Update! Worst postponement EVER! Tonight's Denver premiere of The Worst Movie EVER! was supposed to be the first event hosted by the Oriental Theater after a chunk of its ceiling fell onto the stage last week. This morning, unfortunately, the city inspector gave it a no-go, meaning that, for the time being, the theater will remain closed and the Worst Movie EVER! screening will move to Monday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. There is, however, a mild silver lining: WME director and producer Glenn Berggoetz is still hanging out in front of the Oriental from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. tonight, giving out free DVD copies of To Die Is Hard, his last movie, to anyone who shows up and says they came because of Westword You're welcome.
The expression "It's always darkest before the dawn" doesn't make a lot of literal sense -- if you think about it, it's actually quite a bit lighter before the dawn compared to other parts of the night -- but it's proven to be true for Denver crap-film maker Glenn Berggoetz. Because there's not much apparent benefit, really, to your film opening to a truly miserable box-office take of $11. But as things turned out, it was exactly that inauspicious start that set the ball rolling for Berggoetz's The Worst Movie EVER!, which gets its premiere in Denver tomorrow night -- and the ball just keeps, well, snowballing.
In short, here's what happened: Berggoetz was excited when he managed to wrangle a premiere for the film in L.A., a two-night screening at the Laemmle Sunset 5. But things went a tad awry, and by the end of the weekend, the film had managed to attract just one paying customer -- but business is business, and the $11 take was sent to be duly cataloged by Box Office Mojo. And that's where things started to get interesting: There's a certain hilarity, after all, to a film called The Worst Movie EVER! making arguably the worst box office ever, and it wasn't long before the calls for interviews started to come in. Berggoetz got interviewed by publications in the U.S., in Brazil, in Canada, in Japan; the trailer for the film went viral, and before long, film distributors were knocking at the door.
In the time sincewe interviewed him last month
-- noting then that the film had still not found anyone to screen it in the home town -- things have just continued to get better. "It's looking promising," Berggoetz says. "There are a number of distributors in Japan now who are interested -- I mean, nobody wants to throw out a number. I told one of them, look, you give me $1.3 million and you can have all Japanese rights, but of course that was too high. So they're getting together a proposal, and hopefully they'll offer me a legitimate amount of money."
In the meantime, Berggoetz is waiting to hear back from a distributor in Canada, has a guy looking into distribution in Brazil, and has a guy interested in screening the movie in Glasgow, Scotland. "I guess this guy wants to do like a Monday-night niche film, and he got in touch with me. He says, barring something bizarre, he plans to show it." And he's lined up another screening with an Alamo Draft House theater in Virginia, where it had screened before the same day the trailer started to go viral. The general manager of that theater was excited enough about The Worst Movie to recommend it to all the other general managers in the Texas-based Alamo Draft House chain, and Berggoetz has submitted the film to the chain's corporate buyer.
And if that weren't enough, the attention The Worst Movie is getting is also attracting attention to Berggoetz's previous films, like To Die Is Hard, in which Berggoetz stars as an action-hero English teacher fighting a murderous posse of office-supply highjackers -- a side benefit that has seen its own bizarrely opportune twist of fate.
"I was stupid about To Die Is Hard, and I sold lifetime rights to it to our distributor, Trillian," Berggoetz recounts, "but we got the rights back because Trillian just went out of business, and I had a distributor get ahold of me interested in that one, too."
It might not be long, then, before To Die Is Hard and The Worst Movie EVER! are everywhere, but one place The Worst Movie has not been so far is Denver -- and that's about to change. The flick gets its Denver premiere tomorrow night at the Oriental Theater at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $11.84. "It's kind of the same deal as the Sunset 5," Berggoetz says, "where if this screening does well, then we'll do screenings like once a month." Beforehand, show up for a pre-party at 5:45 p.m. at Tastes Bistro, just around the corner at 4267 Tennyson Street.
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And if you're wondering, just by the way, how the Denver premiere at the Oriental came about, here's how: "[Oriental manager] Scott LaBarbera e-mailed me out of the Blue," Berggoetz says. "He said, 'Hey, I just read an article on the Westword website; I can't believe you guys haven't been shown in Denver.' So it was absolutely a direct result of the article you wrote."
Well, it's nice to know we're doing something right.