Friday, October 31, 2008
I FREAKIN' LOVE THIS MOVIE!
When I was a little FHA (Future Homo of America) I loved movies with style.
"What A Way To Go", actually, anything with Shirley Maclaine during her whole "I'm way too old for this but, wtf" period. Anything with Tony Curtis. All Ross Hunter Productions.
Wow, I was way gay.
I wasn't much on scary movies. My uncle Bobby and I used to put sheets on my grandmothers' plastic slip covered white couch (yeah, you're so not a hipster if you've never endured that particular form of "style") and watch "Creature Features" every Saturday night when the adults went out.
Listen in the 60's no one knew what a "latchkey kid" was. Even with Richard Speck running around no one thought twice about leaving us kids alone on a Saturday night.
Of course, maybe my family was a little more, uh, "relaxed".
My mom was always a working mom. At the time she worked for Pan Am and a weekend for her was a quick trip to London or Paree (that's French for nasty dirty city full of Turkish hookers). I usually was left in the care of my grandmother, Lois.
This entailed, during the week, waiting for "her stories" to go off ( I saw the very first time Erica Caine came on All My Children! Susan Lucci was like 6 and had on a miniskirt! Love-ded her!) and then she would brush my hair and we would go to Jack's Back Door up on 63rd street. Somebody would put a couple of quarters in the jukebox and I would pick the songs. "I Second That Emotion", "Stoned Soul Picnic","Shotgun", "jimmy Mack", those were my jams. I would sit at the bar while my grandmother (who I think may have been a slut) worked the room. Imagine a black Sharon Stone from casino and you get the picture. I would sit on the bar and be admired.
I had "good" hair and light skin. You can't imagine how those qualities mattered back in the day.
You just can't.
Oh, I was also hella cute. I still have moments.
Few and far between. Getting fewer and farther.
Just so you know.
I know, scary movies!
Well, no one thought twice about leaving us kids alone on a Saturday night. My grandmother always snuck out after my grandfather went to see one of his many girlfriends (I'm telling you, things were different then). My mom had already gone off to someplace and my dad was usually working an overnight shift. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe they were both in Paris.
My mom would always tell my uncle, "NO SCARY MOVIES AND DON'T PLAY THAT SONG 'THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE ME AWAY'! IT SCARES DEREK!"
Need you ask?
The door would close. The Thunderbird would fire up. THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE ME AWAY would drop down on the record player and Creature Features would come on.
Jeez. Can a gay kid catch a break 'round here?
Well, one night it didn't work. I had SO squealed on Bobby Jr and my mom had hidden the 45 (that's a small vinyl..You Know What? Fuck your young ass!)and the most stylish movie I had ever seen came on.
Vincent Price starred in Dr. Phibes.
The good Dr. set out to avenge the death of his wife against the team who worked on her in the hospital. To do so, he got his revenge by using ancient curses. My personal fave is the way he uses Locusts to kill the nurse on the team.
He does all of this with the help of his beautiful assistant, VULNAVIA!
And they do it while traveling around 1930's Edwardian Art Deco England via 1972 haute Brittania! STYLE BABEE! STYLE!
AND they do it in a HUGE Roller with ecthed glass depicting cameos of the occupants inside on the windows!
The sets are an Art Deco Erte wet dream!
Vulnavia (ok, even I'm laughing), is dressed in these FAB costumes that are obviously early 70's versions of the 30's.
Did I say FAB?
In addition to being a style bonanza, Dr. Phibes is actually scary.
Well, it's scary if you're not a style obsessed Future Homo of America.
Otherwise, it's just FAB!