NEW TO VOD! If you’re a film geek, you’re probably no stranger to conversations peppered with scraps of movie dialogue and pop culture references that only you and your friends get. The dialogue in The Concessionaires Must Die!, written and director by America Young, are just like that. A group of youngish adults who work together at the Monarch, an independent theater, seem to exist in a cloud of film trivia, comic books, and superhero memorabilia. At first glance, the characters appear drawn from a stereotype of socially awkward youths who immerse themselves in movies and can’t get a date. But each one has a distinct personality and plays an important role in the somewhat predictable plot.
“…the concessionaires embark on a mission to save the movie palace from the corporate mega-chain.”
The Monarch is an old-fashioned single-screen house, one of a dying breed, that still shows cinematic chestnuts like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Willow, and Shawshank Redemption to a dwindling audience. It’s not long before the hallowed cinema is under attack from the evil empire — a multi-screen cineplex that’s about to open across the street. The cineplex is run by Jack Fisk (Dan Lauria) and his lame-brained, delusional son, Derek (David A. Cooper). The younger Fisk fancies himself a supervillain right out of the pages of Marvel Comics and occasionally lapses into Tourette’s-like rants against his enemies. Speaking of Marvel, Stan Lee, creator of the Marvel empire, makes a cameo appearance.
Derek holds a major grudge against Monarch projectionist Scott Frakes (David Blue) and makes it his mission to annihilate the smaller, funkier, and financially failing theater. Scott’s co-workers include RJ (Cosby Siringi), who lapses into hilariously awkward babble whenever the girl he has a crush on is near; Ashley (Talia Tabin), a cynical former child TV star whose career has crashed and burned; and Kira (Sarah Sweet), who seems perpetually one step behind the others. The Monarch’s owner, Gabby (Zakareth Ruben), has been offered a pile of cash to sell out to the overbearing Derek and his father, so the concessionaires embark on a mission to save the movie palace from the corporate mega-chain. The problem is that Scott can’t quite figure out exactly how the group aims to accomplish this. No matter, this spark pushes the plot forward.
"…good-natured dive into the world of movie geekdom."