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The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly

Spring is the time when young Ann Arborites’ fancy turns to thoughts of terrible cinema. Those thoughts are directed at the Smithee Awards, a presentation that recognizes bad movies for their lack of accomplishment (Smithee web site here, Smithee blog here).

The show is put on by some friends of mine and I’ve attended many times in the past. I went this year, and here is my report.

One of the integral aspects of the Smithee Awards is that the awful movie clips are accompanied by unhealthy snacks. Sugar and fat of many varieties are provided by the organizers and contributed by audience members, often in very bizarre or scary forms (Vegemite is a regular offering). Because I was driving there, I wanted to make a unique contribution, so I brought unusual beverages that can only be found in the Northeastern U.S. I brought a lot of them, as I bought them in different stores at different times, so I didn’t realize how much I was bringing until it was all assembled together. Varieties included Moxie and Diet Moxie; Polar Pomegranate, diet Pom, Pineapple, and diet Double Chocolate; and Waist Watchers Diet Chocolate Fudge.

I didn’t get a picture of the drinks, but here are some food pix. First is an array of chips and crackers, including Cheesy Taco Cheezits
the food
Here is the famous Smithee GORP, made of peanut M&Ms, yogurt-covered raisins, pretzel goldfish, and (substituting for the usual Froot Loops) fruity Cheerios.
the gorp
And, this was the 16th year of the Smithees, so a Sweet 16 birthday cake was ordered. Note the blood-red color.
the cake

This year saw record attendance. Vote totals topped out near 190 last year – the highest then to date – and that’s where they started for the first award category this year. Soon after that, vote numbers went up well above 200, reaching 243 for parts of the night.

I got a picture of the crowd at the beginning of the evening:
the crowd
At 2 points during the ceremony, people were asked to write their names on ballots for a drawing, and winners were selected for lovely prizes (Smithee buttons and monster hand puppets). Here are some pics of the winners:
winner 1




The hand puppets this year were of the monster Orochi, whose film did not appear in this year’s show. Here is a close-up of one of the puppets:
After the show, an audience member was asking where the Moxie had come from. I replied that I’d brought it from Massachusetts. He thanked me for doing so, as he hadn’t had it in some time (he was from Maine, and so grew up with the stuff).

Once everything was over, the organizers and friends went to Pizza House for normal food and such. Here are some pics of the gang:

Posted by seaking on 05-12-2007 at 08:05 pm
Posted in Arts/Media

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  1. Only hours before you posted this we were out looking for Moxie here in Pittsburgh. A website pointed us to a bar and adjacent distributor who stocked it, but when we got there they hadn’t had it for a few years. J liked it as a kid, but not so much when she retried it about 10-15 years ago, so it was time for a re-taste and my first (thwarted) experience. Funny coincidence.

    Comment by D'gou — May 13, 2007 @ 09:28
  2. What a hoot! Too bad we missed your visit.

    Comment by Stasa — May 13, 2007 @ 14:46
  3. Yeah, Stasa, I actually was thinking after I got back that I should have let you guys know I would be in town. I was particularly reminded of this by our going to Philly the following weekend. I actually make it to Michigan 3 or 4 times a year, and often am in Ann Arbor for part of a visit. You guys might like the Smithee Awards, too.

    Doug, too bad you couldn’t find Moxie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it outside of New England, though I’m told it’s plentiful in New York. I really like the stuff myself – I would describe the flavor as being somewhat like cloves, and somewhat like bubble gum.

    Comment by seaking — May 13, 2007 @ 19:12

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