I don’t know if you caught last night’s 2009 Scream Awards on Spike TV last night. But if you didn’t, then you missed out on one of the strangest parades of Hollywood back-patting ever staged. For those unfamiliar with this new heir to the Oscars and the Golden Globes, the Scream Awards are ostensibly all about celebrating the best in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror on both the big and the small screen. And just to show that the event is even cooler than the MTV Movie Awards, the categories honor such superlatives as Best Horror Movie, Best Villain, and my personal favorite, Most Memorable Mutilation Scene.
Perhaps fittingly, the show kicked off with two little blonde, pigtailed girls standing onstage in little sundresses. A little cute, a little eerie. But eerie won out when one of them pulled out a shiny steel knife and slashed her own throat and arterial spray jetted out of the other one’s neck. Yes, it was going to be that kind of show. The camera cut away to the audience who were all in their teens and twenties dressed in zombie make-up and Pinhead costumes and general goth fetish attire. No seat-fillers or gifting suites needed for this crowd.
The first celeb presenter was Jessica Alba, who presented the Most Anticipated Fantasy Film Award, which was essentially an excuse to show trailers of New Moon and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. When Alice won, Johnny Depp came out onstage in a fedora and shades to awkwardly accept a statuette for a movie that wasn’t even completed yet. Next up, Justin Long, who got off a good one-liner: “I have to follow Johnny Depp?…I feel like Richard Grieco.” That was the closest to Noel Coward the night would get. Long made a few sexual double-entendres about Princess Leia and the three-boobed lady in Total Recall and then presented the award for Best Sci-Fi Actress. I’ll save you the suspense. It was Megan Fox, who strutted out in a red dress to the hair metal anthem “Cherry Pie” (you stay classy, Scream Awards).
Fox, I suppose, made news by denying that she has ever seriously bad-mouthed the Transformers movies, which may have been a smart career move. She actually seemed humble and grateful. Good for her.
Then John C. Reilly delivered some scripted Vampire’s Assistant banter with his costars from the film and gave out the award for Female Break-out Performance, which went to the other Transformers hottie, Isabel Lucas. But I couldn’t help thinking how much cooler it would have been had the award gone to her fellow nominee Lorna Raver, who played the old gyspy hag in Drag Me to Hell. Kate Bosworth waltzed out and announced the Best Villain, which was Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood. Christina Ricci served up the Breakout Male Performance: Taylor Lautner from Twilight, edging out the other Taylor, Taylor Kitsch. As I’m sure you can tell, the Scream Awards were all about the stars of tomorrow. Only in this arena could presenters like Alba and Bosworth and Ricci be seen as Old Hollywood.
I have to admit I tuned out a bit when Dave Navarro and Eliza Dushku presented the Best Comic Book Writer. But I was snapped awake again when Quentin Tarantino walked out in a black and red polka-dotted silk kimono, looking like the auteur version of Steven Seagal, or a 21st century Dr. No. But you have to hand it to QT, he got the crowd riled up for the show’s tribute to zombie maestro George A. Romero.
Jackie Earle Haley introduced the Best Horror Actress Award to True Blood’s Anna Paquin, who was a long ways away from the 1994 Oscars, where she won for The Piano. Harrison Ford – yes, that Harrison Ford – made fun of his some of the lamer movies on his resume and seemed genuinely touched that all of the goth kids in the audience knew who he was. He presented Best Director to Star Trek’s J.J. Abrams. Then the cast of The Big Bang Theory came up to give a Battlestar Galactica tribute. But they were all out of character and the only one who still looked like their nerdy TV alter ego was Sheldon (bless him). Liv Tyler presented Best Horror Actor to Stephen Moyer from True Blood. And then Eli Roth and Jaime King, who could be A-listers only in this setting, gave out the night’s most anticipated trophy: Most Memorable Mutilation Scene. And yes, they showed clips of them all – thank goodness for cable. Saw V’s pendulum hatchet contraption won by a landslide.
Depp returned to introduce Keith Richards, who got some sort of lifetime rebel award and mumbled a couple of unintelligible words before, I’m sure, going backstage to smoke. And then Dexter costar Jennifer Carpenter presented Best Horror Movie: Drag Me To Hell. I had seen Sam Raimi in the audience earlier in the evening and was happy to see him get something since he’d been snubbed in a number of earlier categories. After all, it’s one thing to go to the Oscars and walk away empty-handed. But the Scream Awards are a different kettle of fish altogether.
Elizabeth Mitchell came out and introduced some footage from V. True Blood won Best TV Show (Dexter was robbed….just one man’s opinion). Elijah Wood, looking appropriately elfin, announced the Best Fantasy Movie: Twilight, of course. Not surprisingly, there was then some new New Moon footage. Woody Harrelson was on hand to accept the Breakout Movie of the Year award for Zombieland. And then Morgan Freeman materialized to lend the show some gravitas in the homestretch for the Ultimate Scream Award: Star Trek. Strangely, William Shatner, who wasn’t in the film, accepted. There was a bit of riffing between him on stage and Abrams in the audience. I’m sure it was funnier in rehearsals. And finally, Tobey Maguire came out after the announcer actually said the following: “If you don’t know our next presenter, you can look him up on the web.”
Hardee-Har. Maguire gave an honorary award to Spider-man creator Stan Lee.
The whole thing zipped by, to be honest. And by the time it was over, I still didn’t have any idea really what the Scream Awards were. But would I watch them again? Well, let me answer that question with another question? Can you look up Tobey Maguire on the web?
Did you watch the Scream Awards? If so, what did you think of them?