Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fright Night

A friend of mine sent me the video below and told me to pay close attention to what the girl on the bike said when she fell down.

Did you pay close attention? I forwarded that to a couple of co-workers and told them to listen carefully because when I watched it, I had trouble hearing what the girl said. So they turned up their speakers to make sure they didn't miss it.

Then I got replies from both of them and for some reason they were written completely in capital letters. One works from home and said it even scared the wits out of her dogs. That kind of sets the tone for today's post.

Yesterday I mentioned how I've always been a fried rice fan. Today I'm writing about how I have always liked science fiction movies.

My sister and I used to sit in our parents room on the weekend and watch their television. Channel 9's weekly horror/sci fi program was called Strange Tales and had really creepy theme music; channel 11's version was called Chiller and started out with the sound of a tick-tock clock.

Back then, that TV we watched was about a 16" or 17" model, with a black and white picture tube because hardly anyone had a color tv (maybe no one, at least in our neighborhood), an antenna, glass tubes inside, and had knobs for controlling the volume, channel and picture quality. No automatic this or that, or remote controls!

Think about this: when was the last time you had to get up to adjust the horizontal scan on your picture tube because the picture kept scrolling off the screen on top, and reappearing at the bottom over and over again? TV's have come a long way. There's still the old-fashioned CRT TV's with antennas in our house, so earlier this year we bought one of those digital tuner boxes that finally did away with the fuzzy analog pictures.

The TV in my parents room had the annoying habit of going into scrolling mode every so often, and was often immune to any fiddling we did with the horizontal adjustment knob. I found, however, that banging a certain place on the metal TV box seemed to work. I became quite proficient at it. The picture would begin to scroll, but never fear, I would confidently get up and walk to the TV, and slam my hand against that certain spot to make it behave.

Except one time I did it and suddenly a bunch of foul-smelling smoke rose out of the top vents. Uh-oh.

When I got older, the horror/sci fi programs were on late at night. I'd watch Seymour's Fright Night and then his successor, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and her entertaining costume. I'd sit there and watch their antics during the movie breaks and listen to Cal Worthington tell me to come see him, as well as listen to the Dial Chevrolet song: Dial, Dial, Dial Chevrolet / two blocks off the Santa Ana Freeway / 1-1-9-8-0 East Firestone / Dial Chevrolet, da-dah... I think I'm getting senile because I can remember something from over 30 years ago but I can't remember what people tell me an hour ago.

Did you used to watch that? Remember the movies? Little Shop of Horrors; Rodan; The Giant Behemoth; Beast From 20,000 Phantoms; House on Haunted Hill; Target Earth; Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Brain From Planet Arous; The Blob; Invaders From Mars; and The Crawling Eye, were among the ones I watched over and over.

Despite the fact that they were supposed to be scary, there was always something comforting about watching these movies. Maybe it was because I'd seen all of them so many times that it was like being with old friends, lol.

The movie monsters also provided fodder for my friends and I to sit around and "shoot down" each other as in, "Hey, wasn't that your mama on TV last night? Oh never mind, I was thinkin' 'bout the Giant Behemoth." "Oh yeah? Well at least my mama don't come from no 20,000 phantoms." And so on and so forth.

Well, I don't think this giant behemoth was all that dangerous - you don't see the federal government offering any bailouts for it, do you?

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