Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jason goes to Holehead--Day 4

An odd day for me at a horror film festival. I only saw one movie, despite it being a weekend, and it was a documentary.

But first, I want to relate an odd thing that happened on the BART on the way up. I BART up all the way from Fremont, and as it happened an A's game was just getting out as I passed the Oakland Coliseum. A fairly large rush of people got on, enough to create a bit of confusion. And in the midst of that the driver got on the intercom to announce, "Please don't use babies as doorstops!" Now, I agree with that rule in general, but I couldn't help wondering if that was in response to something or just general advice. And for that matter, was it just the BART doors or all doors? In any case, I spent most of the rest of the trip thinking about babies stuck in subway doors. That is, until I got the the Civic Center stop (one before my exit) and the driver got on the intercom to announce this time, "No flash photography on the platforms!" Which made me wonder a few things: What about on the trains? Or on the stairs/escalators/elevators? And most importantly, is that really a rule? Maybe she was just making up random rules, I had certainly never heard that one before. Which suddenly made me think, is that 'no babies as doorstops' rule real? Probably not, given the source. So go ahead and use your babies as doorstops if you want to. At least you can in my America, the America where there are no rules, just helpful suggestions (which, as it turns out, makes my America actually South Africa. R.S.A! R.S.A! R.S.A!)

Oh yeah, and I saw a movie. NIGHTMARES IN RED, WHITE, AND BLUE explores very quickly the entire history of American horror film from Edison's FRANKENSTEIN (a commercial flop) through the Universal monsters, the kids monster movies, horrors of war, Atomic Age, Psycho, torture porn, etc. While it was fun to see clips of so many classics, it really went by too fast to make much of an impression. The subject would be better handled as a multi-volume scholarly (but accessible) tome. As it is, the movie almost by design fails to answer the question of what American horror movies mean about us, because it's a constantly moving target. And with no era given sufficient time to really explore it ends up as little more than an extended clip show intercut with famous horror directors talking. (Ooh, maybe it would work as a multi-volume Ken Burns style documentary series. I'd buy that)

Running Time: 96 minutes
My Total Minutes: 188,515
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