Saturday, January 21, 2006
Warning! Don't Go to the Movies!
It occurred to me that, in a movie, often times, the most dangerous place to be is...a movie theater! Examine the proof. I went to a drive-in movie to watch Twister, the tornado movie starring Helen Hunt, and about midway through the film, the twister, in the film, rips through, you guessed it -- a drive-in theater. (That was surreal.) In the sequel to Scream, in the opening scene, a movie theater full of teenagers watching the movie Stab! -- which is based on the events of the first film -- are dressed like the killer from the first movie. That sets the stage for two of them to be killed in the theater during the movie. The entire plot, of the admittedly awful, Drive-in Massacre is about patrons being offed in their cars while watching a film. In the 1958 version of The Blob!, the gelatinous red alien makes his way through a movie theater as he devours unsuspecting citizens of a small town. In John Landis' An American Werewolf in London, one of the werewolf's transformations occurs in a porn theater in Piccadilly Circus, where authorities believe they have the monster trapped, until he breaks out! In Joe Dante's Matinee -- a wonderful movie about the loss of innocence and movie-going -- special effects equipment set up in the basement of a movie theater to heighten the movie-going experience of the film within the film -- Mant!, goes awry, and blows up the theater itself! All of this, of course, does not take into account the urban legend of the sleeping man in the first row of the movie theater balcony, who waits for unsuspecting teenage girls to sit next to him so he can cause a distraction and "accidentally" trip one, sending her over the railing -- to her death! These days, though, you don't need an urban legend to scare you, just going to see the 50 Cent movie Get Rich or Die Trying, might get you shot. It's interesting that so many movies would choose to use a movie theater in this way, but when you really think about it, we do allow ourselves to be vulnerable in such a setting, sitting, as we do, in a large room next to complete strangers with all the lights out!