It’s been 10 years since the release of Boondock Saints in 1999. It had a limited theatrical release at the time of the Columbine incident and it didn’t help the film featured trench coat gunman on a killing spree. The film quickly disappeared. It was the word of mouth and fan enthusiasm that helped bring the film to home video. It quickly became a top rental and DVD sales continue to this day.
It’s no wonder that the original film's fan base was so psyched when word of a sequel was in the works. The internet was abuzz with the marketing ploy like they used with Paranormal Activity to have fans demand that Boondock Saints II be released in their home towns. It was our luck and good fortune that local bloggers and promoters Red Carpet Crash were able to host an advance screening of the film, bringing the stars and director in town to promote it. Fans as far as Lubbock and Oklahoma traveled to the Angelika Film Center in Dallas for a chance rub shoulders with director Troy Duffy and the Saints - Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus.
It was a wild and crazy night at the Angelika. Fans were queued up in line before 3 pm for an 8 pm screening. Fans were invited to write their thoughts and give thanks on a back drop for the red carpet photo op. According to Devin Pike of Red Carpet Crash most of the entries into their pass contests (in which they were to explain how they came to watch Boondock Saints) stated that someone recommended it. In my case, it was my daughter who introduced me and if you haven’t seen the first, please do so before watching the sequel.
Nearly naked models Jennifer and Jessica bravely allowed themselves to be covered in body paint by artist Amy Walter (http://amywalkerartist.com/) whose designs reflected the Irish slant of the film and some dialogue. The ladies graciously allowed themselves to be photographed with the fans. As a huge fan of the movie, Amy offered her unique services to help promote the film. The models themselves, who donated their time and bodies, were also big fans. Jessica was covered in gold lettering of the prayer the Saints recite before their kills with wings on her back. Jennifer was in Irish colors with a picture of Duce II on front and Red Carpet Crash logo on the other side.
Shortly before the film was to start, Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flannery, and Troy Duffy were greeted by a barrage of flashing cameras, crowds of fans, and friends of the production companies. Sean and Norman seemed to be just as excited as the fans and were snapping pictures of the crowds to send to their moms. One fan had them sign his Boondock Saints t-shirt. Amy Walker created a piece of art featuring the saints that she asked them to sign in small framed areas on the picture. Fans were even showing off their Boondock Saints tattoo’s!
They didn’t turn anyone away from the screening. People were seated on the stairways until the theater pulled out hard seats to put in the aisles for them. Loud appreciative cheers arose regularly as the story was true to the roots of the first movie. Fans gave the film a standing ovation before the Q&A.
As a testament to the power of the appreciation, most people stayed to hear what the director and actors had to relay about the making of the film. Troy is very articulate probably from having done several of these events before hitting Dallas. He kept his answers sharp and well informed. Sean, having lived in Texas, enjoyed a down home welcome from the audience. Norman seemed very quiet and took the teasing from Sean about this with good humor. At one point, Sean called Billy Connelly so he could take part, and got his answering machine which he played for the audience. In his familiar voice, it included language that should not be in print.
Afterwards, the party continued at Trinity Hall, the Irish pub, next door to the Angelika. A most appropriate location for the meet and greet. The line of fans went out the door and around the building to get an autographed poster and take pictures with them. Troy Duffy said later that wherever they are, fans insist on buying shots for them. Norman Reedus noticed the bracelet I had on that has the prayer the Saints recite before capping some bad guy on it. He really liked it, so I gave it to him and he was thrilled…but probably not as much as me. (Article & Pictures by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins, except where noted)