So, the self imposed The Summer of Horror is off to a good start. I finished reading The Exorcist and really liked it. It's scary and obscene but a great read.
As much as I liked The Exorcist the most surprising aspect of reading it is not the content but the reaction people have to it. Maybe it was the location but I read it while in the waiting rooms of a doctor's office and later a blood lab and I got some very strange looks. People look at the book as though it were some sort of manual for evil. I read it at a hair salon and got similar reactions. One stylest asked what I was reading, I held up the book and watched as she took a step back turned on her feet and briskly walked away mumbling "I've seen the movie and that was enough for me." My hair stylist asked the same question. When I held up the book she too took a step back and held her hair dryer up as if in defense while shaking her head. All of these reactions were genuinely funny to me. I'm on jury duty this week. I'm only sorry that I won't have the chance to carry it around the LA County Criminal Courthouse. God only knows the looks I'd get reading it there.
I saw Splice yesterday. Sadly I cannot recommend that as highly as I can The Exorcist in written or film form. I've only seen The Exorcist three times in my entire life. The first time really doesn't count because I saw most of it while peering out from between my fingers. The second attempt was with my brother and his BFF. They got me a bit drunk and made fun of it. We laughed through that airing. The third time was with Shandon and Howard. I made it though that viewing sober but admit to having a hard time sleeping alone in the house that night. I think it's the scariest movie I've ever seen. The Shining is a close second but I've seen that one many times and it doesn't seem to keep me up at night... but I still hate those creepy twins.
This American Life recently ran an episode where a man describes how seeing The Shining as a kid wrecked him for life and his mother had the nerve to have zero recollection of the event. For me it was Rosemary's Baby. It was airing on tv, chalk full of commercials, but it scared me so badly that I had to sit in the kitchen where my babysitter and brother were playing a board game. I didn't see that film in it's entirety until about 25 years later. The film that scared my brother for life was Salem's Lot. All I had to do was raise my arms and pretend to hover outside of his bedroom door and he'd freak out. At least that is my recollection. I called to confirm this with him. He was slightly distracted by a hockey game but this is the conversation that followed:
Lucy: Ok, when you were a kid, wasn't Salem's Lot the film that scared you the most?
Bro: *adamantly* No, it was The Shining. Salem's Lot scared me but the one that really f@cked with me was The Shining.
Lucy: Did you see it in the theater or on tv?
Bro: In the theater. MOM TOOK ME!
Lucy: LOL!! What?!
Bro: I know! It messed with my head for years.
I promptly congratulated Mom for that decision.
Lucy: I just talked to bro and he says you took him to see The Shining when he was a kid.
Mom: What? Ohhh, The Shining isn't that bad.
Lucy: Mom, he was 12 years old!
Mom: *averting her eyes from mine* Well, just those two girls were bad. The rest was fine.
Lucy: What about the naked lady getting out the bath who turns into a rotting zombie making out with Jack Nicholson?
Mom later claimed "Well, I was a good mother most of the time. We all make mistakes!" She's right. She was and remains an excellent mother. She must have just had a lapse of good judgement. Sort of like the time I took my three-year-old niece on Tower of Terror at California Adventure. That was not my best aunty moment.
Aside from Rosemary's Baby my all time scariest movie is one I don't know the name of. I saw that one on tv and never forgot it. Yesterday, Shandon, Howard and I were talking about how most of the scariest things we saw were on local tv on the weekends of our childhood. Most parent's were busy and didn't really pay attention to what we watched during the day, alone in the living room. Howard recalls seeing Burnt Offerings on tv. That chauffeur still scares him. We agreed that anything with Karen Black in it spelled trouble in our childhoods. Remember this one? Of course it's now hilarious but in the 70's it scared the hell outta me. Someone seriously needs to put her in a a quality horror film to really scare us children of the 70's. Where is Quinton Tarentino's nostalgic side when you need it?
This pathological liar always freaked me out too. Worst of all were weekends when this was all that was on. It was worst in the summer when it was too hot and smoggy to go out and play.
What a whack job. Bad dubbing has been an issue with me ever since
And jeeez, remember this movie trailer?! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Shandon and her sister remember a film with a creepy priest or was it a monk? Anyway, she finally learned the name of that film and got to show it to her sister and got a great reaction. My unknown film was in black and white with a women a being chased through the streets. She may have been accused of witchcraft, I'm not sure. Ultimately she was thrown in some sort of cell with her head encased in a cage. There is a hungry rat on one side of the cage. A divider is lifted and the rat rushes to feed on her face. OMG, I'll never forget it. I don't think I even want to know the name of that damned movie. What I want to know is why on earth was that shown on local tv?! How did I go from Dusty's Treehouse to flesh eating rats?! And why isn't Dusty's Treehouse on YouTube by now?