Thanks to everyone's favorite recession, movie studios don't do it up the way they used to. The days of over-the-top theme screenings, filled with goody bags and stars, are as dead as disco. But Wednesday night, Overture pulled out all the stops to debut "The Crazies" with one of the best events in recent memory.
Arriving in the light mist of a chilly (by L.A. standards) February night, we were greeted by flashlights shining in our faces, while machine gun-toting soldiers in fatigues and gas masks barked orders.
Ushered onto a school bus with blacked out windows, we were taken on a wild goose chase of a ride, only to be dumped out and forced to walk a gauntlet of bloodied patients, twitching dead bodies and more screaming soldiers.
Imagine a ride at Disneyland, but with spittle-spewing drill sergeants and the threat of death around every corner. It was awesome.
Once inside the theater, an announcement promised us we were all "safe—afe—afe—afe." On the heels of the echoes, commandos burst in shouting "Security breach!," grabbed one "infected" audience member from his seat, his girlfriend shrieking in panic, as they were both dragged off, legs flailing. The entire theater burst into applause. But the fun was just getting started.