nostalgia wash over them as they view a seemingly random selection of 50’s and early 60’s pop culture. They were invited to have fun and to feel free to leave and come back at their leisure. How sixties, man!

On that night back in April ’08, the full house in attendance was treated to an edited down version that ran about 4 hours and 20 minutes long. It was shown on digital video, because the original film was in such old condition, the possibility of it burning up in the projector was high. When Joe Dante introduced the show he told the audience, “Feel free to leave whenever you’d like. You can go out and get a pizza.This thing was designed to walk out on.” Easier said then done, because for those of us lucky enough to see it that night, it instantly makes the list of ALL TIME COOLEST CINEMATIC EXPERIENCES EVER! It was something that my friends and I have talked about and quoted over and over again. That legendary screening has been whispered about in nerd circles everywhere. Geeks all over L.A. demanding an encore performance and on Saturday, August 8th 2009 they were given a second shot!

Joe Dante is back at the New Beverly with THE RETURN OF DANTE’S INFERNO from August 5th to the 13th. He’s curated another amazing program of films and I will be reporting on some of those later, but the highlight of course was another showing of the orgy. And this time we got an extra 45 minutes of stuff to watch. It was actually called in the title cards, SON OF THE MOVIE ORGY STRIKES AGAIN! Once again my friends all met up at the New Bev for 5 hours of fun.

First off, to make things even more awesome, the New Bev has NEW SEATS and they are a welcome addition to anyone who patrons there frequently. Sitting through a long event like this one was made much easier and I’m grateful for that. I grabbed a pizza and my brand spankin’ new seat and bunkered down for the onslaught of imagery.

How do I explain THE MOVIE ORGY? I guess, for me it’s an amazingly entertaining compilation of footage I’ve never seen before. Everything shown is from before I was born and yet I still get the sixties cynical humor that’s being juxtaposed here. The 5 hours virtually flew by and made me wish for more when it was over. What does it contain, you ask? Here’s a sample of some of my favorite things…

Don't crowd this guy!

Don't crowd this guy!

Andy Devine sings a chilling rendition of "Jesus loves me" to an audience of children...

Andy Devine sings a chilling rendition of "Jesus loves me" to an audience of children...

...while a cat plays the piano...

...while a "drugged" cat plays the piano...

...and a hamster plays the drum.

...and a hamster plays the drum.

A giant bird attacking the shit out of Washington D.C.

A giant bird attacking the shit out of Washington D.C.

Some of the “favorite” things in THE MOVIE ORGY include clips from a juvenile delinquent/road racer movie called, SPEED CRAZY! We meet a guy named Nick Barrow who likes to drive his car fast, love his ladies hard, and he doesn’t want anyone crowding him. He hates it! His intro monologue is SO AMAZING we instantly want to see more of him. He reappears throughout the course of the show and really creates a hilarious arc that truly builds a momentum.

I also love this segment from THE ANDY DEVINE SHOW, where the pedophile vibe-inducing Devine sings a rendition of JESUS LOVES ME to an audience full of children. It did an incredible job of creeping me out while making me howl with laughter simultaneously. In addition to Andy’s singing we watch a seemingly “drugged” looking cat play a piano and a hamster who appears to be “glued” to a small drum. It’s an incredible, “What the fuck?!” moment.

The Andy Divine Show for children. Good Christ!

The Andy Divine Show for children. Good Christ!

Other stuff includes TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE , ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, bizarre BUFFERIN commercials “for sensitive people”, weird cigarette commercials (one featuring a surgeon performing an operation), EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS, ELVIS singing YOU AIN’T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG to an actual hound dog, a racist LONE RANGER segment, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO trying to sell hats, “monster movies” featuring giant GILA MONSTERS, TARANTULAS, and VULTURES attacking things, GROUCHO MARX interviewing a muscle head, THE ANIMALS performing “House of the Rising Sun”, THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN and much more.

It was once again, an amazing event for all in attendance and something no one will forget anytime soon. Coming up in future posts, I will be reporting on screenings of Dante’s THE ‘BURBS, MATINEE, and a “special preview print” of GREMLINS with six minutes of additional footage never seen before! Until then, DON’T CROWD ME!!!

My hero, Nick Barrow!

My hero, Nick Barrow!

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5 Responses to “I attended an orgy. THE MOVIE ORGY, that is!”

  1. Grae Says:

    I am not sure that I have EVER sat in a theater for 5 hours and been this happy. I only got up for 2 bathroom breaks and was otherwise rooted to my new cushy seat. Nice blog, this was fun to relive.

  2. Grae Says:

    PS. A SPLICE ODYSSEY?! That is genius.

  3. planetofthenerds Says:

    Glad you had fun, baby! Planet Of The Nerds knows how to roll!

  4. Mad Movie Buff Tarantino Ponies Up Cash to Save L.A.’s Beloved New Beverly Cinema « MUSEYON GUIDES Says:

    […] For a screening calendar or to purchase tickets go to http://www.newbevcinema.com   Image courtesy of Planet of the Nerds. Tags: cinemas, film, Film + Travel, hollywood, los angeles, movie theaters, movies, new bev, new […]

  5. EVERYTHING IS FESTIVAL @ The Cinefamily! « Planet Of The Nerds Says:

    […] like watching another amazing pop culture bouillabaisse I saw and reported about before called THE MOVIE ORGY, which was a four hour plus collection of baby boomer era footage edited with counterculture irony […]

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