Deep in the heart of Hollywood, just off the boulevard, in fact, there is a hub. A hub where you can gather, have drinks, perhaps a bite to eat. A cantina, you might call it. This is where I found myself in the early hours of the night on the 1st of May.
The Scum and Villainy Cantina.
Newly established and looking to act the part, I find I must go round the back and down an alleyway, past backdoors and trash bins, to find the entrance. Perhaps not exactly like the infamous Mos Eisley Cantina itself, but very reminiscent of some of my college misadventures, finding myself taking strange directions to find Punk or Leather clubs (I was a film student scouting locations, don’t get the wrong idea).
As I enter, smoke from the fog machines fill my lungs and clouds my vision slightly. I walk through and the room opens up: various tables and booths lining the walls (some built in), lasers dancing from the ceiling and in sync to what sounded very much like Caravan Palace.
Even if it weren’t for the cosplayers dressed as stormtroopers, Jedi, Sith, Luke Skywalker, Slave Leia, Han Solo, even Chewbacca, I’d still recognize the Star Wars vibe.
I make my way to the bar, it’s been a long day and I deserve a drink. A bartender, appearing before me like a dancer in Jabba’s palace or perhaps a patron of Maz Kanata, points out the menu to me. In addition to various draft beers, cans, and spirits, they sport 3 specialty drinks:
Wretched Blue Milk
The Chosen One
I’ve Got A Bad Feeling About This
I’m neither confidant in my own standing to try the second, nor cynical enough of the future to have a go at the latter. Feeling like a young moisture farmer, I opt for the Blue Milk. It’s sweet taste doing what it can to soothe a sore throat I’m currently stuck with.
Then, as I sit back and try to relax with my pleasant drink, the music cuts out. The stereo rumbles a bit. The lights change as more smoke from the fog machines burst out to fill the room. Instead of music, the speakers blast the sounds of laser beams, rumblings, explosions, maybe even a flyby Tie Fighter. The lasers become frantic, and spotlights dance about. Everyone is sure something is about to happen, when finally…
The Cantina Band tune blasts out from the speakers, a club remix.
So if you find yourself in the Hollywood area, don’t be afraid to take the trip round back through that alley. You may never find a more wretched hive of Scum and Villainy.