“I don’t sleep, I just dream.”
–Rust Cohle, “True Detective”
I woke up from sort of a nightmare, and a lot of things swirling in my head. As I became more and more conscious, I tried knitting all these disparate elements into a type of cohesive “narrative.” And now I may try to do the same here. Will it be at all informative or entertaining? I have no idea.
The nightmare had the specific flavor of a type of horror movie that predominated from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. Often Italian or Italian-influenced, often “icky” (sticky), with various Freudian dilemmas writ large in fantasy and nasty special-effects.
One movie the dream brought to mind right away was 1982’s Amityville II: The Possession. That’s one icky, sticky movie. A sequel to The Amityville Horror, it’s actually a much more faithful adaptation of the real-life event—the DeFeo Murders—that inspired the original. But it’s as unpleasant as fuck. (I mean…I guess it’s supposed to be unpleasant…but still, it’s pretty unpleasant.)
Checking Amityville II‘s credits, I see it was indeed directed by an Italian, Damiano Damiani. Checking Damiani’s entry in Wikipedia, it mentions that fellow director Pier Paolo Pasolini once referred to him as “a bitter moralist hungry for old purity.” And that pretty much sums up Amityville II: The Possession pretty nicely. Long story short, in the movie a teenager gets possessed by demons, bangs his sister, and then kills his entire family. Then the family priest has to battle demons and Satan and everybody in this long, drawn-out, unnecessary ending. But most people remember Amityville II for the part where the guy bangs his sister.
ANYWAY, (and yeah, this is going to be a rambling post with a lot of bad movie references, so you may want to bail out now) another movie my nightmare had the “flavor” of was 1989’s Curse II: The Bite. The director of Curse II is listed as “Fred Goodwin,” a.k.a. Federico Prosperi (another mad Italian!), and its centerpiece scene is a guy slowly & excruciatingly metamorphosing into a snake. Much stickiness. In fact, it’s all I pretty much remember from the movie. One of the top three nastiest things I’ve ever seen committed to film.
Lastly, my nightmare had overtones of the 1982 sci-fi/horror flick The Beast Within. While directed not by an Italian (French-born Australian Philippe Mora, probably best known for the movie adaptation of Communion), it has that icky, icky, icky Italian horror movie “vibe.” The main marketing conceit of The Beast Within, about a boy with “mutant” (not pleasant X-Men mutants, but like nasty flesh-eating mutants) DNA who starts to turn into a mutant himself, was: “you will see a human being turn inside-out on camera!” I will admit I have been too squeamish to actually watch said scene, but I’ve been imagining it in my mind for nearly four decades.
ANYWAY, so in my dream there was some sort of male family member, like an older brother (which I do not have), in a different room of the house, and he’s like…”mutating” and shit. And I’m warning people: “he’s mutating.” Further, I’m warning people: “I’ve seen this entire film before. We’re in a movie. He’s going to finish mutating, and then shit is going to go down.” But of course, nobody listened to my Cassandra-type warnings; why should my dreams be any different from real-life, right?
Then he finishes mutating, and he looks like a cross between the kid from Amityville II, the snake-guy from Curse II, The Beast Within kid, and even let’s for shits-and-giggles throw in Nuclear Man from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (not directed by an Italian; but made for Cannon Films, who did put out a lot of those Italian-type budget pictures).
And I say Nuclear Man because this guy wasn’t just this fearsome mutated guy, but also he was radiating like, radiation and shit. He’s going through all the rooms, fucking shit up. And we’re all running away from him & I’m telling people: “I told you this would happen! I’ve seen this movie before!”
Nobody listened to me. And now we were stuck in an Italian-type Eighties budget horror movie.
Now, an analyst (and I am currently seeing one), would attempt to deconstruct this nightmare by perhaps asking me, “what were you thinking about before you went to bed?”
And what I was thinking about before I went to bed was: the fallout from that new HBO documentary on Michael Jackson that just premiered at Sundance yesterday.
The doc, Leaving Neverland, supposedly lays out, in excruciating (there’s that word again: excruciating) detail, the case that Jackson was indeed a pedophile.
And I’m not going to go too much into whether Jackson was guilty of these crimes or not, but to say: I assumed, based on just interviews he conducted with some of these little boys right by his side, that at the very least he wasn’t a super-healthy influence on these children. I don’t even mean sexually—I mean just, his adult neuroses were such that these kids should never have been left with him unsupervised for prolonged periods of time. We can just leave the sex thing out of it & just leave it at that.
But according to Leaving Neverland…we can’t just leave it at that.
What a fucked up situation.
And of course…complicating things further is that Jackson is pretty much considered a divine figure among a certain percentage of the population…I mean that literally. He is like a literal God, a religious figure. Because it seems built-in within the psyche of the Masses: this inherent need for a God.
In an analysis I did of the short Disney film Captain EO, I laid out clearly how Jackson was presented as the “new messiah,” basically; the Age of Horus new “Christ.” And now I don’t know if I can republish that article without addressing some of the pedophilia issues.
So anyway…that’s what I was thinking about before I went to bed last night. Among other things.
Well…also, I tried to watch Solo: A Star Wars Story on Netflix & shut it off after ten minutes because I thought it was crap. Absolute soulless crap. But maybe it was just “me.”
Look: I’m not “owed” a Star Wars movie in my adulthood. I received three perfectly good “Star Wars” films when I was a kid. Then, as sort of a “bonus” I never asked for, I got three more movies in my twenties that I enjoyed in a trashy way. I’m good.
Maybe it’s just me.
Lastly, going back to the Michael Jackson stuff, and his defenders…and Bryan Singer’s defenders, and all these defenders…
If we accept the postulation that reality is “subjective”—and read my post “The Reality Trilogy” where this concept is explored—then isn’t there some sort of “merit” to the religious-type belief in the innocence of a person who may very well be guilty? Isn’t that their reality-tunnel? Don’t we have to, if we are regarding Reality (and: time) as this plastic-type quantity, “honor” their beliefs?
Or was Jung right when he wrote:
“Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.”
Which, is to me, sort of saying that there is this bedrock Truth that does exist; that we can deny, and deny, and deny, but does exist.
And: which also reasserts itself when suppressed and covered-up…
…just like in a cheap icky Italian-type horror movie from the 1980s!
Well, thank you for taking this jaunt through cult horror movies and my psychodrama this fine Saturday.