Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 29 - What happens when you get older...

After seeing The Muppets a few weeks ago, my friends got it in their heads to watch Meet the Feebles as a movie chaser.  The first (and only) time I saw it was at the Cleveland Cinematheque around 1996.  But I found a copy on DVD for about $5-$8.  And apparently it's been sitting in my collection for just the day to watch it with another group of people.
When I saw the film, I was just a couple years out of college, and, while I realized it was an extreme film it didn't really bother me.  I've always said that seeing the double feature of Robocop and Monty Pythons Meaning of Life when I was a senior in high school was when I got broken.  After those two films I felt I could take on the world.
And then in college, I went even crazier.  Evil Dead 1 & 2, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1, 2 & 3, a couple of the Hellraisers, a couple John Waters films, Sweet Movie (which I do not recommend), and John Woo's The Killer were just some of the movies that I saw.  But I don't want to make out that I was a complete heathen in college.  I was just looking to have a visceral experience, and these films gave that to me.  I never got really scared from some of these horror films simply because I grew up reading about how they made them, and watching every making-of special on TV that came on.
And it wasn't just movies - I read a lot of weird stuff, too.  Bret Easton Ellis made his first appearance on my radar in college.  And then there were the incredibly well-drawn but very strange (to put it mildly) Glenn Danzig comic books.
And here's the thing.  When you first read or see any of this stuff, you have a reaction.  Some people get a charge out of extreme films, some people see one and they're done, and others, like myself, pick and choose.  John Waters is a good example for me.  I appreciate his films.  Female Trouble and Polyester were worth watching.  Serial Mom was one of my favorite films of 1994 (like top 3).  But I wasn't happy until I saw Pink Flamingos.  And I got to see it on the big screen.  Once was enough.  But at least I can say that I saw it.  It's almost a badge of honor.
All of this occurred in the 90's.  And years later when I went back to revisit some of these things, I wondered what I was thinking.  Have I matured?  Was it a phase?  Am I satisfied with my life enough now that I don't need to watch anything as extreme anymore?  The Human Centipede was calling out my name until I saw the South Park episode, and that seemed to have sated me.  (And South Park's extremism is still something that I seem to have not outgrown).
When I rewatched Meet the Feebles, I was struck by how violent, gross and wrong it was.  I remember that it was crazy, but I didn't remember how crazy.  It's an innovative film, with some great songs, but it's so not what I sit at home and watch anymore.  And I don't know if my tastes have changed or if my mind isn't ready for this type of experience anymore.  All I can think of is that as I get older maybe I'm getting more lame.  But I might be okay with that.  Or maybe I need to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 again.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I don't know how you can watch 'Pink Flamingos' only once. I pretty much need to see that at least once a year. But yeah, I do kind of get where you're coming from. The older I get, the less enamored I am of movies that go for shock value. There was a window between my teens and early twenties when Troma movies seemed absolutely hilarious, but when I try to watch 'The Toxic Avenger' or 'Class of Nuke 'Em High' now, they just don't do it for me. And yet I still love old school H.G. Lewis schlock like 'Blood Feast' and '2000 Maniacs', so I'm not entirely sure I understand why one cheap and sleazy piece of trash still works for me while another doesn't. I just know that's the case.