The Movies I wasn't allowed to watch...
July 01, 2008
I was staring at one of my gigantic walls of stacked DVD's and comic books looking for something to either watch or read when it hit me; I wish I had Fight Club. I don't understand why I have yet to purchase that movie. It's one of my top favorites, but I just haven't picked it up. I have a penchant for picking up the abstract anime impulse buys, and I have an unhealthy amount of movies I should have long since grown out of, and even movies I downright despise but for some reason I just had to own...but no Fight Club...

And then something else hit me; I have this vast selection of DVD's, and now that I'm "Grown up" there's no one around to monitor my video selections. I could literally buy a movie that is 45 minutes of midgets frolicking in Ewok costumes trying to save some little girl's parents, and right after that I could watch DEAD ALIVE, or whatever gruesome celebration of gore I choose. Heck, I even have the power to cross the beaded doorway into Smut Land just as easily and creepy as I can venture into the children section and pick out Pete's Dragon if I so choose. (AUTHOR'S NOTE: Truthfully I find no thrill in crossing the beaded gates since I turned 19, and absolutely no thrill in renting Pete's Dragon) The power is MINE!(Actually, that's a lie...we only have Blockbusters here and they don't cater to the beaded doorway crowd, but they probably do have Pete's Dragon)

But it wasn't always so; in my younger years I had restrictions...Restrictions that just seemed unfair and illogical. As a child I braved movies my peers had nightmares about. I could tell them all the gory details about how Chucky met his latest demise, how I didn't see ANYTHING when I said Candyman's name three times while looking in the mirror (I have yet to try Biggie Smalls) and who courageously ended Freddy and Jason's past murderous exploits. I was the kid that feared few movies, and I believed I could handle just about anything...

They were just men in make-up to me. I adored their movies, but they didn't scare me like they did all the others my age. My Mom wasn't very strict with what I viewed for the first seven years of my life, but then she went on the Crazy Christian Crusade kick. Some of you may know this phenomenon or one like it, but to those unacquainted, it's a name I use for the instances where a parent/parents finds religion and feels the need to throw out all "Tainted" and "Secular" CD's, movies, comic books, etc. My Mom did this twice to me, and in the end it cost me my Ghostbusters movies, my Green Jello tape, my stack of Hellboy comics, and much much more.

Her intentions were good, but I think it was a little late in the game to shield me from everything I had already exposed myself to. In the end I lost a lot of cool stuff I wish I still had. The jihad on all things secular didn't just end at my house, it also crept into my movie theater experiences. In 1993 an atrocious movie came out based on the Super Mario Bros. videogames.

Trust me when I say the movie was not "A Blast!", and although it's true it was not a game, it certainly was not a live-action thrill ride. Before I try and sue for false advertisement, I'd like to mention that I loved the Super Mario Bros. games, and even the campy Lou Albino starring cartoon right up to the point where Yoshi and cavemen were involved. I was a youngling, and I thought everything should be made into a movie. GI Joe? Should be a movie. The Legend of Zelda? Make a movie out of it. Mighty Max? Hurry that sucker into production. I'd often sit and discuss with my cousin about how our favorite cartoons and videogames would make awesome movies, so my excitement to see Super Mario Bros. on the big screen was immeasurable. I even bought the sticker book...remember those? When a movie would come out they'd be in the magazine section where they scan your groceries? Man, do they still have those?

Anyway, the movie came out and all my friends were buzzing about it. I couldn't wait to see it, but unfortunately Mom was on her holy movie ban...uh, Batman (I had to), and seeing SMB:The Movie was now against our religion. It was an odd concept to me; here I was seven years old and well versed in all kinds of movie magic, and now for some reason a movie about Dennis Hopper becoming a T-Rex and turning people into fungus was too racy and out of the question. Just months prior I was allowed to rent Terminator 2:Judgment Day!0 Just a tad illogical...

Spock would agree with me, I'm sure. I'm betting it had something to do with the plot being so connected to evolution, or something. Anyway, my friends talked about the movie for months. I had to sit them down and force them into telling me every specific plot detail and "rad" part they could remember. Years later the ban on SMB:The Movie was lifted, and I rented it for $1, and then I asked for my money back.

After catching Pocahontas in 1995, I explored the theater for new Coming Attractions (Remember that show?) and found this...

and for the first time since I was a toddler, I pooped myself...Okay, not really. Seriously though, Mortal Kombat was ALL the rage back in my day. Kids played with the action figures on the playground, and they were quickly taken away by the teachers and yard duty ladies. Kids had the pogs, the t-shirts, the videogame magazines...Mortal Kombat was the best game ever in our humble and young minded opinions. I told all my friends about the poster, and I even caught the trailer for it on the Dumb and Dumber VHS...I couldn't wait...but while Kombat began for everyone in 95, it didn't begin for me until a few years later.

