We have a 10:05am flight to Atlanta. Thankfully, DLB & I called a cab the night before (Pittsburgh is a great town, but their cab services suck!) and arranged to meet our driver downstairs at our hotel at 7:30. We toss our luggage into the back of the cab and are off to the airport, then to Atlanta.
Darren’s brother, Lance Luther, lives in Atlanta. We will be staying with Lance, his wife, and their 5 kids tonight, in what Darren calls his ‘brother’s mansion’. Luther Mansion is an hour outside of the city – so we are in for another expensive cab ride! Their home is located deep within a beautiful, labyrinthine private community with trees, lakes, and huge brick houses everywhere.
We arrive at the house where Lance greets us and gives us a tour. The place is phenomenal-looking: high ceilings, a home theatre that is more impressive than some of the theatres where we’ve screened REPO!, and an elevator – that’s right, an elevator! – that’ll transport you from floor-to-floor when you are too lazy to walk.
Apparently, Lance made a fortune on the stock market. He’s an absolute businessman, and as such, he and Darren couldn’t be more different. That said, Lance is completely down-to-earth, and so is his family. He also likes REPO! He saw our movie a couple of months back in Austin and is back for seconds tonight…but this time he’s bringing the Luther clan. Darren makes a joke about how if he had decided to direct a more commercial film than REPO! – as every one of his managers and agents were pushing him to do – that he would have been able to afford a house like his brother’s.
There are 2 guestrooms in Lance’s house: a “normal” guestroom, and the “princess” guestroom – his daughter’s former bedroom, which is decked out in Hello Kitty alarm clocks, lavender walls, and Jonas Brothers posters. Guess which room I get.
I lie down on top of the pastel comforter, on top of my princess bed for the night, and catch a bit of a nap before tonight’s screening. I am the big bad wolf. A half-hour later I wake up and hop in the shower. I am careful not to disturb the shelf of naked Barbie dolls that shower with me.
We meet downstairs at 5:30pm. The Luther family, as well as their daughter’s music teacher, are joining us for a pre-screening dinner. I am asked to autograph a GraveRobber flyer for one of Lance’s kids who sends his big sis to ask because he is too shy.
We drive to a fancy restaurant where we sit around a large table. The night’s specials are described to us in over-annunciated detail by our flamboyant server – imagine a black version of George Takei. He seems like the perfect candidate for REPO! so we invite him to the screening. He proceeds to tell us about his love for musical theatre, quoting lines from TOMMY and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.
It’s a little after 8:00pm. We finish our meals and take off to the theatre. Darren & I make a stop at Rite Aid to get some silver signing Sharpie’s. We’ve been burning through at least 2 of these pens a night each and we don’t want to be caught empty-handed tonight.
We arrive at the Plaza Theatre just before 9:00pm. I look up at the theatre’s marquee and see “REPO” sandwiched in between 2 of my favorite films, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and THE BIG LEBOWSKI. If I may say, that “REPO” really tied the sign together!
It’s cold outside, really cold, but REPO!’s fans are already lined up, starting in the lobby, extending out the doors, and wrapping around the plaza’s parking lot. We take photos with some of the fans, including folks dressed as Scalpel Sluts, Zydrate Addicts, surGENs, and a Pavi who repeatedly grabs my butt. There is also a whole section of Steampunk aficionados, a subculture whose wardrobe mixes Victorian garb with techno elements that look steam-powered.
Also in attendance are prominent REPO! board members, Michael “MAGneticAttraction and Amanda “LifeLongFling”, who have traveled to see us in Austin and Vegas, and who are now friends of ours. Amanda got a REPO! tattoo on her ankle in Vegas during REPO!’s premiere: two intersecting Repo Man scalpels and the words “I remember”. She asks me to take a picture with her tattoo. I get down on one knee and lick it.
Will Weyer, Repo-Opera.com’s webmaster, is also at the screening. He is there with his lovely girlfriend, Betsy. Even though Darren and I have been working very closely with Will this past year (Will also made my website!), this is the first time that the 3 of us have met. It’s nice to finally put a face to the voice on the other end of the receiver.
It’s a little after 10:00pm when Darren & I introduce the movie. This crowd is a little quieter than some of the past RT nights. This could be because our introduction is also a little less enthusiastic; we are both really tired. We walk next door to an adjacent bar and Darren tells me that he’s not sure if he can make it through another 2-hour signing session following the film.
We head back into the theatre at the end of the movie. The once reserved crowd has left the building: the entire audience is erupting in applause. We conduct a high-spirited Q & A, then venture into the lobby to sign posters, take pictures, etc. The energy in the room gives Darren and I our second winds.
At the end of the night, a fan offers to buy us a drink next door. We accept. Will and Betsy join us. We all toast, finish our mugs, and then Darren & I hop in a cab with Lance and head back to Lance’s home. Our cab driver is an interesting fellow: a white boy rapper type, who makes a few off-color comments. We are too tired to really care.