To loosely quote Mark Corrigan, everyone likes movies. “Man seeks woman. Must be interested in film, breathing oxygen and converting protein intake into muscle energy.” Film has become part of the core of our day-to-day existence. Admit it – you’ve never be upset with a beer in your hand and a film on the box (unless of course, you’re watching some heart-wrenching movie about a sick dog, etc – but you know what we mean).
That being said, not every cinematic experience is the same; this is where London’s Crap Film Club comes in. It’s for people who want to step aside from the Hollywood Hits; who want to dip their toes in the perfectly brilliant second rate movies that never quite hit the big time; to see actors aim for the moon but land in a soiled swamp of low budget effects and appalling ad-lib. So we caught up with Will Columbine from the Crap Film Club crew to find out more about their nights of cinematic debauchery.
Hey Will. How’s it going? Good thanks!
What’s your role in the Crap Film Club? Programmer, knob-twiddler, and, for better or worse, presenter.
What’s the Crap Film Club all about? Sharing films that have made us laugh for all the wrong reasons with the public, as well as providing an inexpensive cinema experience in overpriced London.
What’s the story behind its creation and when did you first launch the Club? It began with four lads making bi-weekly trips to the World of Cine to enjoy cheesy action flicks featuring Stallone, Statham and/or Nicolas Cage, as well as watching straight-to-video “classics” in the comfort of our living rooms. In both instances, we realised that alcohol was a key component. Also, being that drunk meant that when someone suggested starting a film club it sounded like the best idea ever. Our first screening (Troll 2) was held on 11 July 2012 at The Boogaloo in Highgate, and we’ve never looked back.
Where does your love for utterly crap films come from? Has cinema always been an interest of yours? I studied scriptwriting at university and currently work for one of the major film studios, while two of the club’s former organiser’s have been involved with Film London. Irrespective of that, we just love films and staring at screens – anything to avoid having to actually burn calories.
So would you regard yourself as a bit of a movie addict? I don’t have a problem. I can give up any time I like…I just don’t want to.
The next screening is “For Y’ur Height Only” at the end of October right? Can you give us a brief run-down of what this film’s about? It’s a Filipino homage to James Bond, starring a 3 foot martial artist called Weng Weng and some of the most insane dubbing you’ve ever heard!
How do you discover and select films? Once you enter the rabbit hole of bad movies, there’s no turning back. There are plenty of websites, “best of” lists, YouTube videos and Twitter accounts dedicated to the art of awful films, so the research part is easy. Certain titles are de rigeur e.g. Samurai Cop, Miami Connection, the aforementioned Troll 2, but otherwise it just comes down to personal taste as to whether something makes the grade. While we love introducing people to the more obscure stuff, as long as it’s consistently entertaining, doesn’t feature prolonged scenes of violence towards women, and has that “X factor” then that’s all that matters.
Is there a lot of debate amongst you guys about what you want to screen next? Not really. It just depends on whether we can locate the distributor and get the rights. It can take a while as a lot of them went out of business years ago, so it helps to organise the schedule well in advance.
What’s been your favourite screening so far? Without wanting to sound corny, I think they get better and better; we have regular punters and the audiences are really into the whole vibe. That said, our “Shark Attack 3: Megalodon” screening, where we got 50 people to wear John Barrowman masks, was pretty special. If you care to look, you’ll find the iconic photo online.
Just out of interest, what’s your favourite movie one-liner? So many to choose from…I’m going to go with “THIRTY SEVEN??!!” from Clerks because it’s short.
Have you got any big plans for the Crap Film Club in the future? Any special seasonal films in the pipeline? We have our Christmas screening on Dec 15th. I don’t want to ruin the surprise but it’s a film that took ages to secure the rights for, so everyone has to come and watch it.
When you’re not busy sorting out the Club, where do you usually hang out? Anywhere you recommend we should check out? I have to give props to The Book Club as they’re not only excellent hosts to Crap Film Club but also serve great cocktails and have a ping pong table. If you’re ever in the Haringey Green Lanes area then I highly recommend Autograf (Polish restaurant), Brouhaha (bar) and The Salisbury (pub). Also, ArtHouse Crouch End is a great little cinema if you’re ever in the mood for a not-crap film.