Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Nightmare on Belm Street

Nightmare on Belm Street

When ET: The Extra Terrestrial came out, they were queuing round the block to see it at the ABC Cinema in Reading. While I had queued for Star Wars, Superman and Star Trek, this was one blockbuster I somehow managed to avoid.

This evasion lasted for some fifteen years, when I finally caught up with the film as an adult. I blubbed like a girl, but knew, deep down that the cute little girl would grow up to be a drug-addled nympho who they will probably bury in a Y-shaped coffin. A modern - if flawed - classic that every serious filmgoer should see at least once.

I write this because I have finally caught up with yet another of those films I managed to miss the first time around this very weekend.

All my friends saw A Nightmare on Elm Street at the cinema when it came out in 1984, and they were, frankly scared shitty by the experience. I’m told that several didn’t sleep for days, afeared that Freddie Kruger was waiting for them on the other side to rip their lungs out and piss over their still twitching corpse.

With a reputation that this was a truly frightening and original horror flick, which took the genre to new, pant-pissingly terrifying levels, I put on a brave face, told everybody I’d seen it, and lied through my teeth.

And so, Sunday evening, with nothing better to watch, the fragrant Mrs Duck and I sat down in front of Channel Five and prepared to die of abject terror. Twenty three years I've waited. It had better be up there with Citizen Kane and Apocalypse Now.

And it was. They're hideously over-rated, too.

What a load of old shite.

I’ve been more frightened by my kids on a sugar rush. Wes Craven? John Craven, more like. Mrs Duck and I haven’t laughed so much in our lives. And we were the people who paid good money to see Spaceballs.

* Botched jump cuts where they swapped the actor for an unconvincing dummy.

* Clearly visible mattresses in fall scenes.

* Laughable special effects - such as the phone with the tongue coming out of it - which were clearly purchased in Toys R Us.

* And of course, this being the film that made a star out of Robert Englund, the man himself spending the entire movie running around in a horror mask going “Raaaaargh!”

I LOLed. We both LOLed. We LOLed out loud, and our fits of laughter at the crappy “twist” ending had the kids out of bed asking us what all the roffling was about. We told them. They LOLed, too.

The only good bits were, of course, a pre-fame Johnny Depp being rubbish, and the fact you saw the female star's pert, peachy norks. Mrs Duck didn’t agree. She thought it was all arse.

So, there’s one illusion well and truly shattered.

What then, have you avoided for your entire life? And like the suicidal boy made entirely out of balloons - were you ultimately let down?

No comments: