Think back ten to twenty years ago and you might be forgiven for satirizing the bingo scene a little: predominantly the pursuit of ladies of a certain age, most film-going folk wouldn’t be seen dead in a bingo hall.
A lot can change in a few years however, from technology to fads, and today, bingo has seen a new revival, which is attracting audiences of both genders and all ages. This is largely down to today’s generation having greater access to the game – online sites such as bingo.com are giving bingo a modern, cooler edge, but there’s also the movie scene to thank. Many Hollywood blockbusters have popularized our favorite numbers game, with the following bingo scenes to name but a few.
Who could forget the lovable jackass Johnny Knoxville in his 90-year-old man get up, Irving Zisman? While the Oscar-nominated (yes, really) Bad Grandpa had a huge range of hilarious moments, nothing could top the movie’s iconic bingo scene. Genius Knoxville bemused genuine bingo hall-goers by eating the bingo dabbers, flirting with ladies and even making his own cocktails. This hidden camera stunt may have been frightening for the players, but it was a hoot for us.
It’s pretty obvious from the name what this film is all about – a man armed with two semi automatic weapons who’s hell-bent on getting revenge by way of a killing spree. Quite where a bingo scene fits in is anybody’s guess, but it fits incredibly well and adds some great tension. The protagonist simply walks into a daytime bingo club, orders food without paying, and sits at a table, upon which he rests his two deadly weapons. He then walks up to the bingo caller, calls a number, and leaves. It’s all very tense when we think about what could have happened, but it certainly puts bingo in a different light.
One genre of movies that nobody could have predicted would feature bingo is the humble children’s movie. In 2012, animated movie Hotel Transylvania did that, and it managed to make bingo both humorous and child-friendly. Set in a top-end hotel resort run by Dracula, Hotel Transylvania’s scene saw a depressed and haggard looking bingo caller using skulls for bingo balls. The best part, of course, was that the skulls spoke the numbers out loud themselves, guaranteeing a few laughs and making the pursuit all the more cool.