This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Continuing my trek with one particular film franchise this week in the month October, strictly as a fan of monster and horror films mind you, here we go again. And I have screenwriter Josh Olson to thank byway of his keen July 18th look-back (over at Trailers From Hell) at an era’s “terrible, terrible idea” for a movie. Thus crystallizing for me the following remembrance of another.
“Anyway, watching this film again is like recovering a traumatic memory from youth. You just try to forget it ever existed.”
June 17, 1977: ask anyone old enough who actually lived, worked, or went to school during the decade of the 70s and this is likely the one word answer for it all:
You name it, we had it all back then. Vietnam, Watergate, Recession, Nixon, Cover-up, Oil Crises (note the plural), Leisure Suits, Gas Lines, Wide Ties, some of the worst cars ever (Ford Pinto anyone?), Nixon’s Pardon, the death of Elvis, and Disco. I could go on… All culminating with the Iranian Hostage Crises (btw, go see Argo). Not exactly happy, joy-filled times. Yet, what we got at the movies during this same period could rightly be argued as “the last great golden era” of American cinema.
Don’t get me wrong. There was crap, too.
If Monday or Tuesday‘s entries didn’t convince you The Exorcist caused a significant ripple in my life during this decade, perhaps what was hoisted upon us this year will. My college finals for the spring semester were over by this week. Time to celebrate. And the highly anticipated sequel to William Friedkin’s adaptation of the William Peter Blatty novel was set to début that Friday. Who cared that the director or author had nothing to do with Exorcist II: The Heretic.
I should have.
My stint as a movie projectionist was coming to a close at that time, as well. The experience made me appreciate going to see any film presented in a grand movie palace, though. It’s why I bought a ticket for the very first show that Friday at the Hollywood Pacific Theatre. The venue still had that wonderful balcony I remembered so well from my visits years before for 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Godfather Part II. Great film always came off more gloriously there.
Still, being in such a beautiful movie theatre made John Boorman’s film seem that much more… crappier. For what the producers heaped on us patrons, upon its release back then, 35 years ago, I still hope they rot in H-E-double-hockey-sticks.