Throwback Thursday: Sometimes You Just Need Cheese—Throwing Back a Glass while Watching Spice World

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past—“classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important in some aspect.

This is not exactly a “classic” film like the others I’ve written about, but with all this talk of winter I wanted to lighten things up a little bit. Okay, I want to lighten things up a lotta bit. Today I want to share with you the kitschy 1997 movie Spice World and its requisite drinking game.

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The film poster. Yes, this was released in theaters. Yes, I saw it in the theater.

Released at the height of Spicemania in both the United States and Great Britain, Spice World should only be viewed through rose-colored glasses. At this point I should counsel drinking responsibly and only if you’re of a legal drinking age. If you’re too young to remember the Spice Girls when they were a thing, then you’re probably too young to be participating in this anyway. Now that I’ve covered that, let’s talk the film and drinking game.

The plot of Spice World follows the standard “get the band to the big gig” music-movie template that was made famous and done somewhat artistically with the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. It’s a series of bits and moments, sometimes set to the group’s music, that get the group to the big popularity-breaking concert in the third act. What’s fun is all the really awkward cameos, from Mark McKinney to George Wendt. Even more fun, this was the first reunion of Meat Loaf and Richard O’Brien since they had done The Rocky Horror Picture Show together. You also get extended screen time for Richard E. Grant (someday I’ll write about the film Withnail and I) and Alan Cumming (an underrated Nightcrawler, in my opinion).

Plus you get the Spice Girls. I fully admit they were one of my guilty pleasures in the ’90s. Their music was darn catchy, and their positivity was fun to see. Later came the acrimony, the breakup, and the solo albums, but here they’re still a group. You can start to see the claws coming out, though, especially in a scene where they try to portray each other. Who’s doing it for fun, and who’s doing it to get under someone’s skin?

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Who’s who?

Now: how to play the drinking game when you watch this movie. There are a ton of different sets of rules out there, but here’s what I will suggest.

Take one specialty shot every time . . .

  • Baby Spice does something babylike (ex: sucks on a lollipop, tosses her pigtails, makes a pouty face)
  • Scary Spice says “grrr” or something you can’t quite understand
  • Sporty Spice does something sporty (ex: lifts weights, uses an exercise bike)
  • Posh Spice does her weird finger point or hikes up her skirt
  • Ginger Spice’s breasts are mentioned—either on screen or by the group watching the film

Take one drink every time . . .

  • A B- or C-level celebrity shows up on screen (this includes but is not limited to Roger Moore, Meat Loaf, and the King Richard O’Brien)
  • You see a newspaper
  • Someone says “girl power”
  • Someone in the room starts talking with a good/bad English accent

You can handle the specialty shots in one of two ways. If your group is just out to have a fun time, assign each person one Spice—they will only drink one shot when their specific Spice girl does their signature schtick. If your group is a bunch of drunken degenerates, go for it and have everyone take a shot each time. Warning: When my friend group attempted the second version, everyone had about 15 shots (at least). So it depends on how many shots you feel you can do.

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They even find some aliens, so it’s almost a sci-fi film.

We also decided to do signature shots for each Spice Girl. Here’s what you need if you go that route. (I would recommend premaking the shots before the movie. Some of them come so fast and furious that there’s no way to keep up between making and drinking them.)

Baby: Lemon Drop
1 part vodka
1 part lemon juice
1 part triple sec

Scary: Chocolate Cake
1 part Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
1 part vanilla vodka

Posh: Posh Star
1 part Blue Curaçao
1 part Sour Puss raspberry liquor

Sporty: Health Kick
2 parts pineapple juice
1 part Midori
1 part peach schnapps
1 part 7-Up

Ginger: Red-Headed Slut
1 part peach schnapps
1 part Jägermeister
1 part cranberry juice

With all of this information you’re ready to commence drinking and enjoying the film. Your mileage on the music may vary. But that’s why you’re drinking. Enjoy.

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P.S.: Even Bob Geldof is in this movie.

This film can be found on both Blu-ray and DVD. It is currently available via Netflix, but streaming offerings change frequently, so keep an eye out. Feel free to discuss further in the comments below; just keep it respectful.

If you think there’s a film Throwback Thursday should cover in the future, please let me know in the comments.

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