I'll never forget the day the film opened. I went to check it out with work friends and, despite the fact that it was a slapstick comedy, really dug it. Sure it was making fun of the sixties, but I thought it did that pretty well. No, this wouldn't be starting revivals of any sort, but it was great to see a period of Mod history I loved so much as the backdrop of a major film. Even if that whole scene lasted less than 5 minutes.
But then something strange happened. As I walked out of the theater, laughing with my friends, I started to notice people whispering and pointing at me. I didn't get it... was there something on me? Did I have popcorn in my hair? Was it... something... I was... wearing... ?
Oh no... it hit me. People thought I was dressed up for the film. They thought I was a part of the show. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of Austin Powers jokes to haunt me and my kind for years to come.
Thanks to this film and its sequel (which I'm proud to say I've NEVER seen), the phrases "Groovy, baby" and "Oh, behave!" would be heard over and over again. Local '60s dance clubs would be filled with brit-pop types, skinheads, Mods, and, yes, people dressed up as Austin Powers complete with fake teeth. Whenever I was cornered by someone not in the know and forced to explain what I was into, the response was generally, "Oh, like Austin Powers!"
And now, Austin Powers costumes are here to stay. For ever:
|Relive the 1997 Halloween trend and go dressed as once-funny super spy Austin Powers.|
The funny thing is that several years later I started noticing some Mods at world-wide events dressing in similar outfits.
Was it art imitating life or life imitating art? Whatever the answer, I just hope the fake teeth and "Shagadelic" phrases are left at home.