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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cinema Sacrifice Theater to open this month at Public House Theatre in Chicago

Art by Tim Williams

By ERIC SCHELKOPF

Ricky Glore, Kyle Encinas and Kit Rivers are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice - to sit through bad movies so you don't have to.

They will do just that when Cinema Sacrifice Theater opens at 8 p.m. May 31 at The Public House Theatre, 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. Tickets are $10, available by going to The Public House Theatre's website at www.thepubtheatre.com. 

Every month, Cinema Sacrifice Theater will discuss a different movie. Cinema Sacrifice Theater is produced by We ARE Productions, which has brought hits "A Nightmare on Backstreet: A Boy Band Horror Parody," "Maul Santa: The Musical," "Babysitter Massacre ’78: The Musical" and "Bates: An '80s Psycho Musical Parody" to the The Public House Theatre.

I had the chance to talk to Glore, Encinas and Rivers about the upcoming show.


Q - Great talking to you again. How did you come up with the idea for Cinema Sacrifice Theater? Are you fans of shows like "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and "RiffTrax?"

KE: I'm a big fan of MST3K and consider it formative in my comedy education.

RG: MST3K was very much part of my comedy upbringing when I was a kid. I was first introduced to the movie by my brother Eric, and then was hooked.

I started watching episodes of the television show on Comedy Central. Later, after MST3K was off TV, I still followed the creative minds, as they went on to things like "RiffTrax," "Cinematic Titanic" and "The Film Crew." 

Being someone who loves movies, nothing is better than sitting around with a bunch of friends, and making your own commentary, during the film, if there is an absurd moment, or something that make everyone chuckle. Having show’s like "MST3K" and "RiffTrax," makes “movie riffing” an acceptable form of comedy, kind of like improve or sketch.

Q - Which movie will be featured this month and why?

KE: "Warriors of the Wasteland."

RG: It’s a 1983, Italian, post-apocalyptic, "Mad Max" rip-off.

KE: With the impending possibility of a Trump presidency looming, we thought it only fitting that we do a film that would most closely resemble the Earth after four years of a Trump presidency.

Q - How will the format work? Will you be playing the entire movie or just select scenes?

KR: There will certainly be movies that will have to be edited, mostly for time and content, but also just if we decide something is too horrific to watch. Shows like this always will change and alter once you see what is working and not working with your audience, but ideally, we want the audience to be able to both follow the plot of the movie as well as enjoy our riffs and potentially even the movie! 

Pictured left to right: Kyle Encinas, Ricky Glore and Kit Rivers. (Photo by Jeremy Kanne.)

Q - What is the criteria that you will use in determining that a movie is bad? Are there some movies that are so bad that they are actually good?

KE: I think the goodness or badness of a movie is defined by the passion put into the project. Sometimes that heart can turn a purely bad movie into a movie that's so bad it's good, because it has uniformity of its vision. And sometimes it's lazy filmmaking and inability to recognize when things are starting to turn.

KR: There are of course your “The Room” movies where everything from top to bottom is categorically awful, but yet again, that is what made it so deliciously awesome. We may very well pick a movie that has many different opinions on whether it is good or not – for example, I LOVE the movie “Junior.”  

That doesn’t make it a good movie, but that just means the audience will only have more fun watching how we save bad movies or attack their personal favorites. We do this show because we truly believe there are no bad movies, only bad movie watchers.

RG: One of my favorite quotes from MST3K, is that when they were asked, “How do you watch the worst movies in the world??” And they would reply that the movies they riff, aren’t the worst.

It’s really hard to stay engaged, and even mock a truly terrible film. There has to be something fun and quote unquote “good” about it, for it to be riffed.

An example that I love, is that Ed Wood’s "Plan 9 From Outer Space," is considered by some, to be the worst movie of all time, where in my opinion, it is not even close to being Ed Wood’s worst movie! It’s fun to “hate” a bad movie, but it is not fun to have to sit through a begrudgingly bad movie…does that make sense?

Q - Are you hoping for a lot of audience participation? Will you be taking suggestions from audience members on what movies to feature in the future?

KR: I think there will be lots of fun opportunities as we develop to engage audience members in games that we play or even helping us yell at the movie screen when certain movies practically demand the absurd from the viewers, we could even do some improvised riffing from audience members during a particularly dull fight or love making scenes!

This show is beautiful because it has the ability to be familiar in its format and yet a completely different experience every time you see it.

Q - How long would you like to see Cinema Sacrifice Theater run?

RG: For our first show, when we show "Warriors of the Wasteland," we were lucky to get in touch with one of the stars of the film, Giovanni Frezza, and he has agreed to make an appearance and introduce the film.
Poster designed by Chad Pickett
Our movie in July will be the TV film, "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway," and the director Randal Kleiser, (who also directed "Grease,"), has agreed to film an introduction to the movie. I hope we keep doing this long enough, that we get to incorporate more and more celebrities from the movies we present.

KE: Decades. Until the our genius is recognized.

KR: As long as the audience will let us…