This is a post from last July. Due to a crushing work schedule, writing my blog, and working on a new book, I’m rapidly falling behind. I apologize to my followers who have been with me for a while, and may have read it before. For all my new followers; I hope you enjoy the post.
Have you ever wondered why film companies, often spend millions of dollars making horror flicks? A few months ago, I watched a film called, “Life.” I don’t think it did too well at the box office. I usually wait a few months after a movie’s debut, and then rent it from one of those red kiosks you see all over the place, or stream it from Netflix. I just can’t see myself spending twelve dollars for a ticket, fourteen dollars for a tub of popcorn, and eight dollars for a soda, only to be disappointed by a sub-par movie. The plot of the film, revolved around a single-celled creature that grows aboard a space station from soil samples taken from the surface of Mars. The alien life form, given the name, Calvin, by the crew of the spacecraft, swiftly grows into a large, intelligent and rapacious monster, with a taste for human flesh. I heard the total cost of the film was close to 58 million dollars!
Even a recent, low-budget horror film called, “It Comes at Night,” using B actors, and with a bare-bones budget, had a final production cost of nearly 5 million dollars. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it seems pretty expensive for a film about my mother-in-law’s last visit to my house for Sunday night dinner. I was wondering why she had those cameras following her around, and why they took etreme close-ups of our faces as we ingested her infamous, fish-head casserole.
Today’s horror movies seem to get more and more expensive each year. If you include money spent hiring well-known or famous actors, filming in exotic locations, constructing elaborate and expensive man-made sets, applying gruesome makeup, and producing computer-generated images of hideous and grotesque monsters; the costs can be astronomical. I don’t even think today’s movies are as scary as some of those made years ago for much less money. I remember, as a young boy of six, watching a movie called, “The Wasp Woman.” I hear it was produced with a budget of just $50,000. At that age, I was only afraid of two things – wasps and girls. Put them together, and you got a boy who slept with a night-light on for two years, and a man who still can’t eat honey.
I’ve been thinking about going into the horror film business myself. I think I can provide a movie experience that will not only cost much less, but scare, terrify, and disgust even the most ardent horror movie fan. My idea is actually pretty simple. I’m going to install a hidden camera in a typical public bathroom, and then film the mayhem. I don’t know about you, but that movie would scare the living daylights out of me. You never know what could possibly be residing in one of those bathroom stalls. Just add some intense music, and you’ve got an instant horror classic.
I can tell you this for sure. The things in my movie will be a lot scarier than that alien from the movie “Life.” Heck, I’ve seen things growing on sink surfaces, and in toilet bowls in public bathrooms, that make that Calvin monster look like a sweet and gentle Disney character. It’s true. You just never know what horrors you may face when you open those bathroom doors. Did any of you ever walk into a public bathroom, and were immediately hit with a smell so bad, you had to run out the door to get some fresh air? Did vultures fly out right behind you holding their beaks? Did you ever wonder what happens to all the used diapers, left from changing babies on those fold down tables?
I have a question, maybe one of you can answer. Is it just me, or does the stall next to you always has someone in it that sounds like they’re giving birth to one of those slimy creatures from the movie “Alien?” Have you ever listened for a minute, thought about pulling up your pants, and running for your life, but then decided to pull out a pen, or another sharp object? Did you figure, if something hideous and threatening, poked its ugly head under the divider, you’d stab it?
Did any of you ever get mugged in a public bathroom? It doesn’t get much scarier than that, does it? It’s especially horrifying, if you don’t get a look at the perpetrator. I was once sitting in a stall, in should I say a fairly helpless position, when a hand with a gun, poked under the divider from the next stall. In a deep and frightening voice, reminiscent of Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies, the mugger said, “Luke…. I am your father. Give me your wallet, or I’ll shoot you in the ankles.”
Okay, I’m not sure if he said that first part, but I’m sure he said the second. I was so scared; I could have been imagining that Darth Vader was low on cash, and using the power of the dark side for nefarious purposes. Did any of you ever try to find your wallet, when your pants were crumpled around your ankles? And to think, I thought the idea of a man-purse was silly. It would have certainly come in handy. The worst part of the whole situation was that the mugger did something unimaginable. You may have already guessed – yes, he took the last of my toilet paper. I still have nightmares thinking about it. I remember saying at the time, “Come on man. Here’s all my money, some credit cards, a Dunkin Donuts gift card, and a risqué picture of my wife posing in lingerie. Take them all, but for the love of God, please leave the TP.”
Has this ever happened to you? Whenever I use a public bathroom, I always end up in a stall facing the door, and there’s always a huge gap between the stall’s door and its hinges. People can look right in for Heaven’s sake! It’s pretty pitiful, that with all our modern technology, we can’t manufacture a bathroom stall that insures a little bit of privacy. I’m always expecting a little kid to walk in with his dad, stop, point, laugh and say, “Daddy, look at that silly man sitting on the hopper.”
Have any of you ever been forced to use those thin, little seat protectors they sometimes provide, for something else, because there wasn’t any toilet paper? Pretty horrifying, huh? Have you ever used the handicapped stall, because the other ones were filled, and your lunchtime burrito was whispering to you? “For the love of God, man – run!” What happens, immediately after you sit down? Yes, you hear a bump against the stall, and see two wheels showing under the door.
I guess I should mention that there’s never any soap, bacteria as big as cockroaches are scurrying all over the place, and those hand dryers do nothing, but scatter billions of germs all over your hands and body. Have any of you rushed into a stall and the toilet wasn’t flushed? Was the electronic device broken, and waving your hand in front of it eighty times was meaningless? Did you sit down anyway, because nature wouldn’t wait? Was the seat still warm?
I saw a horror film once, where a man and woman entered an abandoned, dilapidated old house. Supposedly, it was the scene of a horrific massacre by a crazed, ax-wielding fiend. As they wandered aimlessly through dark corridors, they could sense an insidious and evil presence lurking nearby. The air was chilly and damp, and an unnatural stench permeated the premises. Hearing strange and unsettling noises, they decided to open a nearby closet door. Suddenly, an ominous voice from the darkness, shrieked, “Get out, get out!”
The funny thing is, the exact same thing happened to me last week. The only difference is, I was in a public bathroom at a bus station. I was rushing in, after ingesting a greasy hot dog off some food cart with an umbrella over it. I grabbed the door handle of the nearest stall, flung open an unlatched door, and came face to face with a sight that still haunts me a week later. I won’t get into details. All I know is, I fled in abject terror, as a deep and disturbing voice followed me out into the hallway. “Get out, get out,” it bellowed.” I can tell you one thing. This is going to make a great script for a horror movie. I’m shaking, just thinking about it.