My movie buddy


I finally found my Saturday night (or maybe afternoon) monster movie buddy, maybe.

I used to be my dad’s. He’d turn on those cornball Saturday afternoon movies with cheap monsters and aliens and bad dialog and we’d watch ‘em until he fell asleep on the couch. I got hooked on those movies doing that. Now werewolves, aliens, creatures from the depths of alternative dimensions and other such nonsense are a part of my chemistry. Every chance I get I look for those movies which will reach into my giblets and thrill me the way those oldies used to, to spark that imaginative little fire burning deep within. Of course they don’t anymore – I’m all grown up now and movies have lost their magic – but it’s still fun to try.

More than once my wife has asked me why. Why do I continue trying to find a monster movie to thrill and enthrall? All I do is sigh when it’s over and say “Well, that’s [insert number of hours spent watching the movie here] I’ll never get back. What a waste.” Every time. But I found when I had someone I could watch it with, when there was someone beside me to help it be more entertaining, things were more fun. A lot more fun.

So, Friday night we sit down to watch a movie. We only have so many in our repertoire and because of our situation, it’s those or nothing right now, so we went through the list. One of my all-time favorite movies (of any genre, by the bye), is Alien. I opt for that, and I was shocked when my wife seconded the notion.

We put it in. In a couple of minutes my eight year-old son is … facing away from the TV with his eyes closed, getting on my nerves as he determines not to watch the movie (but won’t leave the room for some reason). But right beside me is my four year-old daughter. The alien jumps out of an egg and hugs the face of its first victim. What does she do?

She asks me to rewind it so she can see it again.

You read that right. She asked to see it again. So I obliged.

She sat beside me for the entire movie. She and I chatted. I warned her about the starts and jumpy parts (she is only four) but needn’t have worried. She took them in stride and asked questions and made statements. She watched the whole thing with me, right next to me, and when it was over, she went about her business as if nothing happened. She didn’t have nightmares, she didn’t give static about bedtime and the dark … nothing. She went to sleep and awoke next day refreshed and ready to do it again.

Next up is An American Werewolf in London, another classic and all-time favorite. I think she’ll miss a lot of the grown-up humor but she might appreciate the (then) cutting-edge werewolf puppets and robots. We’ll see.

But I think I have my monster movie buddy.

How was your weekend? Did you have a happy Easter? I hope so.

-JDT-

All original content copyright 2010 DarcKnyt
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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10 thoughts on “My movie buddy

  1. You wanna talk old monster movies, White Zombie was on some cable channel this morning. That is some old school monster/horror movie right there pal.

    Yet another one I’ve never even heard of; probably not a bad thing, though, since I’m not a fan of zombie movies anyway.

    Great thing about those old monster/horror pictures is that they’ve fallen into copyright/ownership limbo. You can get them on DVD for cheap cheap cheap. At the dollar store, you can get on a single disc: two movies and a cartoon intermission between the films. All for one dollar. “I’ll buy that for a dollar.” The mastering quality is really poor at best, but still, it’s B movie heaven.

    Hehehe, I’ll have to find what I can in a cheap store. Dollar stores don’t exist in my area, believe it or not. We have a FIVE dollar store; closest we can get. 😦

  2. Do you let her watch the gory parts? I don’t let mine watch gory movies because they’re prone to nightmares, and I’m afraid it will warp them.

    There’s nothing really gory about Alien. It’s mostly implied gore. But when there is a gory part, we tend to explain carefully what’s happening in terms of make-up and special effects. I don’t care for gory movies myself, so it’s not been a problem yet.

    • I hate gore too. My daughters won’t watch anything scary, but my son loves that stuff.

      I don’t keep anything gory on hand. If I think it’s too frightening for them, I can always stop it and make ’em leave. 🙂

  3. Haha, great post! Looks like she understands you like you understood your father!

    Oh, I still don’t understand my father; that was before the rift between he and I really took off, though. 🙂 Yes, she’s pretty cool and seems to know daddy pretty well.

    Your daughter is pretty brave, huh. I’m 18 and I don’t like horror movies. Except I’m watching it with 2 or more people. It just gets me imagining about monsters and mysterious creatures here and there!

    Well, it depends on what we’re talking about. She’s brave with me around. But she’s terrified to the point of cowering in tears of the vacuum cleaner. *Sigh* Good to see you again!

  4. I wouldn’t let my kid watch Alien, but then again, I refuse to watch Alien. So it isn’t an issue here. Bravery is weird. I had a boyfriend who jumped out of planes and raced cars but fainted at the sight of a needle. And while I don’t like gory movies, it is the constant death that upsets me. All that throw away life, the panic. I can’t laugh at it like some people even though I know it is fake. I’m a wimp and feel bad even for lame cardboard characters.

    I don’t see any good reason to shield them from the fake death in Hollywood when there’s so much real death all around them. I don’t mind if they watch scary movies as long as they’re not effected. And I REFUSE to let them be held back by my own inadequacies. Just because I hate roller coasters doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get to decide for themselves whether they do or not.

    • Well, my kid hasn’t really asked to watch gory movies. Later when he is old enough to take himself to the movies, he can watch all the gory movies he wants. But right now, we’ve got one TV, so we’ve all got to agree.

      Same here. One TV; unified agreement or parental override, period.

      Yeah, I think about how to deal with death and the kiddo. I mean, since my mother is dead, I’ve talked about that and he’s asked questions. One time he asked to go to a cemetery and I took him. We talked a lot about death and what happens then. All that kind of stuff. And he has seen death in movies. He’s Lord of the Rings. He’s watch Doctor Who. And he’s watched war documentaries. So he isn’t shielded from the subject at all.

      But as long as we’ve got one TV and I’m not watching that stuff, neither is he. But bully for the brave!

      I don’t know if she’s brave or just understands it’s all fake. We’re big on emphasizing the fakeness of it all. But I’m not okay with everything. I think movies targeting kids with values I don’t support are a lot more dangerous than movies about fantastic space monsters dripping Vaseline from their gums. But that’s me.

    • Scared of the vacuum cleaner? That’s so cute!

      Mommy’s at wit’s end with it. She hides in her room and cries every time we vacuum. She IS pretty cute about it though. 😉

  5. My daughter was always my scary movie buddy. My son still can’t watch scary movies or he has nightmares.

    My son’s kind of like that too. He won’t even TRY to watch them and gives ‘tude about it. Oh well.

  6. That’s really sweet (:

    It’s good to have father-daughter time, I know I wish I’d of had more when I was growing up.

    It’s my goal to ensure she has me as a figure she can turn to in her teen years and beyond. Not easy, but it’s a goal.

    It’s excellent she’s so inquisitive at only four years old.

    She’s pretty smart. I’m always impressed with how she can reason things out and express them so well with a four year-old vocabulary. 🙂

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