Alternate worst-title: Back in the day you could play musical cars (as in: musical chairs) at a great drive-in movie.
Disclaimer: this worst-post contains spoiler alerts for an old movie and may (or may not) be NSFW.
Back in the day, dear worst-reader, when I was still tuned in to TV, as in, you know, when I actually watched network or cable TV or even went to the cinema, I remember watching, for the third or fourth time Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Not the original, don’t you know. I’ve always preferred the 1978 version–the best version. One of the things I remember about that particular viewing–other than I had to watch it in German–was that I had also re-seen a bunch of other–let’s call them–70s dystopian thrillers around the same time. I don’t know what the issue was that caused me to watch so many old movies that may or may not be about American dystopia but let’s rack it up to Germany finding ways to allocate nighttime TV programming to the masses and/or bodies not finding better ways to sleep through the night.
The thing is. I had just moved to Germany and, even though I didn’t have a TV in my little flat, having often hooked up–you know, in that forever search for –what do girls call it?–love–everyone I met did have a TV. So. Between flirting, conjugating, waking up in the middle of the night to piss and/or continue with her, I watched whatever late night movie (on her cheap couch) that was available and when things were really good I even got some really great head until we both fell asleep, she in a warm cum soaked lap, and me with my head blown out the rear.
It took till my expatriation in Germania that I finally started to grasp the meaning of #Americant dystopian thrillers like Soylent Green, Logan’s Run, Planet of the Apes, Mickey Mouse Takes Paris, etc. No. Seriously. I saw these films while in a drunken stupor, high on fresh-flesh and within my first year of living in consume-to-survive #Eurowasteland. Of course, the one film that stood out, because I had already seen it a number of times, was Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Yeah. During my youth and college days Invasion of the Body Snatchers was shown on some channel late at night or at some cheap cinema here or there. And why not? What a great movie, eh, dear worst-reader! And as far as my experience with the movie goes, there is something aphrodisiac about sci-fi dystopian horror thrillers–and chicks on the run or, at the least, Looking for Mr. Goodbar. But on that note, I probably should (but won’t) die-gress.
Flash to now. That’s right. I re-watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers the other night for the first time in about thirty years. Keep in mind, even though I have a fairly large ripped movie library–which I try to populate with old movies when I come across second-hand DVDs–I do not have Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And so. While arguing with my little family about what movie to watch on Easter Sunday evening, I managed to win the fight. And get this. Just like so many times before, I was enamoured with this movie–as though I had seen it for the first time. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. When everybody had to get up and take a pee or fill their wine glass–it is a two hour film–I remained silent and in awe, transfixed on the paused screen image of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, the cinematography, Spock! I can’t say enough good things about this movie, dear worst-reader. I mean. Is it me or should this movie be up there with Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Casablanca, Austin Powers? Okay. Ok. Forget that with Austin Powers. Just kidding.
What is it about these old movies that makes them so good? Is it the lack of CGI? Is it the mix of brilliant acting, direction and editing? Or is it the times? You know. As in. Man-o-man am I sick of high budget comic book movies that I’ve had to watch over the past twenty or so years. Or. Didn’t all that bull$hit about conspiracy theory really get its mojo on during the 1970s and no one can deal with it today–in movies? Hence, all the comic book movies with über-huge budgets that don’t really have much to say. Am I wrong.
For those worst-reading this but also born on or around the millennium, the 1970s were the f’n bomb in #Americant when it comes to two things. First. Oil. Yeah. Oil was scarce–or at least they (THEY!) made it out to be scarce. And second. Movies–on the whole–kinda sucked. But let me not get too much on about sucky movies from the 1970s. Smokey and the Bandit anyone? On the other hand, one of the reasons some older movies are so much better than newer ones is because, well, the newer ones have nothing new to say. Again. Am I wrong.
While I’m on the subject…
Everything that is $hitty today, as in, Republicans, greed-mongering old people, über-stupid graduating from college and fail-upwards-ness being the new career mantra, that whole mess started in the 1970s. Seriously. It did. For. Don’t you know, dear worst-reader, the high and the party and the fun-fun of post WW2 was over by the 1970s. Indeed. The 1970s was about no-fun, the re-establishment of patriarchy (as men began their fight in earnest against feminism) and, of course, making $$$$ at any cost. It’s no coincidence that the 1970s lead to the election of a two-bit actor who’s best role was hiding all his personal hate and greed and racism and white supremacy, which he learned by-the-buy from his adopted state of California and the career that did not choose him: acting. Again. For those not in the know. If the 1970s weren’t as fcuked up as they were, there might not have been a Ronald dip$hit Reagan. But on that note I must die-gress.
Which brings me back to the topic at hand. I re-watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers the other night and was just as tickled as the first time I saw it. Well, almost just as tickled. Reason? Boy does this movie bring back memories. And I mean worst-writer memories, baby. Are you ready?
