Tuesday, February 2, 2010

That part where Shelley Duvall read this title backwards in the mirror was so cool.

In truth diaper commercials weren't the only things that scared me as a child. Only the most irrational. That was also, thankfully, a fear I easily grew out of. It's much harder to grow out of rational fears like falling from great heights, being bitten by a snake, or watching a puppet show. I appreciate that there will be some debate about how rational it may or may not be to fear puppets, but I do have to insist that it is completely rational. To support my position I offer the following substantiation:

Just LOOK at them!

Obviously everybody is now nodding and making comments such as "Very astute observation.", "A quite credible perspective.", and "Wait, WTF? Puppets? This isn't icanhascheezburger!", and generally agreeing that no further exposition is necessary. At this point, however, I'm sure everybody will also agree that the post is very short, so I will continue to add words.

Yesterday's post about pedo-selenophobia (fear of baby-moons) (just because I made it up doesn't make it less real) is not actually what instigated this one. It was a recent conversation about those horrifying wind up monkeys that clap cymbals (if you click that link and can't sleep for a week, don't come complaining to me. Did I say they were horrifying? Yes I did. Toughen up, sissy sissy cry-baby face) brought to my mind the movie Poltergeist. Movie fans will note that the movie Poltergeist has absolutely nothing to do with wind up monkeys that clap cymbals. Movie fans have undoubtedly also gone on to figure out that it was actually Close Encounters of the Third Kind that I was thinking of. I bet movie fans are even making fun of me using insider movie fan references that would go right over my head, too. Oh movie fans, you're incorrigible! You're right, though. Close Encounters is the one that has a wind-up monkey that claps cymbals in it. Poltergeist has the evil clown doll. I was clearly looking for Mona Lisa in the Last Supper there.

Because it turned out that I had spent valuable seconds, perhaps even minutes pointlessly thinking about Poltergeist, my ever resourceful brain devoted itself immediately to finding a productive reason for thinking about Poltergeist in order to keep me from feeling too stupid. Keeping me from feeling too stupid is one of the primary functions of my brain, second only to finding new and creative justifications for buying a purse. In a fit of inspired genius my brain then decided that I needed to find pictures of the dead bodies that had started bobbing around in the swimming pool excavation just in time for Jo Beth Williams's big screaming-in-a-wet-t-shirt scene. As everybody with a resourceful brain like mine knows, urban legend has it that real dead bodies were used for this scene. My intellectual curiosity is very naturally piqued by this possibility, because wow cool dead bodies.

It is really, really hard to find images of that scene. I've looked before and found nothing, but this time I was beyond successful. I found not only a very clear picture from that scene, but also the answer to a mystery that has plagued me since the days of my earliest memories.

I found out that there really was a movie made in the seventies about a psychotic, kill crazed wooden puppet, and this has filled my heart with joy like only a psychotic, kill crazed wooden puppet can. Because it means I'm not crazy. I didn't just imagine it. I really did get the idea - and I'm using the word idea as a synonym of knowledge here - in my head that puppets are bad, bad, bad from somewhere, not just from my imagination.

Why, perhaps the creators of that movie even had automatonophobia themselves. Oh no I didn't make that word up! Check out the sweet factual reference action there, baby. It totally makes all the stuff I actually do just make up credible.

The movie was Trilogy of Terror, and it was an ABC movie of the week that aired back in the halcyon days when parents allowed very small children to watch programs with the word terror in the title. While eating sugar. Without a helmet. It was awesome! Probably best if you don't let your kids read this.

All my life I've been haunted with fragments of images of a little wooden doll chattering through a house, chasing, it turns out, Karen Black (why was I not surprised?) and hacking at her ankles with it's little wooden knife. I don't remember any gore, and it wasn't so much the prospect of a puppet thing suddenly turning homicidal or someone getting hurt that freaked me out. It was the way the thing moved that gave me this case of the oogies that has lasted decades.

Puppets do not move like anything natural, innocent, or in any way good. They move like bad, bad, bad things. I'd describe it more eloquently, but that would require conjuring up a mental image, and I do not have anywhere near enough chocolate in the house to deal with that. Suffice it to say that little tiny human like things jerking around with fixed grins on their faces do not amuse me.

(Because I don't do political humor. You capitalize on it.)

So here I am, all these years later, not only gratified to know that I did not imagine this fiendish little made for tv gem, but with a video link to the very segment from that movie itself open in a tab on my computer! Finally I can satisfy the curiosity that has burned in me since childhood, and actually see this little monster that cast such a long, dark shadow over my life.

