Pop quiz, hotshot... If the bus drops below 50 miles an hour, it blows up. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?
If you love 90s action movies, special (and we mean very “special”) effects and making fun of Keanu “Whoa” Reeves, then this is one bus you’re not gonna wanna miss.
After a sold-out season at the 2015 Brisbane Comedy Festival, the folks at Brisbane’s Act/React are back for another season of Speed the Movie the Play. You know, Speed... the one with Keanu, Sandy Bullock, Dennis Hopper, that guy from Dumb and Dumber, Cameron from Ferris Bueller and that annoying woman who wouldn’t get out of the falling elevator at the start of the movie because she was too scared, and then she did get out, but then she kept whinging about losing her shoe as the elevator smashed to the ground. THAT Speed.
In what some might call a loving homage – and others a shameless parody– Act/React recreate the blockbuster (mockbuster?) onboard an actual bus parked in front of the Brisbane Powerhouse.
So… what we’re hearing is we get to show up, get on a bus, get taken hostage, maybe get blown up and live our favourite cult classic movie LIKE A FRICKING MOVIE STAR BOSS? Shut up and take our money.
Co-creator Greg Rowbotham says the 90s has already experienced a revival in music and fashion, but film was a natural next step.
“Speed actually relied on quite complex technology for the time, such as Dennis Hopper’s bombs, huge mobile phones and the tracking software they use,” he said. “But now, we watch it and laugh. If Speed were remade today, the passengers would all be tweeting and taking selfies with their smartphones."
Yep we can just see it now. All duck-faces and peace signs "Check it out guys, this bus is the bomb! LITERALLY! #halp #srslyguys #totesgonnadie #keepdrivingsandy".
And if this season goes the same way the last season did, they'll keep packing people on the bus like a Brisbane City Council bus driver in peak hour.
"We couldn't believe the reception the first season of Speed had, people just loved it," Greg says. "We were thrilled to bring the bus back for a return season, and word of mouth has already gotten around. We've sold more than 75 per cent of our available tickets, which is amazing."
“Speed is such a great popcorn movie,” says co-creator Dan Beeston.
“It’s a big, fast, dumb blockbuster that takes itself so seriously. Having loved it as teens, we now felt it’s time to bring it back – and mock it relentlessly.”
The innovative presentation onboard a vintage 1974 Volvo B59 bus is the result of a partnership between Act/React and the Queensland Omnibus and Coach Society, a not-for-profit group of dedicated enthusiasts who collect and preserve buses from days gone by.
“Our friends at QOCS have been excited since we first described the idea to them. They really got what we wanted to do,” Greg says. “It’s a win/win situation, as we get to play with audiences onboard this beautiful 40-year-old vehicle, and help raise the profile of this wonderful community organisation.”
Speed is renowned for some of its eye-popping stunts, including a famous jump across a 15-metre- gap in a highway. “We wanted to do the bus jump but the insurance premiums are just prohibitive,” Beeston said.
“Like all the special effects, we do our own version on a shoestring budget. But we think audiences will still be delighted at the end result.”