Back in June, I wrote:
Poltergeist is the only movie that still scares the everlivingjesusfuck out of me, and every time I hear Kaja Goo Goo's Too Shy, it reminds me of the afternoon I watched it with my older cousins, stretched out on the floor of our den after swimming in our pool all morning in the middle of summer.
The idea was to watch the very scary movie in the light of day, so that by the time night rolled around, any residual terror would have been washed away by whatever casserole we had for dinner . . . but it didn't quite work out that way. Now, you damn kids today, who grew up with the MTV and the VH-1 and the MTV2 and your baggy pants and your coffee can exhaust pipes don't remember this, but back in the early 80s, there was this thing called ON TV. It was one of the first cable movie channels (SelecTV and Z Channel are the other two I remember) and pre-dates HBO. Sometimes, between movies, they'd run something called ON Video Jukebox where they'd play these things that were like concert films, but often featured little stories and cool grass valley switcher video effects.
To ensure that the top-loading, portable (read: less than 50 pounds and measuring close to 18 inches square and five inches deep) VCR's timer function captured the entire program, my dad would set it to start recording five minutes before the show was set to start, and end five minutes after. This resulted in catching ON Video Jukebox pretty regularly, and before Poltergeist started, there was this band singing about being shy. I can still hear my dad, as he stands in the doorway from the den to the pool, silhouetted by the glare of the mid-day sun (thankfully - my dad insisted on wearing a bikini Speedo throughout my entire childhood, regardless of how many of my friends were over to swim) as he says, "They call them 'Kaja Goo Goo because they sound like they're singing baby talk," before cracking up at his joke and disappearing into the glare seconds before we heard him splash into the pool.
Poltergeist started up, and I instantly noticed how much the house and neighborhood in the film looked like mine. As the movie went on, I noticed other things that were just like my life: a little sister with a terrifying clown toy, a tree just outside my bedroom window, a swimming pool under construction a few houses over, quasi-hippie parents, and Zelda Rubenstein standing in the middle of my living room hollering about going into the light.
Well, most of that, anyway.
The movie terrified me so much, because it all seemed so plausible and looked so much like my neighborhood, I put Amy's clown toy into the garage (on top of the freezer with its bounty of ice cream sandwiches) before I went to bed, and slept with the light on in my bedroom. For several nights.
Anne just told me that Poltergeist will be playing this Saturday night at the Rialto Theater in South Pasadena. At midnight. For nine bucks.
I am totally going, and looking forward to being truly scared (I mean, like wet your pants scared) in a horror movie for the first time in at least ten years.