Saturday, February 13, 2010
"The House of the Devil"
If you remember the 80's like I remember the 80's, then you don't remember much of shit. You and I probably both have somewhat comparable mental menageries of personal and most likely weird childhood moments, cultural frameworks and maybe just a little bit of adult concern seepage. An onion basket of images, sounds, smells and nausea, all crystallized into a fragmented broken windowpane overlooking the spotty, subconscious past. A bicycle ride downtown to the army surplus store for those MREs that I somehow found delicious, much to the confusion of a father who had no other choice than to eat them during a stint in Vietnam that he still refuses to talk about. The girl who lived next door that my older brother and his friends forced to eat dog food one afternoon, and who my parents caught sneaking onto our back porch two nights later to secretly eat some more. You know, crazy 80's cul-de-sac shit. Everything else is just a messy Pollock painting of family moments, Christmases, treehouses, Lego competetitions, injuries, lies and "fibs." The overall culture of the 80's itself is a blur around the edges, but one that somehow still penetrates my memories like Roman Polanski penetrates shiny European baby-pussy. Maybe one of my oldest and most prominent memories of the decade that oversaw the initial forging and tempering of my young molten soon-to-be-awesomeness would be the evening which, like dozens of others before and after it, began with my parents going out to the kind of function they could still enjoy together while my brother and I were young enough to be successfully handled by the high school girl with questionable morals from just across the street. In fact, the only thing that set this evening apart was the fact that I pooped in my pants because I was too afraid to go upstairs and use the bathroom by myself. I never asked my marginally-responsible babysitter to take me upstairs because I was embarassed to be afraid. I never told either her or my brother that I pooped my pants because I was embarassed to be a pants-pooping maniac who already had shame issues at much too young of an age. So I just kept my distance from the two of them for the rest of the night (poop smells) and would occasionally have to walk backwards out of a room so that they wouldn't notice what I was convinced must be the huge visible lump in the back of my pants. UNFORGIVABLE. Another noteworthy moment from that night was much earlier, before my messy brown downfall, when my neighbor showed me the article in the newspaper about the slasher icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. At the time, just the photograph of Freddy in the paper bugged me out for the rest of the night. I was terrified. Fast-forward 20 odd years and I've got the horror palette of Rob Zombie's wettest dreams. And that's why I love "House of the Devil." I'm not saying anything else. Watch this one if you have even a passing interest in subtle horror. I know that sounds crazy but wikipedia that shit. "Subtle horror." It exists! This is a surprisingly convincing slice of solid gold homage right here, and if you don't get a Pavlovian boner for the babysitter's best friend's hair then your 80's childhood was sadly less stocked with confusing-to-a-young-man older babes than mine was. Sorry, man. Get over it. What are you, 30?