wabbit (the jack is silent) (jackwabbit) wrote,
wabbit (the jack is silent)

Written April 1, 2009:

An old SFX blog by yours truly, shared here again just for @wickedjava:

Cult Classics In The Closet

Let’s face it. Being a sci-fi nut is only cool in certain circles. For those of us who read this site, there’s no shame in the way we are. We accept and even embrace each other’s geek tendencies. But sometimes, as awesome as our inner geek can be, it can rear its head as the most inopportune times.

Picture if you will:

Christmas 2007.

I was out shopping with my husband.

We’d just had lunch at a Chinese buffet. As we exited the restaurant, we noticed a video store across the parking lot. Still in need of some presents, we headed inside the store.

It was a pretty large establishment. We wandered the front end of the store and looked around for a bit. Everything seemed perfectly normal. Little did we know that my inner geek was about to raise her banner high for all to see.

As we neared the back of the store, on the end of one of the aisles, there was a display of the best-selling DVDs that week. When I saw this, I lost all control of myself.

“Oh, my God! Do you see that?” I yelled.

My husband came around the corner from another aisle and looked at the DVDs in the display. He looked at them for about a minute, then looked at me.

“See what?” he asked.

“That!” I exclaimed. “Right there! It’s The Monster Squad!”

I picked up the store’s supposedly best-selling DVD of the week as a huge grin split my face. My husband looked at me like I’d gone insane.

“Never heard of it,” he said.

“Well, I’m not surprised,” I answered. “I mean, I didn’t see this in the theater. I don’t even remember it being in the theater. I don’t know how I saw it. All I know is that I spent an entire summer quoting this movie with my best friend from sixth grade. It was awesome! I love this movie!”

I hugged the DVD to my chest and did a little dance as my husband nervously looked around the store. I was oblivious to his hope that no one was watching my little episode. I just kept on going.

“Let’s get it! I only saw it that one time! I can’t wait to see it again! Scott and I used to just go on and on about this movie! Oh, but I hope it isn’t one of those movies that you love as a kid but that’s torture as an adult. What if it is? Maybe we shouldn’t get it. Maybe I should just let it live in memory. What do you think?”

I started to get nervous now, too. This was becoming an actual decision. My initial excitement at seeing a film I hadn’t known was out on DVD in the store was being overwhelmed by common sense. Did I want to risk ruining a childhood memory by watching this? It might be nothing like I remembered it! Oh, the angst!

Thankfully, my husband settled the matter for me. He gently took the DVD and placed it back in the rack. “Well, Christmas is coming,” he said. “Maybe Santa will bring you a copy. He’ll know if you should watch it or not.”

What a great idea! I’d rely on someone else to get me this movie, if it was meant to be. My husband and I left the store a few moments later, no purchases in hand.

All the way home, I jabbered on about how much I’d loved The Monster Squad when I was twelve. I quoted lines I still remembered easily and speculated on whether the DVD was really selling as well as the store’s rack implied.

My husband just drove in silence and occasionally sighed.

Come Christmas morning, The Monster Squad was under our tree, bless him.

It took me a few days to watch it, due to the very real concerns I already discussed, but when I did…wow. This movie is both as bad as I feared and as wonderful as I remember.

Yes, it’s cheesy and horrible. The monsters are big humans in lame costumes and bad make up. The effects are pure 1987 low-budget horror movie. And it’s so kiddie-cliché that it makes Cinderella stories look original.

But there’s not a walkie-talkie in sight. The cops have real guns, and you can bet that when the fate of the entire world is on the line, The Monster Squad’s juvenile members aren’t afraid to sling a few bullets themselves. The kids in this movie curse. One of them smokes, and one is often called “Fat Kid.” This movie was made before political correctness took all the fun out of kid’s films and the dialogue is as I remember it: cheesy but quotable.

The Monster Squad will never win any awards for cinematic achievement, but it’s in my DVD cabinet, and I’m glad of it. My inner geek delights in this film. Just as she likes to pop her head out in the middle of crowded stores in order to embarrass my husband from time to time, she likes to make sure that I have at least a few DVDs on the shelf that earn raised eyebrows from anyone looking for high quality cinema.

So, come on. Own up. What’s your secret? Which films are you just a bit ashamed to admit that you love? We’ve all got them. No sense in denying it.

I’ve already started this therapy session, but I’ll make it official:

Hi. My name’s wabbit, and I love The Monster Squad.
Tags: just for friends
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