The Top 5 Things Films Have Inspired Me To Do…
…Other Than Make Them Myself.
In a break from my usual routine of reviewing semi-obscure, bad or mostly un-heralded films I am going to relate to you several odd, idiotic or unusual things films have inspired me to do (mostly as a child or teenager.)
As a bit of a preface however, I am going to say that, as a 24 year old filmmaker I am still to this day doing marginally un-intelligent things in order to reference my favorite films and or TV shows.
Anyways! On to the spoils of my youth!
WARNING: I cannot personally condone the recreation or attempting of these soon to be mentioned activities, actions or games in anyway what-so-ever despite how amazingly fun they were to be a part of.
DO NOT TRY THESE THINGS AT HOME (or anywhere else)!
#5: My Piranha 2: The Spawning Themed 12th Birthday Party-
The title pretty much says it all, but I shall explain further. At age 12 I was quite odd (still am), some of my favorite films at the time were “Tommy” (1975), “Child’s Play 2” (1990), “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers” (1987) and James Cameron’s Directorial Debut (and personal greatest water bound film) Piranha 2: The Spawning. The party consisted of making the house look like the “Fishing Festival” from the film, Me dressing up as Lance Henriksen’s character Police Chief Steve Kimbrough, dressing one unfortunate friend up as Tricia O’Neill’s character Anne Kimbrough, having the remaining guests don fake moustaches so as to appear like “swarthy Italian men”, playing Pinata with a makeshift paper mache “Grundel Fish” and watching the film itself on loop in my bedroom. The party was a big success, mainly because the movie has boobs (and flying killer fish) in it. And, as we all know there is nothing 12 year old boys find more thrilling than boobs (even queer ones such as I was.)
#4: Dressing as John Saxon for Halloween 3 Years in a Row-
That’s right, John Saxon, the man, the myth, the actor, NOT one of his characters. For Halloween ages 9, 10 and 11 I gave myself a thick, make-up tan, spray painted 5 O’Clock shadow, a tight greasy comb over, speckled fake chest hair and slipped into my grandfather’s clothing left over from the 1970’s going house to house with a leather briefcase saying “Trick or treat” in a gruff, constantly annoyed, yet still warm voice, confusing everyone I encountered highly.
#3: Phantasm- The Game-
As very young boys my cousin and I were exposed to the wonderfully inventive, low budget horror classic Phantasm (1979.) At the time the film became our end all of end all favorite thing in the whole wide world, thusly, we created a game to commemorate it. To play this game we used a silver sphere (made of INCREDIBLY hard plastic), broken off from a “fortune teller” toy and modified to have 3 “killer prongs” (also made of INCREDIBLY hard, JAGGED plastic.) One would then surprise the other player of the game by yelling “BBBBBOOOOOYYYYY!” at the top of his lungs, a la the Tall Man from the film and hurling the ball at the other’s forehead as hard as you could, “killer prong” end first. You won the game by successfully ducking the ball, or grabbing it in mid air. You rarely won the game.
#2: Redneck Neighborhood Recreation of the “Cuban Pete” scene from “The Mask”-
From age 9-13 I lived in the mountains of North Carolina. More specifically I lived in a trailer park… in the mountains of North Carolina. Needless to say this time period of my life (being a gay, somewhat intelligent, older movie loving, vocabulary having person) was not particularly nice, but it did have it’s moments and this was one of them. I was a big fan of Jim Carrey as most people were, during his golden age (from Ace Ventura through Liar, Liar) and one of my favorites from his canon was “The Mask” (1994.) In particular I loved the scene from the film where Carrey, in The Mask persona, leads a group of street urchins and police officers in a lavish musical number, set to the song “Cuban Pete.” As a sign of affection for this sequence (and because we were all incredibly bored) I trained all of the redneck children in my Trailer Park (for two weeks) to do an exact recreation. It was a glorious experience and unfortunately before the days when I owned a camera (if only I hadn’t bought all those Star Trek toys!)
#1: Cliffhanger- The Game-
Another story, and my favorite one at that, from my time in the Mountains is the tale of Cliffhanger- The Game, inspired by the 1993 Sylvester Stallone/Renny Harlin film. This game of ours was for 3 players and revolved around the infamous opening sequence of the film (where Sylvester Stallone’s character Gabe Walker fails to save Michael Rooker’s character Hal Tucker’s girlfriend Sarah from a thin line running between a huge, mountainous gorge.) To play this game, first you need a gorge (ours was about 200 feet across and thirty feet deep, if you fell in you would land on ancient, rusted garbage and bramble bushes), then you need some rope (able to hold a couple people) and three people stupid enough to play this game. Player one (“Hal” the neutral player) stands on the side of the gorge opposite Player two (“Gabe” the cliffhanger) with Player three (“Sarah” the victim.) Player one sends Player three out onto the middle of the rope, where Player three then feigns that he or she is going to plummet to their death. Player one then begs Player two to climb out and get Player three. Player two must then scoot out to Player three, grab them in one arm and get back to their starting position without dropping Player three. To add challenge to said activity Player one shakes the rope from his side yelling “Don’t you drop her GABE!” at the top of his lungs. In my 4 years in the mountains I probably played this game 50 times or more and I only won twice… sadly, I was the best player…
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