No freaking way. YOU watch it.

Am not a sissy sissy cry baby face. I just don't want to, that's all. Don't bug me!

Besides, I'm going to go play with my Feels Like Home award that the most interesting and ever engaging JenJen at Jen's Voices Gave me.


Thank you darling!

46 comments:

Hayley Egan said...

I clicked on the link and I wasn't even scared!

nick said...

I bet there are thousands of people out there who're afraid of puppets, they just keep very quiet about it, like all those other bizarre fears we have (personally I'm very afraid of the dark).

String puppets always seem a bit weird to me because they remind me of disabled people with their jerky movements and disjointed limbs. I half expect them to be in a wheelchair with a helper. Yes, I know, my mind's pretty strange. But so are string puppets.

My name is PJ. said...

Before I began reading blogs this morning, I finished the latest Tami Hoag book, "Deeper Than The Dead". It's early morning, still pitch black out, the book was beyond graphically horrific....I decide to read blogs. I start with yours.

I'd like to thank you for perpetuating horror in my morning. Tomorrow could you try something closer to lollipops, rainbows and kittens> ;)

Tamara said...

I am also scared of puppets. And I don't even have a good reason. But your post did explain my fear of the clown doll my gran made for me.

I'm blaming tonight's nightmares on you, k?

Sarah P said...

Thank God I didn't read this before bed.
That puppet is terrifying. Good call on the puppet fear.

BLOGitse said...

this is horror? I can't read this now - I have a dentist in couple of hours - that's horror enough thank you! sigh!

Cathryn said...

First, Congratulations on the award!

Second--puppets...no wonder I didn't like them as a child. I was AFRAID of them! You're right--they don't move in any natural way. Kind of like Barbie. She doesn't move naturally either. I didn't really care for Barbie as a kid. I think I was the only kid on the block who didn't have a Barbie doll or want one. I was AFRAID of that un-natural stiff legged/armed figure---kind of like puppets!

*grins at you*

JennyMac said...

puppets...ick.

And congrats on your award. JenJen is one of my faves!

Brian Miller said...

not only was i a clown once, but i worked puppets as well...scary huh?

Eva Gallant said...

I've been uncomfortable around clowns since I read Stephen King's "It."

itsybitsyknitsy said...

Well that was creepy. I'm afraid of things in masks... just cos you know know what underneath
Stopping by from sits
yay Canada.

Nikki said...

I could see how you could fear puppets and the monkeys with the chimes. They are kind of weird to look at! I really don't like clowns. I think they are weird and the movie IT didn't help that fear! Once I was walking through a maze at Forest of Fear in NY and a clown jumped out at me and I couldn't get out, I was so freaked out my husband found me frozen in fear and he had to walk me out! lol.

Crafty Girls Workshop said...

You are so funny and correct too! I am so afraid of those monkeys with cymbals! Especially that one at the beginning of Phantom of the Opera! And did you happen to see that gianormous puppet in Japan? Scary! Cute blog. I'm stopping by from SITS today.

Anna

tori said...

This brought back memories. My mother would wake me up to watch scary movies with her when my dad was on his business trips. I was 6 or 7. I loved them!
I did watch the whole 3 parts of this. I think the scariest part was how she allowed herself to be controlled by her mother! Yikes!

injaynesworld said...

I remember that Karen Black show. It had me leaping to my bed from five feet out for years.

No. You are certainly NOT a cry-baby, sissy-face...

Conquer The Monkey said...

Puppets truly are freaky, and the monkey with the symbols are both freaky AND annoying.
thanks for popping by this week, I am new follower to your blog!!
have a fabulous hump day!
www.conquerthemonkey.com

Nessa said...

Clowns are scary. Dolls are scary. Clown dolls are too much to bear.

Baby's First Christmas

Raelene said...

Yep I completely agree, puppets are scary. So are clowns.

JenJen said...

you're welcome....and sissysissy cry baby face is my favorite phrase now.
My husband and children thank you in advance...

linlah said...

I don't what scares me more, how bad that show was or that I remember watching it.

Jennifer Lynn said...

Snake bites do not actually hurt, poltergiests do horrid things to my subconscious child, and puppets are totally freaky:)

HalfAsstic.com said...

YOU. CAN'T. MAKE. ME.
I don't do scary.

