Last night we packed the house at Jumpcut Cafe in Studio City as 18 teams with 4 people each jammed in alongside each other to compete at the highest possible levels of nerdy trivia. Jumpcut has been hosting the wildly successful Dead Right Horror Trivia for the last year, and they reached out to us because they wanted to expand their trivia possibilities. Armed only with Wikipedia and a deep sense of cruelty, I designed seven rounds of trivia; our own Brian Collins designed one as well.
I won't lie - I was worried coming out the gate. I led with the toughest category, one called "Universal Horrors." That means it was, of course, about aliens and space. I heard some grumblings in the crowd, but pretty soon things turned around with categories like "Call The Script Doctor" (match the screenwriter with the movie on which they did uncredited work) and "Cinema Critters" (sample question: "Sam Fuller directed the movie WHITE DOG. What made that dog so special?"). Another worksheet round of which I was particularly proud: "You Ghana Drive Me Crazy," where teams had to decode what movies were being advertised in nine different hand-painted Ghana movie club posters. Imagine this poster with the title and the logline gone and you get a sense of what the round was like:
It was a competitive night, with multiple teams jockeying for position. At one point Keep The Change You Filthy Animals was winning, while SETEC Astronomy made a damn strong showing. Brian's round was all Die Hard trivia, but written in riddle form by Simon Gruber from Die Hard With A Vengeance (he even read some of them in a Jeremy Irons voice!). But it all got upended in the final round, "Survey Says." I had reached out to the Badass Digest community with some questions, and the teams had to guess the top five answers to each question. The results were, like Family Feud, weighted, so if you guessed the top answer you got more points. This made the final round something of a wildcard - even teams that were far behind could hope to catch up here. (It also made scoring a nightmare and resulted in us sitting around for a half hour while the steadfast and lovely Lindsay Maher of the accounting firm Warpe, Wistfull, Kubitschek and McMingus tallied the weighted scores)
When it was all said and done we had a tie - SETEC Astronomy and The Lone Rangers were both in first place (last place was The Shanks, who won a set of Labor Day aprons from our good friends at Paramount). The tie breaker brought one member of each team to the front to buzz in; they had to give me the best answer to the survey question: "What was the best kill in the FRIDAY THE 13th franchise?" SETEC rang in first but gave the answer "Kid pulled from the window onto the car from Part IV" which was clearly not only wrong, it wasn't even in the top five. The Lone Rangers handily took the game by answering the #1 survey response: sleeping bag against the tree from Friday the 13th Part VII.
Here's the moment captured forever. You can see the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat all in this one shot:
Prizes were provided by Drafthouse Films, who donated Blus of their movies for the top three winning teams, Shut Factory, Lionsgate, Sony and Paramount. We couldn't have done it without our partners, especially Elric and the staff of Jumpcut - who competed, it should be noted. And did not win anything.
We'll be back again next month, so get your teams ready. We'll have a sign up in a few weeks; this one filled up FAST, so I expect it to fill up quickly next time. You'll get a proper warning.
Here are the survey results - well, at least the questions I used. I held some back for next time. A big congratulations to Laura Moran, who won the $25 gift card for submitting survey answers.
Most Underrated Hitchcock Movie
5. The Trouble With Harry
5. Ocean's 11
4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
3. The Departed
2. The Fly
1. The Thing
Best Non-Superhero Comic Book Adaptation
5. Road to Perdition
4. American Splendor
3. Ghost World
2. Scott Pilgrim vs The World
1. A History of Violence
Favorite Action Movie Heroine
5. Hit Girl
4. "Charly" Baltimore
3. Sarah Connor
2. The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo
1. Ellen Ripley
Best Non-Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger Role
5. Conan The Barbarian
4. True Lies
3. Total Recall
1. Kindergarten Cop
Best Movie Spaceship
5. Slave 1
3. USS Enterprise (we counted all variations as one)
2. Discovery One
1. Millenium Falcon
And the weirdest one: Fuck/Marry/Kill. There was one top combination, and teams had to figure out what it was:
Fuck: The Man With No Name
Marry: Philo Beddoe
Kill: Dirty Harry
Thanks to all the players who came out and put up with a long, shaggy show. We learned a lot on the job and next month it will go smoother and better and be even more fun!