Ho Ho Ho, wake up pappa and put the dog outside. It’s time to begin the week before Xmas, time for the angst, the anticipation, the airport anxiety. To prepare us, I’ve gathered links to some quality family cinema internet writing.
STACIE PONDER, the indispensible and plucky Final Girl, has gathered a treasure trove of posters from the “demon child” genre over at her crazy-ass site. If you were ever a demon child yourself (and who wasn’t, especially come Xmas time?) you’ll want to take some time studying the subtext on these vintage little darlings. Click here.
The cunning and incisive KIM MORGAN is an expert on blondes gone wrong, and what movie speaks more the heart of family (aside from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, of course) than THE BAD SEED? The tale of a little blonde girl who happens to be a murderess, it’s a disturbingly apt portrait of America at its most self-centered… a Christmas gift from the violent Nordic marauders of yore, their angry DNA still circulating through the neurons of midwesterners everywhere.
You should also read Morgan’s sensational ode to the recently deceased Ike Turner, who looms large in our collective unconscious as a real-life badass control-freak abusive superdad. One thing’s for sure, fear provides powerful current and Tina and the Ikettes seem plugged into some crazy ass electricity in their film appearances. If you believe in movies, you can believe that Ike’s band of synchronized and super-tight performers did some lying awake at night Xmas eve back in the day, wondering if they were getting coal and switches in their stockings yet again…
Morgan is one of the few critical writers I know with the guts to write that, like it or not, big bad dad control freak abusiveness is sexy (at least in concert):
“The dark side to Ike makes the combination of Ike and Tina even more powerful — dysfunction is a potent brew — why would so much art, music, cinema and literature heavily notate this fact? You think George Jones and Tammy Wynette didn’t throw beer bottles at each other?”
Amen, and god bless us everyone says I. Yes, hitting and bitch-slapping is wrong, but this is Xmas and for Christ’s sake if someone hits you, hit them back, but with love, man. If you don’t believe you can hit someone with love I throw out these examples: Crocodile Dundee; John Wayne and Lee Marvin in DONOVAN’S REEF;Ed and Meatloaf in FIGHT CLUB; Burt Reynolds and any old stuntman dressed like a trucker in too many movies to name, need I go on? And as far as taking a punch with love, what about GHANDI?
What I’m saying is, the pathway has been shown to us, in the cinema, if we but see without blinders. if we all just accept each other–even though we see in each other the same odious traits which we cannot accept in ourselves–we can find the love that was lost and Xmas lights will shine once more.. and that means if your brother hits you, don’t sulk about it, throw a can at the fucker, with love.
But Christmas isn’t all just fighting and drunkenly making up, only to be stabbed by your traumatized children or cousins in your sleep, no sir. If you kickstart your sleigh and head over to Acidemic-Film, you can find out who won first place in the great 70’s Dads of Cinema countdown… it’s Jon Voight! Sumbitch don’t that beat all? As Ratzo Rizzo would say, “not bad… not bad.”