The Day I Tried To Live Without the DUNCE Hat On

| Friday, November 6, 2009

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m tired. To whine about the horrors of life is repetitive. I can waste away into bankruptcy trying to get half as much or just wait for that moment when those 100 pennies do their job and change my life – forever. People laugh when they I say I wish I was in high school again, asking me, “You really want that time of angst, peer-pressure and awkwardness again?” Yes, I wouldn’t mind. Its light years better than waking up, going work, wishing you weren’t there and then go home. It is, in my opinion harder. Much, much harder. I’d rather deal with deep depression, days of being alone, taking long mindless walks, writing papers, and being driven with the need to not fail. Life is pretty much the same now, just with out the days of being alone.

I shouldn’t be doing this, this madness. Let’s bring ourselves to the sunny side for a minute. Last night I had a partial viewing of Pan’s Labyrinth. The first time I saw it, I had the pleasure of seeing it all in Spanish. Having no clue at all to what they were saying, I made it though by noting their actions, emotions and knowing a few phrases here and there. Visually, it is a stunning movie. Story wise, it is a stunning movie. As for as fantasy movies go, this one was done perfectly and intelligently in the view of a child and how monstrous adults; the real world can be. Looking back my imagination as a child wasn’t as vast. Grasping reality was a priority when I was younger; to be in a fantasy world only the half of the time would have a disappointment to me. So in its place I watched television, lots of it. In a normal person’s lifetime a total of 500 or so movies are seen without noticing. I’ve seen a little over 5,000 and I remember every title. No matter how good it was or how long, every one of them left its mark some how. One movie, as you all know made a special impression in my life. Creepshow, though as corny as it may be, is one of the best collage of short stories in one film I have ever seen. I would see it 100 more times if I had the time.

An explanation of why I favor this movie over most can’t be explained in one sitting. The one thing that I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing is being interviewed. I probably wouldn’t like it. But if I ever was and had to explain why I do like the film, it would go something like the paragraphs below. The tone takes a very unsettling and sad turn, half way through the dialogue I realized it was all conversation with myself. I enjoyed it for a while but playing pretend made me realize how unimportant I am. I am only interesting to myself.

Why Creepshow. Why is that your all time favorite movie? Why not “Gone With the Wind? Or The Wizard of Oz?

Well, that question has to be answered in parts. Take a look at the movie from my perspective. It begins at night riding a storm, in a little house in a rural neighborhood. Right there, something I didn’t have. I was born and feared all my life would die in a high-rise project in Brooklyn. My windows were many and all I had was the darkness of the night and the lights of the city that never slept. The air isn’t still, it could never be with the noise of the cars, trains and the people - none of it could be blocked out with double plated glass. In the suburbs, you can only hear yourself breathing. That’s the only sound I wanted to ever hear. The movie continues with a father yelling at his son for reading comic books. Years later I found out the truth behind that fight. The comic “Creepshow” derived from similar criteria of “Tales from the Crypt”, “The Haunt of Fear” and “The Vault of Horror”, a series that was sentenced to death due to their violent and outlandish subjects that parents and the like protested to the point of having burning parties. To think that reading a fictional piece of literature makes people violent is just as insane as the concept of voting. So the father’s protest was a generalization of not comic books, but which comic book the son was reading. The mother just watched and added limited dialogue to the issue. She was an adversary to the battle of being a parent, she really didn’t win or loose in the matter. This is where I also saw what kind of figure a father is in a family. A strong, unrelenting character in the lived in the houses of a select few. I didn’t have that growing up and I think I would not have turned out any differently if I did. The opening scene concludes with the son getting slapped for a revealing comment and the comic gets thrown away. The son curses his father in the process and a ghoul of some sort appears, this is of course the Crypt Keeper reincarnated. See, this is why I enjoyed the movie so much when I was younger until now. It’s the rebirth of something that died years ago by ignorance and selfishness. The time that it all came out was indeed a different one; people couldn’t handle that sort of macabre and rejected it. I knew I was seeing something for the first time for what it was, and it was amazing…

Wow, I would have never imagined that reaction. You see things in a different light when it comes to movies and their meaning?
I really wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say I see things in a different light; I just have an opinion of things over time and asses my thoughts over it. I perceive…think about things all the time people really shouldn’t be thinking about. I dissect the littlest things, in the end I keep them to myself and forget about them later. My mind has some degree of deficiency when it comes to holding on to a thought. This is a rare moment. If you called me and told me that the tape recorder was busted and didn’t record anything I think my heart would sink [laugh]. You couldn’t get this from me again.

That’s discouraging.
So is taking a bowel movement that's all black.

No, that’s just disgusting.
Human bodily functions are the most revealing thing you can find out about someone [...our yourself] other than seeing them naked, it can tell you a lot about them. That’s disgusting. If my farts came out smelling like tortillas, that gives you the idea “Oh, she likes Mexican” or some other kind of corn treat or meal.” [Long pause] What were we talking about again? I feel we’ve veered off some subject.

Yes, yes we quite have [laughs]. We were talking about ‘Creepshow’…
Oh yes, OK. Going into the five stories that create the environment of the remainder of the movie can be pretty trivial. What I admired the most was that in every story a unique artifice appeared in every one of them. There was a marble ashtray with a decorative metal protrusion on top of it. It’s very nice; I wish I could find a replica of it [laughs]. It makes a beautiful table nook.

