The Smithees!

A long long time ago on a campus…errr…well not that far away at all. In fact, it’s actually right here. Darn, that just doesn’t flow as well as the original.

Mark your calendars for Tomorrow at 7pm for the 12th annual Smithee Awards to be held in 1800 Chem.

What? What do you mean “What’s a Smithee Award?” You’ve never heard of – sheesh, alright. Lemmie ‘splain. Wait, there’s no time, lemmie sum up. The Smithees are a festival of bad cinema. Really bad cinema. Like “Why did I stay up to watch this?” bad cinema. Movies are watched throughout the year and the best bits of badness are taken from them and compiled into a sort of audience participation Academy awards for the dreck of the film world. I know this stuff cuz I’m fiancéed to one of the original four founders.

Remember that opening long long ago? Well that still holds. See, there is/was this role playing game called It Came from the Late Late Show

“Oooo, there have been lots of reports of vampires around…let’s have a midnight picnic in the graveyard!” One Acting Appropriately Stupid point for you!

[after watching someone get their head chopped off] “Oh my god, he’s dead!” Well, duhhh, of COURSE he is, one Inane Dialogue point for you!

“Well, the best way to get rid of termites is to dig up the nest, roll over the buggers with a tractor, soak the area with hydrochloric acid, douse them with gasoline and light them on fire, then put a C4 charge in the nest hole and blow up the remainder” Ummm, one Cutting Butter with a Chainsaw point for you and maybe we ought to thrown in a free straight jacket as well.

You would take these points you earned and put them into character skills so your actor character could do better (i.e. not get killed) in the next movie. My favorite part was being able to call in a stunt double who had the exact same stats as your character and who’s sole purpose was to get beat up. Your character threatened with mortal danger? STUNT DOUBLE! Things look like they could be getting dicey? STUNT DOUBLE! It was a really fun game.

Behind all of the fun though was a GM who had to give out points for such acts of ludicroudie (I just made that word up!). I’m sure there is a guide in the instructions, but the GM whose game I sat in on wanted more. He wanted to know first hand what idiocy went on in B flicks. So he and his bud G started watching bad movie after bad movie to get a better feel for the different categories of bad. One day, they thought, “Lo! This is so evil, we need to inflict it on other people!” Or maybe it was just, “This would make a cool show.” Either way, they decided to take the best snibbits of bad film from these movies and assemble them all together into a presentation of schlock. But how to do this? They needed someone with the know how, they needed A Video Editor! [you know, just pretend there is reverb and all that cool f/x stuff here. Really, it seems MUCH cooler if you read it in funky reverb] And since one of the guys they knew was a communications major and did that kind of thing routinely, they got him. OK, now the reverb f/x really count because that last line was really really flat. Video Editor Extraordinair, whom I have referred to as K of K&A, knew TheMan, who was pretty good at graphics stuff and wala! There’s the story of The Original Four.

I guess at first the shows were small 12 people things but over the years it has expanded into a two show gig, the original in its birth town of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the newer shtick at the Origins convention down in Ohio somewhere. Cleveland? Where is OSU anyway? I think it’s in that town. Hey, I’ve only been there once and I tend to get traumatized when I travel in Ohio. “hi” in the middle my ass. Yeah, anyway as of last year there is potentially now a third mini-show at U-con and if that keeps up the total is 2.5 shows with an attendance of about 200 people total (all shows). Not too bad.

Where do I fit in, other than moral support for the MC of the original show (vs. the MC at the Origins show…heh, that makes me giggle) who is much cuter and more suave (hi babe!)? I’m taking over as head Ballot Ninja! Last year I was a Kung Fu Ballot Ninja Babe while dojo Tony was THE ballot ninja but he moved away and wont be back so I’m usurping the title. If anyone asks, it was a fierce battle that lasted many nights but in the end my Kung Fu was better and I emerged victorious. [big brassy horns fanfare f/x!] Heh!

So Saturday, the show gets presented in all its glory with TheMan MCing it (Mr. Smithee a.k.a. Bryan is the Origins MC in case you were wondering) and all sorts of unhealthy snacks and drinks of colors not found in nature waiting to be consumed in mass quantity. Peeps, people, we’ve got peeps this year. If for nothing else, come for the peeps! The clips, five to a category, will be shown one category at a time with pauses between as the audience votes by secret ballot for which of the five is their pick as the best representative of that category. Then, the votes get tabulated and at the pause of the next category the winner of the previous category is called out. Almost instantaneous gratification! Bottom of the barrel junk food and quasi instant gratification, you just can’t go wrong here.

Well, OK Soul Vengeance and Basket Case Two are wrong, but other than that it’s a blast.

In case you are wondering, the categories are:

Most Ludicrous Premise
Wanna Run That by Me Again?
Let’s Up the Rating to R
Alas, Poor Yorick
Deus Ex Machina
Stupidest Looking Monster
Worst Science
Best One-liner
Worst Cover Copy
Cutting Butter with a Chainsaw
Inane Dialogue
Acting Appropriately Stupid
Worst Special Effect
Crummiest Ending
Worst Acting
Worst Picture

and I would link them all individually to the page that tells what exactly they are but I am a LCF so here you go. Go take a look, browse a bit, have fun and if you are in the area this Saturday come and check us out.

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