LISTEN: Irate Viewer Leaves Death Threat For Director of Worst Movie EVER!
It's been a while since we checked in with the team behind The Worst Movie EVER! -- which is to say with Glenn Berggoetz, the actor/filmmaker/no-budget impresario whose gonzo epic set a record for box-office futility with an $11 opening. Things have been mostly looking up since then: There was a relatively well-received screening down in Virginia, and, according to Berggoetz, exhibition interest everywhere from a domestic TV syndicate to Brazil, Japan and beyond. But! There have been bumps along the road as well -- ugly, anonymous, death-threatening bumps.
I caught up with Berggoetz on Monday, inquiring about a voicemail apparently left by a man claiming that WME! moved him to debilitating, homicidal rage. "I want to physically kill you," he says shortly before flying off the handle about the "repulsive piece of filth" for which "I hope you die!" The caller, whose name and number were blocked, left the message on Sept. 23 -- likely after seeing it on TV, Berggoetz said, adding he made a deal placing WME! on a few stations in a test run for wider syndication. "That's the only place it's been shown in the last couple weeks," Berggoetz told me via e-mail. (Of course, there's always the option of watching it online for $5, which, let's face it, heightens the stakes dramatically.)
He forwarded the message to Movieline HQ, and we bring it you here (toggle CC on for captions; it's only NSFW insofar as it features a guy ranting about murder and death):
I was skeptical upon first listen, but Berggoetz said that this is just the most extreme example yet of the haters who have inveighed against WME! both publicly and in private.
"I've been utterly amazed at how people have responded to the film and the trailer," the Denver-based Berggoetz wrote in an e-mail. "If you go through the comments on YouTube, you might be amazed (I know I was) at how pissed off some people are at the film. And I received an e-mail from a guy who said he's also an independent filmmaker, and he's pissed at me because he has talent and has been overlooked, but I have no talent, and I'm getting a lot of attention.
"I've found that people are in either one extreme corner or the other with the film -- they either think it's the most hilarious thing they've ever seen, or they think it's the biggest piece of crap they've ever seen. So it goes. And those people who think it's crap have tended to get very angry over the film. All I wanted to do was make a film that made people laugh, that made their day more enjoyable, but some people out there seem to think my goal was to personally try to ruin their day, and they're not happy about it."
Sheesh. It's just a movie! The Worst Move EVER!, but still. Bonus for everyone in Los Angeles: The film will return this Friday, Sept. 30, for a weekend engagement at the Laemmle Sunset 5, the theater where it first achieved $11 notoriety last month. It lands in Denver on Oct. 5 at the Oriental Theater, then back at the Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester, Va., on Oct. 22. Please, everyone, no violence. And enough with the nasty calls, already, too.