Monday, January 19, 2009

wake up the dead

i've been going to movies before i could read. i don't know if i watched more assiduously movies tv or the films in theaters. i'd guess i watched more movies on tv since tv was and is omnipresent in our culture. yet it is theaters, drive-ins and walk-ins, where my most vivid movie memories lie.

i've given up finding those films where i know i seen them at theaters, especially drive-ins, where there is only snatches of scenes. to this day i know exactly what drive-in i was at when i saw a series of films - it could be one film but i doubt it because the scenes and the tones of the movies are different - where i remember only brief snippets. here's one such glimpse:

a helicopter lands in the center of a meadow. out come three or four men dressed in suits and brandishing either shotguns or handguns. the camera pans to a house where the men enter. the scene is one of carnage. bodies everywhere strewn and the walls spattered in blood and gore. then the bodies get up off the floor and begin attacking the men. the men shoot in defense and exit the house and get back into the copter.

or how about this one:

a house in the middle of a desert. a static shot of what appears to be the back door and beside that door are some garbage cans. a woman then opens the back door and puts trash in the cans then goes back into the house. from the right side of the frame comes a monkey-type creature when lopes to the garbage cans and starts to forage for food. the woman opens the door and shoos the creature away with a broom.

what the fuck is that about? i remember the drive-in vividly, the sunrise, which was situated next to a cemetery and the cemetery had an old wwii howitzer at its entrance. appropriate decore for watching horror movies right? well, these scenes and a few others have haunted me all my life. i must've seen these movies in the early '70s and my memories are so fragmented that i've lost any sort of hope of discovering what these films are.

these thought come bidden because of a book i'm reading about grade-z flicks and trash culture titled cinema sewer ed. by robin bougie. what is cool is bougie's obsession with exploitation and porn flicks and that his book, which is a collection of articles culled from his zine of the same name, is written in comic-book style. the text is mostly handwritten and in panels drawn by bougie. and a sample of the articles are about the film career of linda lovelace and ad mats of drive-in theaters. i nearly swooned from the ad mats.

but the book got my own memories a-swirling. so i fired up the laptop to see if i could google a tv movie i remember from either the late '70s to early '80s. certainly when i saw this flick i was just entering puberty as i recall having a huge crush on the female lead. but, oh shit, a quick search brought nada. the plot i recall is about a couple and their hi-tech house that turns on them. the last reel shows the couple in the backyard as their swimming pool's water boils as a result of the deranged computer that controls the house. i don't remember much other than that. but i remember the woman who i thought was the most attractive woman on the planet at the time. and the network aired it a few times as i remember seeing it more than once.

man, i'd give my left nut to see that flick again. that's a metaphor for you psychos who might think i'm serious. i don't want anyone to write me and say, 'i've got a tape, send me your ball'. you never know. now, there's a flick with a very similar plot where the computer impregnates the woman. but that isn't this movie. no, i think the computer cum house develops a crush on the female lead but she never gets pregnent from the house. the plot is a frankenstein creature type technology getting as smart or smarter than its creator.

that's the thing with memories regarding movies in the pre-internet and vcr/dvd era. you have to rely on memories. and those memories either add, embellish, augment or elide key items of importance. still, that remains the charm of movies. for they work within your imagination mor effectively than they do sometimes as what is evident on the screen. that is the power of magic.

[written uncorrected on my 4th beer and under the influence of movie memories. i raise a toast to the drive-ins and grindhouses of yore]


At 4:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've probably got this answer long since but your comments helped me find the movie I was looking for so... The movie with the couple boiling in the pool is called "This House Possessed". Happy hunting.


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