I was in my late teens when I first saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which was right around when it was released. And, although I was afeared more of suspense than of horror, this movie subverted all that on account, as I was to be told, it was more of a… And this was the first time I had ever heard such nomenclature before. This movie was not a horror movie. It was not a sci-fi invasion movie either. It was a… dystopian thriller.
Seventeen year old worst-moi said at the time:
Two things happened that coincided with the first time I saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers. First. It didn’t scare me. But it did thrill me. Second. I think this movie was a wake-up call. Indeed. It was my wake up call to digging the idear of the dystopia I was living in. At least that’s what she called it. It was also a movie that could be viewed in various states of mind without which you don’t have to shut off your brain. Get my drift, dear worst-reader? No? Wait. Cancel that. Let me move on.
Everyone called her Beka. That was short for Rebeka Tabatha Short. Beka was my first older woman. Although years later I kinda knew she was lying about her age, at the time she told me she was thirty four. (She was at least thirty-nine, eh.) Of course, I didn’t care how old she was. Reason? She could suck a golf ball through ten feet of garden hose–and she could do it ten times a day, no matter when, no matter where.
Beka was the assistant manager of a fitness club I worked at and she was also a licensed masseuse. For those not in the worst-know, I worked two jobs to save up money for college back then. The first was tending bar in Washington, DC. That was my night job. My second job was at a kinda uppity fitness club just south of the city where a lot of really, really, really expensive upper middle class women were trying to keep their product in order. But that’s not the reason I worked there. I worked there because it paid well above minimum wage–and all I had to do for that was dance around a room providing MILFs aerobic excercise. Anywho.
Becka lived in DC only a few blocks from the restaurant where I tended bar at night. Because I was all into saving money at the time, I would drive to the fitness club, park my car, work my shift, and if our schedules worked out, Becka would take me to my night time job saving me the gas money. When I finished there she allowed me to stay on her couch till the morning when she would drive me back to the fitness club. This relationship went on for about six months. Of course, only after a short initial period, I no longer stayed on her couch. Unless a late night movie caught us.
We watched a lot of late night movies. The movies we watched were the really old ones, too. Most were also black & white movies. You know, Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature From The Black Lagoon, etc. But then, one day, after a Sunday shift we worked together but I wasn’t scheduled to work that night at the bar, she asked if I’d like to join her and some friends and go to a drive-in. She even added that it was her treat. I agreed but made it clear that she would still need to bring me back to my car in the morning. She smiled and winked. I then joined her and a few other people/couples in various cars and we went to a drive-in cinema to watch the recently released Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
That evening I learned three things. Beka was a divorcee and her former husband was a great guy and he loved movies and he was there with a new date. The second thing I learned was that I could come four times in two hours at the behest of three different women, who went from car to car, and all I had to do was stay in the back seat of one car. The third thing I learned is that after a movie, when smart people think about it, they can come up with some pretty interesting words to label it. As in. Everyone from the group that I was with that night agreed that Invasion of the Body Snatchers is not a horror movie, nor is it a sci-fi movie, but it is a criticism of where America is going: it is a movie about (our) dystopia.
But enough about worst-writer’s history of cheap love affairs and/or (intellectual) seeds that would lead to the tree of my expatriation. Or. Am I wrong.
Since, dear worst-reader, you’re obviously here for whatever else I learned from my various viewings of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, here are a few issues that stand out for me, even after this most recent viewing:
- How can anyone sympathise with Americans being turned by alien gel-icky into automatons when a city bureaucrat opens the movie (Matthew Bennell/Donald Sutherland) with a nasty control/authoritarian schtick saying it’s not a caper it’s a rat turd and thereby terrorising a San Francisco French restaurant?
- How is it that Elizabeth Driscoll/Brooke Adams is able to bring home an alien flower that ONLY infects her fiancé when they both sleep at the same time, in the same bed?
- Why is it that the only malfunction of the pods came when the so-called hero of the movie kicked the pod that was next to the homeless guy who played the banjo and had a nice boxer (dog) as a pet, i.e. the dog with the human face?
- Was it really necessary to have Robert Duvall play a Catholic priest on a swing at a playground full of kids? Oh wait. It was the 70s. They could get away with it back then!
- At the end of the movie, the moment where Donald Sutherland is shown to be one of them, is it possible that he isn’t but is acting like one in order to save his own skin?
- Leonard Nimoy is a great actor.
- Finally. Did Donald Sutherland wear the same sweater in two movies? I mean, he did film Animal House around the same time. (See pics above.)
Actually. The (other) truth is. And I don’t mean this to toot my own horn any louder than I already do in this worst-blog, but on the/my first viewing of this movie I ended up that night with my first older girlfriend coming a fourth time after her former husband dropped us off at her place. That’s also when I first learned the word insatiable, swinging and there’s no such thing as jealously if there need not be. Oh. And if you’re ever at a drive-in and you see girls moving from one car to the other, you now know why.