Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

So every Tuesday I get together with my flatmate and a random assortment of other people to live-tweet a trashy movie with (usually) some kind of SF-nal flavouring. We’ve been doing it for over a year now and, due to some weeks off on account of work, finally clocked up our fifty-third film when we tweeted our way through Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Turns out this was a particularly fine choice of film, for all there are folks who wail when you label Bill and Ted as “trashy.” For starters, it turned out Kathleen Jennings had never seen this particular stain of late-eighties awesomeness, so we lured her along for the screening. For another thing, it’s one of those films that ’caused a whole bunch of the #TrashyTuesdayMovie regulars to fire up their DVD players and join in, which makes this the second time one of our movie hash-tags has done the trending thing.

Apparently, when #WyldStallyns trends, it results in a whole lot of people being very happy to see #WyldStallyns trending, even if they aren’t entirely sure why. Then there’s a lot of film quotes, and fond memories of the film. It makes me happy to think that all of these people went and rewatched Bill and Ted at some point this week (as opposed to the weeks when we watch, say, Zombie Lake, and I fear for the folks who find themselves curious as to the kind of film that can make me wish death upon an entire cast. FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY, DO NOT WATCH ZOMBIE LAKE).

My Flatmate rarely joins in with the tweeting, but being the kind of guy who has a curatorial bent he regularly maintains the results of the twitter stream over on a Trashy Tuesday Movie wiki. Mostly he achieves this by doing some arcane cut-and-paste of my twitter stream that I can’t quite follow, but it does mean we end up with things like this week’s stream preserved for posterity:

  • About an hour ’til tonight’s #TrashyTuesdayMovie. Join us as we follow Bill and Ted’s most excellent adventure through time #WyldStallyns
  • Its kinda scary how excited I am for this. #WyldStallyns #PartyOn pic.twitter.com/KUGsO13Cre
  • Full house this evening – @tanaudel and @PrimeSarahBlue have joined us for the #TrashyTuesdayMovie #WyldStallyns
  • I choose to start the movie…now #WyldStallyns
  • There is no more eighties beginning to a movie that to unleash Big Pig on the audience #WyldStallyns
  • It scares me that this is the film Keanu made *after* Dangerous Liaisons #WyldStallyns
  • I’m going to spend this film alternating between wishing Alex Winter would get a longer shirt and envying his abs #WyldStallyns
  • Man, when was the last time you heard teen slackers wishing they could get Eddie Van Halen on guitar #WyldStallyns #SoEightiesDude
  • Thanks to great leaders such as Genghis Kahn, Joan of Arc, and Socratic Method… #WyldStallyns
  • “Your final report really must be something special” Flatmate: I smell a whacky adventure coming on #WyldStallyns
  • [@tanaudel] So not used to Keanu not brooding #WyldStallyns
  • I still find myself wishing I had a copy of this movie’s soundtrack #WyldStallyns
  • Oh, George Carlin, you are too damn good for this movie #WyldStallyns
  • Digging the crazy special effects #WyldStallyns #SoDamnEighties
  • The fact that we’re in the future and don’t say goodbye with “Be Excellent to Each Other” disappoints me #WyldStallyns
  • “That’s Captain Ahab, dude.” Obviously they’re not failing English Lit #WyldStallyns
  • Aaah, the 80s where the threat of military school lived strong #WyldStallyns
  • I’m resisting the urge to answer every “Greetings, my excellent friends” with “Party On, Dude,” but only just #WyldStallyns
  • “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.” #WyldStallyns
  • Man, it took me so damn long to get the “69 Dudes” joke #WyldStallyns #IWasInnocentOnce
  • It’s sad that this was once a film with state of the art effects #WyldStallyns
  • Aparently Stephen Herek, who directed Bill & Ted, was also responsible for the ’93 Three Musketeers film, That explains a lot #WyldStallyns
  • Now wondering how this would’ve worked with the abolition of phone boxes & advent of smartphones #WyldStallyns
  • Man, when was the last time you had *multiple* Van Halen references in a film? #WyldStallyns
  • When given access to all space and time, the obvious answer is “go some place they won’t card you when buying beer” #WyldStallyns
  • It’s like the writers had, like, met teenagers, dude #WyldStallyns
  • It’s always the cowboys who bring a gun to a wedgie fight #WyldStallyns
  • “The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing.” “That’s us, dude.” “Oh yeah!” #WyldStallyns
  • How did it take me *twenty damn years* to buy this film on DVD? #WyldStallyns #SoFrickenGood
  • Socrates and Billy the Kid. Together, they acclimate to the 20th century and fight crime #WyldStallyns
  • “It’s a history report, not a babe report.” “Bill…those are historical babes” That’s why Ted’s the ladies man #WyldStallyns
  • I told @tanaudel she was the wrong age to be watching this for the 1st time. Judging by the giggling, I may have been wrong #WyldStallyns
  • One day, at a funeral, someone is going to bust out “Most non-triumphant. Don’t be dead, dude” in the speeches. #WyldStallyns
  • Man, how did we discount the possibility of using #MedievalDickweed as our hash tag this evening #WyldStallyns
  • Somehow, guys, I don’t think armor works like that #WyldStallyns
  • When they remake this film – and they will – it’ll be ruined by a series of really, really overt drug references #WyldStallyns
  • Other tags we could have used: #DukeOfTed #WyldStallyns
  • Also, #RoyalUglyDudes! #WyldStallyns
  • Is it deus ex machina when it’s not the end of the film, and one of the machina is Billy the Kid? #WyldStallyns
  • I think we’d all be more tolerant of call center operators if they busted out “Party on, dude” more often #WyldStallyns
  • Wondered why no-one has done the futuristic air-guitar scene as a flash mob. @PrimeSarahBlue accepted the challenge #WyldStallyns
  • Flatmate: That Napolean, you can’t take him anywhere. He wants all the ice cream. He wants all of Europe #WyldStallyns
  • That Socrates, such a show pony #WyldStallyns
  • My all-time favourite thing about this film? Joan of Arc is played by a member of the Go-Gos #WyldStallyns
  • Flatmate: The one thing you didn’t know about Jane Wiedlin (Joan of Arc)? She’s a dominatrix. Me: This film gets more awesome. #WyldStallyns
  • The guy who plays Napolean is kinda awesome #WyldStallyns
  • They may not pass history, but they can repair future-tech with chewing gum. What more do you want from your education? #WyldStallyns
  • The great brilliance of George Carlin is his ability to deliver straight lines that make Star Trek seems scientifically sound #WyldStallyns
  • [@StaceySarasvati] For some reason I always end up on twitter on Tuesday nights watching @Petermball watching bad movies.
  • I would buy the Joan of Arc work-out #WyldStallyns
  • Flatmate: Socrates is a pimp #WyldStallyns
  • Poor Ziggy. He just can’t compete with the pimping sandals #WyldStallyns
  • It will probably cause @kapowe to murder me, but I regard this as Al Leong’s finest film role #WyldStallyns
  • I really kinda pity the cop stuck questioning Freud #WyldStallyns
  • SAN DIMAS HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES! #WyldStallyns #HadToGoThere
  • “Our historical figures are all locked up and my dad won’t let ’em out.” #WyldStallyns
  • [@tanaudel] Ted’s basically a Wheel of Time heroine – sniff, toss hair, stamp #WyldStallyns
  • [@tanaudel] Time travel in advance. Smart. #WyldStallyns
  • One of the great disappointments in life is that there’s no hot riff when I do air-guitar #WyldStallyns #MovieSetsFalseExpectations
  • [?@TheBaronCB] There are moments in this movie where the effects of time travel are more complicated than Inception #WyldStallyns
  • It’s a very different experience watching this film with @PrimeSarahBlue. She gets the metal jokes the rest of us don’t #WyldStallyns
  • I posit this film is the platonic ideal of all future Keanu “Whoa’s” #WyldStallyns
  • So I’m curious – where did they get Gengis Khan’s weapon? #WyldStallyns
  • [@tanaudel] I think it’s been established it is impossible to have a plot hole in this film #WyldStallyns
  • [@alexadsett] Just a minor Oedipal complex #WyldStallyns
  • Four score and…seven minutes ago… #WyldStallyns
  • You have to give it to them – they celebrate their history report with some epic high-fiveing #WyldStallyns
  • Ted in a Hawaiian shirt just seems odd #WyldStallyns
  • Noooooo! It’s almost over #WyldStallyns
  • [@tanaudel] Oh! 80s prom dresses! My eyes!!! #WyldStallyns
  • All we’ve got left is one last moment of Rufus awesomeness and some flying V guitars #WyldStallyns
  • And that’s the #TrashyTuesdayMovie for this week. It was most excellent #WyldStallyns
  • Next week, we continue our series of Slacker SF films with Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. #TrashyTuesdayMovie
  • It always weirds me out whe the #TrashyTuesdayMovie hashtags start trending in Australia.

Why post about this now? Well, for one thing, we’re watching Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey on the 23rd. We’ll kick the movie off at 7:30 pm, Brisbane Time, and we’re always happy for people to come join us. Bogus Journey isn’t quite the slacker masterpiece of the first film, but it has…well, Death, for starters, and that makes up for a variety of ills.

For another thing, a year of Trashy Cinema has been pretty educational from a writing point of view. There’s been plenty of films that made me think, oh, god no, please never let me do that in a story, but just as many that are examples of how to do tricky things with a seemingly impossible premise and make them workable. Not always good, but good is an aesthetic construct anyway, and I tend to find that a lot of films that are thought of as “good” traditionally leave me cold (shakes fist at 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Because I like to share, some of the stuff I’ve picked up from these films is going to find its way here. Not immediately – right now my day-job devours free time like Galactus snacking on a convenient, nearby planet and I am focused on keeping my writing projects moving forward – but I figure they’ll be rolled out around June when things start to calm down.

  2 comments for “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

  1. Maggie Slater
    18/04/2013 at 8:15 PM

    The tweets about the film made me laugh so hard I cried. And now I may have to tune in for the 23rd. (Though, yikes, that's about 5:30AM for me, I think that is, and I'll have to get up for work *anyway*… What better way to wake up than to watch Death play Twister?)

  2. 18/04/2013 at 8:50 PM

    Yep. I've done this math with an online writing group a couple of times, and due to the weirdness of timezones, 7:30 Brisbane time usually ends up being 5:30 in the morning for the New Yorkers in the group.

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