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Joy Division Love Will Tear Us Apart
I’m sure I speak for most of us when I say that ultimately all anybody desires is to be loved. When we find such bliss the world becomes a wonderful place filled with candy cane cuddles and sherbet-laced kisses. The butterflies take flight within our bellies and we glean immense satisfaction from kissing in public places and making everyone around us wretch. However, here’s the flip side. Once love bids us adieu, our previously saccharine surroundings are replaced with a far more grim reality. All candy cane swiftly corrodes and any sherbet is substituted for arsenic. As for those tummy tenant butterflies, well how does moths grab you? Should we take a jaunt outside and witness a couple candidly canoodling then our primary instinct is to ram our fingers down their throats and make them wretch. See how they like it. As you can see, there really is a world of difference.
Today we will be looking at love within our beloved horror and, chances are, none of the following movies will make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You see, in horror, the course of true love seldom runs smoothly and ordinarily ends in an all-out bloodbath. So what better place to begin then than with Brian De Palma’s 1976 Stephen King adaptation Carrie? Poor old Creepy Carrie White had the wool pulled over her eyes as she prepared for her prom deflowering courtesy of socially approved alpha Tommy Ross. Her preparations for the big night were far from hitch-free as her own mother locked her away in the pantry when she was clearly bursting for a dump.
Even more disparaging was that post-Phys Ed shower lathering as hapless Carrie finally succumbed to ovulation, only to find that the other girls in gym class were a little too understanding of her plight. In their defense, they did offer her enough tampons to soak up The Red Lagoon but it all proved too much for the timid teen as nobody took the time to explain to her how to use them. By the time prom night arrived and White was crowned queen to her absolute astonishment, I would imagine she cursed not keeping hold of said tampons as, tainted by the blood of swines, she bled out in style and provided the proverbial pre-menstrual rampage which literally took the roof off the party. Burn! Motherfucker! Burn!
While on the topic of bloodbaths, Peter Jackson’s 1992 carnage fest Dead Alive was not shy when it came to the red stuff. However, beneath the communal slaughter laid a sweet ode to the pangs of first love as momma’s boy Lionel Cosgrove fell head over heels for hispanic beauty Paquita Maria Sanchez and the couple commenced their short-lived courtship. It was all going well until his disapproving mother Vera took a bite from a Sumatran rat-monkey and proceeded to decompose before his very eyes. If Carrie White was less than enthused after receiving a pail of hog cruor for her troubles, then she could count herself fortunate as Jackson provided hundreds of gallons of rouge in time for the blood-drenched curtain call. Meanwhile, hapless Lionel was offered shelter from the storm as mom invited him back into her womb for respite when a stint inside Paquita’s provencal pussy would have been far less mortifying a prospect.
Mother nature loves nothing more than to throw a wrench in the spokes of true love and, if Samatran rat-monkeys could really fuck up a blossoming romance, then a regular domestic fly was the last thing you’d want in your ointment. David Cronenberg’s remake of Kurt Neumann’s 1958 creature feature The Fly, cunningly named The Fly, showed why science has no place in the bedroom whilst showcasing the sole benefit of purchasing a daily newspaper. Seth Brundle really ought to have rolled up his tabloid and relinquished this pesky insect of its duties before taking to transporter pod #1 and fusing. Supposedly a shoe-in for the Nobel prize, this great scientific mind didn’t heed the warning signs when his monkey took to relocation like a desert carp and emerged from pod #2 making that Samatran rat-monkey look like Clark Gable.
It was Veronica Quaife who I felt for. They say love is blind and, to her eternal credit, she stood by her man defiantly although I would imagine coitus became a less flavorsome proposition by the time Brundle buzzed around the neighborhood trampling in dog feces and filling his cheeks with the worst kind of acid reflux imaginable. Sometimes the best way of proving your affection is by letting your partner go and drive a ’66 Thunderbird off a cliff instead. Perhaps Thelma & Louise wasn’t the best career choice for Geena Davis as, while she may have seemed to put some distance between her and Seth, he was likely buzzing around at the foot of the chasm with feet caked in excretion. You see, earth girls really are easy.
