Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Where there is no imagination there is no Horror."

Photo of David Ortiz pumpkin from Ian Browne's blog, taken by him at McCoy Stadium.

I spent the evening watching "Poltergeist" with Dr. Zaius, well actually it was my host's brother in a really good costume. It was a relaxing night with friends and I was enjoying the scene of an increasingly tipsy ape passing out candy to the neighborhood kids. The question came up during the movie about what recent supposedly "scary" movies had been legitimately frightening. I was a lot a loss to think of any that had done little more than make me jump. It seems like the 70's and 80's must be the golden age of horror/scary movies with likes of Freddie, Jason, Michael Myers, Cher, etc

I remember "Poltergeist" as being one of the horror films that did get to me. We probably watched it for first time over at the one friend's house who had a TV in his room since he was twelve. He was the friend in the neighborhood that got cable first including HBO. You know that kid. There was probably three or four us on a late night in a darkened room drinking soda from a 2-liter glass bottle of Coke, fighting over a box of Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies, and watching movies until near dawn eventually collapsing into a sleep deprived sugar coma. Those were the days.


Churlita said...

Why can't we still do that now? Oh yeah, because we're old.

Poltergiest was scary because of the clown. You know how I feel about clowns. The first really scay movie I remember watching was The Haunting - it was older, but it messed me up for years.

Lately, movies are more gory than scary. I thought the Emily Rose movie was going to be scary at first, but then it got all legal and I was bored.

El Duderino said...

The clown and that tree scared the hell out of me. It the scariest pg movie ever made.

Dexter said...

The clown was freaky even before the end...watching it again it still holds up...despite the special effects being a bit dated.

Churlita said...

Isn't Poltergeist the reason they came up with PG-13? I thought I read that somewhere.

Dexter said...

Curlita is right...FYI

The addition of the PG-13 rating
Prior to 1984, when two films associated with Steven Spielberg triggered widespread calls for a revision to the ratings system, there was a minor trend of films straddling the PG and R ratings (as shown by the MPAA records of appeals board decisions of the early 1980s) and thus suggested there needed to be a middle ground between PG and R. The summer of 1982 featured Poltergeist, which was originally rated R (for intensity and a scene of drug use) but then re-rated PG on appeal. Disney's Dragonslayer (although PG without appeal, and a co-production with Paramount Pictures) alarmed many parents with scenes of explicit violence and gore. A larger percentage of films were allowed a PG rating despite limited use of strong language ("Terms of Endearment," "Sixteen Candles," "Footloose") that initially had warranted an R rating until the appeals board changed their ratings to PG (thanks in large measure to precedents set in the 1970s, with "All the President's Men" at their forefront) [1]

Violent scenes in the 1984 PG-rated films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which Spielberg directed and Gremlins, which he produced, were the final straws. Public outcry about the violence led Spielberg to suggest a new PG-13 rating to MPAA president Jack Valenti, who conferred with theater owners and then introduced the new rating on July 1. The rating still allowed children under 13 to be admitted without a parent or guardian, but it cautions parents about potentially shocking violence or other offensive content, although not as offensive as an R rating. The first movie to gain widespread theatrical release with a PG-13 rating was 1984's Red Dawn (although the first to receive the classification was Dreamscape). It took a year for the PG-13 logo to shift into its current form. The initial rating, instead of using a line of boldface text followed by explanatory description below, bore the wording from 1984 to 1986: