The title pretty much says it all doesn't it? Below are the most rabid of fanbases in order of how deranged and rabidy (my first Whedony word of the day) they are.
But first, an apology ...
An Apology: The Ringers
Fans of Tolkien and Jackson, you will notice LOTR is fairly low on this list. In fact, here you are, into my bear trap and at the bottom. The good news is you're at the top of the page! So let's not all be the-glass-is-half-empty. You're not far from my thoughts. I understand the LOTR fanbase is large and mighty. But where's the passion people? This list is about what you have done for me lately. And you cats went into hiding after Return of the King took home its eight billion Oscars. Now it's like you don't even know me. Hell, even the Trekkies smoked you on this list. You sold out your soul for a gold stiff? No, no, this can't be.
But do not fear. With Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson and WETA amping up production on the latest Tolkien goodness, I have little doubt your voice will be heard (or at least read in the talkback below). You are, indeed, the sleeping giant. So start gianting (my first made-up word of the day).
Fallen But Not Forgotten: The Trekkies
If you've seen Trekkies or Trekkies 2, you know these are like the godfather clans of all the online cults. The Trekkies were a cult before the World Wide Web existed, and when the great evil was invented, they spread and gathered like little ginger children. These people are like the Triads of the geek legion. They've been around for centuries it seems (or since the '60s at least). During the height of Star Trek's popularity they'd probably be the kings of the castle. If there was a Geek Council, they would have the most politicians in their pocket, that sort of thing. But it's been a long time since Trek ruled the science-fiction world.
These days, all is quiet on the Federation front. Yes, they're hibernating. But in December J.J. Abrams is set to reinvigorate the franchise and something tells me these are going to be some very hungry bears.
Like the Trekkies, this group has some issues regarding their individual nerd nomenclature. Some take issue with the term "Trekkies" and prefer to be called "Trekkers." And I made the mistake just last night of calling a beloved Wedonist a "Whedonite." Yet another Whedonite deemed the term "Whedonist" as "so stupid." I'm not sure I follow the logic but I've never really been sure what to make of the Joss Whedon universe (or 'verse). I'm not exactly a Whedonite or a Whedonist. Whedon is a rather prolific fellow. He dabbles in movies, TV, comics ... even the internet. I saw Serenity a few years ago and thought it was solid and fun. But I still didn't get it.
I will say that the force is very strong with Whedon. His fans are one rabid crew. Last year when I went to Comic-Con a Whedonist looked at me as if I was from another planet when I made the mistake of asking her what that Chinese writing on her shirt meant. This was more than a few blocks from the convention center in what I thought was the Green Zone, at some pizza joint around the corner from my hotel. But immediately I knew I wasn't in safe territory. The room just stopped. The record in the jukebox skipped. I was outnumbered and out-geeked. When I turned to fellow Film.com colleague Laremy Legel for help he just took two steps back, looked at me, and shook his head. I felt like Veronica Cartwright at the end of Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
They also talk really weird, these Whedonists. My girlfriend adds "y" to the end of everything because of her affliction. The "y" will even substitute "ly" in many occasions. I can be stubborny, drunky or sicky. After much pleading I finally broke down and watched Firefly. Yeah, I loved it. Now I'm Browncoaty.
On The Rise in a Major Way: Twilighters
I haven't read the books and honestly have only run into a couple of these fans. So I turned to our beloved Laremy Legel to get his take on this particular brand of fanatic. He came across more than his own fair share at this year's Comic-Con.
Our conversation on the topic, made possible by the wonders of AIM, went something like this:
Dre: You have anything to share regarding Twilighters?
Laremy: They are mental.
Laremy: They lined up at 8 for a Thursday noon panel.
Dre: Well, that's not so bad. That happens at Comic-Con.
Laremy: Dre ... 8 at night.
Laremy: That's pm.
Dre: I ... see.
Laremy: That's 16 hours early. They CAMPED out.
Dre: Yes, yes ... I think I understand now.
Laremy: No. No, you don't. They wear homemade t-shirts that say "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob." They scream anytime that Cam guy appears on camera, anywhere in the world.
Dre: OK, OK. I got it.
Laremy: Listen, Dre. You ever see one of 'em ... damnit, you run. You run and you don't look back.
I didn't like where this was going but I got the picture. I signed off.
Most Rabid Fanbase: Potterhead Mania!
Come on, you knew it was coming to this. How could I abandon my own people? If I didn't give my fellow Potterheads the top prize I would get hit with the Cruciatus Curse like that. This is a series geared for freaks like myself and they have made good on the potential. The Potter fanbase continues to hold together because on the whole the movies have been pretty darn good and there are three more of these babies to come.
The movies are geek-magnets because they contain the following four items:
Geeks and wizards have been simpatico since the early days of D&D.
There are lots of costumes in the Potter world which allows your fellow geek the opportunity to dress up at premieres, book signings and conventions like Comic-Con. But not to court!
3. The Hunk
I use this term loosely but it helps with the ladies.
4. The Chick
Girls also like strong characters like Hermione. And boys like thinking about girls like Hermione. Men shouldn't, but still may.
The books are ridiculously successful but the run these movies have had at the box office is astonishing. They've pulled in a total of $4,485,466,623 worldwide (so far). The Potterheads are strong and still dressing up in cloaks on opening weekend. They are still having fake wand battles at Comic-Con. And they are still humorless if you talk smack about Dumbledore. Five movies in, that's saying a lot.
I always considered everyone to be kind of in the Star Wars cult. It was the one fanbase that felt universal. Only Star Trek nerds took things over the top. A guy owning a Millennium Falcon toy was cool, hip even. But a guy who exhibits his Federation Starship is a dork who should be mocked and mocked and mocked. Everyone loved Star Wars while Star Trek had a more select fanbase.
That all changed with the prequels.
Ooooooh, the prequels. They unearthed things that should have been kept at bay. Now I mostly liked them but there is no doubt they made Star Wars a lot less cool, more mockable really. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is soon to come out and you can barely feel the excitement.
OK, I'm a bit of a Lostie which is akin to saying, "I'm a bit of a serial murderer." Other series like Battlestar Galactica have their own packs of crazies (I'm one of them too), but with Lost and the Lost Experience and now the latest Dharma project I think the Losties are holding the mantle for TV's nuttiest craze.
For a guy who mostly makes average, poorly shot (though very funny) movies, Kevin Smith has done pretty darn well for himself. He is a god at Comic-Con (maybe even The God). But the bottom line is I see a lot more guys dressed up like Doraemons than I do Silent Bobs. You View Askewers are large in numbers, but nobody fears you because they think you're too lazy to be considered rabid (though the Warcraft blobs may have you beat). Get your freak on a little more and we'll talk.
You've read Dre - now you weigh in!
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Dre writes three times a week for Film.com. Email him!