Recently, I went on a trip to New York City to visit some old friends. I’ve only been there twice and both times for conventions. I barely got to see any of the actual city itself. My friends, who have heard me complain on numerous occasions about this, arranged a small but informative tour for me. They knew I was a HUGE fan of movies that took place in The Big Apple so they showed me some iconic spots from one of my all-time favorites, The Warriors! We followed the trail the characters traveled in their quest to return to Coney Island. You have NO IDEA how chilling it was to sit (relatively) at the spot where the immortal words, ”Warriors…come out to play!!!” were spoken. I was a buzzing wreck as I boarded the plane for home.
And then the universe decided to mess with me.
I got seated next to The Warrior’s leading man, Mr. Michael Beck! He was flying back to L.A. for an audition. I know this because, as much as I tried not to, I “fan-boyed” all over him. It was surreal. I had an unforgettable weekend tracing his steps across the urban jungle only to be within touching distance of someone I personally consider an icon. He smiled as I related my tale of nostalgic nerdgasm, and thought my friends were “pretty awesome” for doing that for me. He related some deep inside stories about the movie and we slowly transitioned into, of course, Xanadu.
He was much more reflective about that one. I’m not going to attempt to relate what he said except to say that he had very mixed feelings about the project. (Please don’t sue me!) I found him to be quite a fascinating person. Yes, a bit of a raving man-crush here too! We parted ways and he went off, hopefully to bigger and better things. I came back to my little hole and immediately started work on setting up a tribute, of sorts, to both him and my friends who gave me memories that will last a lifetime.
THIS WEEKEND!!! THE GROUND ZERO DRIVE-IN PRESENTS “The Two Faces of Mr. Michael Beck”!
First, we are showing THE WARRIORS. A dystopian New York City is crawling with street gangs who constantly war over territory and resources until a demagogue rises to unite them as a pseudo-nation. On the eve of a massive meeting of the multitudes, the organizer is shot dead and blame falls on The Warriors, a small gang who must now fight their way across the metropolis to reach their home in Coney Island. (Believe me, it’s a long damn trip and I was mostly in a car!) They will face rival gangs, betrayal, and loss as they punch, kick, and claw their way through this nightmare. I can’t look at Yankees fans the same way anymore!
Then, stick around for the softer side of Mr. Beck in XANADU. He plays Sonny Malone, an artist whose work has begun to suffer. Considering how mind-numbing it is to do commercial work, I’m not surprised. Frustrated, he takes a walk and meets a down and out musician, played by Gene Kelly, who befriends Sonny and tells him about how fickle creativity can be sometimes. While wandering along a beach boardwalk, Sonny sees a painting of a young woman, Olivia Newton John, and becomes not quite obsessed but very, very fixated on her. As it turns out, she’s actually a real “person” in the form of Kira, one of the Muses. One of the nine sisters who bring inspiration to the creative, Kira literally comes to life and begins a relationship with Sonny that reignites his ability and the two fall in love. Kira’s father, Zeus, steps in and forbids her to continue and she argues to let her at least finish helping Sonny build his dream; a roller-disco/art gallery. I love this film! It’s soundtrack was done largely by ELO. If you’re not singing along by the end there’s something wrong with you!
Also, be sure to visit The Fallout Snack Bar for our wide variety of food and drink choices. In honor of this showing, I am happy to announce a special deal! Buy any food and drink combo and you can get the official Xanadu soundtrack for only $5! (some conditions apply) Try the Nine Layer Nachos or the triple patty Gut-Punch Burger! At intermission, enjoy the Acoustic Lantern Orchestrals, an ELO cover band!
All of that this weekend at Ground Zero! Kids under 12 get in half-price. No refunds.