[Last year, before we launched FRC, we forced guest contributor Libby Cudmore to watch a bunch of lousy Christian films against her will. As a coping mechanism, Libby has devised a party game for enduring one of those films, The Identical, now available on Netflix. Enjoy! — Ed.]
Of all the movies I saw last year, The Identical was, by far, the one that stuck with me the most. (Well, that and Let’s Be Cops, but my doctor says the next round of electroshock should take care of that.) It was such a bizarre spectacle that I dubbed it “the spiritual successor to The Room.”
There’s something strange and wonderful about the awfulness of this movie, which follows Ryan Wade (professional Elvis impersonator Blake Rayne) on a quest of identity via the hysterically shitty music of hip-shakin’, oddly-named, totally-not-Elvis Drexel Helmsley (also Rayne). It tries its darnedest to be deep, to say something about the meaning of life and God’s plan for us all, while failing on even the most basic levels of logic, storytelling and historical context.
In fact, it’s so terrible that the only way to survive it is by joining together to mock it mercilessly, à la The Room. But no Room party would be complete without food, props and things to yell at the screen, so I invite you to find a copy of The Identical at your nearest Redbox or streaming site (Amazon and Netflix both have it), grab some Dr. Peppers and clear your furniture, because you are going to dance, dance dance, everybody.
COSTUMES: This movie takes place between the 50s and 70s, so grab that poodle skirt left over from your high school’s production of Bye Bye Birdie, or just throw on the weirdest combination of oversized patterns, gold lame, and maybe that huge leather trenchcoat you think makes you look badass. Make sure to provide a fake beard for each guest.
FOOD & DRINK: Southern food. Fried chicken, collard greens, mashed potatoes, maybe some sort of horrifying gelatin dessert. Whiskey and plenty of it. Dr. Pepper too.
TECH: You will also need the iMenorah and lighter apps, or a real lighter if you’re not scared of burning your apartment down. You may want to have a Bible app on hand as well, and PRIZES for winners of the mini-games.
Timecodes are included, but encourage your guests to riff out loud and often.
00:00:00 — Open with a prayer. This is a religious movie, after all, so maybe something like, “Dear God, please let everyone in this film make better life choices.”
00:01:30 — When Drexel Helmsley (Rayne) is having his flashback, try your hardest to turn black and white.
00:05:09 — When Rev. Wade (Ray Liotta) tells the entire tent revival about his wife’s failing lady parts, pause the film so that everyone can share one embarrassing secret.
00:06:00 — Name three good Ray Liotta movies. This should keep everyone busy for the remainder of the film. Remember that time he tried to murder a hooker in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For? Just kidding, no one saw that movie.
00:12:40 — Everybody gets baptized! The host gets to throw water at all participants.
00:13:20 — MINIGAME: Recite all the books of the Bible. Whoever can name the most wins a prize!
00:14:00 — Everyone recite the most ridiculous Bible verse you can find. I recommend Leviticus 15:23. “On the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons … for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness.”
00:15:25 — Every time you see a portrait of Jesus on the wall, yell “Jesus!”
00:16:09 — Hold a beer weird, the way Seth Green does.
00:17:55 — When Rev. Wade asks if you’re lying to him, tell him a lie. “This is an excellent movie,” for starters.
00:18:40 — Dance, everybody! Ryan Wade commands it.
00:19:45 — Steal a (matchbox) car. Race to see who can get across county lines/bathroom door first!
00:22:49 — When Ryan takes the stage, turn on the captions. Dance and sing along to “Boogie Woogie Rock ‘n’ Roll!”
00:27:30 — GUYS ONLY: Awkwardly dance to “Dontcha Just Walk on By.”
00:27:53 — ATTENTION! Salute!
00:29:00 — Sing along to “BeBoppin’ Baby.”
00:31:45 — Whenever you hear the word “carb” (short for “carburetor”) or see someone polishing one, drink.
00:35:43 — Sing along to “Your Love’s Keepin’ Me Tonight.”
00:51:11 — Sing along to “Sunrise Surfin’.”
00:52:26 — Symbolically light your iMenorah and hold it aloft during Rev. Wade’s sermon on Israel. Do not expect it to make any sense.
00:57:34 — When the MC asks, “Are You Ready To Rock?” answer him honestly. Now drink.
1:00:39 — Second sing along to “Your Love’s Keepin’ Me Tonight.” Hold up your lighters!
1:03:05 — Stand up and clap! Make sure to show the “Fist of Rock.”
1:05:55 — Sing along, “Nashville Tonight/Gypsy Man.” Ladies, scream!
1:16:15 — Everyone shake your drink – BUT DO NOT SPILL – to symbolize the plane crash.
1:16:45 — Fall down.
1:17:00 — Put on your fake beard.
1:26:30 — Crack open a cold Dr. Pepper. Drink.
1:28:30 — Slowly and dramatically remove the fake beards.
1:37:10 — MINIGAME: Lighters aloft! Sing along during “City Lights.” Put your hands in the air! And leave them up as long as you can. The last person standing wins a prize!
Congratulations! You have successfully watched The Identical! Please leave your fake beards at the door.
Libby Cudmore is the author of The Big Rewind, forthcoming from William Morrow in 2015. She can quote Sin City start to finish and makes a pretty good hotdish.Liked This? Share It!