Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Wait... Are There Zombies In It?

It was all an accident. When I was a little kid (I mean, little to the point where I'm not sure if I remember this directly or if I've told the story enough times where I remember the telling better), I had a very overactive imagination. My backyard was an invisible zoo that, according to my mom, I maintained pretty regularly. I made up stories about people I'd never met. I went to this fake beach place in Opelousas that had a giant dragon right in the middle of the lake that shot water outta it's mouth (except the head was broken off, so the water just shot up outta it's neck like in a Miike movie), and spent the rest of the week quizzing my mom on how they made the water come out of there.
Cute, huh? yeah, I was a precious little starry-eyed white kid.
Of course, along with all the neato anecdotes I provided my mom with in those days, there's also a downside to childlike wonder. I suffered pretty regularly from sleep paralysis, which took the form of a witch who threw spiderwebs on me from up on the ceiling (my dad's solution worked. He told me she couldn't get me if I didn't sleep on my back. I still habitually sleep on my side and cannot fall asleep on my back. He never thought to tell me the true reason for what was happening or that there was no such thing as witches). There was a skeleton that grabbed my feet and tried to pull me outta bed alot. My mom solved this by telling me to sleep with the covers all the way up to my neck (to this day, if it's 100 degrees  or freezing, I can't fall asleep without being cocooned up in my blanket. The actual existence of my antagonist never even came into question).
The first time I ever saw a human handle a snake was when my older cousin got a python for a pet. The idea had never even crossed my mind that snakes weren't just evil monsters whose only purpose was to bite you. That night, my mom ended up having to call my uncle (who lived elsewhere. I'm not sure what the connection was on this one) and wake him in the middle of the night so he could tell me he was not on my wall, and not a snake.
The first scary movie i can remember wasn't a movie, but a TV show called NightStalker and there was this headless motorcycle guy who fast became my hero and my bedtime tormentor, both at the same time. I made up alot of stories about how cool he was and what he had jumped over today and who he scared and shit like that, but, when it was time for sleep, he made up the stories for me, and I usually ended up in my parents' bed or in my sister's room, on the floor. 
I'm sure there were plenty other things that freaked me out in that time, but he stands out in my memory. He would later be replaced by Jason Voorhies and his lovely mom. 
I don't feel all that old until I think about shit like this. There was a drive-in movie a couple miles from our house. I haven't seen one of those since. The whole world was a different color back then. I can't explain it if you weren't there. It was simpler, especially in Eunice. My mom got in a big fight with my dad when she came home with our first VCR. She bought it from some doctor at the hospital for $500. USED!!
There was beta max before that, but people lost interest pretty quick. The first thing we watched on it was ON GOLDEN POND. There were some nasty words in that movie and I thought that was pretty neat. Being raised Southern Baptist, we weren't normally exposed to all that. First, we weren't allowed to watch R-rated movies. I'm betting there were plenty PG ones my mom kept us away from too. This worked until we started seeing shit at my aunt's anyway.
Then, my mom started the rule where she had to watch it first and see where the nasty parts were and then, if it wasn't something with ONLY curse words, she'd watch it with us and fast-forward the dirty mom...a female...with a VCR we saw the sex scenes about 3 or 4 times instead of once, in fast motion, backwards and forwards, while my mom fought a losing battle with the physics of video tapes.
After a while, she let up some more and resulted to letting us watch shit with her for the first time and just yelling: "TURN YOUR HEADS!". Wwe watched FRIDAY THE 13th parts 1 & 2 back to back and it literally devastated me. I didn't show it during the first one, but, by halfway through the second, I was thinking ahead to bed time and starting to really worry. I think my mom noticed, so we watched TIME BANDITS right after, to kinda cleanse the palette, but... 
my dad used to get really sick of me trying to sneak into their bed without waking them up.
EVILSPEAK was the next big stumbling block on the way to my becoming a normal little kid. We were raised Baptist, so I had only really thought of the devil as the red guy with the tail that you would go see if you were a bad person. Now, all of a sudden, there was this new concept of a devil that could come looking for me. What was worse, the protagonist is the one who conjures up the devil, gets possessed, and goes on a brutal murdering spree full of decapitations, impalings, pigs running around ripping people apart, 5-point-stars burning into things... the big Satanic choir in the soundtrack has played in my mind at least once a day since that first experience.
I can't, without undergoing hypnosis, describe the traumatic effects of this film on my silly little mind. I remember promising God I would never watch another movie like that if he'd just promise not to let Coopersmith (Clint Howard's character in the movie) come floating up through my floor, eyes all glowing, disembodied voices singing operatically in Latin, with a giant sword, poised to chop me in half where I lay.
It was agonizing. I was fully immersed in this nightmare. My parents tried like hell to ban me from any further exposure to this madness...but I wanted more.
Don't ask me how I pulled this off, but I managed to stay home and watch THE THING with my mom before my sister or my dad got to see it. I think I mighta been sick... anyway, my mom wasn't too thrilled with all the f-words (definitely a record number as far as my movie-watching history was concerned), but she knew it had an all male cast, so there was little possibility of me seeing some boobs or anything.

