Friday, March 19, 2010

Mother May I - 50's Sci-Fi/Monster Movies For My Kids

Being a parent for over 14 years now, I sometimes look back at the memorable heart-to-heart conversations I had with my wife about parenting. Many of the exchanges we had concerned the movie content I wanted to show my kids, not surprisingly. Movies that were perfectly okay to watch on TV when I was that age (the 3 - 9 year old bracket), now (in this century) had to pass through a parental high summit. Those closed door meetings between you-know-who and she-who-must-be-obeyed to hash it all out are now the stuff of legend. Think a super-power nuclear arms control negotiation that had a 'watch those pronouns' quality. More importantly, the thing holding the balance of the decision was one tangential quotient - your children's nightmares. Of course, it must be stipulated that I was not attempting to introduce my kids to the likes of 70's horror films (The Exorcist, The Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre etc.). I'm not the greatest parent in the world, but give me some credit. Please... I have enough judgment and discretion to know better than to show those to my children when they were that young. I'm holding those off until they're in their teens. [wife: "What?!?"]

This post has been updated and moved to my current blog, which can be found here.

16 comments:

  1. I'm a wuss, Mars Attacks gave me nightmares! I remember lying in bed as a kid, I could hear the theme music to Alfred Hitchcock and Twilight Zone, it was terrifying.

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  2. When I was a kid, THE BIRDS gave me nightmares that continue to haunt me to do this day. There is something about seeing certain films at a young, impressionable age that imprints you for life. Romero's original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is the same way. Both of these films give me the heebie jeebies thanks to seeing them as a young lad.

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  3. Invaders from Mars did that to me when I was a kid. Those parents under control of the Martians... and that ending got to me. Thanks, J.D.

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  4. I remember when the Martians started disintegrating people in that film, I said, "Whoa." That one had some surprises in it. Thanks, Herbc.

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  5. Creature From the Black Lagoon is a 70% chance of nightmare? Good thing I don't have children, I'd have them too warped to talk.

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  6. Nah... they'd be fine. I'd trust you with my kids. In fact, can you take them off our hands this weekend? ;-)

    Thanks, Naomi.

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  7. What's this, you trying to punish them by sending them to Ohio after a life in LA? Send them on! :-)

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  8. Hehe... Thanks, Naomi.
    On Mar 19, 2010, at 10:11 PM, JS-Kit.com Comments wrote:

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  9. 錢,給你帶來歡愉的日子,但不給你帶來和平與幸福........................................

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  10. I can't really recall my first monster movie. I'm thinking it might've been It but I'm not sure: my mind keeps blocking the experience, but I still have some weird images in my head (don't ask me what happened when I first went to a club and saw one of those rooms with lots of showers).

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  11. I'm afraid to ask (I haven't been in a club for ages), but a room with lots of showers? Thanks, Poncho.

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  12. Omigosh, this is bringing back memories! Saturday afternoon monster flicks with the family. Being daylight, those didn't freak me out so much as watching The Outer Limits or Twilight Zone at night. The sister closest to me in age was the one who would beg and pester one of us to stay up with her to watch those shows or whatever Fright Night flick was on. Then, of course, neither of us would be able to go to sleep unless we left the lights on. ;-)

    Don't remember the first scary movie I saw in a theater, but learned that it was pretty much a waste of money. I'd sit with my feet up on the back of the chairs in front of me, peeking through my knees with my hands close to my face so that I could cover my ears and pinch my eyes closed when whatever jumped out. TOTAL WUSS, that's me. Ha!

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  13. Yep, same here in regard to the day of the week these would be on the TV. Saturdays always had some monster movie playing. Oh, and the classic The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone programs (especially come evening) would offer up lots of opportunities to jump behind the couch when some chilling moment came on screen. I have the original The Outer Limits season on DVD. I think I should break them out for the kids ;-). Thanks, Christine, for bringing those memories to this.

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  14. Ha! Sorry, I didn't realize I wrote club (as in night club), I meant a sports club. We call clubs to sports clubs and "antros" to nightclubs. Sorry again.

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  15. I can't exactly remember my first monster movie, but I was fed a steady diet of Godzilla and Universal monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein. I loved The Blob, though I hardly slept afterwards. (I remember I had a pile of dirty clothes in my room and as I looked at it in the dark, it looked like The Blob.) The third story on Triligy of Terror got me good, and I loved watching that too. Stay away from dolls that look like jungle warriors with it's own sharp Spear.

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  16. Welcome, E. Wonderful memories, my friend. The original Blob bothered, too, when I first saw -- especially the old man who poked it with a stick. The Trilogy of Terror TV pic probably scarred more kids growing up. BTW, a good friend wrote up a wonderful examination of that movie earlier this year. If you're interested, you can check it out here. Thank you very much for your comment.

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