In the mid ’70s there was a movie, which was presented like a documentary, called BEYOND AND BACK. It dealt with accounts of real people who had “near death experiences,” and acted out their narrated testimonies of walking down a hall to a bright light, with actors and special effects. I was young and my mother took me along. Since I was in a movie theatre, and I never saw anything but pure fiction on the big screen, watching this documentary was so out of its place that I held onto it as cold hard fact for a long time. I’m not sure what degree of factuality was behind it, and I’ve never seen it since.
Anyway, I don’t remember most of it, which I think were numerous similar accounts of people walking to heaven, only to be turned around since it wasn’t their time yet. Doctor’s debated the actual weight of the human soul…that was another tangent they explored. All seemed rather mundane to little me.
That is, except for the last part…the shocker. This depicted the woman who attempted suicide, and didn’t get the bright light treatment.
Instead, she experiences a hellish vision, which scared the jujubes out of me.
What I remember is she’s in some dark bleak place, and is accosted by some “demons” or other, which had human faces with silly putty over their eyes. In my mind now, they appear almost as evil blind mimes. They made no sound. They held her down to the ground and forced her to view her living relatives and friends mourning her, from in the reflection of a mud puddle. After the shock and awe, she repents in horror, and is alive again.
I doubt there was much to it, and it probably was incredibly tame, but it rocked my boat enough for my mom to shuttle me off for ice cream afterwards, as she saw me looking pale. Thereafter came many a soul searching night for me, coupled with nightmares, wondering what I had to do to get the bright light walk….which, although easily the better of the two, still seemed awfully (and eternally) lonely to a nine-year-old….and that was the best you could hope for!
Anybody remember this one?
AUNT JOHN SEZ: Brace yourself Bigwig, and get your pint of Ben & Jerry’s ready. The clip of which you speak features a muscle car driving bride-to-be from Gary, Indiana and no expense was apparently spared in recreating her after-life ordeal: