Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Buffy Night at the Belfast Film Festival

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a must watch show for a lot of us who are now 20 somethings when we were growing up - the combination of apocalyptic supernatural danger, humour and a rather tasty cast was TV gold. So when the chance came up to indulge in some of the best of Buffy at the Black Box for the 2011 Belfast Film festival, we didn't need convincing to attend.

This was my second Belfast Film Festival event this year and the second at the same venue. The set up for this one was a little different to the first. Inside the Black Box the d├ęcor was the same as with the Rocky Horror event but there was a sign above the door which highlighted that we were heading into the Bronze - the hangout/bar of choice for the youth of Sunnydale or in this case the geekier side of Belfast.

The screen was 'dead centre' and the tables were all kitted out with bunny sweets and props for audience participation during the showing of the two Buffy episodes.

The first episode was 'Hush', a creepy episode from season 4 (that annoying series with the stupid Riley character and his pointless army men friends), an episode that was great for it's jumpy moments but most noteable for it's lack of dialog - the baddies take away everyones voices so that people can't scream when they rip out their hearts whilst they're still alive.

The second episode was the feature presentation so to speak. A firm fans favourite - Once More with Feeling aka Buffy the Musical - an episode from season 6.

Events got under way with an introduction to the night from our green faced, red horned host.

As I mentioned, 'Hush' was the first screening and it was even better up on the big screen than I remembered it from the small screen, saying that, the puke worthy beginning was even worse in big. Sloppy snogging noises... ewww. Anyways, the show was over very quickly but it was awesome and I was very much in the Scooby Gang frame of mind once again - like a time machine had taken me back a decade.

Between the showing of the dark, spooky, silent episode of 'Hush' and the contrasting bright, friendly, musical episode of 'Once More With Feeling' there was a Buffy quiz. One thing the episode hadn't done (that I could of done with) was to reset my brain to an earlier point when I would have known a few of the answers to the quiz. Thankfully, I was with two people who were not just relying on details from the shows they remembered from over a decade ago. The joy of DVD boxsets and the interwebs - combined with their inner geek - meant our team ended up in an 11 way tie break at the end of the night... d'oh! The tie break question was 'how many Churches are there in Sunnydale', we didn't win.

We all won though when it came to 'Once More With Feeling' - in a Rocky Horror type sing-a-long and with a list of audience participation events ranging from constantly yelling 'Shut up Dawn' at the screen when Dawn opened her mouth to throwing plastic cutlery at the screen when Buffy was does some training with Giles. The 'Shut up Dawn' had to be the most fun, after all Dawn was a really annoying character. Here is a full list we were provided with:

Letting off party poppers when Willow is successful in 'completing' Tara was a funny moment... especially when there was a premature popping somewhere behind us.

The sing along was fun too - I'm not one for singing myself as I know I can't sing in tune to save my life, but I know all the words to the soundtrack so gave it a bit of a go anyway... helped along by the room full of people also singing along.

We ended the show mimicking the 'Grr Argh' Mutant Enemy productions character (that became the famous ending post end theme tune to the show) with the paper versions provided - much fun!

It was great to see what really is a TV show up on a big screen, both episodes the organisers had picked really suited the cinema like showing. And like all good TV shows... this event has to be a cert for a rerun!


  1. Aww i really wanted to go to this but couldn't! so jealous. looked a lot of fun! x

  2. Norngirl was gutted to have missed it too but you never know, with it being such a success this year, maybe they might do it again next year? I really hope they do anyway!

    On a side note, it seems a few bloggers out there were heading to this. Such as Belfast Boy who was sat dressed up a few tables behind us! Small world :)



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