An interview with Bristol Bad Film Club

On October 8th at The Station, Bristol Bad Film Club are holding a screening of “Never Too Young To Die” – a James Bond parody starring Gene Simmons (yes that one!) as an androgynous, leather-bound cross-dressing criminal genius sets out to finish off all of L.A. by contaminating the city’s water supply. All proceeds will be donated to NKKP. To book tickets for the event click here.

Gene Simmons as Velvet Von Ragner

Gene Simmons as Velvet Von Ragner

We caught up with Bristol Bad Film Club (or “the other BBFC” if you will) founder Timon Singh ahead of the screening.

Oh hai Ti! Tell us about Never Too Young To Die.

It is essentially a teenage James Bond film with John Stamos as the son of legendary secret agent Stargrove (played by George Lazenby – a former Bond himself). He discovers a plot to poison LA’s water supply headed by the evil Ragnar who is, as described in the official synopsis, a ‘maniacal hermaphrodite’. He’s played by KISS’s Gene Simmons and isn’t exactly the red letter day for the LGTB community that you might think. The film tries to incorporate every other popular film trope from the 80s as well, so you have Mad Max-type street gangs, an Asian geeky sidekick and Vanity – Prince’s protegee who isn’t afraid to disrobe in the name of art.

Tell us what the difference is between a bad movie and a Bad Movie, and what was the Bad Movie that inspired you to start the BBFC?

Whether it’s enjoyable or not! No-one really enjoyed the last few Transformers films, but they were, for better or worse, well-made films. However good the FX may be or the explosions were lovingly shot, they were just… dull. On the other hand, an unknown actor fighting badly-trained stuntmen in a poorly-choreographed fight sequence can be hilarious and thoroughly more enjoyable.

Sincerity also plays a key part. Directors like Tommy Wiseau (director of The Room) and James Nguyen (director of Birdemic: Shock and Terror) honestly believe that their films have something important to say – they just completely lack the technical skills to translate their vision into something coherent.

For me, it was a double bill of The Room and cult actioner Samurai Cop that convinced me that Bristol needed to have regular screenings of these little-known, but highly entertaining cult films.

We both share a belief in the power of cinema to bring people together in a social setting. What’s the difference between watching a bad movie at home, and coming to the Bristol Bad Film Club?

The group experience – I have to watch A LOT of bad films by myself… and it’s hard. My fiancee’s not going to watch Nazi Zombie Horror SHOCK WAVES with me at 11pm and to be honest, neither are most of my friends. However, on the rare occasion I can get a bunch of them to watch a bad film with me, so I can decide whether it might work for a screening – it’s hilarious. We’re all drinking, noticing things that others haven’t and having a great time.

Alcohol definitely helps, which is why we also try and find venues with bars.

Like us, you’ve done some outdoor screenings too. What makes an outdoor screening special? Is there a difference between an outdoor screening and an indoor screening?

A lot of work goes into outdoor screenings – not to mention stress. As well as site permissions, logistics, screening rights, you’ve then got to bank on the weather being on your side. However, for all of ours, we’ve have been incredibly lucky. I think it’s all about finding the right film – something that will play to a large crowd of all ages, isn’t TOO culty (because you want to draw a crowd) and something that’s fun and light-hearted which is why we went for the family-friendly Masters of the Universe and cowboy-vs-dinosaurs monster flick The Valley of Gwangi.

Plus the council wouldn’t approve of the likes of Robot Holocaust in a public park…

Any favourite stories from past events you’d care to share? Anything get a different reaction to what you were expecting?

Our third screening was at the Bristol Planetarium and it was of an Italian Star Wars rip-off called StarCrash. For the screening, we got Dr Mark Bould of UWE and Bristol’s resident sci-fi expert to introduce the film. It was a sell-out crowd, but all the way through his presentation, Mark was getting heckled by an 11 year old boy who seemed to know everything there was to know on science-fiction. That was pretty hilarious.

What’s been your favourite Bristol Bad Film Club event so far? Why?

Screening Miami Connection (a tai-kwon-do rock band vs drug smuggling ninjas) was pretty awesome. We were one of the first places in the UK to screen the film and it was a massive hit. I even got Dragon Sound (the name of the band in the film) t-shirts made – they all sold out.

Are there any dream Bad Film Club projects you haven’t yet managed to realise? 

I really want to show Neil Breen’s Fateful Findings – he keeps saying no.

Who is the greatest Bad Movie director of all time? 

I have a really soft spot for Andy Sidaris whose entire back catalogue features Playboy centerfolds as secret agents. I purchased his entire collection for $1.99! Still, he is the genius behind Hard Ticket To Hawaii that features a toxic killer snake and a man getting killed by a frisbee.

…and finally, who’d win in a fight: The Hulk or Bruce Lee?

Hulk’s got the strength, but Bruce Lee’s got the speed…. so the Hulk.

Bristol Bad Film Club present Never Too Young To Die at The Station on October 8th. Tickets are available for £5 by clicking here. All proceeds will go to supporting the Nepal Kids Kino Project. We’ll also be bringing our t-shirts and tote bags down for you to buy, and will be having a cake sale too! Yum.

Check out the BBFC on social media at Facebook or Twitter.

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