When we heard that Francis Ford Coppola
's gothic mystery movie, 'Twixt,' was going to be interactive (and feature a live performance) at Comic-Con, we expected something along the lines of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,' with live actors or audience participation.
What we got instead was an extremely disorganized "dress rehearsal" where the brilliant but eccentric director played scenes at random and showed the same footage over and over again in his version of a "live" movie, over which he intoned the word "Nosferatu." (Musician-actor Tom Waits
, who narrates the film, wasn't on hand.)
The only enjoyable surprises from this glitchy demonstration came via the audience -- one fan held up a sign asking Val Kilmer
, "Will you be my huckleberry?" after thanking him for his work in 'Tombstone.' Now, that was fun. The demonstration, not so much. Where's a moderator when you need one?
The panel began well enough, with Edgar Allan Poe masks on every seat (the character appears in the film to guide a mystery writer played by Kilmer). Those masks ended up being 3D glasses for the one 3D sequence in the footage. Coppola advised us when to put the masks on and that we might want to hang onto them as they'll likely become collectibles, like the programs handed out for 'Apocalypse Now.'
The film focuses on a local sheriff named Bobby Lagrange (Bruce Dern), who suggests that Hal Baltimore (Kilmer) investigate a decades-old mass murder and a wave of wooden-stake murders in the 'Twin Peaks' like small town. He also has his own theory of the murders: A vampire execution machine. And he's got a working model of it -- in which a doll gets skewered -- that he happily demonstrates to Hal. Elle Fanning will also star in the film (according to EW
, she is part of one of the murders Kilmer is investigating).
Performance artist and musician Dan Deacon live-scored the randomly selected scenes and provided some welcome levity to the chaos. After the first glitch, in which nothing appeared on the big screen, Deacon joked, "The new age of cinema has begun!" He also urged the audience to "turn this into the first Edgar Allan Poe dance party" by putting on their Poe masks and dancing.
"Coppola is trying to capture something that's genuine and exciting about entertainment," noted Kilmer. The director himself explained that he's trying to capture the excitement audiences have on opening night of a movie: "There is a yearning for a little bit more of the live to be put back [into films]."
A build-your-own flick that would change depending on the audience seems interesting, but they've got a helluva lot of kinks to work out before they roll out a planned multi-city tour.
*First image courtesy of Getty
*Second image courtesy of EW