Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

My Earliest Memory of Being Terrified From a Movie

Monday, December 31, 2012

this entry brought to you by warren zevon, "werewolves of london"

Every now and again something burbles up in my mind from my early childhood, something that was burned into my brain. Something that scared the shit out of me. I had this memory of watching a movie where someone was being sawed in half. I had no idea who, or in what context. Just someone being sawed in half. And I must have been really young. Around four. It terrified me.

But it didn't just terrify me in the way that, say, the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz are terrifying. The Wizard of Oz is still the way it is, and then this element gets introduced that just gets into your subconscious, but it is still The Wizard of Oz. This was different. This felt like something I wasn't supposed to be seeing. It didn't just seem scary, it seemed wrong. As if I had gotten up at three in the morning and turned on the TV, and it had been left on HBO, and the Hellraiser movie was playing where that guy that had had all of his flesh ripped off writes "Hell is here" in his own blood on the wall. This memory, that has come up every now and again my whole life, didn't just feel like a family movie that had an element that scared the shit out of me. This seemed like a thing from adulthood that I had stumbled into that seemed utterly unfathomable, something absolutely wrong. And my whole life I wondered what the hell it was that I had seen.

My daughter was watching The Wiz last night, made in 1978. And when Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman, and The Lion meet the Wicked Witch, a whole flood of memories came to me.

First of all, my brain sort of combined the two. I kind of just remember a person being sawed in half, and then there just being a head, and seeing it now I can see why I would combine those two. And secondly, it's funny because both characters specifically say they'll be fine. Scarecrow (played by Michael Jackson!!) specifically says that it's just some straw that's being cut, that it can be replaced. The Tin Man says that his body is hollow, so he'll be fine. And looking at it now, it doesn't seem like they're talking to Dorothy at all, it's as if they are specifically talking to four year old Chris. But it didn't matter. Somehow this scene was so graphic and horrifying, they might as well have had intestines bursting out of their mouths as they had hot pokers inserted into their anuses, for as much as it stuck in my head.

with love from CRS @ 3:18 PM 


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