Covid-19 vs. Lucien Greaves and a Really Good Film
2020 has been a very tumultuous year and for many, deadly. Covid-19 washed over the world like a raging stampede. Health regulations were not followed because political powers that be are tyrannical and apathetic and so, lives are being lost. Quarantine has helped save some lives but has also left most of us feeling very isolated. Enter, Lucien Greaves.
Near the end of March, with the lockdown starting to really get to folks, he started up “TST Movie Nights”. A few days later, the first KAST party would bring together Satanists from all over the world to watch a movie together and chat, online. All of a sudden, we weren’t totally alone.
For the average movie goer, TST Movie nights may be hectic and the movies themselves, bad – But those that ritually attend the affair, are not your average anything. They are Satanists who can see the true beauty in the alternative and strange side of cinema. From Neil Breen to Satanic Cheerleaders, TST Movie night really does have it all.
One of the most important takeaways from this all? Community. TST has a largely diverse demographic of members, many of whom frequent TST Movie Nights. For some, these nights would become a much anticipated part of their weekly ritual. Including myself!
I have my very own ritual when it’s movie night. I prepare my glass(s) of wine, pack a bowl and get comfortable. My wife joins me some nights and we will enjoy the films and chat together. I think I come to them more for the people that also attend, than the movies themselves. They really are enjoyable, regardless!
One of the popular themes, and cover of TST Movie Nights, is
Mystery TST Science Theater 3000. In fact, the hashtag, #TST3K has developed a small following. The movie night regulars that have many great memories to share. So, since I shared my own, I talked with several of the “TST3K Fam” and asked for their thoughts on TST Movie Night’s on TST TV.
Here is what they had to say:
“Movie nights are one of the best things to happen to me. As a social person, quarantine has been really hard on me. Not to mention I also suffered a breakup, a fire which evacuated me from my home and then a move to another country. Movie nights has given me a break from the chaos, a safe space, a fun social circle to interact with and also a family in which I can confide in and seek comfort with. I have never met a more giving, selfless, fun and sinful group of people. I am proud to call everyone involved in TST3K not only my friends but my family. Oh and my favourite movie is “He Who Gets Slapped”.”
– Jesika Vaylen
“2020 has been simultaneously overwhelming and underwhelming. Our world is more chaotic and volatile than ever before; yet, day-to-day living has become mind numbingly predictable and monotonous. I love #TST3K movie nights because I can expect the unexpected. Unlike ‘normal’ movies, we never know what could happen from one moment to the next or what fresh (and wonderful) Hell awaits us on-screen, once we login! All that being said, what I love the most about movie nights is the hilarious, open-hearted, witty, strange, loving and accepting (mostly Satanic) community members who attend religiously. It may sound silly, but these folks have made such a profound impact on me over the past five(ish) months. I don’t think I would be able to make it through this pandemic without sinking into a deep depression if it weren’t for my #TST3K family. Twice a week (every week) I know they’ll be there to remind me the world isn’t completely terrible after all. My personal favorite movie was “He Who Gets Slapped,” a silent film (the version we watched had been re-soundtracked) where Lon Chaney portrays a heartbroken clown. It was beautifully depressing… in the best way possible. Also, I would be remiss if I failed to praise The Supreme Breen (Neil Breen) and his Breenius flick, “Fateful Findings!” Hail, Breen! Hail, Satan. And Hail, Yourselves.”
“Movie nights with Lucien have been the most unexpected happy thing to happen during quarantine. I’ve always loved weird B movies and would typically watch them alone and hope to discover more as I went. I love Neil Breen, The Room, Frogs, Miami Connection, Samurai Cop, all the old school Godzilla movies, Bad Taste, among others, so you can imagine how lucky I got to have found a crowd of people that are into the same weird stuff and to top it off we get to hang with Lucien, which in a way feels like the equivalent of why people go to church. I look forward every Wednesday and Saturday to Lucien’s post with vague clues about the movies we are watching, and most importantly to get to spend time with the friends I’ve made thanks to movie night and get a kick out of whatever Lucien throws at us that day. I have a lot of favorites but as far as favorite movie shown goes, I’m gonna go with the “troll porking in the forest one” – I don’t remember the name but it was a foreign film. Also the one with the strange grunting and Luther the Geek. TST3K is my happy place during this pandemic and I’m thankful for every single one and for all the amazingly kind, funny people I’ve met thanks to it. #HELLSQUAD“
– Tanooki Lizzz
“I love movie nights for the genuine friends I’ve made. Especially @mikmilk98 who is one of my closest friends today! We met during movie nights w/ Lucien and hit it off. Fav movie: Cemetery Man because porking in a cemetery is totally goals.”
