Last month I had the opportunity to see Robocop in the theatre. Now, I’ve seen this movie a hundred times, on TV, on video, criterion cut, with or without commentary, I know it.
But this was different.
Back when there was still a theatre in Avon Lake ( It only had four screens. Imagine that?) my parents would take me out to the movies frequently. once a month or more. It wasn’t quite as expensive back then and you could afford to take a chance on a bomb. I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark there. Flight of the Navigator, Space Hunter, The Empire Strikes Back. I probably caught at least one of the Star Trek films there.
I remember one year, the math says I was 11 or 12. They had the Robocop poster up. Actually it was a huge cardboard stand up, same image as the poster. I walked past that stand up at least half a dozen times, and it made me a little sad, because I knew there was NO way my parents were taking me to see this movie. And I wondered why would they rate a movie like this, which had such obvious appeal to kids, “R” ?
That’s why it was so special to walk into the Cedar Lee last month and see it finally on the big screen. And that got me thinking, what other movies was I dying to see as a child that I missed because I wasn’t old enough? I’m not talking about Evil Dead or the Return of the living Dead or Hellraiser movies that I would see posters from and think “That’s cool”. I’m not talking about stuff that I appreciate as an adult that I barely noticed as a kid. I’m talking about movies I wanted to see so bad it hurt, and that I would immediately watch as soon as it hit TV.
Ghoulies comes to mind. I know that’s a little weird, but the commercials made it look so mysterious, with a real fantasy edge to it. Perhaps this is more memorable to me because I actually asked my parents to take me to it even knowing it was a hard “R”. I figured I’d give it a try. After all, other kids parents would sometimes take them to “R” movies like Freddy and Jason movies.
Much to my shock they said yes. We went to the theatre less than a month later. I was more than a little devastated when I learned we had a communication problem here. They hadn’t taken me to Ghoulies, but rather to GOONIES. I’ve never liked the Goonies. I don’t think it’s entirely due to this miscommunication, but I can’t help but think it may have had something to do with it.
The other movie that comes to mind, is The Untouchables. Even as a kid, I was developing a fondness for the 30’s and 40’s. The look and the whole gangster story. The commercials for The Untouchables not only had that wonderful mob movie feel to it, but a slickness and the packaging of an action movie to it. he sight of Ness cocking a shotgun and walking into that bright foggy street gave me chills. It led me to read Elliot Ness’s Biography and Brian Michael Bendis’ Torso (Ness’s time in Cleveland). I watched the old TV show and recorded the movie the first time it was broadcast on TV. I still love it, even though nowadays I realize the only thing the movie got right was the names (and the appearance) of the two lead characters. If that ever hits a revival theatre around us you know I’ll be there.
So what about you? Do you have any movies that you REALLY wanted to see as a kid and never could?