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November 01, 2008

Nightmare Thread

When I was a kid, my parents took me to a drive-in. (Yeah, I'm old enough that there were still a few drive-ins around when I was a kid -- but they were dying out, man! It wasn't like I was Kinicke in Grease taking dates to them!)

Anyway, we saw some movie. Forget which. Probably a Burt Reynolds movie. (Yes, I'm old enough that when I was a kid they were still letting Burt Reynolds make movies. But his box office was declining, man! Within years he'd be doing Stroker Ace.)

But the trailer that came before it scared the shit out of me.

I've been trying to find this for years and years. Tonight I thought it might be Fulci's The Beyond, but it wasn't.

I realized, after all these years, the title was Beyond the Door.

Now, yes, this is such a blatant Exorcist rip-off it's not funny. But then, I hadn't see the Exorcist when I was a kid so I didn't know that.

Still, it's a pretty creepy trailer. What on earth were my parents doing taking me to a theater showing trailers like this.


Anyone want to mention their worst nightmares?

I've got two. The first one is a recurring one I had all through childhood, particularly when I had a fever.

I would feel the cold hard rocky feel of macadam asphalt on the side of my face, like I was lying in a street. (Always felt that in this dream.) I would see myself, looking down on myself, as I lay in some very large recurring geometrical pattern made from featureless flat-black material. The "camera," if you will, would rise and rise, revealing the geometric pattern repeating and repeating, larger and larger, as I became smaller and smaller. Ultimately, of course, the pattern was revealed to be pretty much infinite.

Had that one twenty times.

The other one I remember is more of a "fun" nightmare. In my dream, I walked past the upstairs bathroom towards my bedroom. I look over at the shower, and think I hear something... scratching, breathing past the shower curtain.

I think nothing of it, of course, and lay down in bed.

The clock radio next to me tells me that there's an escaped lunatic at large.

At this point, I realize, "Hey, you know what, maybe that sound in the bathroom..." and I get up to lock my door.

But as I reach for the lock, the door bursts open, and an eight foot tall maniac wearing a lab coat and wielding it a meat-cleaver smashes my fucking head in two as he yells out "Scalllllpel!," rolling the l there in the middle.

And I know he wasn't holding a scalpel at all. I wish it had been a scalpel. What it was was a good eighty square inches of gleaming butcher-axe.

But that's what he said.

At any rate, and here's the cool thing about this nightmare, I was so startled and frightened that I half woke up and stumbled to the door, insensate, half-dreaming, half-awake, in a frantic attempt to lock the door. (Yes, I'd already been murdered, but it's a dream, you know.) I got about six steps before my legs, utterly uncoordinated due to the fact I was, you know, asleep, tripped up and I fell forward and cracked my head right on the jam of the door.

Producing an awful pain not entirely unlike that of a maniac burying a meat-cleaver in your corpus colossum as he screams out "Scalllllpel!" for unknown reasons.

Having had my bell rung nicely, I spent the next minute waking up and puzzling out precisely what had been real and what had been imagined.

But, honestly, I was right by the door I tried to get to in my dream, and my head hurt. So you can understand my confusion.

That was the scariest "scary" sort of nightmare I ever had. All the others... well, a constant parade of high school administrators telling me I don't have enough credits to graduate and will have to take gym for the next three years to make up for it.

"Now get up that rope, pussy!"

Less is More: Here's a longer trailer for Beyond the Door. Not scary. Laughable.

The expanded trailer reveals it's not just a ripoff of the Exorcist. It's a ripoff of Rosmary's Baby and The Omen, too.

Maybe this is why I've never thought the Exorcist was scary. I saw the trailer for this movie first. Later on I was like, "Oh, yeah, her head spins around like that woman's in that scary Italian movie."

Loose Shit: Right, it's StRoker Ace, and Six-Pack wasn't Burt Reynolds, it was Kenny Rogers, but you know it must have been written for Burt Reynolds. And for the first time in his his life, he turned down a move about race-car driving. Wisely.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:18 AM

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