“As someone who has a few medical conditions that make me particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, I am very glad I found TST3K back in the spring. There’s a lot of ways I can say it, but the heart of my feelings is that I literally don’t know if I would be sane or alive right now if not for the fellowship and support of friends I’ve met at TST Movie Night. That is me being as serious as I can be. I know how both pandemics and Donald Trump work, so when the lockdown started back in March, I realized that we were in for a very rough time that was going to last not a month or two but maybe as long as a year. The thought of that, knowing that my survival would depend on a long stretch of isolating with my family, was like being sentenced to prison. All I could see, all the way to the horizon, was loneliness and despair, with not much to look forward to except watching a couple hundred thousand Americans die needlessly.
I was on Twitter with a burner account I used back then because I hate Twitter, and I saw that Lucien Greaves and TST were showing movies on Kast. I’ve followed and admired TST for many years now for their work shielding the First Amendment. So I decided to show up just to see what it was all about. I’m a cannabis smoker because I don’t mix well with alcohol, so I smoked a bowl and went to the chat. I’m a longtime fan of the classic bad-movie-comedy-show Mystery Science Theater 3000, but I always thought the thing that’s missing from that show is raw vulgarity. My personality when I’m around my in-person friends is to be extremely vulgar. All the comics I care about are very frank and funny about sex and these weird bodies of ours, and that is definitely how I’m bent as well.
The first sentence of the Satanic Temple’s Fourth Tenet is: “The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend.” So that first night, with nothing to lose except people I would likely never see in person, I decided: let’s see how serious they are about that Fourth Tenet. I went in there and just let it rip. I don’t have much of a filter. But for that first Movie Night, I turned my filter all the way down to zero. I’m not a professional comic, but you’ll hear the best comics talk about how a person can channel deep anger and rage into being funny. Sitting there, a prisoner in my house, lost in America in the midst of a plague, as high as Tenzing Norgay’s ballsack in ’53, I just let all the anger and frustration I was feeling come out. Not as violence, but as this pitch-black, pervert-on-the-gallows humor, riffing on these terrible fuckin’ films and the things people were saying in chat. I expected to get kicked out at any moment, as I was literally trying to see how funny-offensive I can be. It was definitely a digital suicide mission. But instead of Greaves booting me, people started laughing. Through the laughter of others, and the hilarious, equally-vulgar things they came back with, I started laughing too.
By the end of that night, because of their acceptance of me and all the crazy shit I needed to say to purge all this darkness and fear, I felt better than I had in weeks… maybe — because we also live in Trump’s America, after all — maybe months or years. It was like I was sitting in a gray cell somewhere, and a butterfly flew in through the bars and lit on the back of my hand. That’s poetic considering I mostly make dick jokes and do shit like laying out the ground rules for TST’s First-Annual Sexual Hunger Games. But that’s exactly what it felt like to me: being reminded in an ugly place that somewhere things are still beautiful. I’ve since become a ride-or-die TST3Ker, and have made friends I never would have had otherwise. There’s TST Movie Night folks who I have come to care about as much as my own family. That’s no shit. Which is so strange, considering that, in most cases, I’ve never even heard them speak. But that’s the magic of it. It’s not for everybody, of course. The humor in there gets dark as the Devil’s sock drawer and it’s usually perverted as hell. But what TST3K has done for me is open my eyes about friendship, what we all need, and the concept of “religious fellowship.” That’s what I’m really doing in there after all: I’m finding strength in the like-minded companionship of others that I cannot find alone. Isn’t that what a church service is supposed to do?
