Monday, September 17, 2012

Spending the Night in Vampire Land

["Let Inga Tell You," La Jolla Light, published Sept. 20, 2012] © 2012 

I’ve never been wild about night time in remote areas and all these vampire movies aren’t helping. 

Normally, of course, it’s not an issue because I live in the nice safe crime-ridden city.  If this hesitation about rural living sounds unreasonable, I would like to point out that with a few exceptions like King Kong (who was a reluctant city dweller), four out of five monsters, UFO’s, vampires, amorphous masses, psychos and parapsychological phenomena on your movie screen prefer isolated country settings.

Whether such creatures exist in fact is immaterial.  In the middle of the night in a woodsy setting they are alive and well in my imagination. 

We recently spent a long weekend in the state of Washington at a stunning but seriously remote address I will call One Forest Primeval.   Walking around in the surrounding woods, I half expected to see a coven of Twilight Saga Volturi materialize from the edge of the forest and size me up for lunch.

I do have to say that the Twilight series movies don’t move me the way the old school monster flicks did.  Maybe it’s a generational thing, but Godzilla will always be my guy.  And maybe it’s because the Twilight series is far less about vampires and werewolves than about lust.  For the record, I am not against lust.  In fact, some of the best moments of my life have involved lust.  But I’m generally only attracted to creatures of my own species.

Anyway, come dusk, I would look out onto the grassy clearing outside our window and realize that it was the perfect UFO movie landing strip.  If you’ve watched any sci-fi flicks at all, you know that UFOs have a penchant for landing in just such places and scaring the poor locals excretionless.   

Around 2 a.m., with the wind brushing tree branches ominously against the windows, I’d develop this sudden conviction that I was in the place that The Blob (Giant Ants, Mighty Behemoth, Boston Strangler, little green men with ray guns, Andromeda Strain, Ghost of Christmas Past, Edward Cullen) had singled out to first do its thing.

I guess what bothers me most about being one of the first victims is that in horror movies, it’s always a bit part.  Chomp, slosh, swallow, and you’re forgotten.  It would seriously annoy me to be relegated to a list of “also-eatens”. 

Of course, I’m aware that the demise of the first few victims is just a little dramatic intro designed to hold the audience until the plot thickens The Next Day.  That’s when the unwitting neighbor shows up to borrow a cup of sugar and wonders vaguely why the front door is (a) radioactive (b) splintered, or (c) full of giant teeth marks; investigates further (what are neighbors for?); comes upon the Scene of Horror (which even if the acting is really bad can usually be identified by the G-flat tremolo chord); and drops her cup, which shatters but miraculously never severs her anterior tibial vein, unless it’s one of those reality medical shows. 

 Laugh if you will, but I have a friend who didn’t take a shower for seven years after seeing “Psycho,” and I know at least a dozen “Jaws” viewers who never swam in the ocean again.  As for the Twilight Saga trilogy, I can’t imagine this is doing anything for Washington state tourism, except for teenage girls hoping to run into Robert Pattinson at the Forks Mini-Mart.

 My husband, meanwhile, maintains that he loves the stillness, the lack of so much as a cricket chirping, the trees whispering in the breeze.  He doesn’t know they always get the unsuspecting ones first.



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