This past Saturday, October 17th, I attended my second year of Spike TV’s annual Scream Awards. Not only did I attend, but I had been hand-picked by the casting director to sit front row center for the show! As a fan-focused awards show, it’s much more enjoyable being seated amongst JJ Abrams, Karl Urban, Elijah Wood and Woody Harrelson. My favorite personal surprise of the evening came when the Best Science Fiction Actress nominees were being announced. I cheered (maybe a little too loudly for my girlfriend’s tastes) for Eliza Dushku when her name was announced, only to discover she was sitting right in front of me. She turned around and flashed me her lovely smile. Good thing my girlfriend isn’t the overly-jealous type.
As for the show itself, it seems as though the winners have already been leaked online, and the best surprises have been revealed, even on Spike’s own website. So keep in mind there be spoilers here.
Starting off the show was the “Most Anticipated Movie” award. I’m sure everyone there was utterly surprised by the winner. After a black and white checkerboard “red” carpet, and a Wonderland-esqe stage design, who would have guessed it would be Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland?
In all seriousness though, having Johnny Depp there was very cool. After his extremely brief appearance at the San Diego Comic Con panel this summer, I half-expected that to be his only appearance for this show. Thankfully I was wrong and he came back onstage one more time to present the Rock Immortal award to Keith Richards. Johnny was very gracious on his way up to the small center stage, shaking hands with many of us in the pit next to the stage. Keith Richards was very spry on stage, bounding up the steps to receive his award from his former on-screen “son.” Johnny reiterated the old axiom that after the End of the World, “all that will be left are cockroaches… and Keith Richards”. Take that, Nancy Reagan!
Megan Fox, as I’m sure you all have already heard around the net, was apparently trying to smooth things over with Michael Bay. Here’s her speech:
“I would like to take this moment to actually say something genuine. There have been a lot of false reports concerning how I feel about this movie and I just want to be very clear that I’ve always felt that I am a very ordinary part of an extraordinary film. These movies took me out of obscurity and they gave me a career and I am completely grateful to everyone involved with this franchise. I don’t know why you guys keep voting for me for these things. I don’t feel like I deserve them but thank you and I love you so much, thank you.”
At first, it seemed as though she was setting us up for a SNL-style gag. I thought we’d see her then jokingly refer to Jennifer’s Body, since she never once uttered the names Transformers or Michael Bay. But then, after the disappointing box-office on Jennifer’s Body, it’s no surprise she wants to be a part of Transformers 3. Her speech did sound genuine, it just sounded odd not hearing either name.
Vampires and Werewolves were very well represented this year, from stand-out series True Blood, to the new movie Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. But judging by the cheers, it was Twilight that had the best reception. Representing the franchise was Taylor Lautner, star of the upcoming The Twilight Saga: New Moon. The footage shown to us was more behind-the-scenes than actual movie footage. After Depp and Lautner, my girlfriend had all but forgotten my earlier Dushku encounter.
Harrison Ford presented the Best Director award to JJ Abrams. It would be exceedingly cool to see these two Hollywood titans do a project together. I wonder if having Ford in the next Star Trek movie would cause some kind of mass nerd head-explosions? William Shatner was also present at the show. He practically begged JJ to be in the next movie. I would have given anything to have been a fly on the wall of that green room! Just imagining Shatner and Ford having drinks and talking shop, I’m reminded of a line from Free Enterprise. When the young character in that movie complains that a kid at school “said that Han Solo was cooler than Captain Kirk”, Shatner, playing himself, remarked “kick the little f&@ker’s @$$”. Seriously though, it would be pretty mind-blowing to see Ford play a Trek villain.
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The final farewell to the cast of Battlestar Galactica was worth seeing, even if a few notable cast members were missing. They received a very long standing ovation as they descended the stairs from the rear of the theater after exiting a Cylon Raider. Grace Park’s joke got quite a few people to react where I was sitting. I won’t spoil it here but it was cute. Edward James Olmos professed an awful lot of love for the fans. Of course at Comic-Con, that love only cost $75 for an autograph and a photo op this summer. All kidding aside, he was very enthusiastic in leading the crowd in BSG’s mantra “so say we all” several times.
Quentin Tarantino presented the Scream Mastermind award to George A Romero. His exuberance for Romero left no doubt that he’s honestly a fan. But even cooler than that was after the show wrapped, Tarantino took a few minutes to chat briefly and shake hands with the fans in the crowd.
Ending the show this year was Tobey Maguire, who presented the Comic-Con Icon award to Stan Lee. Aside from his new banter, Lee gave pretty much the same speech as last year about how comics have come a long way in terms of their acceptance. He also asked Sam Raimi, who was in the crowd, to give him a much larger role in the next Spider-Man movie. Tobey took the time to shake a few hands as well, and was very cool.
As much as I enjoyed this year’s show over 2008’s, there were a few things I noticed. There were no musical performances this year (not counting the Creepshow theme piano-playing ghoul for George A Romero’s tribute). Last year had the Smashing Pumpkins and Kerli. If taking out the musical acts helped pave the way for the bigger and better guests this year, then I won’t miss them next year either. But the one slight I noticed was regarding Joe Hill. As a nominee for Best Comic Book Writer on the website poll, his name was not mentioned at the show. It’s a shame too, he’s really one to watch for, as his father is none other than Stephen King. Maybe Spike can edit it back in during post. It was also a bit disappointing that Hugh Jackman was unable to be there in person, but at least he taped an acceptance speech for his award.
After a fantastic 2008, I was worried that there was no way 2009’s Scream Awards could come close. This year blew away all of my expectations and I’m already eagerly anticipating the 2010 Scream Awards!