Maureen said...

Another creepy puppet movie is Being John Malkovich. Creeeepy. And disturbing.

Jazz said...

Puppets and clowns are indeed creepy. I can't help but wonder what child hating nutjob invented them and decided they were for the amusement of children.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

thanks for the creep out.

yorksnbeans said...

I did take a peek and could only watch for a little while after the "attack" began. It totally reminded me of the 1981 movie "The Hand" with Michael Caine! That movie will be forever ingrained in my memory. I watched it all alone in my apartment back in 1982. I was so proud of myself! I just looked it up on youtube and you can watch it there, if you so choose!!

secret agent woman said...

I've always thought of puppets as a variant on clowns, which freak me out. Mimes, too. And many dolls.

strokeofliving said...

Thank you much for stopping by my blog and reading me today. I appreciate it.

I'm gonna check out a few more of your posts so that I can become familiar with you.

susan said so said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm looking forward to the cocoon-like nature of our soon-to-be new bedroom, too!

I've enjoyed your blog-

Susan

LadyFi said...

I'm with you there - puppets can be scary with their stiff eyes and limbs!

I seem to remember some horror movie about a ventriloquist whose puppet was evil... Scary!

Buckeroomama said...

I'm okay with puppets. In fact, I brought back two Balinese puppets (shadow puppets) from our trip. Both fell behind a bookshelf and are now stuck there, unless we de-anchor (is that even a word?!) the bookshelf to get to them... Good thing, though, because the kiddos were scared of the shadow puppets in Little Einsteins!

Chrisy said...

Just love and can utterly relate to these words of yours "Keeping me from feeling too stupid is one of the primary functions of my brain..."!

Secretia said...

Medicine commercials always bothered me, and now they are the main thing advertised on TV.

Mr. Charleston said...

I've always loved clowns and puppets. But then I was a kid before some of the really warped movies you guys were exposed to.

Mrsbear said...

Dood! I actually read the Matheson story it's based on a couple of months back. Now I'm going to have to make time to watch "He who kills" on screen. Thank goodness for your thorough internet sleuthing, I would've never known it existed. Once I get through all the parts, I'll have to come back and berate you for putting that awful image in my brain, but till then, THANKS!

I'm still afraid of that clown doll in Poltergeist.

blueviolet said...

I didn't remember that movie until you mentioned the part about it hacking at her ankles! Then it slapped me right upside the head. I saw that!!!!

Ginny Marie said...

When I used to use puppets in the classroom, the kids knew it was a puppet, but they also thought the puppet was so realistic, and they really interacted with it! I can totally understanding thinking that puppets are freaky!

Ron said...

OMG...I TOTALLY agree!!

Trilogy of Terror is perhaps one of the scariest films I've ever seen.

That last scene with Karen Black is freakin' terrifying!!!

ewwwwwwww!

P.S. I also fear CLOWNS

Grand Pooba said...

Wow. I really don't know how to respond to this other than now I really want to watch that dead body wet t-shirt movie.


Thanks.


On the other hand, that was a freaky looking doll. I was waiting for it to jump out and kill the girl already but it never happened. Perhaps I would have been scared if it did. But anyway, I guess I can see how that image has plagued you since you were young. And I can't help but sit back and smile after reading your post because I love the way your brain works.

So matter of fact but hilarious at the same time.

In a good way of course.

lime said...

i think puppet fear is roughly akin to clown fear. they just ain't natural things. creep factor high.

thanks for stopping by my place from hilary's. :)

The Lucky Mrs. T said...

Inanimate objects should remain as such. Puppets coming to life and attempting murder from the ankles up is just WRONG.

My fear? SNAKES.

Over from SITS and so glad I came by!

cabin + cub said...

I am on the fence with puppets. I am not scared of Muppet type puppets, or anything that is cute. BUT I have always found marionettes (i.e. like the Thunderbirds) very creepy.. and worse anything that resembles Punch and Judy terrifying. OK, so my conclusion is I find UGLY puppets scary!

buffalodick said...

Spiders...just spiders..I've picked up snakes, rats, you name it- but I can scream like Nancy Kerrigan when a big spider is in the room with me!

otin said...

Just when you thought it was safe to go to sleep! He came back! Pinocchi 2, The legend of the Killer wood boy! LMAO!!!!!

Unknown Mami said...

Okay this isn't about the post. I just think you should do a post listing all your awesome titles.

Kristi said...

I love your blog:)

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