Lucien Greaves, by the way, has all my thanks. He has spent months putting in at least 12 hours a week to hang with the folks at TST3K, in addition to the time he spends looking up terrible movies and shorts and cutting that all together, sorting out TST3K’s legendary Technical Difficulties. He’s a busy guy, and that’s time he could have spent reading or writing or making his own things. But instead, he’s putting together bullshit movies to make the people who find their way to Movie Nite feel better. I hope he makes himself feel better in the process too. He is sacrificing his time to help people feel a little more comfortable and secure in a confusing world that just wants to fuck us all over and grind us all down to dust. At the end of every Movie Nite, Greaves unfailingly says: “I love you all.” Aren’t those the things a pastor is supposed to do? I could go on, but you get the picture.
Over the past five months or so, it’s not just that my circle of friends has broadened tremendously. It’s that my family has grown. There’s about 20 people I know from TST3K that I would drive a couple hundred miles to bail out of jail if they called me from the drunk tank. Where I’m from, that’s family. I told somebody last night that — as a pretty committed atheist — I know the only afterlife is people remembering you fondly.
For a lot of the people who come to TST3K, their memories of the Covid-19 pandemic — one of the most traumatic experiences in all our lives now — are inextricably tangled up with their memories of TST Movie Night. Most people are never going to forget this time in their lives, which, for TST3Kers, likely means they’re never going to forget TST Movie Night. I like to think of some of the younger people, decades from now, remembering the horror of what we’re all going through for their grandchildren. But then maybe they’ll recall the laughter and fellowship of Movie Night as I always will: shining through the darkness like a ray of light; fluttering in through the bars of a lonely place like a butterfly. I had a part to play in making that happen. And it makes me very proud. To my TST3K fam: I love you all. That includes you, Aria.“
– Father Flanagan.
Shortly before the pandemic blanketed the world, TST TV came into existence. It is the official streaming media service of The Satanic Temple. Lucien Greaves decided that TST Movie Nights would be better served on Satanic TV, so KAST was dumped and the party moved over, with great success!
TST TV offers a stable chat function, free access for movie nights and good audio and streaming quality! It is secure and feels much more “Satanic” than KAST ever could. I am so glad to be here at the start of the first real Satanic TV station. Hail fucking Satan!
BaphoNet also hosts a movie night. You can usually find big name movies on BaphoKAST, like “The Exorcist” and “The Devil’s Rain”. BaphoNet’s KAST party usually happens twice a week, on days that TST Movie Night does not. I am at every event, enjoying them with regulars and new folks that join us. Neil Breen also frequents all of our screens. He is a rash that will never go away.
BaphoKAST has no plans of changing or leaving. Covid-19 will be around for quite a long time. We will continue showing movies until the last person loses interest, or covid is defeated by science.
Will the film stop rolling?
Good question! I had to ask Lucien Greaves to answer this one for TST Movie Nights. I asked him “Lucien, do you see TST Movie Nights becoming a permanent fixture in your schedule?”
“Currently, I put the playlists together in the intervening time between movie nights and I haven’t created full playlists ready to deploy in case of unforeseen circumstances or technical difficulties. This is something I’ll clearly have to do for TST Movie Nights to continue after the pandemic when I get back to a rigorous travel schedule. It’s nice to operate under the delusion that each week has a certain shared sense of humor, a certain mood that I can capture with my (somewhat) last minute selections, but I also foresee a time in which I’ll finish a speaking engagement or a Satanic Planet performance and hurry back to the hotel just to chat with the TST3K family while bizarre, confusing, confused, avant, or just plain awful films stream. I used to think that Movie Night was the best thing to happen in the pandemic. Now I realize that it will continue to rank high on my list of preferred activities regardless of whether or not we are social distancing.” – Lucien Greaves
As for BaphoKAST, NO, the film will not be stop rolling any time in the foreseen future. It is a great way to keep the online community connected with each other. Movie, popcorn and chat! Keep your eyes peeled to BaphoNet’s Twitter.
BaphoKAST usually happens Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays on KAST.
TST Movie Night takes place Wednesday and Saturday evenings on TST TV.