Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Memory. My American Film Experiences.

First off, I didn't plan on writing about sharks in this post yet that's what I ended up doing. I guess they fascinate me. Or maybe sharks control my brain, I really don't know.

I was relatively young when my family moved to the US.

The movie experience, particularly the American movie experience, was new to me, and it really blew my mind. The films I saw featured whole new worlds full of craziness and diabolical weirdness, lots of attractive women and demonic monsters, lots of pithy wordplay and characters embarking on harrowing yet successful endeavors... but I particularly enjoyed seeing all the attractive women on screen. And the monsters were cool too, but they didn't help my psyche very much.

You see, the American film experience is truly unique, at least it was at that point in time, before globalization had really walloped foreign film industries (I don't know how true that is, but it seems that way). Moreover, what added to the power of all these American movies I was seeing around 1989-90, was the fact that I was a naive little 7 year old whose viewing experiences consisted mostly of cartoons. The cartoons I had seen were shorts featuring the likes of Bugs Bunny (I always loved Bugs, but I did find his fondness for cross-dressing a little perplexing), Donald Duck, Daffy Duck (whose insane anger never ceased to amuse me, I always remember Daffy getting his beak blown off his head, I thought that was the pinnacle of hilarious, I still do), and Mickey Mouse (although I thought he was boring).

Little did I know how much contemporary American films would change my provincial outlook and form me into the demonic monster I am today. I've come a long way, that's for sure.

One of my first big screen experiences was Ghostbusters 2. Frankly, it was as terrifying a thing as I've ever seen, specially given how young and impressionable I was. I haven't ever seen the movie again, but I remember snippets from that first, traumatizing visual experience...

One thing I seem to remember from the movie were the monsters or ooze that would materialize out of faucets. I even think there was a scene where the bathtub faucet had ooze coming out of it. It was also around this time that I saw Jaws for the very first time. My cold hard intellectual reasoning quickly put 2 and 2 together and I realized the jaw-dropping potential catastrophes that could take place: not only could monsters and ooze could come out of faucets, but there was a huge potential that Jaws could come out of the faucet. This new fear began haunting me night and day, it smothered me, I couldn't go anywhere without worrying about sharks bursting out of faucets. Even the water fountain at school was a potential death trap. I tried warning my friends, but my broken English didn't allow me to properly convey the gravity of the situation.

My mind, once launched into these kaleidscopic visions, would imagine all sorts of frightening scenarios. One such scenario was the one where my parents would call for me, search for me, only to come upon my bloody bathtub, the murky water topped by a couple pieces of floating flesh, and maybe a jagged bone fragment here and there... Lord knows what they would have thought, I would've been too dead to explain that my demise came about from a shark monster that materialized out of the faucet. And I felt sad, I didn't want that to be their final memory of me, my blood in the bathtub, maybe a shark tooth embedded in a piece of my unrecognizable flesh, serving as a subtle clue that might allow my parents to figure out the godawful truth of my demise...

So after seeing Jaws and Ghostbusters 2 I never really could relax anymore when I was in the bathroom. In fact, the thought of Jaws or monsters coming out of household spigots haunts me to this day. And, needless to say, I'm insanely afraid of the ocean. And you know that grate in pools, the one at the bottom of the deep-end, well, it's connected to the ocean via a long pipe and Great Whites can travel through it and end up in any household pool at any given time (I know others believe this, I've come across an internet post or two that asserted this hideous truth). But the CIA doesn't want you to know this truth, and they've done a bloody good job at keeping it covered up (maybe you didn't notice, but we never heard again from those internet posters who asserted the truth). The CIA might even be right in smothering this awful truth, because the truth might be too hard to handle for most people (that's a Jack Nicholson allusion, I'm subtle like that). Hence, most of us live in ignorance, which is probably for the best.

Sheesh, that was a pretty standard conspiracy theory paragraph, sorry, I don't feel very original sometimes.

Ok, anyways, let me finish this because I don't know what I'm saying.

There is something good that came out of all this. My uncle, to this day, reminds me of the time he brought me and a friend to McDonalds. What we ordered for dessert and devoured with utter joy still perturbs him. My friend and I ordered green slime, you know, I think the Ghostbusters people had a deal with McDonalds at the time... so my friend and I ate this green slime dessert, it was probably just toxic waste covered in sugar... but it was sooooo yummy.

So in the end, the movie Ghostbusters 2 might have scared the crap out of me, but at least I got to enjoy some green slime. A happy ending. Yay!

29 comments:

WAT said...

"Jaws" was and still is one of my favorite films of all time. It came out when I was but a toddler, and I remember going to see it when it was re-released or something like that, still a toddler! The shark was always fascinating to me. The musical score, and as I grew older I learned to appreciate the phenomenal acting in this film.

It's the movie that made Spielberg.

mist1 said...

I grew up with a kid who learned English from watching the Smurfs. When he got angry, he called people Gargamel.

Mariana said...

If you want to see something really disgusting coming out of a faucet try seeing "Money Pit". Tom Hanks and his wife buy a run down old house and one day she opens the faucet and something that looks like diarrhea starts coming out. A great movie, btw.

Babybull40 said...

Conspiracies are ever so rampant.. I know they are spying on us..he he he ...Jaws was a pretty good movie and yet I can't bring myself to watch it from beginning to end.. Mel Gibson was good in Conspiracy Theory and that whole McD's green slime.. I never had the pleasure..

Ak-Man said...

"I tried warning my friends, but my broken English didn't allow me to properly convey the gravity of the situation."

Classic material LOLOLOL!!!! Your lucky your English was broken! Or you may have ended up as "that kid"

People in the Sun said...