What I saw was the most amazing and influential thing I'd ever seen. It was twice as dark and serious as anything I'd witnessed up to that point and the gore just seemed to come out of the screen. There was enough blood and goop and nasty-stretching-shit to literally drown all the other films I'd seen before. The hero wasn't an innocent little blond girl who just wanted to be a good camp councilor. There wasn't really a hero. The whole group was a buncha toughguy assholes who already didn't necessarily trust each other BEFORE a shape-shifting alien started killing and imitating them, slowly taking over their entire antarctic camp.
I didn't have nightmares about it. I probably dreamed about it plenty, but it didn't torture me. I was already interested in sci/fi since STAR WARS and THE BLACK HOLE and this film graduated my interest to obsession. I got notes to my mom alot cause instead of taking notes, I'd be drawing people who's heads pulled themselves free of their bodies, grew spider legs and ran down the hall. My mom fussed alot, but she never sent me to a psychiatrist or anything stupid like that.
DAWN OF THE DEAD is the next big one I can remember. Jesus, I musta watched that shit 5 or 6 times in a row that first day. This was the first time i discovered that a movie could be truly horrifying, and still hysterically funny throughout.
These were the days before Blockbuster, when little mom&pop video stores ordered their VHS tapes (you could still get beta at some places) from a salesman who had a full catalogue of cheapo horrors that he guaranteed would pay for themselves in one or two rentals. That was the golden age of movie rentals. There was this little store in Branch (right between Church Point and Mowata) that we'd drive out to that my mom would have to drag me out of kicking and screaming nearly every time.
They had the best shit in the world. Because of them, me and whatever of my friends and family were lucky enough to be around, got to see such beautiful spectacles as: SQUIRM, MICROWAVE MASSACRE, 2,000 MANIACS, WIZARD OF GORE, BASKET CASE, FROGS, MOTEL HELL, etc. 
All that, and about 100 others I can't even remember were just sitting, right there on the shelf, next to KRAMER VS. KRAMER and 10 and ROCKY. I can't even walk into a Blockbuster or Hollywood Video without a familiar wave of nausea accompanied by the knowledge that whatever I leave there with, it'll never be as cool and I'll have settled for it.
I missed EVIL DEAD, but EVIL DEAD 2 caught my attention when it first came out and I rented it and watched it alone one night. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It seemed unfair that there was no one else around to witness such genius. I swear, I had to rewind it a couple times cause I was laughing so hard, I'd miss the next gag. Then, it was over and I was all creeped out.
Up until then, the evil was usually in the form of a killer or monster or the devil or SOMEthing. Now, it could be random. I remember talking about it with someone and we decided that the "Evil Dead" was the movie itself and it was trying to kill it's own characters. I mean, what the fuck do you do when everything around you might, at any moment, come to life and try to do you in?
 I love this idea. It's liberating and challenging.
I think really far into stupid shit. It's awesome when it's something cool to think about. It's murder when it's something I shoulda just forgotten by now, but I have to turn over every single possibility until I'm not even sure what really happened any more. This, I find, clouds my judgement sometimes and I don't do everything as logically as I should. I'm aware of it, but it's not something I feel capable of controlling. The by-products are depression, misunderstandings, constant confusion, awkwardness... you name it.
One of the less serious side-effects is that I still think someone's sneaking around my room at night sometimes. I still have to take off running when I convince myself that someone's following me down a dark hall. I have a life-size doberman statue that moves sometimes just to fuck with me.
I've also convinced myself once, that my brain patterns were being projected into my crackhead neighbors' apartment and driving them crazy and that's why they try to throw each other down the stairs every night. You gotta reach a certain level of pompous paranoid-schizophrenia to get up in some shit like that. I hope i'm not being judged by some cosmic overseer for all these things that swim uninvited through the murky swamp that is my subconscious, cause they'd have to make up a whole new hell to fit my soul into.
Going to hell scares me. Not because I believe in it, but because... what if? Alot of things scare me for that reason.
What if?
It's my two favorite words in the English language. It's also the two muthafuckas that keep me up all night wondering exactly how cool I would think it was if I was really seeing Godzilla marching toward me, smashing the shit outta everything in his path. 
THE GRUDGE scared the fuck outta me just because it went right into how my mind works. It's terrifying to always be thinking that: IF I CAN'T SEE IT...IT'S PROBABLY THERE.
Fuck the plot. Fuck Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Fuck Ju-On and The Ring and the whole argument about American remakes of Japanese movies... whatever.
In my dreams, if I'm walking down a hallway toward a bedroom with 2 beautiful, naked girls, I'm guaranteed to look behind me at some point and know before doing so, that something fucked up will be there coming for me. If I'm opening a door, I know before hand that there will be zombies on the other side. I've listened to the subconscious argument in my own brain as one side said:
"Aww, come on. Let the dude go have sex. It's a dream. Let's do this."
while the other said:
"Man, you KNOW somebody's about to come outta those shadows with red eyes and Satanic theme music and a sword."
I hate being scared... but I sure love being scared. I INSIST on being frightened. I'm an optimistic person, yet I spend most of my time (awake or asleep) thinking of the worst-possible-scenario.
I dream about the apocalypse whenever I'm not dreaming about unholy evildoers. This is not a buncha shit I think is "pretty cool". This is all I think about. People who know me can probably describe the blank expression that washes over my face during normal conversation better than I can. It's not to be rude. I try like hell to give a fuck about whatever you felt it was important for me to know about your friends who I never even met and their painfully dull misadventures. I can't help it that somewhere in the middle of paying attention, my brain no longer can translate the words I'm hearing.
It doesn't mean I don't LIKE you. Some people don't take very well to my social ineptitude and it certainly limits the amount of friends who actually LIKE to hang out with me, but the ones that DO can always be certain that we won't be having the same conversation they just had at work, on their smoke break, with people they wouldn't hang out with if they weren't forced into the same building all day, every day. Do I ever wish I was someone who thought about dial tones and spinning rims and dropping GHB in some chick's drink downtown, or God-forbid... money?
I can't even imagine it.  

