Every month on the second Sunday and fourth Monday from 7 - 10 p.m., the Acme Grub Cage in Tacoma is taken over by the Tacoma Cult Movie Club (TCMC). The objective: view the strangest nearly-forgotten films imaginable, pieces of cinema that would have faded into complete oblivion were it not for the fervent obsession people like TCMC co-founder the Reverend Colin-along with Tobin Ropes and Holland Hume-possess.
"We do a double feature based on a theme, along with shorts and trailers, and we put together about five different raffle packages," says Rev. Colin. "I pull [every film] out of my personal collection.... We've done all kinds of themes. Our very first one was a 'biker night.' Last year, we had a 'vampire night.' We've done 'prison night' a couple times, and those usually go over really well."
Films shown at TCMC range from straight-up exploitation movies, like the aforementioned prison films, to horror, sci-fi, fantasy and every bizarre forgotten genre under the sun. Not all of the films are outright terrible. On one of my visits to the Cult Movie Club-in honor of the remake of Clash of the Titans-we watched the original Clash, as well as Sinbad of the Seven Seas. But watching any of these movies, with a group of people, in a place where the liquor is freely flowing, is a fun and uniquely intimate experience. The size of the Acme Grub Cage furthers one's natural inclination to feel as though they're watching some crazy movie at home with a group of friends.
"We have some nights where everyone sort of watches the movies, and there might be a little bit of 'commentary,' shall we say," says Rev. Colin. "But then there are other nights when there are people yelling out throughout the majority of the night.... I can go either way on that."
As a matter of course, Rev. Colin keeps precisely what films will be shown a secret until their screening. All you receive in advance is a cryptically salacious postcard with a luridly pulpy cover to clue you in on what the theme will entail. These are not merely bad films, mind you. They've risen to a level outside of film, and exist as their own entity. They are cult movies, and they're dying to be unearthed.
Tacoma Cult Movie Club
Every second Sunday and fourth Monday, 7-10 p.m.
Acme Grub Cage, 1310 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma, 253.272.1892