Arts/Activities - The Wrong Film Club

Who doesn't love the guilty pleasure of mocking your way through an absolute stinker of a movie?! Well, now you can do it in a cinema setting with absolute impunity, and enjoy the heckles of like-minded viewers!

The Wrong Film Club's philosophy is to break all the rules of the cinema. There is no reverential silence, no shushing inconsiderate people who feel the need to discuss the film as it's showing, no tutting at loud rustling of sweet wrappers. Instead, the audience is encouraged to berate, mock, and heckle the film as much and as loudly as possible. The only real rule is, if you see something wrong with the film, you tell everyone, and loudly!

The Wrong Film Club started when Lee Ashcroft organised a showing of legendary bad film The Room at the Arts Centre back in 2014. He was keen to do something different with the screening and had in mind something like the atmosphere of a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. So he wrote and performed a running commentary for the film to try and ease the potentially unfamiliar audience into participation - like the extras you sometimes get on DVDs, but much more irreverent! The response was overwhelmingly positive, and The Wrong Film Club was born.

At the Queen Street Brewhouse last year Lee was given the freedom to play around with a few ideas about the structure of a screening, and began developing his own unique voice within the relative safety net of a small audience. 

Lee encourages the audience to take part by providing his own running commentary on the film, but he admits that he's more than happy to take a back seat when the audience find their voice, especially if it’s funnier than his! And the Wrong Film community has started to make their own running jokes  - for example, any time a film demonstrates an underlying misogyny, the audience scream at the screen, “Because you’re a woman!” (A phrase we will no doubt hear a lot whenever Showgirls is shown!)

While the Brewhouse were excellent hosts, at the end of 2016 Lee felt it was time to expand the scope of the club and Firstsite stepped up. Lee is enthusiastic about the time, space and support they have offered him to develop the concept, and cultivating a community without the immediate pressures of trying to sell hundreds of tickets from the word go. So it looks like the club is settled for 2017.

Lee plans on screening two seasons a year, on the penultimate Thursday of each month between March-June and September-December. The current season starts this Thursday with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie - fantastic timing, as the reboot is released the next day!

The evening will open with live comedy from local award-winning, certified nerds Rob Saunders and Thom Barrett. This will be a feature of every screening, as each film will be accompanied by other live elements, whether that be stand-up comedy, music, performance art or live trailers. 

The Wrong Film Club has plans to screen as part of Colchester Pride in August, and they are also organising The Eurovision Wrong Contest for Saturday, 13 May, where Lee will be joined by a panel of comedians and artists to provide a live, improvised take on Eurovision. Imagine Terry Wogan with lashings of misanthropy, next to anarchic live performances, and you’re part of the way there. 

So, if you're up for having a good ol' piss-take at the films we love to hate, get yourself down to Firstsite on Thursday and join in the heckling! All the details, timings and contacts on our Events Listings.