The first tale is completely about patricide. It’s a really dark subject considering the scene that we’ve just watched with the son and the father. When he snarls “I hope you burn in hell!”, that sums up the feelings of all youth at that age. I definitely felt that way when I was 9, 10 years old; I still do know [laughs] But seriously, how ironic is that. I think the subject was candy coated, the fact that the daughter killed her father wasn’t really hidden; it leading to devastating guilt, and he resurrecting from the dead to finally get his Father’s Day cake is ridiculous. If anything it expressed that he was a man that got what he wanted, no matter what. Well, that was her impression of him.

I never made that connection, and it’s clear now. That’s amazing. Are you making this up as you go along?
Yes, all of it. This is something I’ve never really thought about until now. And to freely think about it aloud is great. I’m taking this hour and a half 80s B movie into a theatrical masterpiece of intelligent storytelling. When it is just a campy horror/comedy that became a cult classic in its own right.

Indeed [laughs] Continue, PLEASE!
For as long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed Leslie Nelson. And to see him in a masochistic role was astounding. Who in the hell forces someone to bury themselves in the sand and watch them drown via camcorder when the tide of the ocean comes in? That’s a sick man, a man who gets what he wants…Just like the father from the first story. It’s all a matter of principle. A man scorn? That happens, how often is that though? I don’t even want to think of it really because I could careless. But I would have cared if I was married to him and had done to me what he did to his wife. What happens toward the end of the story is hilarious. Once when I was watching it with my Mom she said, “That’s all in his head.” This, I had to agree with her. Guilt killed him. Guilt made him set up the cameras. Guilt made him dig his own hole and bury himself in the sand. Guilt is human condition, a space that will never be filled.

I heard that people who are grieving or who are holding on to a problem for a long duration develop hysterical illnesses and ailments. That’s phenomenal, for your mind to turn on you that easily. I feel people turn on your faster. Bringing me to the next story about Jordy Verrill. What’s perplexing about a hick living in the middle of nowhere? Truthfully, nothing. A large percentage of people live that way and prefer it. But at the unlikely event a meteor hits and you’re the only person around to be aware of this is definitely a terrifying ordeal. He didn’t think so though. He was alone and scared. He perpetuated the occurrence to be a profitable one until the growth began. And the feelings of being alone and scared were only amplified by what the meteor had brought upon him. The story was a very sad one, “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill”, his fear was the meteor. We all have our shots from the sky we dread.

Maybe so. But how does his story relate to the rest? He doesn’t have a goal or hate his father.
I have a sense you’re getting a little bit too excited about my claims. I am making this up as I go along, I’ll probably see it later on as we go along. [Long pause] Come to think of it…his father was dead and came to him as a vision. So I guess there is a connection after all. It’s unfair that when you’re close to death you begin to see people who’re no longer in your life. [In movies] they tend to always try to be the life saver. I find that to be cruel. Free will is a thing of the living and 100% of the time we’ll end up dead anyway. It’s misleading really…

When you look at “The Crate” and “They’re Creeping Up On You” are completely different stories from the rest. How does an ancient yeti living in a box under the stairs and an old man with Entomophobia have to do with anything? I really don’t see the connection. Though it was entertaining to watch how they both played out. The mere horror of finding something alive after being trapped in a box for over 100 years is enough to drive you into a profession of drug taking. Curiosity is in all of us, if I found a box that looked like it hadn’t been opened in scores, my first thought is “there must be treasure in this that will make me richer than Jesus’ mother.” And that’s exactly what the professor thought too. But in return he had to watch a janitor and a “19” year old college student get consumed by an aged gorilla torso that was famished for human flesh. But the side story touched a subject also of spousal abuse. What movie since displayed that women can be abusers? Though she was purely verbal, it’s still abuse. And the battered husband reacted in a way as all battered husbands do, except the problem resolved itself with a yeti in a box. So I guess he got lucky. Everybody gets one.

I saw Creepshow once and I barely remember “They’re Creeping Up On You”
That was one that was erased from my memory too when I was younger, I had just seen the movie only a few times. I, myself do not favor the company of bugs of any kind so I consider this story one of my least favorites. I’m going to ignore the whole story in fact. An old bigot in a white apartment with a bed, jukebox, and a computer wasn’t as interesting to me as I thought it would be when I saw it for the first time. But it did show once again and made it obvious that it was all in his mind. There was a part where he had smashed a roach with his hand and when he lifted his hand to look at the remains, there was nothing there. I’ve experienced the short life of a shut in and it had never gotten to that point of realistic hallucinations of my inner most fear. The roaches symbolized how consumed he was with himself, his company and lifestyle. When the bugs finally caught up with him in his look-in air tight panic room, it’s like all the air was pushed out of him and he had no where else to go. That and he had a heart attack [laughs]. I would too if I saw a bed of bugs. The part when they all come pouring out of him means something too; it gave a visual of how ugly some people are on the inside. It’s sad really. Another sad case.

You’ve turned this movie into something other than what it really is.
I hope not, I’ll watch it in the same light as I always have. Played in a constant loop at all times to make me feel like someone’s home.

Would you ever have your children watch it?
Of course! I’m a hoarder for music, movies and other sorts of entertainment. It’s all influential, and I want it all to capture my children in some way. I can’t act, sing, or play an instrument very well but when I listen to music, watch a movie or see a stage performance of any kind I feel like I can for just that moment. It’s a great feeling. And then back to reality. We can all dream.

Indeed. It was a pleasure talking to you. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch the movie the same again. Thank you for your time.

You’re welcome.

I don’t care if I seem off. It’s just the way I am. I don’t think I’ll ever change.

“There is no Yoda – there is no one who points you in the right direction. You’ve got to figure that out by yourself.” – Heath Ledger

Unleash Hell :-P