Tony Scott’s stylish 1983 noir, The Hunger, was all about eternal love and, unfortunately for David Bowie, the pace was all too much to keep up with. Watching the first half hour of this film is akin to viewing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on rewind as the once energetic Goblin King made the old folk from Cocoon appear positively spritely once his accelerated age kicked in full throttle. He needn’t have fretted as shamed Egyptian vampire and one true love Miriam Blaylock had a spot for him in the dusty attic and was fully prepared to hold onto him as an infinite keepsake. Things got no better for John as he was forced to spend eternity in a cobweb-strewn coffin very much aware of what was going on downstairs.
Enter Susan Sarandon and, believe me, I imagined such on numerous occasions during my adolescence, as the woman fallible to the charms of French hot pot Catherine Deneuve and her decidedly aromatic new play thing Sarah. One taste of Miriam’s sweet kneaded pastry and it was all over for our budding gerontologist and what a delectable montage it was as we watched on voyeuristically from the other side of those billowing net drapes. I’m noticing a trend here as it would appear that both Thelma & Louise had their reasons for taking that alpha-free road trip across the desert. Meanwhile, poor John’s spiralling decomposition likely acted as a calling card for Brundle, earning him a faceful of insect bile and further proving the angst involved for both sexes when letting those love pheromones take over. Irony isn’t always all that sweet apparently.
Stevie Wonder I Believe When I Fall in Love
If you still require further proof then how about trying on Tim Burton’s famed fantasy Edward Scissorhands for size? The brooding kook of the title shelved any hopes of becoming the next Vidal Sassoon in favor of an everyday suburban existence and the love of sweet, innocent lily Kim. However, it wasn’t long before every desperate housewife in town desired nothing more than for Eddie to prune their conifers while they sat in their sun loungers sipping on pink lemonade and taking in his tight derriere. He meant no harm, of course, although suddenly the notion of reaching second-base became fraught with peril for the hapless Kim. Eventually, things escalated to such a degree that the only safe option was a return to anonymity for the loveable loner. That may seem to offer a breather from the madness but, with a lifetime of smacking the gibbon his only outlook, it left Edward cursing not selecting safety scissors in the first place.
Eventually every child outgrows their favorite toy and the same can be said for satanic serial slaughterers. Charles Lee Ray had already spent three movies trapped beneath the cellophane with good guy Chucky by the time Ronny Yu introduced his bride and, as Jennifer Tilly commenced the cock-teasing, it proved all too much for the once famed Lakeshore Strangler and he frantically began preparing his pre-nup. Tiffany initially appeared the ideal foil for Chucky and marital bliss appeared to be looming. But the old ball and chain had him praying for poker Tuesday as she sank her manicured nails into his blackened heart/AA batteries and commenced twisting.
The insatiable Tilly went on to be crowned 2005 World Series of Poker champion, while poor Brad Dourif remains perpetually stuck in the Wal-Mart stock room with shrink wrapping very much intact. For the record, I’d be all-in with Tilly with no need for flop.
We all know that Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction was no date movie. Indeed it was enough to have Elmer Fudd rubbing his sweaty hands together and for that wascally wabbit to simmer in consternation. This cautionary tale had us alphas sweating like jawas in the midday Tatooine heat as we learned the meaning of cause and effect. Michael couldn’t keep lil’ Douglas behind its curtain and Glenn Close granted him one illicit evening at maximum cost to his idyllic life. Known for its raunchy love-making atop a draining board, it has tamed considerably over the years, but its message remains as relevant and potent as it did back in 1987. Whatever possessed him to bed Alex Forrest when his doting wife Beth was a far more attractive prospect I will never know but, you know men, fuck first and think later.
Between this and Danny DeVito’s deliciously black comedy The War of the Roses, Douglas paid princely sum for his fast-thinking pecker’s indiscretions. Indeed he didn’t heed the warnings as Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct later had him and Sharon Stone at it “fucking like minks” and once again he found himself paying knob-tax for his wayward winky. It is a well-known fact that he suffered from sex addiction and, to his credit, he knew exactly how to fuse business and pleasure, as he barely kept his mouse in its house for the entirety of the eighties and nineties. However, it’s the bunny I feel sorry for. While he was receiving treatment for his obsession with coitus, poor old Bugs was wrenched away from its cosy hutch and made the chief ingredient of a casserole.
Edgar Wright’s much-loved modern classic Shaun of the Dead was marketed as a zombie love story when, in truth, it appeared Shaun would be more likely to make off with his cross to bear Ed than his beleaguered belle Liz. He showed his affection more towards New Order’s Blue Monday on vinyl than he did putting the skids on his ailing sexual fortunes and paid the price for bromance as his entire world came crashing down around him. Of course, there’s nothing like a zombie apocalypse to make you crave the green grass of home and, after watching his dear mother take a bite from the incoming horde of undead stragglers, he finally realized what had been in front of his face the whole time. However, make-up sex is a troublesome endeavor when fending off leagues of ravenous carnivores, especially when Ed is in your ear willing on every next thrust.
