Sunday, September 16, 2007

Boo!

While flipping channels today I zoomed past a war movie I had the misfortune of seeing as a young girl in the summer of 1976. I recognized it right away, which is funny since that was about a million years ago and after looking up the year it came out was surprised at the date and the age I was when I got to witness 2 hours of WWII carnage that left me slightly scarred with the image of Charlton Heston, or whoever, burning alive in his crashing Corsair.

I remember being dropped off by my mother with my bff and her younger brother at the only movie theater within 15 miles. A small hole of a room with exceptionally sticky floors and a questionable staff of be-fro'd burnouts. I think Gene Simmons worked the soda machine.

It was a very hot July day and no doubt my mother could have done without me under her feet whining about the temperature, my unending boredom and begging for sugary treats. So, my little ass was deposited at the theater for a double feature. Forget the fact that were 9 and 8 respectively (good gawd) we were seeing unrated (?) movies never meant for people our age but no one gave that a thought.

After the intermission, peeling our keds off the floor, pee break, and popcorn refill, we took our seat again for the second feature. This one would prove even worse than the first and would haunt me for weeks to come. Bigfoot. That big damn hairy scary fucking Bigfoot. Nevermind the fact that we were alone at that age, but we shouldn't have seen either of those movies!

That effing monster movie Messed. Me. Up. I couldn't sleep for weeks without my parents both being in my room trying to convince me that there was no Bigfoot looming in the doorway or scary things under the bed or in the closet or monsters waiting to eat my face when the lights went out. Although we all know differently, don't we. Just ask Stephen King.

Another movie that jacked me up for half of my life was some B creature feature where some guy tries to save his wife by keeping only her head alive in a fucking pan of juices after she's decapitated in a car accident. I saw this when I was 5 years old after a day of kindergarten happily eating paste and showing my panties to the boys. I was never the same again.

I've had a strange relationship with all things creepy. In junior high I would regularly check out fiction and nonfiction accounts of ghost stories and look at freak show and circus people pictures that seemed to be oddly abundant in our small library. Lobster men, parasitic twins, conjoined heads floating in pickle jars. I was a tad obsessed.

At the same time I couldn't handle more than a few minutes in a campfire round of scare the shit out of the kids. I'd start to shake and cry and through my chattering teeth beg to be anywhere but in the middle of a tale involving a beating heart under the floorboards or Lizzy Borden coming to get me with a sharpened axe.

Things didn't improve when my 6th grade teacher showed our class some bizarre film about a farmer from the 1800's tending to his freshly dead wife on the kitchen table, cleaning her skin and dressing her in a fresh bonnet when all the time she was really alive or zombified or something horrible and when he's out on the farm she gets into a brawl with a mountain lion who fucks her up and kills her for real and he finds the aftermath which is shown in a series of strobe-light bursts.

WTF, teacher? WTF late 70's? WTF?

By my junior year in high school things began to change. Watching scary movies with a group of friends was a fun thing to do and my intense reaction was starting to wear off. Somehow a tradition started between my best friend Matty and I and every Sunday we'd rent a few slasher flicks, get a can of nacho cheese and some chips and spend the afternoon squealing and laughing and overdosing on junk food. It's one of my fondest memories.

Now, I can't get enough. We go out of our way to see as many scary movies as we can that are worth a look and I am a religious King follower. I've always loved Halloween and look forward to the season more and more every year. Decorating the house with spooky stuff and planning out a month of horror movies to watch. The dark skies and ghost stories shared on the radio. I love it all.

I still get scared sometimes and can work myself up in instant, seeing things out of the corner of my eye, not wanting to reach for that lightswitch in the pitch dark, just knowing something is reaching for me at the same time, and I don't like it when the cat jerks her head up at the ceiling looking at nothing. But a good scare gets the blood flowing. Well placed words that bring the hair up on the back of your neck is a thrill. Watching Paris Hilton cut into tiny pieces is delicious.

I might be turning 40 in a few days but I'll never stop enjoying a good old-fashioned fright.
Even if I have do to occasionally watch through my fingers.

7 comments:

Avalon said...

I hope turning 40 isn't the scariest thing to happen! Happy birthday Betty!

BTW, I luvs me some scary films, but I prefer the {{{nose decidedly planted in the air}}} psychological thrillers. Silence Of The Lambs is a true fav, as is 7.

Joan said...

Jack in the bean stock scared the living crap out of me when I was 6 years old, and I have never been the same. Never.

Lisa said...

LMAO @ "big damn hairy scary fucking Bigfoot".

I personally was scarred for life from the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". Pods! AAAAAAHHH!

Nan said...

I watched the Exorcist when it first came out and that scarred me for life. I was way too young to watch that back then. Had to sleep with a light on for years. lol

Anonymous said...

Feliz Cumpleanos Betty!!

May your birthday rock just like you!!

My movies that f'ed me up as a kid are Poltergeist and Fantasm, speaking of which I need an update on THE BOY!! What every became of him? Please tell me he is locked away in a box. I dreamt of him the other night...freaked me out!!

xxxooo,
Sugapie

Bitter Betty said...

Sugapie - the boy is long gone, hopefully at the bottom of a giant landfill! ACK!

little bitchass said...

BOO back!!! Did I scare you?

I used to love sitting with friends, smoking funny cigarettes, and watching old horror movies. Then we'd make comments about the movies.. sorta like Mystery Science Theater 3000 without the Mystery Science Theater 3000.

little bitchass