Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Klaatu barada nikto

Last night I watched the remake of "The War of the Worlds," and, in spite of Tom Cruise, I was riveted, just like I was for the original in 1953. Too bad it was interrupted by television commercials every few minutes, though they did give me a chance to catch my breath. Oh, thank you Spielberg for doing it right (well, except for the silly soap opera, which was easily ignored). Just wish I'd seen it on the big screen; great special effects. I believed it. Oh the horror!

Yeah, I'm a sucker for creature features and good sci-fi movies. My first was "The Thing from Another World!" 1951.

When the dog fell out of
that bin, I was so frightened I thought my arm had been frozen. It took several heartbeats before I figured out it was just in a plaster cast.

(Earlier that week I'd had my arm straightened under anaesthesia and was wearing the cast. My arm was crooked because I didn't know I couldn't ride my little brother's push-scooter no-hands, the way I could my bicycle. Anyway, riding it down Valley Drive, the extremely steep hill we lived on---I seem to always live on really steep hills---I lifted both hands off the handle, wheeeeee, SPLAT, right on my left hand. Naturally, I cried and whined about my wrist hurting, but my mother just kept telling me to shut up. A week later a neighbor said, Edna, her arm is crooked, just look at it. So she was shamed into taking me to the doctor and of course it was broken and had to be reset.)

But, really, my all-time favorite is still "The Day the Earth Stood Still." When Helen has to remember to say "Klaatu barada nikto" to stop Gort, well, I've spent the rest of my life trying to remember that phrase, just in case.

Really, if you didn't grow up in the 50s or 60s, when they really knew how to make scary B-movies, you can't know how much fun they were. "Them!" "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" "The Blob" "Creature from the Black Lagoon" "The Day of the Triffids" Jeez, they were awful. But who knew? Scared a very young me.

Then "Night of the Living Dead," 1968, not even seen in a theatre, but on Bob Wilkins' Creature Features on Channel 2, scared the shit out of me, and I wasn't so young anymore . . .I had to move away from my window, huddling against the wall, totally freaked. I was a real Bob Wilkins fan. He was so droll. (Googling: he has a Web site; he lives on!) I usually fell asleep before a movie ended, but that was OK.

The newer B creature features are a bit gross and I don't waste any money on them, and I don't think you can ever top that first "Aliens," but maybe I'll go see "District 9" on the big screen this week. Yeah.


Anonymous said...

"Night of the Living Dead" what a classic. My favorite line is the sheriff telling the mob how to kill the zombies. "If you have a gun, shoot 'em in the head. That's a sure way to kill 'em. If you don't, get yourself a club or a torch. Beat 'em or burn 'em. They go up pretty easy." But it was Twilight Zone which scared the crap out of me perhaps because it was more realistic. Or maybe it was Rod Serling's creepy voice.

page132 said...

you simply must see District 9!!! It was wonderful!