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Happy Father’s Day :: Where’s My Brood At?

June 20th, 2010 by unkle lancifer · 8 Comments

Just when I was about to hit the hay on Friday I caught THE SHINING on cable and naturally I was trapped watching it until it was over. At some point I was miraculously brought back to the first time I ever saw it in the theater. I was under age at the time but my father was somehow able to get my brothers and I in. Did he slip the ticket taker a Washington or two? No, this story takes place in the good old days when nobody gave a crap. To be honest, the movie disturbs me much more now as an adult than it did when I was a kid. As a kid, it kind of disappointed me and here’s why…

Flipping through some magazine, perhaps FANGO or STARLOG, I caught a picture from DAVID CRONENBERG’s THE BROOD. The picture was of a bunch of the little brood brats coming through a doorway or something. Later, I saw the yellow poster for THE SHINING with the distorted face in it and I wrongly thought, “That’s the movie with those creepy mutant kids in it that I saw in that magazine!” The trailer for THE SHINING with the elevator piqued my interest even further. I knew that when the elevator door opened all those creepy kids would jump out and wreck havoc! So when I finally got to see THE SHINING this is exactly what I was waiting for with doe-eyed, clammy anticipation. When the elevator scene finally did occur and NOBODY came out of the elevator, I was flattened like Silly Putty on a comic strip.

Poor confused me, I had built something up so big in my head and it was never meant to be. It was all my fault, my imagination whipped up this impossible coolness that no movie could ever possibly live up to. I mean really, if THE BROOD kids came out of that elevator in THE SHINING the sheer awesomeness of that event would probably tear the universe in half.

I learned a valuable lesson that day and I’ve only made that same mistake of forging impossible expectations out of shear obliviousness a couple thousand more times over the years. By the way, THE SHINING, I should give you some credit for freaking me out with the guy in the dog costume bit, I certainly wasn’t anticipating that. Oh, and the old lady, mission accomplished with that one too. O.K. SHINING, I’ll admit it, you were really scary but you would have been even scarier with some BROOD kids thrown into the mix.

What I really wanted to say is how cool was my Dad for taking me to see THE SHINING? I’m sure some might tsk tsk such a thing but look how well adjusted I turned out! O.K., well maybe I’m not the best example but look at how well adjusted my brothers turned out. Uh, maybe that’s not such a good idea either. Well, actually screw the well adjusted! Can anyone really stand those people anyway? I just want to push them down a flight of stairs.

So thanks DAD! Thanks for taking me to see THE SHINING. That movie is not exactly the best commercial for Dads but you took me anyway. Now that I mention it, I kind of remember having a new found fear of you after seeing NICHOLSON go bonkers, so if that was the idea all along, all I have to say is, “Well played sir, well played.”

Thanks for taking me to see GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER, JAWS and PROPHECY too. Those are some of the strongest memories from my youth. It may not be traditional family fare but I also recognize that you taught me how to BEHAVE in a theater and I think that was more important than anything MARY POPPINS could teach me. Really, I think all of those horror and sci-fi movies trained me to approach the world with a bit of awe and respect and I’m glad I wasn’t force fed the, “It’s all about ME!” dreck that is considered so appropriate for kids.

Thanks for telling me ghost stories too and for not throwing away my FANGOS. I know I wasn’t the most normal kid in the world but as the saying goes, “I learned it by watching you!”

Tags: Holidays · Trauma-Daddies

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10 years ago

I saw THE SHINING when I was a young teen and it freaked me out pretty good – what with the twins and the old lady you mentioned – but one part that really got me was when Scat Man Caruthers was talking to the mom in the kitchen but then looked at the kid and thought something to him about ice cream.  I mean it was an innocent enough scene – with the mention of ice cream – but that whole action of looking sideways in the direction of the camera and talking to two people at once is just plain freaky.  If I made a horror movie – not unlike your slo-mo epic – it would feature that duel mind/mouth talking and especially when looking sideways – or out of the corner of the eye!  Creepy.
You are just too hilarious, by the way.

