Cinema Fiasco is a comedy show showcasing bad movies on the big screen with hilarious live commentary by film buff comedians Geoff Wallis and Janet A. McLeod. The movie plays as per usual with the soundtrack intact, Geoff and Janet just chip in at salient points. Sounds fun? It is.
Janet and Geoff have been watching bad movies for years, and what they don't know about awful acting, dreadful dialogue and crappy special effects isn't worth knowing. The hours they've spent watching 50s monster epics, women-in-prison spectaculars, 80s splatter movies and phony documentaries about Bigfoot have honed their appreciation into a fine art. This has developed the aesthetic which forms the basis of their show.
Bad movies are a guilty pleasure and one that should never be enjoyed alone. Cinema Fiasco has been bringing together fans of foul films for the past seven years; if you haven't yet experienced an evening of godawful cinema with Janet and Geoff it's high time you did.
You'll laugh! You'll scream! You'll wonder who put up the money to make this crap.
But best of all you'll realise how important nudity, explosions and gorilla suits are to the world of cinema.
And what a joyful sight to behold they are.
For a hilarious night out, get along to Cinema Fiasco. You’ll choke on your choc-top
Please note: Janet and Geoff talk all the way through the movies they present, but the movies are so bad that you’ll be glad, for once, that there are people talking in the cinema.
Janet A. McLeod
Janet grew up in Ballarat where the Narnia-like weather conditions regularly left her holed up in the chair closest to the heater watching Saturday afternoon movies on BTV 6. The budget-conscious programming department of this regional television station were joyfully unconcerned with the quality of their non-prime-time fare, which meant Janet’s formative memories are of cut-price westerns, cheesy musicals and crappy sci-fi flicks like Tarantula! and Earth vs the Flying Saucers.
When she left school aged 17, Janet went to work in the BTV 6 film department where she was able to scrutinise the shoddiness of these movies frame-by-frame. “That dinosaur is on wheels!” she would be heard to cry. “That woman's wearing a PANTSUIT! She deserved to die!”
At 19, Janet joined Ballarat Theatresports. It was there she first found herself laughing at the tasteless, yet hilarious, performances of Geoff Wallis. Their similar taste in movies (or lack thereof), coupled with an admirable stamina for being able to sit through ANYTHING, bonded the two and their friendship was celebrated over many Friday nights with marathon viewdowns from the $1 weekly VHS section of their local video store.
Janet has even been in the movies! (As an extra). She’s played a gangster’s moll, a denim-clad bogan and a dead Lithuanian Jew (in separate productions, thankfully). One of the movies even won an AFI Award, although Janet’s performance as “featured dead body” was criminally ignored.
Geoff Wallis is an actor, writer and creator of theatrical entertainments which stems from his training at the Victorian College of the Arts School of Drama. He is also an aficionado of “bad” movies which he attributes to a combination of genetics and nurture. His mother once told him, as they drove home from a drive-in double feature, that Airport ’77 was a better film than Jaws.
As an actor, Geoff has appeared in classic stuff like Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Much Ado about Nothing, fringy stuff like Love Is My Sin,The Sun Also Sizzles, Angel Fall, Spinning Straw and Lawyers, Drugs and Money and musicals like Scrooge, Blood Brothers, Sweet Charity and Perfectly Porter.
Away from a script, Geoff is a dab hand at improvisation and has appeared in and devised shows such as Completely Lost in Space, Jaws! The Musical, Murder to Die For, The Linda Blair Witch Project, Spontaneous Broadway and Theatresports. He was also once the Artistic Director of Impro Melbourne.
For the past four years Geoff has indulged another of his guilty pleasures as a writer and spokesperson for SBS on the Eurovision Song Contest.
Of bad films, Geoff has this to say: “They aren’t really “bad” movies. Bad movies are ones you simply can’t watch. The movies we’re talking about are entirely watchable – just for all the “wrong” reasons.”
THE ART OF BAD MOVIES
Good movies are assessed by a set of standards almost completely unknown to the bad movie aficionado. To successfully appraise a bad movie one must be aware of the following:
Explosions are extremely exciting.
Nudity is an effective substitute for talent.
CGI effects are inferior to someone wearing a gorilla suit or a bat dangling on a string.
Night time scenes are best shot during the day with a blue filter over the camera lens.
Classic dialogue (e.g. “Let’s get the hell out of here!”, “This place gives me the creeps!” and “You’ll never get away with it!" is essential.
Actors who will do anything for money make the best stars.
The presence of Italian zombies, killer nuns, lesbian vampires, masked psychos, horny stewardesses and 32 year old teenagers is a sure sign you’re onto a winner.
Shouting and screaming communicate all the important emotions.
Extras who can’t act are worth their weight in gold.
Extras who act too much are worth much more.
An inappropriate pop song on the soundtrack is always welcome.
Martial arts are the only arts worth funding.
The more characters dead by the final credits the better the movie.
The best film producers copy successful movies but do so for a quarter of the price.
Indigenous people should never be played by actors of the right ethnicity.
Any movie in which a dance craze is used to defeat evil is a classic.
A scantily-clad woman holding a gun is a trenchant statement.
The boom mike is your friend and good to see.
Cars are better the faster they go.
To be a great bad movie you must be able to talk through it without missing anything.