Was it really a whole year ago that we here at Kindertrauma declared that the day after Mother’s Day will forever hence forth be known as Arbogast Day? Check your calendars kids because yesterday was indeed Mother’s Day and that means you know what today is… Arbogast Day!
Arbogast Day celebrates all that is fellow blogger Arborgast of the stellar blog ARBOGAST ON FILM. We are not the type to let a restraining order or two cramp our style either. How does one celebrate such a day you may be asking yourself? One way is to spend a moment or two reflecting upon what Arbogast may be doing at this very minute. Is he writing? Is he painting a portrait? Could he be taking a bubble bath or is he more of the shower type?
Another way to celebrate Arborgast Day is to take a cue from the type of post that made him our hero. Arbogast coined the phrase “The one you might have saved,” when he waxed philosophic about the horror film victims that maybe should have lived. Of course horror films need their dead folks, but we all have a favorite character or two that we find it painful to say goodbye to. With that in mind both Auntie John and myself have selected our own personal choices of film characters that we wish could have lived. (It is our plan to do this every year on Arbogast Day until such time as we forget to or the world ends.) Check our choices out, tell us what yours are and make sure you stop by and visit good ol’ Arbogast HERE!
Aunt John’s choice:: THE BAD SEED’s RHODA PENMARK
They always say it’s a real tragedy when a young life is cut short. Your Aunt John says it’s an even greater tragedy when the work of a murderous child is cut short. Had Rhoda Penmark not gone out in a well-lighted blaze of glory at the end of THE BAD SEED, she was to have gone sun bathing on the roof with her frumpy neighbor and pretend Aunt, Monica Breedlove. Based on the final bedtime interaction between Rhoda and her father, the pig-tailed psychopath was set to inherit a lovebird named Sweetsie in the event her Aunt Monica ever died or went away. Rhoda Penmark was a take charge little girl who made things happen, and had she survived that lightening attack on the dock, she would have made that date with Aunt Monica. She would have also facilitated some tragic slip and fall for the bombastic Breedlove and snared herself a lovebird in the process.
It should be noted that Rhoda escapes unscathed in both the novel and play formats of THE BAD SEED; it is her wishy-washy mother that does not survive her suicide attempt. Alas, it appears my poor Rhoda was a victim of the oppressive Motion Picture Production Code (a.k.a. the Hays Code), which forced filmmakers to adhere to the adage “Crime does not pay.” I can only reckon that this Victorian approach to film making also dictated the goofy curtain-call tack on in the closing credits in which PATTY McCORMACK politely curtsies for the camera. If you’re gonna kill the kid, don’t rub salt in my wounds and trot her out like a show pony three minutes later. In killing Rhoda, they also killed off a potentially lucrative franchise. It’s a damn shame that we have to live a world where the kid from PROBLEM CHILD can land a two-picture deal, and all McCormack received was a playful spanking from NANCY KELLY. Where is the justice in that?
Unkle Lancifer’s choice: BAD DREAM’S LANA
After much thought my “The one you might have saved” ends up being the character of Lana from 1988’s BAD DREAMS. I tried real hard to think of a super plucky or noble character from a classic film, but any answer other than E.G. DAILY ‘s Lana would be a complete lie. Why should I pretend to love Crêpe Suzette when I am always so darn hungry for meatballs? Lana’s death is a real shame for many reasons. First off, who wants to see anything bad happen to adorable E.G.? I also gotta admit I love Lana for being such a shivering Chihuahua basket case. I know you are only supposed to like strong willed characters who know exactly what they are doing at all times and always say the right thing, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just don’t. Human strength is boring as hell; give me a train wreck any day of the week. Mental patient Lana hides behind her hair and drips pathetic, over sensitivity all over the place like a pelted martyr. That is why I LOVE HER.
Watch what happens when lil’ Lana tries to reach out to self obsessed final squirrel JENNIFER RUBIN…
She’s Carrie White without the chance of telekinetic redemption, a doormat with a punching bag for a heart. She’s also the first victim to kick the bucket. She shows up, whines a bit, has a momentary flash of hope for the future, has said hopes trampled on and then gets drowned by RICHARD LYNCH. Misery, false hope and then death, now there’s a character arc I can believe in.
I would have loved to see Lana stick around longer, not to watch her lace up army boots and kick ass but to maybe just be a rock of Gibraltar sidekick with a few hidden talents up her sleeve. I mean, c’mon BAD DREAMS you could have at least had E.G. perform a theme song over the closing credits! Oh Lana, we hardly knew ye and perhaps due to your galactic vulnerability, you actually are BETTER OFF DEAD, but let me tell you, the movie BAD DREAMS would have been better off with a double dose of E.G. and a lil’ bit more of that sacrificial Lana.
A video that sports not only E.G DAILY but fellow “One I might have saved.” AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION‘s DIANE FRANKLIN? How appropriate is that for Arbogast Day?
BY THE BY: Every Arbogast has his day, but the night belongs to Amanda! Check out Kinder-chum Amanda by Night‘s up to the minute report on made for television remakes HERE!