Now I can understand where my Mom was coming from on this one; it was based on what was at the time the poster child for mature videogames that were supposedly going to corrupt us into violence. The game wasn't allowed in my house (so I played it at the neighbors) and I had little hope of convincing my Mom to let me see the most talked about movie of that year amongst my age group, but I'll have you know I gave it my very best.

A few months before Mortal Kombat: The Movie gave birth to the disgusting and deformed half-abortion that was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, my Step-Dad rented Mortal Kombat and let us kids watch it. It was a decent flick, but since the previews for Mortal Kombat: Annihilation showed more of my favorite characters from the later videogames, I figured MK:A would be the ULTIMATE Mortal Kombat theater experience. I was a little bit older, a bit more mature, and my Mother's Holy annihilation (pun intended) of all things Non-Christian had finally ended with little-to-no bloodshed so I was certain Mom would let me catch the much anticipated sequel...

Nope, denied. No matter how many times I'd bring up the fact that there was just a little blood on Shang Tsung's face during the end battle, and none of the bad guys died in gruesome and gory ways my Mom would have none of it. Bugging her about seeing MK:A even got me grounded!

A little while after it was available to own on video, I secretly and cleverly borrowed it from a kid at school. He wasn't one of my friends, he was just a kid who happened to own it that I happened to pay $12. I popped it into my VCR when everyone was sleeping and I swore he had ripped me off by lending me a crappy bootleg copy they sell at Swap Meets. This low-budget crapfest with poor SFX couldn't be what they released theatrically. It had to be a trick! It had to be a farce! The people playing Raiden, Sonya, Jax, and Johnny Cage were NOT the people who played them in the original. Shao Khan wore his trademark skull mask for like two or three scenes, and then he turned out to be Raiden's brother? LAME! The movie was terrible, and that end battle between the two Animalities? It looked worse than anything in Clash of the Titans. That epic feeling I had when Khan showed up demanding the souls of the MK heroes at the end of the first movie was long gone. MK:A was an epic fail.

I'd seen the trailer for From Dusk till Dawn on an episode of Coming Attractions a few weeks before it came out, and it looked incredibly scary, so when my Step-Dad rented it a few years later I was a bit hesitant to see it. I guess I should have mentioned when I was younger although Jason, Freddy, and all the killers didn't scare me, vampires, snakes, water, and watersnakes did. Heaven forbid there would be a Vampire movie involving snakes, right? I had this odd phobia with Vampires, and I avoided them at all cost...I even had nightmares about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. When my Step-Dad put From Dusk till Dawn in the VCR I was given a tiny shred of hope that the foul language would make him turn the movie off, or send us to bed where I could play Nintendo 64 and be comfortable with my prepubescent masculinity. It was only a matter of time until the "Parent Radar" beeped and let my Step-Dad know this was not a movie suitable for children...The cursing apparently didn't bother him. The homicidal Gecko Bros. didn't sound him off. No, the moment that movie showed nudity it was off to bed with us.

Now like I mentioned, I was and still am to this day deathly afraid of snakes...but if they're wrapped around scantily clothed Salma Hayek I'll suck my Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) up and continue watching. My Step-Dad didn't share my enthusiasm and newfound courage, and turned the movie off. My Step-Brother came up with a plan to sneak into the living room and retrieve it from the VCR, memorizing exactly where my Step-Dad had stopped it so we could watch it when my parents had fallen asleep, and then rewind it back to the part where my Step-Dad turned it off as to cover our tracks. We pressed play on the VCR and we couldn't wait to see some Salma Nudity...then she turned into a frickin Snake Vampire!

I shrieked. I panicked. I acted like a wuss. You can't just combine someone's greatest fears into a single entity! Hadn't I suffered enough knowing that there were snakes who swim in water? What's next? A Snake Vampire who drowns people in lakes and rivers? My Step-Brother tried to shut me up, but it was too late...we were busted. We got grounded for awhile, and after that we never really were told we couldn't view certain movies. You can say it's because we grew older and more mature (No), or our parents trusted us to monitor what we watched, but if you ask me it was because my Mom and Step-Dad foolishly forgot to put a rating restriction on our very own rental accounts, and as long as we watched our movies inside our rooms with our doors shut and the volume on our TV's down, we could pretty much rent anything from G to NC-17...
So to conclude this article; I need to buy Fight Club : )
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