Brian Yuzna’s overlooked Return of The Living Dead III was far more fitting of its zombie love story mantle and played out like a modern-day Romeo & Juliet with additional flesh ripping to keep things zesty. Curt and Julie never stood a chance, especially once he wrote off his motorcycle, leaving the poor girl dead on arrival. Fortunately for the heartbroken alpha, all was not lost, and a quick jaunt to the top-secret military lab run by his father was enough to see things right and teach him the joys of necrophilia in the process. To my recollection, the reanimated Julie was responsible for my very first zombie-themed erection and for that I will always be grateful. Having said that, fellatio would undoubtedly be off the menu.
Speaking of fast food, lovemaking can cause the most delightful episodes of muscular relaxation and this proved troublesome for Jess Weixler in Mitchell Lichtenstein’s Teeth. This poor starved teen had to wrestle with a grill full of gnashers, not in her face, but instead her lady garden. That’s correct, no mouthwash in the world could freshen the breath of her fallopian tubes and, worse still, it appeared she may have required braces. Gingivitis became Mingivitus as she invited Paulie the penis to prod his pole through the eye of her sensual storm. Then…chomp!!! If schools wish to teach their pupils about the hazards of pre-marital sex then Teeth would offer the perfect curriculum as it provides the ideal antithesis to promiscuity. Meanwhile, anyone looking to pursue careers as orthodontists may have had second thoughts. I hear that Jess brushed at least twice daily as getting dentures fitted in your vagina can be a troublesome affair.
I close with Jaume Collet-Serra’s 2009 psychological horror Orphan and feel duty-bound to warn you of spoilers within as this film really is all about the pay-off. The lovely Kate and John Coleman decided that to fix their marriage and wipe away past pains they must adopt a poor unfortunate orphan. They stumped for Esther, the freaky nine-year-old love child of Damien Thorne and Wednesday Addams, and lavished this pint-sized oddball with a cute as hell room replete with dollies, crayons the works. Was the little fucker happy? Well if you call tenderizing a nun’s skull with a hammer content then there is no way I’m going to argue with you. You see there was something wrong with Esther and all she wanted was to be loved by her new daddy. This meant stopping at nothing to become papa’s brand new bag causing a string of “unfortunate” events involving anyone foolish enough to stand in her way.
This impish nipper even broke her own arm and had mummy made out to be a fully fledged fruit loop to get her out of commission. Back at home Esther dolled herself up for daddy who’d been a tad irresponsible and hit the liquor. The freak of nature then made her move and, to pops’ eternal credit, even under the influence he turned down his hell spawn. Come now daddy, I know I got mummy locked up, tried to kill your son, and made your baby girl an accessory to the pummeling of a clergy member but I just want you to love me the way you love mommy. Oh right, still a no ha? Ok then how about I go trash my room, clean all this shit off my face, remove my false teeth and show the world what is actually wrong with Esther? I’m sure poor mentally fucked Kate relished the moment when she was finally able to scream at the little shit, “I’m not your fucking mommy.” Orphan would make a delightful double-bill with Teeth as a learning tool of the benefits of contraception.
The path to true love is often littered with obstacles and horror movies reflect our frustration exquisitely. They also highlight the fine line between love and hate as Jack Torrence will no doubt attest after months cooped up with Wendy with a busted typewriter. Love comes to us all, should that first ovary be precariously placed over the drop zone or our vulvas bear a disconcerting resemblance to the Pit of Carkoon from Star Wars. It’s a mind field for sure although we still find ourselves rushing in as we crave those sweet endorphins. Hopefully our discussion has made a number of things painfully transparent. Fix the latch on those rabbit hutches before cheating on your spouses, give adoption a miss, beware the Sumatran rat-monkey, moisturize daily to avoid excess ageing, never trust a motorcycle, watch our for strategically placed overhead buckets, stay far away from vaginosaurs, swat every fly you see and remember the gibbon, and never ask a man in thick face make-up to trim our bushes. Adhere to these simple guidelines and may the force be with you.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
First Knight of TOK
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Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013 (Director’s Cut 2015)