THE CULT TV SERIES HITS 'ROCKY
By SARA STEWART
September 16, 2006 -- CALL it the Buffy Horror Picture Show. At midnight tonight at the IFC Center, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans will resurrect their beloved show with a theatrical screening of the episode "Once More With Feeling."
The hourlong musical, broadcast in 2001, was written and directed by "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon, and is generally regarded by fans as one of the all-time best in the show's seven-season run.
"It's very much like 'Rocky Horror,'" says Clinton McClung, who started the Buffy singalong at a cinema he ran in Brookline, Mass. "You're welcome to shout back at the screen. The crowd sings all the songs - everyone who loves 'Buffy' knows all these songs by heart. They blow the roof off the theater."
Audience favorites include "They Got the Mustard Out," a Busby Berkeley-style ode to dry cleaning, and "Under Your Spell," a lesbian love song that ends with a suggestive lyrical climax - enhanced by party-popper noisemakers distributed by McClung before the show.
To warm up the crowd, McClung shows other memorable "Buffy" moments: "I turn down the screen volume, and get a couple to re-enact a painful love scene between Buffy and Angel," he says. "And I get people to come up onstage and do their best Anya impression."
But what of those audience members unschooled in "Buffy" lore? Will they be welcome? Or will they be brought onstage to be taunted, a la "Rocky Horror" virgins?
"I would say 90 percent of people know this episode," says McClung, "but every time, someone brings a friend who's never seen the show. They're not gonna know what the characters are going through, but the energy is really infectious."
If this weekend goes well, McClung, who's relocated to New York, says he'll take it one step further: "I'm going to see if I can build a permanent cast," he says. "Make the show bigger and bigger."