We used to go Tomer's house. He had all the good American movies on VHS. That's where we saw Jaws and Piranhas (that one stopped me from going swimming for years), and that's where we saw the first Halloween (which frightened me for at least a decade), and that's also where we saw hours and hours of porn we found under his parents' mattress (these movies probably frightened me just as much).

Tara said...

I agree with Mariana, you should definitely watch "The Money Pit". It's hilarious! Oh and if you saw the second "Ghostbusters", you should see the first one very soon. I went to see that when it was out at the theatres and it will always be one of my all-time favorites.

I never saw "Jaws" at the theatre, but one of my brothers went and he had to leave the theatre to puke. Whatta wuss. Hehe.

taarzaan said...

My first movie was the original Casino Royale.

Lisa Belovely said...

Spielberg is awesome.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Jaws still scares me to this day. I don't think I've ever watched that movie from beginning to end.

I can't remember if I've seen Ghost Busters. I've seen one of them, but can't remember which one. I did like that though, I watched the cartoon a lot...a bit on the boyish side I suppose but I was always a tad on the tomboy side.

Aprill said...

I can't help but laugh when I read your stuff. You've got a talent with writing ... On a different note, Jaws scared the crap out of me. So did The Shining. There is something uber creepy about Jack Nicholson, even when he's just being himself. *shiver*

Katie McKenna said...

Funny how personalities evolve! :)

When I came to the States I remember seeing cartoons for the first Saturday - and I totally disliked them! I was 10 though. I simply did not get the humor of the cartoons. I still don't . Although I did get into Walt Disney and Wild Kingdom. :)

Sebastien said...

WAT: It's certainly a great movie, that's for sure. And that shark, we don't even get to see it for the longest time, but it's the fear of something we don't see...

Mist1: Oh that is hilarious!

Mariana: I will check it out, I even think it's been on tv lately.

Babybull: Never had the green slime? You are really missing out!

Ak-man: Haha, yeah! And fortunately I was pretty normal growing up and people knew I was a jokester so I didn't get put in garbage cans or anything like that.

People In the Sun: I can only imagine the trauma! Oh, those porno flicks, I can't imagine what it's like for a little kid to see those...

Tara: The first Ghostbusters is classic, I saw it much later, but I really love it.

Taarzaan: I love that one, all I remember is Woody Allen...

Lisa: Super duper awesome!

Silver: Never saw the cartoon, you should see both Ghostbusters, they are fun, I've seen the first one a couple times, pretty classic stuff.

Aprill: Thank you! Oh the Shining of so great that's the scariest movie in the world!

Katie: That's interesting, it really is fascinating how certain things grab our attention and others just, well, they just don't!

Katie McKenna said...

It is interesting. I think part of my desire of not watching television stems from never watching one as a child. But then both of my daughters watch movies..and the elder watches quite a bit of shows at night. Although she is pregnant and isn't doing a lot - plus she ran out of books to read.. Still...

I'd rather read than watch television. Or be out tramping through the woods. :)

Sebastien said...

Oh yeah, I'd much rather read. I didn't watch tv before I got sick... but when I'm too tired I need a distraction. Plus I love learning about celebrity fashion :)

L said...

ah.... Jaws is one of my favorite all time flicks!

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Seb, you've been awarding the "Thinking Blogger Award" by me...check my blog for info.

MrManuel said...

I saw Ghostbusters 2 in the theater. Loved every second of it!

tkkerouac said...

hey there, hope you are feeling better!

bice said...

The Care Bears movie and all the Earnest Goes To... movies scared the hell out of me.

Anastasia said...

Jaws is a classic..so many years after, and the theme is so unique, a person only has to hum it.

hey, hope you're doing well. Haven't seen you post in here for a couple of days.

tkkerouac said...

tkkerouac said...
PLEASE COME LEAVE YOUR BLOG NAME AND URL, IF YOU WOULD BE LIKE TO BE LINKED UNDER MOMTHEMINX.

Katie McKenna said...

lol@ celebrity fashion!!! Funny Sebastien! I hope your day was wonderful!

My latest lesson is painting a tree. Paint a tree with me!

Mariana said...

You must be feeling a bit tired and head-achy lately, because you haven't been writing. I hope you feel better soon, I miss ya!

Good for Me said...

bonjour sebastien! just dropping by to say hello! hope you're feeling well and headache-free!

MrManuel said...

Hope you are feeling well. You remember that show American Gladiators I talked about? Well supposedly, they are doing a marathon of the show tomorrow, Saturday, all day on ESPN Classic. Not confirmed, but if you have the channel, check it out.

Faz the Cat said...

So where did you move from originally? FAZ

Roberto said...

A most interesting post. I guess I never considered the broken english aspect of your time in IN. Should have, but didn't.

I still haven't worked up the courage to see Jaws, and I am mightily impressed that you did at the age of 7! That was about the time I was denouncing hamburgers and a dietary evil...

Sebastien said...

L: Tis a great movie!

Silver: Thank you Silver, I appreciate it!

Mrmanuel: I really need to see it again... and about the American Gladiators, tomorrow is for basketball!!!

TK: Thank you, am feeling a bit better at the moment :)

Bice: Haha, same here, seriously, the Care Bears, I don't remember it, but there was this nefarious evil thing and I wish I could remember it...

Anastasia: Thanks for checking up on me, haven't been doing great but finally feeling a bit better now :)

Katie: Trees are wonderful, so intricate...

Mariana: Thank you Mariana, I will be back and better than ever soon enough :)

Good for Me: Thanks! I will be coming by your blog, I need to check up on you and see how you are holding up with your own headaches, which I hope have finally gone away.

Faz: Oh, we moved around so much...

Roberto: HAha, can't believe you haven't seen Jaws, well, actually, I guess I can. Thanks for stopping by!