The first MTV Movie Awards were held July tenth 1992, and in the spirit of Music Television, it did not take itself very seriously. During the credits it was announced 'they only invited the winners'. Sharp eyed viewers thought they could figure out who was going to win what by recalling the roll call of celebrities in attendance at the start were in for some surprises though, some of them were only there to present, while others who won accepted their awards (shaped like film cannisters this year) via satellite. The host was Dennis Miller, still wearing an impressive mullet. With all the winners being decided by MTV viewers, it came as no surprise that "Terminator 2: Judgment day" swept up nearly all the awards, as James Cameron would do with "Titanic" at the Academy Awards five years later. T2 got 'Best Movie' and 'Best Action Sequence', Arnold was voted 'Best Male Performance', Linda Hamilton 'Best Female Performance' as well as 'Most Desirable Female' (Most Desirable Male went to Keaunu Reeves for "Point Break"). Even Edward Furlong received a prize: 'Best Breakthrough performance'. However, 'Best Villain' went to Rebecca De Mornay ("The Hand that rocked the Cradle"), 'Best Comedic Performance' to Billy Christal ("City Slickers"), 'Best On-screen Duo' to Wayne And Garth for the first "Wayne's World" and 'Best Kiss' to Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin ("My Girl").
Still, the best part of the show was the comedy. It started off on the right note with a joke that could only have been done once: they cleverly pretended that the MTV Movie Awards had been going for 35 years (way before MTV even existed). During a hilarious opening montage, we got to see all sorts of highlights from the alleged 'history of the MTV Movie Awards'. Apparently, he first MTV Movie Awards were held on June 10th 1957 in L.A. It was the first of many disappointing nights for Elvis Presley, who lost 'Best Performance in an Elvis Movie' to Stella Stevens (for "Girls, Girls, Girls"). The following year, the King lost in the category 'Best Male Performance in an Elvis movie' to Walter Matthau ("King Creole"). It wasn't until 1965 that Elvis was finally awarded 'Best Performance by Elvis in an Elvis movie' for "Harum Scarum". Playing up the 'anything can happen' mentality, it was further mentioned that David Lean's 'Lawrence of Arabia" lost in every category to Jerry Lewis' "The Nutty Professor" in 1963. Riots broke out when The Rolling Stones won for best musical performance in "Gimmie Shelter" in 1970 (killing '4 of the original MTV V-jays') and again a decade later when the Village People accepted their award for 'Best Male performance' for "Can't stop the music". This funny promo also served to introduce some of the silly MTV categories that have stuck with the show, like 'Breakthrough Performance' (it went to the chest-burster from "Alien" in '79) and 'Best Action Sequence' (Phoebe Cates stripping off her bikini top in "Fast times at Ridgemont High" in '83). Finally there was a bit of a flat joke about "Do the right thing" losing in 1990 to 'Honey, I took the kids to South Central' (starring Rick Moranis).
This sort of zaniness was kept up all through the show, as before and after commercial each break, there were all sorts of nominee lists for non existent categories such as 'Best Blow-Ups', 'Best Performance by Rock Stars', 'Best Performances by women with guns', 'Best Performance by Animals', 'Best Hairdos', 'Best Performance by Kids', 'Best Death Scene' and, funniest of all, 'Best inanimate object'. The nominees for this last category were: the scissors in "Dead Again", the wallpaper in "Barton Fink", the olive in "Hot Shots", the water-bottle in "Truth or Dare', the typewriter in "Naked Lunch" and Vanila Ice. The first annual 'Live Time Achievement Award', went to psychopath serial killer Jason Voorhees of "Friday the 13th" fame. After a montage of clips from all his films (8 at that time) set to Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' Master Voorhees took the stage to brag about his acting class, only to be unmasked by Dennis Miller, revealing Jon Lovitz underneath. In years to come, Jason would be joined in this category by Jackie Chan, Godzilla, The Three Stooges, Richard Roundtree and Chewbacca, before the powers that be at MTV decided to ditch this award all together because it was losing the silly aspect. The only serious note in this show was when John Singleton received the 'Best New Filmmaker Award' for "Boyz N the Hood".
This being Music Television, there were several musical acts to liven up the proceedings, but none were more impressive than the unexpected return of 'The Transformed Man', William Shatner. Having last recorded an album in 1968, Bill Shatner graced the show with his inimitable interpretation of three of the nominated songs: 'I Wanna Sex You Up' from "New Jack City"; 'You Could Be Mine' from T2 and the winner, 'Everything I do' from "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves". Apparently Shatner also filmed his version of Eric Clapton's 'Tears in Heaven' (nominated for "Rush") but this was deemed in poor taste because of the song's inspiration. It had been 24 years since Shatner released his album 'The Transformed Man', but this musical reawakening garnered enough new interest for him to consider a return to the recording studio (which he would do only twelve years later for 'Has Been'). In future installments of the MTV Movie Awards, they would try to duplicate the inventiveness from the first show by having old TV stars and chimps reenact scenes from the best picture nominees, but as the years went by the show started to lose it's comedic edge and become more and more a cross between the Oscars and the people's choice awards (made evident by Jim Carrey's continuing winning streak from 1995 upwards).
9 out of 10
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