Holy Awful Cinema, Batman! The Fifth Reel digging deeper in mockery of a bad classic

Making fun of Batman & Robin (1997) is serious business. You can’t just point out that the bat suit has nipples on it. That’s the one thing everyone already knows about that movie!

By now, you’ve probably heard that the lunatics at The Fifth Reel are kicking off their brand new Awful Cinema series with a Feb. 9th screening of the world’s most hated Batman sequel at the Globe Cinema at 10 p.m. We spoke with Fifth Reel co-founder Alonso Melgar about this new venture into movie mockery.

“At Fifth Reel events we always encourage audience participation, and the crowds are usually super into it.” explains Alonso. “Sometimes, though, when you program a ‘so bad it’s good’ type of movie, newcomers don’t really understand that you’re supposed to jeer at it a bit while you’re watching, so we figured having two hosts to lead the charge might help clue them in that this is supposed to be a fun, interactive moviegoing experience.”

Since this is a licensed event, a well lubricated audience will probably go some ways towards attaining that party vibe The Fifth Reel is going for. But will the hosts be able to keep things under control?

“Murphy (Mason) is one of the hosts for Sunday karaoke at Broken City, and PJ (Lavergne) is the frontman for Napalmpom, so leading a crowd is nothing new to them. Doing live commentary for a movie night might be new for them, but anyone who knows them personally will tell you they’re still gonna kill it.” Good to hear!

The choice of Batman & Robin as the Awful Cinema series’ first target is an interesting one. People still rag on this turkey to this day, possibly (and ironically) because it was popular. It was a terrible movie that sold lots and lots of tickets. Even if you didn’t see it, you knew a lot about it just from being alive in 1997. Ice puns! Neon! The Bat-Credit Card! Batman & Robin provides a wealth of mockable material; the challenge for the hosts will be coming up with observations that the audience hasn’t heard before. Still, Alonso is confident that this was the right flick to go with.

“I’m surprised by the amount of people who haven’t actually sat down and watched the full movie from start to finish. There’s a whole lot of other ridiculous stuff going on. We wanted to play something that is well known for its awfulness but still pretty fresh and new in the general pop culture atmosphere.”

So, if the Batman & Robin screening is a hit, then what’s next for The Fifth Reel’s Awful Cinema series? “We’re winging it right now with future film selections. We’d definitely love to feature some of the more infamous bad movies; Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four movie, Birdemic, and a bunch of other low budget B-movies. We’re all really excited for this upcoming edition and focusing on making that as fun as possible, and if people really like what we come up with then we’ll start looking more seriously into the future.”

The Fifth Reel presents Awful Cinema: Batman & Robin at 10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9th at the Globe Cinema. Tickets are available at Eventbrite. Check out The Fifth Reel’s Facebook page for more details.

John Tebbutt is the Video Vulture. He has been writing about obscure and ridiculous cinema since 1997. You can keep up with his nonsense on his websiteFacebook and Twitter. Check out the latest episode of his online series here.