10 years ago

This was the first horror movie that I saw on HBO when pops decided to get out of the stone age and get us cable.  He had a “parental lock” on it to block  HBO but one day my mother’s younger cousin and her friends were over to baby sit and the lock was off.  They were watching this.  Oh boy!  Those twins scared me as did crazy Jack! 

Tommy V
10 years ago

Well, the old man did have enough sense to leave me at home when you guys went to The Shining. Here’s MY memory of that day: I just have this image of me on the back porch and my three older brothers coming home after a Saturday matinee of the Stephen King movie. All I remember was that I was left out! I don’t remember anything other than that! I don’t even know how accurate that it is
I was with you when we saw Godzilla vs The Smog Monster, Jaws and The Prophecy.
For each one my brain has only been able to hold on to one image. For The Smog Monster it was that Japanese woman singing over globs of goo on the beach. Again, no idea how accurate that is.
For Jaws it was the leg sinking to the bottom of the water. Though I do remember watching it through the windshield of the car and how scared Mom was and how much she laughed afterwards.
For the The Prophecy? Well, that one is a no brainer. Though is does remind me that Dad never took us camping like he said he would. This was fine by me as the only reason I wanted to go camping was that apparently you got to eat canned jell-o pudding when you did. I could do without the sleeping bag. I just wanted the pudding.

Dylan Donnie-Duke
Dylan Donnie-Duke
10 years ago

I remember vividly my father and I going to some movie (Though I can’t remember what, so scratch the “vividly” part.) and that trailer for The Shining playing before it.  I was as wide-eyed as a lemur when the blood began rippling, then gushing, then tidal waving out of the elevator.  My dad leaned over to me and said, “What’s the problem?  It’s just grape juice.”
Nothing revelatory there, just a great dad memory that has stuck in my head.  Love the write-up, as always.

Tommy V
10 years ago

I was not allowed to see Amityville either. But I do remember it played at the Gateway 3. I don’t know why exactly it worked out this way, but all the best non-studio films were at Gateway 3.
But I think I have your unreasonable expectations for films beat:
I believe it was during Jaws’ release, to exploit the public’s newfound interest, one of the networks was airing a documentary on sharks. I saw a commercial for it and I somehow became convinced that the network was airing the actual movie Jaws. This was purely magical thinking. There was absolutely no reason for any sentient being to think the network was airing Jaws.   Despite the entire family trying to convince me that the program was not Jaws, that Jaws was still in theaters and several years away from television, that the commercial itself was making no effort to disguise its content and was clearly stating itself to be a documentary and not the feature film Jaws, I still would absolutely not budge.
I remember watching the show and though it was clearly not Jaws I made everyone watch for quite awhile (I assume the threat of an insane fit on my part was the motivation to humor me) before finally, and begrudgingly admitting that this was absolutely and positively not Jaws.
I can’t remember if I was saving face or I really changed my attention so quickly, but I promptly got up and did something else leaving everyone stuck with a documentary that no one wanted to see in the first place.

10 years ago

Before cable my parents sprung for WHT and put the box in THEIR ROOM and we kids could never get at it but I remember one day me and my friend were watching somethin on there (probably ANIMALYMPICS whichs eemed to be the only movie they played aimed at kids) and an ad for THE SHINING came on. My friend spent the rest ofthe day chasing me around with a hammer (I guess we didnt have an axe handy).  It was years later that me and SAME friend caught the movie on cable when she was babysitting one night. We were underwhelmed at the time, but then at ten o’clock when we had to WALK HOME IN THE SNOW (She lived upstate and it was a good twenty minute walk on a side-walk-less road) we were shitting ourselves waitinf for Jack to pop out with an axe.

I NOW consider it one of the scariest movies ever made. (In fact just the other day my husband and I got in a fight and afterword he proceeded to get oddly quiet, and I started to think ‘what if he picks up an axe and decides to kill us all???”  Thats how huge an impact THE SHINING has made on me. Its made me afraid to seriously tick off my father and husband because whose to say they wont snap and go “Heeeeeres Johnnny!” on me?!