Thursday, October 15, 2015

everyday is halloween

movies that scared the pee out of me: hellraiser [1987]

i know i've written about this clive barker penned and directed flick before but let me tell you i was 20 years old, a huge fan of barker's fiction, and a regular at the sac 6 drive-in theater.  that's where i saw this movie with an old girlfriend.  she held my hand as i shuddered thru the run time of this movie.

i shit you not.  barker's vision of sado-masochism is so wholly realized, his vision of a hell in this world as shown by the monks of torn flesh, the cenobites, his message of evil found just beneath our skin freaked me out.

and yet like all great horror stories you must dig a little deeper.  for barker drills into our carnal desires and our simultaneous disgust of human sex with great precision.  but for barker sex is not shameful.  it is rueful.  in the world the novelist/filmmaker created desire is shown as bloody meat, your face thrust in it.

but that is not what freaked me so fully.  what scared the pee out of me was barker's tone.  a kind of demented saturday matinee feel of the film.  a feeling of surrealistic holiday permeates this flick.  the bedrock safety and security of home is ripped away from you.  what scared me so badly was that i didn't feel anchored in ordinary reality.  i was adrift upon the supreme grotesque.

i survived, thank you.  i've watched this movie with great admiration many many times over the years.  i think, after that first viewing at the sac 6 drive-ins i was even able to get to sleep that night.  i don't remember for sure.  that was a lifetime ago.




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