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Friday, April 1, 2011

I Have Pinpointed How I Became Warped or It Was All My Father's Fault

When you become a parent you start thinking about your own parents in a new way.  I'll explain.  (Because I like to explain and often it's funny when I do explain, especially when I give silly examples and illustrate them, too.)  Since I became a parent at age 40 my thoughts have frequently drifted back to my parents.  My family, like many families, has its pros and cons.  I don't remember much about my father because he died when I was eight years old.  (Not his fault.  He didn't really mean to have arterial sclerosis and clog up several vital veins to his ticker.)  But I remember the night Dad let my sister and I stay up to watch...a scary movie.

I don't remember exactly how this event came to be.  I may have to call my sister up and see if she remembers more details.  But I get the impression that this was an unusual occurrence.  So I think it went something like this.

This was in the days of yore and since we lived in a small town, I believe we got three channels at the time.  (Later we moved to a smaller town and one channel was sometimes all we got.)  But anyway three channels was hot stuff.  We had choices.  Yee-haw.  So the movie of choice was, 'The Green Slime.'  (Choices were limited.  I don't know what else was on, but 'The Green Slime' won hands down.)  I'm not sure what got me thinking about it, except the poll to the side about worst movies ever.  'The Green Slime' could have been a contender.  Hell, it should be on the top of the list.  Made in 1968, the upshot was that a giant asteroid headed to earth had extra occupants on it.  When our local heroes landed to blow up the asteroid so earth wouldn't be eradicated, the gooey green stuff hitched a ride back on their spacecraft.  And much hilarity ensued.

However, oh, I love that word, however, to an eight year old and a twelve year old this was:

A Scary Movie...
It was:
The Scary Movie!!!

In fact, to us, at the time, it was:
The Scariest Movie Ever!!!!!
And it's the first I ever got to see!!

So the movie began.  My sister and I sat in front of the television.  We were so close we could reach out and touch the screen.  We could feel the televisionatic radiation emanating from the TV that was altering our minuscule DNA strands.  Mom made popcorn with TONS of real butter, thus causing more issues.  (Dad might have had some of the popcorn with TONS of real butter and this might have contributed to his arterial sclerosis, but I never blamed Mom or the popcorn.)  Dad dimmed the lights for effect.  The movie began.

There was the giant earth-threatening asteroid.  There were the brave astronauts out to blow up the asteroids.  There were the wires on their costumes that we weren't supposed to see.  There was the bad lip syncing because some of the crew were Japanese and the movie was made in Japan so the quality wasn't James Cameron like.  (But it was definitely scary.  Never let it be said that bad special effects ruined a Godzilla movie.)

My sister and I were enthralled.  The green slime oozed.  It icked.  It snuck up on someone.  We knew that the Green Slime was bad.  We knew that the Green Slime was going to do something bad to the brave astronauts who had courageously saved earth from certain doom, and possibly garnered a place in the Razzie Hall of Fame.  The Green Slime crept closer to its first victim.  It was about to ooze greenness and stuff all over the victim in an icky manner befitting all 'B', or possibly 'C' movies.  The victim turned and perceived that he was about to die a horrible movie death from which his career might never rebound.  He opened his mouth to scream.

Then our father jumped up behind us and yelled, "Boo!"
And I nearly crapped my pants.

Of course, that didn't stop my sister and I from watching the remainder of the movie.  And Dad was in a really good mood, having successfully frightened his offspring into psychotic brain meltdown that would cause them to have the most wretched nightmares.  Not that I went to sleep that night.

So now I feel compelled to add a link to this movie so all of you can understand how truly bad this movie really is.  My sister and I still laugh about a Bloom County cartoon where Opus the Penguin has become a film critic.  Here's the gist of it where Opus is talking about a particular movie: "George Phblat's new film, 'Benji Saves the Universe,' has brought the word 'BAD' to new levels of badness. Bad acting. Bad effects. Bad everything. This film just oozed rottenness from every bad scene...Simply bad beyond all infinite dimensions of possible badness."  Then Opus pauses and adds, "Well maybe not that bad, but Lord, it wasn't good." - Opus (Bloom County)

This was 'The Green Slime.'  So take a look.  (The song is like something you'd hear from a chintzy porno movie.  ('The Green Slime Does Dallas.')  (And incidentally, I've only been to one porno movie and I didn't inhale.)  Now since I've just rewatched it, I feel obligated to say that the one eyed creatures don't look very slimy or green to me.  But the music rocks.  It makes me want to go watch it again and look over my shoulder for my father.
There it is, the exact moment of my side trek into becoming terminally warped.  I've pinpointed it for posterity until I can think of some more appropriate memory that was more damaging to my psyche.  And I can honestly say the following with no little amount of merit: It was Dad's fault.
This makes me think of my daughter watching scary movies.  She gets to see some mildly scary movies and TV shows.  She definitely hasn't seen anything worse that Scooby Doo Meets Some Werewolves and Other Mildly Scary Critters.  (She probably thinks that all detectives do musical montages while dancing and escaping from ten thousand year old cavemen who magically melted from a block of ice.)  Usually her biggest reaction to TV is when someone is being mean to someone else.  And she'll yell at the TV.  "Liar!  Liar!  Pants on Fire!"  This is her biggest and worst insult; she saves this for the truly cruel characters she occasionally sees on TV.  When she breaks out that number, Cressy really means business.  (Isn't she cute?)
But in my head I'm wondering at what will go in her head the first time she sees....'Alien.'  You know which scene I mean.  (I had to think about the grossest movie I've ever seen.  And I really had to think about it.  A scene from 'John Carpenter's The Thing' popped into my head and fought for dominance with 'The Exorist', but 'Alien' won out.)  I'll never forget going to that movie with my sister.  (We must have started something when we watched 'The Green Slime' together.)  We dragged her friend, Yvonne, to the movie, although she'd already seen it.  And Yvonne, just off from work, brought a cheeseburger to eat.  I think after the movie was over, both of us asked Yvonne how she could have eaten during that movie.  And her response was something like, "I was hungry." 
I let Cressy watch 'Pirates of the Caribbean.'  Initially I thought that the skeleton crew shots would scare her.  Turns out she thought the whole thing was pretty boring.  Her responses to parts of the movie:  Johnny Depp - "Bleh."  Orlando Bloom - "Hunh."  Keira Knightly - "Nice dress, but she's kind of squeally, Mommy."  Sword fights - "Whateveh."  Bad pirates turning into skeletons in the moonlight - "Hey, look the monkey turns into a skeleton, too.  Where's my Lego's?"

There ya go.  Let's go play with Lego's.

1 comment:

The Recovering Fundamentalist said...

Thank you. I needed the Opus film commentary now. I was just trying to describe American Ninja to a friend.