Sunday, March 11, 2018
The year was 1986, and Northwest Arkansas didn't have a lot of experience with movies or movie stars. "North and South," made for TV a couple of years earlier, was about it -- and people like Geena Davis didn't just pop into town multiple times a year.
But Eureka Springs was invaded that winter -- and everyone in town loved it, remembers longtime Eureka artist Beau Satori. The film was shot with the title "Pass the Ammunition," and it transformed the City Auditorium into the church headquarters of a corrupt television evangelist named Ray Porter. The cast included Tim Curry -- best known at the time for "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" -- as the reverend; Bill Paxton as the hero; Juilliard grad Lina Kozlowski, fresh from the success of "Crocodile Dundee"; Annie Potts, who starred in the original "Ghostbusters" on the big screen and TV's "Designing Women"; and Anthony Geary, "General Hospital" heart-throb.
Bad Movie Night:
‘Pass the Ammo’
WHEN — 8 p.m. March 14
WHERE — Eureka Springs City Auditorium
COST — Free
INFO — 253-7788
"I had my gallery open, so everybody was coming in and visiting," Satori remembers. "At first, Linda was wearing dark glasses and a big hat, trying to be incognito, until she figured out she didn't need to do that. Willie Nelson was in town, courting his current wife, so he was playing pool at the Ramada every night. The Ramada was brand new and had an indoor pool, so there was an ongoing party there!"
Satori also remembers the crowd of hundreds of people cast to fill the auditorium and the evening he and dozens of other Eurekans sat across the street at The Plaza restaurant, waiting until 4 or 5 a.m. for the scene where the building "blew up."
Now the film -- retitled "Pass the Ammo" upon its release in 1988 -- is returning to Eureka Springs for "Bad Movie Night" at 8 p.m. March 14. It is, brags the DVD cover, "the comedy you've been praying for."
"It really was art imitating life during the time of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker," says Eureka Mayor Robert "Butch" Berry. "We will enjoy seeing that film again and hope that those who have never seen it will join us! Admission is free, but donations are accepted to support the historic City Auditorium."
-- Becca Martin-Brown
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