Author, Ricardo Santiago Rodriguez, transcending the movie-going experience at Mondo Baltimore.
By Ricardo Santiago Rodriguez
Ever watch a movie so horrible the only thought running through your head is, “I need to make everyone else watch this too”? Many of us want to share a terrible experience with the people around us for entertainment. In 1988, a show called “Mystery Science Theater 3000” gained popularity by hosting cringe-inducing films. One reason for its success stemmed from the entertaining commentary drizzled throughout the movie. Imagine that.
Mondo Baltimore started in 2009 in a basement full of friends watching a horrendous feature. One made the comment of making this a social event to share around the community, and the group of friends not only agreed, but also put that answer into action. Setting up shop at The Windup Space on 12 W. North Ave., Mondo Baltimore is a free event that takes place every month highlighting a film decided by the council. The council is the original group of startup friends from the basement.
The first film ever shown by the council’s decision was “The Room” (2003). Ever since their first showing, it’s been gaining a community of B-movie fanatics. These events have also been popular among indie filmmakers with the students from arts campuses here in Baltimore. Mondo Baltimore has been successful enough to expand into larger venues including The Fringe Festival.
To keep events entertaining, great commentary and incredible hosts are required. Enter in Dr. Acula and Aurora Gorealis. Acula has been doing this from the start of it all, almost six years ago. Gorealis is a newcomer to the events. Conquest was her second hosting appearance. Acula and Gorealis have been friends for many years. They once co-stared in a film called “Call Girl of Cthulhu” (2014), rated a 4.7 on IMDB. Both hosts bring amazing characters and charisma to the stage. The hosts not only make the beginning of the movie enjoyable, but the intermission as well with challenges for the audi- ence. Now the hosts are only partly responsible for the fun. It also falls on audience participation, which is highly encouraged in the show.
The audience is not just allowed, but encouraged to have fun during the entire event. True to form, hosts gave a brief synopsis of the film with great comedic lines about the making of the film. The film was rushed and confusing, contained a non-linear storyline, and the camera seemed constantly blurred. This led to everyone laughing at this golden turd.
Cracking jokes at every scene of the film, drinking with friends while making new ones, Mondo Baltimore brings many communities together. As Dr. Acula has said, “Mondo is based more for the community, like finding that gem of insanity.”
For more information, check out their Facebook page. Search for Mondo Baltimore.
Special thanks to Dr. Acula, Aurora Gorealis, Shawn, and Mark for letting me interview them on this incredibly entertaining event.