Parking Lot Movies

Ransom Riggs

A surprising number of great short films have been made in parking lots. I'm not certain why. I can't think of a less likely place to find an interesting story or make something good -- but they keep popping up.

For instance, just the other day, like ten of my friends shared this music video called WHOLE FOODS PARKING LOT. Anyone who shops there regularly but hasn't quite made peace with themselves about it will be able to relate. This was shot at my local Whole Foods, where it is indeed getting real.

Before YouTube was even a glint in a programmer's eye, a fellow named Eman Laerton was making videos called YOU HAVE BAD TASTE IN MUSIC, in which he punks the fans of lame bands while they're waiting to get into various venues/arenas/thunderdomes for a concert. The Linkin Park edition is pretty classic.

THE PARKING LOT MOVIE is a feature-length documentary that follows a group of somewhat disgruntled, over-educated parking lot attendants in Charlottesville, Virginia. Actually, "follows" isn't quite the right word, since they never really go anywhere. But it is very funny, the attendants are full of startling observations, and it's a surprisingly enjoyable film. A little NSFW language in this trailer:

Probably the first "parking lot" movie was HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT, in which a curious filmmaker hangs out in the parking lot of a rock arena before a Judas Priest concert, talking with tailgating metal fans. It's only gotten more classic over the years. A postcard from the lost 80s!

HANDS ON A HARDBODY is about people in Texas who compete to win a pickup truck by seeing who can stand in a parking lot and touch it the longest. It goes on for days and days, and becomes an incredible test of willpower.