Ye Gods! A Report From The Alamo Drafthouse YOUR HIGHNESS Event
And so it was with extreme pleasure we presented not just a free preview of YOUR HIGHNESS this past Monday night, but an eye-scorching TRIPLE FEATURE that included YOUR HIGHNESS and two ’80s classics that inspired it: THE SWORD OF THE SORCERER (1982) and KRULL (1984) — chosen, no less, by YH director David Gordon Green.
[caption id=“attachment_10985” align=“alignleft” width=“200” caption=“Wizard of all Alamo, Sword 'n' Sandal enthusiast, Tim League”]
With the packed house at Alamo South Lamar armed with Hobbit-sized play swords and feasting on medievally foods (turkey legs! meat pies! Minotaur balls & dangle!), the lights came down at 7:00pm. Heroic music played in the dark. And then, with a blinding magical flash (very nearly literally for him), Alamo Founder and CEO Tim League appeared on stage in full wizard gear. He regaled us with tales of growing up in the “golden age” of sword ‘n’ sandal films and then welcomed our guests of honor — director David Gordon Green and stars Danny McBride and Justin Theroux — to the stage. Then, some eager volunteers from the audience were recruited and pitted against said celebrity guests in a good old-fashioned mead-drinking contest. Even with slightly unfair odds against them, team Audience Volunteers totally blew away Team Celebrities — mostly because it was clear Mr. Green found the mead to be most foul.
With a mighty cry and some tiny sword-waving for a group photo, we kicked off our evening’s quest and forged onward into some vintage trailers and then the night’s first feature, THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER. This is the kind of movie that lived forever on late-night cable throughout the ’80s and likely melted many an adolescent male brain with it’s goopy special effects, topless slave girls, and three-bladed rocket-launcher sword — in other words, the perfect start to the evening.
[caption id=“attachment_10986” align=“alignright” width=“200” caption=“Program Wizard Zack hailing the night's "meatball"-eating contest winner”]
Next up, our second wizard host, Alamo Programmer Zack Carlson, took the stage and unveiled the most stomach-churning competition of the night: The Barbaric Feast!! Three audience members stood before the crowd and — coached by our esteemed/nauseated celebrity guests — raced to the end of a steaming plate of breaded meatballs. But here’s the catch: By “meatballs,” we mean the testicles of bulls. One sensitive warrior was unable to endure the high stakes of culinary heroism, but the remaining two powered forward into the Halls of Glory! Their stomachs full of beefy reproductive juices, they took their seats and peeled their eyeballs for the evening’s Main Event!
The trio of Green, Theroux and McBride provided a modest introduction for their feature. A few more swords n’ sorcery trailers set the fuse burning, and YOUR HIGHNESS hit the screen!
[caption id=“attachment_10987” align=“alignleft” width=“200” caption=“The boys hit the stage for the Q&A.”]
Now, it’s always a little nerve-wracking when you finally get to see that movie you’ve been excited to see for months. And, while we were pretty certain YOUR HIGHNESS would be at least pretty good (after all, the re-teaming of Franco, McBride and director Green after PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, how could it not be?) But, would it really live up to our expectations? Well, we can’t and don’t want to give away too much, so we’ll just say we weren’t disappointed. Sure, this is a movie filled with stoner jokes and filthy don’t-see-this-with-your-parents-or-children-humor (or do!), and it’s fun to watch on that level. But, YOUR HIGHNESS is foremost a righteous homage and NOT a parody of the genre — standing very solidly alongside the night’s other two features. And, while we loved the other guys and gals in the film (Mcbride, your bratty little brother charm; Franco, the goofy faces!), but Justin Theroux totally steals the show as the wizard Leezar.
[caption id=“attachment_10988” align=“alignright” width=“200” caption=“A young hero tears it up on the Krull video game”]
Afterwards, our guests returned to the stage for a rousing Q&A where they revealed the secrets of the Medieval Age, dark wizardry, Natalie Portman and explained how they got a major movie studio to release a film with so much minotaur penis in it. The audience was loaded with scathing and intelligent questions, which the YOUR HIGHNESS team fielded with wit and possibly drunken charm. Once the Q&A ended, David Gordon Green stayed behind to explain his appreciation of ’80s science-fantasy classic KRULL.
[caption id=“attachment_10989” align=“alignleft” width=“200” caption=“Behold, the "Minotaur Dangle & Balls"”]
Before the evening’s final feature began, a video game console was wheeled to the front of the auditorium, and a battle took place between a 10-year-old boy and a grown-ass man, each vying for the winning slot on the original Atari KRULL game! Though the adult was the victor, the wee berserker fought admirably and was ultimately rewarded with the prize: An incredibly dangerous triple-bladed throwing knife shaped like the mystical “glaive” weapon from the film. In fact, as far as we can tell, there’s no way to use it without tearing open your own wrist. Enjoy, junior!
Our last round of classic film trailers led into a massive 35mm screening of KRULL, a nostalgic favorite that pits apocalyptic creatures against shape-shifting sorcerers. Though most of the crowd snuck out like wimpy little pathetic milk-babies, all remaining were caught up in the relentless ’80s hysteria of this cable TV classic. By the evening’s end, our hearts were brimming with occultism, lazers, monsters, meat, alcohol and the knowledge that we’d all hidden the world from boring ol’ reality for one truly glorious night.