Monster of the Day #539

I’m not a fan of revising old movies, but you can sort of see why Lucas later jazzed up the Sarlacc with CGI.

I once owned a book where the guy raved about this movie. I couldn’t believe it. Moreover, he kept talking about how ‘relatable’ the main characters was. “If you weren’t him, you knew somebody who was,” I remember the guy saying, or somesuch. Since the main character was a homicidal weirdo pervert, I didn’t find these comments very encouraging.

Even worse, every movie he covered with a female antagonist, he went into this theory at length about how the villainess symbolized a fear of female sexuality on the part of the filmmaker, blah blah blah. Fine, not exactly fresh ground, but whatever. However, he repeated the exact same argument, at length, EVERY TIME ONE OF THE 50 MOVIES THE BOOK COVERED FEATURED A FEMALE ANTAGONIST. So about every five films you kept reading pretty much the exact same paragraphs over and over again, as if they were new to his analysis of that one particular film.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking: Ken, that’s exactly what it’s like reading the stuff at your website. Well, yes, but if I collected a bunch of pieces into a book, I hope I wouldn’t keep repeating the exact same observations more or less verbatim (and fervently, like they represented some brilliant insight) over and over and over again.

I eventually sold that book. Too bad, the selection of oddball films was on the face of it pretty exciting. The writing, not so much.*

[*I just checked the one reader review of the book over at Amazon. To quote: “The problem with the book, unfortunately, are the interpretations that the author writes at the end of over half of his reviews. For example, he points out obvious environmentalist messages behind any giant-monster-caused-by-radioactivity movie, or reminds us that the sinners die in any slasher. But he really makes a mess when at the end of ANY movie where the villain is a woman, he interprets the film as being misogynist and against women’s rights. I mean, really, this guy suggests that the people behind “The Corpse Grinders” were actually thinking when they wrote the screenplay and shot the film.*]

(Emphasis added)

  • Gamera977

    Gotta be one of the worst movies ever!
    Seemed like it couldn’t figure out what it wanted to be:
    1). Monsters in the Pit and revenge plot.
    2). Demonic Teddy Bear- was it possessed or was it all in the boy’s imagination? I’m not sure it’s worth watching the movie again to try to figure it out.
    3). Boy going through puberty getting into trouble (gee, get a copy of Playboy like everyone else did back then)

    Toss all three in a pot and stir: result – movie that sucks…

  • Flangepart

    “Hello? Monster? Can you like, help me get revenge and stuff. Cause I really could use that, and uh…like I know some fat kids that you might find easy to eat and stuff…hello?”

  • It’s been, God, somewhere in the vicinity of twenty two years since my dad and I watched this film. It was on either Channel 60 or 66 back at Chicago and our TV wasn’t picking up the signal too well. We got as far as the escape from the pit when we decided it had gotten too bad to watch. Signal that is; our taste in movies never was that good.

    Later on I found out how the movie ended. Very disappointed. Might have been worth sitting through just for that.

    I’ve been sort of pulling for it to pop up on Netflix or Hulu. Then again, the way I’m getting The Children watched it probably wouldn’t matter if it did…

  • Beckoning Chasm

    I guess I should come back in a few hours to find out the title of the movie and the book are, cos I don’t have a clue.

  • The movie is The Pit (though calling it The Pits might be more appropriate). The book, I think, is Cult Horror Films: From Attack of the 50 Foot Woman to Zombies of Mora Tau

  • sandra

    I wonder what the author of the book would have thought of the girl with the clown doll. Too bad they don’t do a crossover where she meets the little creep in The Pit and the clown doll dukes it out with his teddybear.

  • sandra

    I just checked and you can watch the whole movie on Youtube.

  • As I recall, the script originally made it clear that the main character was autistic and Teddy was just a figment of his imagination.

  • Beckoning Chasm

    So Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” is, as usual with MacFarlane, a rip-off. Take that, Australian Box Office!

  • The Rev.

    I keep hearing how bad this is. I suppose I need to see for myself, eh?

    It’s a sickness, I know.

  • Petoht

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, Ken. You generally only stray into overt political speechifying when the movie itself has already paved the way. I mean, with the Trial of Billy Jack, your comments are a direct response to the film’s odious politics, not something you just randomly pulled out of your hat because you have an axe to grind.

  • Ken_Begg

    In this case, it wasn’t political content that annoyed me. (Although the author seemed quite taken the novelty and insight of his cliche and facile ‘analysis’). It was the fact that he trotted out the same observations again and again and again, always at the same length and with no apparent awareness that he had already done so five or ten times earlier in the tome.

  • Ericb

    Did he review Invasion of the Bee Girls? The obviousness of that one probably would have killed hime.