Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Facing My Fear: Sleepwalkers

My love affair with horror moves began at a young age. As kids my friend Beth and I would hunker down side by side in my dad's over-sized armchair and watch films meant for adults more than twice our age. We'd convince our parents to rent them from Coast to Coast and then shoo them from the room while we scared the bejeezus out of ourselves (I'm suddenly a bit concerned about the lack of supervision in my childhood). This has continued well into our adult lives. The only thing I love more than watching a scary movie, is watching a scary move with Beth. The shittier and more ridiculous, the better (seriously, I watched Ticked of Trannies with Knives not too long ago, Netflix it).

I've developed a pretty thick skin, even as a child. There weren't that many movies that scared me, but when there was one that did scare me, it scared the shit out of me. I decided this week to revisit one such movie.

Sleepwalkers, the 1992 movie based on the Stephen King book of the same name, brought about some of the worst nightmares of my childhood. I remember watching it on multiple occasions and having to deal with the ramifications of it for weeks every time. I bought the DVD in high school (because it was only $5, and apparently that's a good enough reason for me), but I had never so much as opened the case for fear of the damage it could cause to my already fragile psyche.

It was time to unpack the trauma this movie caused me in my childhood.

I honestly didn't really even remember much about he movie itself. I only knew that it was about cat/human hybrids whose faces alone scared the shit out of me.

I can't even.
Funny side note, while Brian Krause was striking fear in my heart, he caught the fancy of Beth and my younger sisters. They crushed on him so hard that they wrote him fan letters (that he was far too famous to respond to).

I poured myself a glass of wine, opened a bag of Twizzlers, turned off the lights, and started the movie.

**Spoiler Alert**
(don't worry though, it's not even worth watching)

The opening credits explain that a sleepwalker is a shapeshifting energy vampire that can turn into a partial or full on were-cat. They feed off the life force of virgins. Their only weakness is cats, whose scratch can kill them. 

I'm not sure if I'm totally comfortable with cats being responsible for my protection.

Cats are dicks.

We're introduced to a shirtless, hairless Brian Krause (playing Charles Brady) as he's staring at a girl he's drawn a heart around in his yearbook (he's supposed to be new in town so I'm not sure how he procured and vandalized a yearbook already). Oh, and he's carving her initials into his arm (why can't he just masturbate like a normal person?!). I fixated more on the smooth chest than I think the director intended , but seriously, he's supposed to be half cat and he has zero body hair?!

They follow up this creepiness with a whopping dose of incest as Charles goes downstairs to dance with and then make out with his mother. Mom gets totes jeals while Charles tells her about the picture in the yearbook that he's in love with, but she seems to be pacified when he tells her that she's a "good girl." I assume this means that this bitch is the virgin that they're going to suck the life out of.

We then meet Tanya, the girl of our creepy main character's dreams. Turns out she's played by the same actress who plays Dawson's dad's awful girlfriend who crushes Dawson's film-making dreams...I officially don't care if this wench dies (also she does a super slutty dance with her walkman and a broom, dressed like an extra from an early Britney Spears music video, that makes me think maybe she's not such as "good girl"). 

Charles charms the pants off of everyone in school except for the chubby English teacher who is pretty sure something is up and isn't afraid to try and blackmail a 17 year old boy to get to the bottom of it. 

He gets his hand ripped off and then eaten...which he kinda had coming.
Tanya agrees to go on a date with a graveyard, and when Charles picks her up in his blue Trans Am he opens the door for her and then jumps in without opening his door. Had I been Tanya I would have immediately banged him after such a sexy show of masculinity. Not only would losing her v-card save her life, but losing it to the new boy in a Trans Am would have given her a killer "how I lost my virginity" story to tell over cosmos (wait, this was the 90's...Zimas with Jolly Ranchers) with her girlfriends.

At this point I was about three glasses (big 'ole glasses) of wine in and starting to get a little jealous of the date in the cemetery (I've always had a weird love for cemeteries). I mean sure, the guy was an evil cat vampire, but I'm starting to think I need to stop being so picky. I started searching for pictures of Brian Krause with chest hair on my phone and kind of lost track of the movie. The only thing I remember about this middle part of movie is the introduction of Clovis the Police Cat who sees right through all of Charles's bullshit.

The cemetery date didn't go super well I guess, cause the next thing I knew Charles is laying on the couch dying ('cause Clovis is a f#%!ing badass) and Tanya is taking a long bath while her parents are being murdered downstairs by Charles's mother.

Mom kills a bunch of people, including a police officer...with an ear of corn (I'm officially calling bullshit on this entire movie).

She drags Tanya by the hair (is that really the most effective way to drag a person, I feel like it'd be easier to use the leg or something) back to her dying son's (lover's) deathbed where she uses her sleepwalker magic to reanimate him so he could dance with Tanya. I'm sure it was meant to be terrifying, but I was back to thinking how romantic dancing with a boy to Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny Farina would be.

Lucky Clovis has organized all of the town's cats to put an end to these shenanigans. They take down the evil bitch and dance around her flaming body. Clovis and Tanya apparently live happily ever after (except her whole family is dead, she doesn't have a boyfriend, and she's still a virgin). 

I was really, truly expecting to be scared of this movie.

So, I guess I overcame that. Good on me.

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