Swede Fest Finds a New Home

Sometimes, when things are this bad, they’re good.  That’s the mantra behind Swede Fest Palm Beach, a film festival dedicated to showcasing of horribly bad remakes on October 10. Now in its fourth year, the indie film fest comprised of locally made “swedes,” has found a new home—The Palm Beaches Theatre—and new organizers, the Palm Beach Film Society. All this begs the question: what exactly is a swede?

Swede Fest Palm Beach 4

Still from Jurassic Park The Swede.

   Swedes are no-budget remakes of big-budget, Hollywood monstrosities, typically done horribly and purposefully bad. This stems from the 2008 movie Be Kind Rewind, when Jack Black’s characters inadvertently erases the entire stock of VHS tapes at an ailing neighborhood video rental store. In a pinch, Black and Mos Def—playing the video store clerk—begin recreating the films, passing off the films as being “sweded” because it made it sound more sophisticated: “It’s a far-away, expensive country.”

   Be Kind Rewind wasn’t exactly box-office gold, but the premise of sweding became an indie hit as fans began creating horribly wonderful shorts of some of Hollywood’s greatest films. Some are just dreadful, others unique and quite funny, and all are plainly amateurish, filmed in dens, backyard soundstages, and the family sedan. Swede Fest Palm Beach looks to celebrate these creative endeavors on Saturday, October 10, at 7 p.m. with a screening of user-submitted shorts. The rules of the game were simple: Keep it shorter than three minutes, swede a PG-13 or friendlier movie, use little to no budget, and take creative license with the film in question.

   The results are hilarious recreations, with cardboard cityscapes, stuffed-animal characters, and the ubiquitous shaky cam—this is low budget after all. This year the lineup promises to be just as awesomely bad as the last, with mini depictions of Inside Out, Avengers/Thor, Into the Woods, Frozen, Pugnado (a puppy parody of Sharknado), Cars, Goonies, Sound of Music, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Jurassic World, Aliens, Zoolander, The Fast and the Furious, and more.

  • The party starts with a red carpet welcome at 6:30 p.m. at The Palm Beaches Theatre, with screenigns beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12.65 in advance (here), and $15 at the door. For more information, visit swedefestpalmbeach.com.

Still uncertain about swedes? Here’s a look at Chris Notarnicola swede of Jurassic Park. Complete with hand-made signs, an excellent use of tin foil and plastic wrap, and some rather complex cardboard dinos, this 3-minute take on Jurassic Park was one of the fan favorites in Swede Fest Palm Beach 3.

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