Sunday, November 6, 2005

I Hope We All Go Out Smiling

I hope we all get to go out smiling,
like pretty little angels,
who understood it was their time to go,
and fully grasped the angle

that the energy created could not be destroyed.

that history created is impossible to void.

everything's gonna be ok, huh? 

just put your hand over your heart.

i hope we all go out fucking,
and that's the truth of it,

no inhibitions, all-out, freaking out on each other, fucking.

fucking big giant ball of apocalyptic crazies fuck-fucking.

partly because it would be like the final exam for the
monkeys who started out as single-celled organisms and became
monkeys who learned to walk upright and became
monkeys who learned to drive cars who became
 who loved to wage wars who became
 who loved printed shavings of the trees they'd climbed down from

and would kill just to have 'em,

and pretty much stayed that way right up until God bagged 'em,
and that would be a pretty funny joke to play on God

when he came back to check how we did, i think...

like the whole planet stuck their butter-finger in the air

while they were humping the living crap outta each other,

finally united in one common short-term goal, like good sisters & brothers,

and, in one final, convulsing thrust,

all died in mid-orgasm,
leaping into the next plane of existance together...

thus, forever tricking the Holy Math Books

into confirming that the human race 
was a tremendous success,
those fucking monkeys musta been blessed,

and now it becomes the blueprint for the new shit

and we'll dig in our noses when they can't figure what to do with it,

and rub the world off on the side of the creator's chair

and he's back-to-the-old-drawing-board
 when he figures out why we put it there.

plus, i just like sex alot, so that would be the coolest thing to be doing right at the end of the world, probably.