Is THE FINAL GIRLS - that deliriously fun (and surprisingly sweet) ode to 80s slasher movies - in the midst of becoming a modern day midnight movie? Surely, such a recent feature can't wear the crown of "cult classic" so soon. But if we look at the developing evidence, it may appear that it's already beginning to enjoy a second life on the Midnight Movie circuit, less than a year after its release.
A few days ago, director of THE FINAL GIRLS Todd Strauss-Schulson wrote me to alert me to the fact the film enjoyed a successful midnight screening in San Francisco last weekend courtesy of drag queen celeb Peaches Christ; the kind of boisterous, crowd-oriented celebration we associate with THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW or THE ROOM. Now, this coming weekend, Strauss-Schulson's movie will be shown at NYC's Sunshine Theater, with the director in attendance along with star Alia Shawkat. Are these just the first steps toward THE FINAL GIRLS becoming a Midnight Movie mainstay?
Here are Todd's thoughts on the matter, sent exclusively to us:
When we made Final Girls we were really trying to make the kind of movies we loved as kids. The movies that make you want make movies. I remember being thirteen and raiding the West Coast Video next to my apartment and just having my mind blown by films like Delicatessen, Army of Darkness, Hudsucker Proxy, All That Jazz, Lair of the White Worm, Tommy, Kentucky Fried Movie, El Topo and Amazon Women on the Moon... But in this age of streaming and bingeing superhero civil wars, the theatrical life of Final Girls came and went and made me sad. But what's so cool is that this movie seems to be having an afterlife at Midnight Screenings across the country. Cult status is in many ways so much more meaningful than a big box office weekend: it means people really love the movie, and they tell their friends, and it lives on for much longer. I feel so much gratitude for the fans who are adopting this movie, talking about it and passing it around -- finding it in the same way I found El Mariachi when I was a kid and someone handed me a VHS promising it would blow my mind. In some circuitous and completely accidental way, we ended up making a movie that can hang with the movies that made us want to be a filmmakers in the beginning -- the movies that i never even realized were "cult" movies -- but were.