A Steady Calm in the Blur of LifeJuly 2005 Chapel Thrill, NC____________________________________
A while back good friend yes_rhade mentioned in her lj
that they Netflixed "Matango: The Attack of the Mushroom People"
and actually showed it to Big Bud, their oldest son.
In the comments to that entry I made the following observation:
"I saw just the very end of "Attack of the Mushroom People" when I was at just the wrong/right age. That scared the absolute bejeebers outta me. I think you must be cruel and unusual parents to inflict such horrors on your kids."
(In a lengthy exchange with yes_rhade
's husband, good friend zombiefodder
, he correctly guessed that it was from Channel 20's "Creature Feature". Not that that lessened the terror over the years at all)
When we signed up for Netflix one of the things I decided needed to be done was to confront that childhood fear of human beings turning into giant mushrooms and killing each other. Last week I bumped it to the top of my list and waited for it to come in.
Last night I made dinner, a stir fry of veggies on hand that included 'schrooms. After dinner Bonn asked if I wanted to watch Matango
"But we just ate mushrooms!" I said.
"Then we have to!" she replied.
A handful of frozen chocolate chips later (to mask any remaining scent of 'schrooms), I was ready to face my fears like a man.
The movie started with a group of happy, rich people out for a day's adventure on a yacht. Happy, rich and doomed
Ten minutes into it Bonn pointed out that it was a slow, tedious movie.
"Just you wait," I said. "Just you wait."
Half an hour later she made the same comment again. I had to agree with her. There was way too much needless story and odd filler stuff that clearly had nothing to do with mushrooms. Or mushroom people. In fact, as good friend zombiefodder
pointed out, there were some weird, painfully obvious shadowings of Gilligan's Island
Somewhere in the last half hour, when someone finally gave in and ate a mushroom, Bonn started asking what part had scared me. We hadn't seen anything close to scary yet although I knew I'd only seen the last bit of the film. Sure enough, the only part I remembered seeing was about the last 5 minutes.
In fact, those last five minutes were really the best part of the film. In fact, I'm willing to go on record here as saying that it's a much more powerful movie without the other 85 minutes of build-up.
Bonn and I came to the same conclusion -- that the film is nothing but one Really Big Psychedellic Mushroom Trip Gone Bad.
If I'd only known that as a little kid.
A note about the picture above:
I was taking some images for a website I'm putting together for a gallery in Chapel Thrill and was up on a ladder, trying to get a usable shot of the full gallery. Messing around with timed exposures and lights, as I occasionally do, I took this shot.
What I like about it is that despite all of the obvious up and down motion, somehow Bonn is steady and unmoving in the image. I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm at least smart enough to recognize what it means in my life.