"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's all about ME

I've gotten hooked on a TV station recently. It's called ME TV, as in Memorable Entertainment Television. (Don't worry, I'm only hooked on two stations, ME and TCM, and neither of them interfere with my writing.)

ME TV has old TV shows, old movies, and generally old stuff. Where else can you watch Perry Mason and Ironside back-to-back and compare the skinny Raymond Burr to the rotund one? Exactly. Only on ME TV. I've been watching obscure episodes of Peter Gunn, Naked City, and even some Twilight Zones I don't remember.

In particular, I've been tuning in on Saturday nights to watch Svengoolie, a wacky host who introduces old horror movies and inserts his very special brand of humor at the commercial breaks. I don't want to ruin any surprises, but rubber chickens are involved. (And BTW, no, apparently I have no life if I'm spending my Saturday nights with a man who looks like he's been punked by Dr. John.)

Last weekend, I saw The Leech Woman. Totally funny movie. Totally not meant to be. So, here's the plot:

Snooty Scientist and his Semi-Okay-Sidekick go to Africa to find a youth potion that they plan to recreate back in the lab, then sell for big bucks and retire. Snooty Scientist has an old, Boozy Wife who is already richer than Rockefeller, and he schleps her along to be his personal youth potion guinea pig.

In deepest Africa, where the huts all have porches, the natives have tools of metal and the ground is so perfectly smooth you might suspect it's a soundstage, our three stooges find an elderly woman who is the leader of the tribe. She gladly tells them of the potion and demonstrates how it works. The recipe is as follows -

1 pinch of magic powder
2 drops of spinal fluid from a freshly dead man (obtained with a claw-like ring)
1/4 cup of water
Stir and drink immediately.

Tribal Queen drinks the potion, twerks a little, then POOF! turns into the drop-dead gorgeous Kim Hamilton. I really wanted her to say "Tada!" but she just gave everyone the And-That's-How-It's-Done look.

Crazily enough, no one was bothered by that second ingredient. Snooty Scientist encourages Boozy Wife to drink the Kool-Aid. Tribal Queen is willing to share, but the recipe only makes enough for one. She stands on her porch and points to her large group of male followers (so very different from a group of large male followers).

"Choose the man," she tells Boozy Wife.

Boozy Wife doesn't even blink. She points to Snooty Scientist. "Him."

Shortly after that, Beautiful Boozy Widow and Semi-Okay-Sidekick steal the magic powder, the claw-ring, and skedaddle. While they are on the run, BBW discovers a couple of interesting things about the youth potion. The effects wear off in around 24 hours, AND afterward you are left looking older than before you swallowed it.

The Semi-Okay-Sidekick learns that you cannot trust a woman who has a claw-ring and knows how to use it.

The rest of the movie returns us to her hometown, where she has to kill a lot of men to keep herself looking good. By the end she has learned one more valuable lesson - the spinal fluid of a woman doesn't work. She should have killed the boy-toy, not his fiancĂ©e. As you can imagine, it ends badly for everyone, except perhaps the local funeral home.

Wild, yeah? Got any other crazy-cheap-cheesy movies you'd like to recommend?


kabell4 said...

I remember growing up watching late night cheesy horror movies on Saturday nights. Guess I was pretty much a home body back then too. Most of them were quite campy, but then there was the Invasion of the Body Snatchers ... after which I did NOT want to go to sleep!

Tameri Etherton said...

I can't help but wonder if you're version of the movie is better. Hmmm, could be the humor you inject in there. I just love that you watch old movies ~ not to mention you can WRITE while watching said movies.

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