By Anna Merlan
By Albert Samaha
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
The first big fright at the premiere of The Omen came when I noticed that the seat behind me had a sign saying "LIZA MINNELLI Guest." I thought it meant she was still married to that creepy guy! Thankfully, I calmed down after realizing the key word was spelled differently. Moments later, Liza showed up with her Gest, I mean guesta young radio-host twink named JASON DREWand revved into her best Liza mode, acting as effusive and agreeable as if she were on Larry King Live. Someone in my row asked Liza if she planned to be afraid. "I have a protector!" Liza responded, chirpily. "He's my best friend!" She meant her guest. "We'll be under the chair in five minutes," the guest whimpered, not all that protectively. "But it's not like The Exorcist," assured Liza, adding many consonants. "The Exshorshist was shhhhcary!"
Another jolt happened when GRIFFIN DUNNE came running up to Liza and said his daughter recently sang "Maybe This Time" in school, but she coughed on the last note. "I did that too!" comforted Liza. "Tell her I think it's kosher!" (Her sudden Yiddishism may have been because the premiere was in a former synagoguelong storywhich at one point prompted Liza to cutely exclaim, "I'm in a shynagogue?") By the time Liza was calling MIA FARROW over and vowing undying love, all I could think of was that Jackie Susann wanted them both to star in the tawdrily fabulous movie of Valley of the Dolls! Imagine Liza playing Neely, the part based on her mothera singer-actress who loses roles because she's a druggy messwhile Mama herself played opposite her as Helen Lawson until losing the role because she was a druggy mess? Alas, it was neither kosher nor meant to be.
But back to this camp classic a sleek bunch of hooey about a kiddie Antichrist, which really stretches credulity since The Da Vinci Code says there wasn't even a Christ, let alone an anti. As the darling demon seed causes suicides, beheadings, and doggy discomfort, no one does anything about it, even with PETE POSTLETHWAITE's tremulous, overacting priest screaming over the thunder, "He must die!" Daddy LIEV SCHREIBER finally jumps to action, and as he does so, you see a totally not-gratuitous product placement of a KFC sign! Now that's scary.
At the din-din after the movie (which wasn't fast food), CYNTHIA ROWLEY wisecracked, "I'm gonna go home and shave the kids' heads."
I was terrified all over again when a screening notice for Strangers With Candy asked reviewers who plan to abbreviate the movie's name if they could please just call it Strangers, not Candy. That's because the same company has a HEATH LEDGER film coming out called Candy and would rather not have any kooky confusion around it. I'm just going to call it With. Or maybe "alternately hilarious and flat." Or maybe "four-alarm migraine," since I waited forever at the film's NewFest party for AMY SEDARIS to show up and she didn't. No, I worship the woman, and I'm sure she was just busy taking off her prosthetic teeth.
At the same fest, everyone showed for Another Gay Movie, TODD STEPHENS's very funny gay spoof of teen sex romps, which I insist on calling American Quiche (or maybe just Gay). It's refreshingly crass, from the carrot fucking to the spoof of the prom scene in Carrie with cum instead of pigs' blood. Porn star MATTHEW RUSH cameos as an OD'ing drug bunny, and survivor RICHARD HATCH shows up to get naked and stick his face in the underweared butt of a guy who's had three enemas and who calls his friend to gloat, "I'm about to get anal from a million-dollar bear!" After the movie, Stephens said Hatch was his "dream of a cheesy reality TV celebrity. I thought, 'What would it be like to finally see his penis?' I asked him if he'd show it. He said, 'Fuck yeah. I'd love to.' " And fortunately it was sizable enough to not get voted off the island.
I wittily asked Stephens if the million-dollar bear paid tax on his income from the movie. "The $250? Yes," he said, laughing. "Actually, he wanted to wear a cap that said 'Fuck the IRS,' but I thought that whole thing would blow over by the time the movie came out." But now that Hatch is jailbound, it's he who will either get fucked or blown over.
Survivors of A.D.D. lined up for the Golden Trailer awardsgiven to movie trailers, not mobile homeswhich started with host JIM GAFFIGAN saying, "I'venever heard of me either," and got even giddier as it went along, a Beer League star accepting Trashiest Trailer just because the real winners (for some skanky epic called Three) had done a Sedaris and not shown up. "I'm too big for this," deadpanned presenter RICH VOS. "I've got to go to the Ringtone awards."
A slice with extra sausage
And I had to get to a shynagogue, I mean to Fire Island, even though Fleet Week had just ended and boy was my butt sore. Alas, the slushie machines weren't even filled yet, and there was hardly a single tick-infested deer (or gay) in sight, let alone licking your face. I guess the queens were busy waxing their pubes and alphabetizing their MADONNA remixes. Still, it wasn't hard to locate the usual overhanging cloud of relentless sexual innuendo just by glancing at the community bulletin boards. A pizza-eating contest at the Ice Palace came with the slogan "How fast can you swallow?" (Not very, it turned out; the competition draggedand you had to buy the slice to enter!) And one of the big theater events being promoted had the guy who sang "Boom Boom Boom (Let's Go Back to My Room)" co-starring in some three-enema romp called Two Boys in a Bed on a Cold Winter's Night. Actually, after a Broadway season of overdressed British drama, that sounds exactly like my cup of jizz. I'll swallow it quickly.