I was unable to sleep a few nights ago, so instead of tossing and turning in bed, I went downstairs and watched Red Dragon. Red Dragon, for those of you who don’t know, is the prequel to Silence of the Lambs, and is in my opinion a better movie. It’s got everything you could ever want in a freaky movie: Full body tattoos, eating people/great works of art, and burning Philip Seymour Hoffman to death. (Take that, you pretentious three-named bastard! Daniel Day Lewis, you have been put on notice.) The movie is so freaky that by the time I’m done watching it, I pretty much assume that everyone I meet is a deranged serial killer except maybe my kids, and I have my doubts about them.
The only problem with a movie like Red Dragon is that I want to show it to my 13 year old daughter because we watch a lot of movies together now that she’s grown past the stage of watching utterly stupid bullshit. But Red Dragon is just a little too freaky for a 13 year old, although I watched the Exorcist when I was 10 and I turned out just fine if you disregard all the cats that go missing in my neighborhood.
When my daughter was 2, she got on a Lilo & Stitch kick, although that’s kind of minimizing the intensity of it. Every day for months I’d pick her up on my way home from work and we’d sit on the couch, me lying down, her sitting behind me, legs across my stomach, with Lilo & fucking Stitch on. I’ve easily seen that movie over 100 times. She even had a Lilo doll she brought everywhere with her until day care called to tell me that she needed to leave it at home. Apparently my daughter would show up in the morning and ignore everyone and everything, opting to have a day long conversation with Lilo instead.
But at least Lilo & Stitch is a good movie. There was a whole bunch of other crap she watched that, I swear, made me lose at least 40 IQ points just because I was in the room. Bella Dancerella is a good example. Holy shit, do I hate Bella Dancerella. In a nutshell, Bella Dancerella is a pop star who wants to teach your young daughter to dress like a slut. That’s pretty much it, although there’s also a microphone and nauseatingly innocent bubblegum pop that goes along with it.
My daughter would watch that shit endlessly, and then as if that wasn’t bad enough she’d then hold “concerts” each night before bed. My ex-wife and I would be forced to line up chairs and sit there while she danced to a few songs, although honestly if medical personnel were in the room, they’d swear that she was having a seizure.
This, strangely enough, is the reason why my daughter, at the age of 13, still thinks farts are hilarious. One night, she held another concert, which went like this:
Daughter: Ok, I have an announcement to make! There will be a concert before bed time!
Me: Oh, Jesus God, no!
Daughter: Ok, does everyone have their seats?
Me: Please shoot me in the face.
(2 minutes of disgusting, synthesizer-driven bullshit)
Me: Yay! Ok, time for bed.
Daughter: Wait! I’m not done!
Me: Yes you are. I don’t think I could take much more… brilliance like that.
Daughter: No, I’m not done! Wait! WAIT! I didn’t get to do… (thinks fast) The Grand Finale!
Me: Oh, for the love of… Fine, do the Grand Finale.
Daughter: Ok! And now, to all my fans: The Grand Finale!
And one second after she said that, she ripped a huge, nasty sounding fart. I mean, the kind you’d imagine coming out of Chris Farley instead of a toddler. The timing was perfect, and my ex-wife and I literally fell off of our chairs laughing. And even as I wiped the tears from my eyes, I could almost see the thought forming in her head: “Hey! Farts are funny! Farts get me attention!!!“
From then on, it’s been a non-stop Fartapalooza with that little girl. To this very day, we’ll be sitting at the dinner table and she’ll rip a loud one and immediately start laughing, which is kind of endearing when you’re dealing with a toddler, but absolutely infuriating when you’re dealing with a teenager who demands to have the same privileges as, say, a 30 year old supermodel.
Daughter: (BRAAAAAAAAAAAAP!) Hahahahahaha!!!
Me: What do you say?
Daughter: Sorry! Hahahahaha!
Me: You’re not sorry, you did that on purpose!
Daughter: No I didn’t!
Me: Yes you did! You leaned sideways to let it out! You know what’s going to happen if you don’t break yourself of that habit? You’re going to go out on your first date and you won’t even think about it, you’ll just beef one right there at the table in front of your date and he’ll be grossed out of existence.
Daughter: (BRAAAAAAAAAAAAP!) Hahahahahaha!!!
Me: I wonder if we have any adult strength cyanide in this house?
But, farts aside, she has matured in terms of what movies she’ll watch and we enjoy watching some movies that I haven’t seen in years, such as Jurassic Park, Airplane, and Deadly Friend.
If you’ve never seen Deadly Friend, congratulations. How I envy you. It’s a story about a young nerd whose smoking hot neighbor is killed by her abusive father, so he crams a computer chip in her brain which causes her to go on a killing spree. It’s mind-bendingly stupid, which is why it’s fun to watch. And it includes this, Top 5 Stupid Movie Kills scene:
Just like that one time I slipped a bunch of acid in the Gatorade at a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition. Awesome.
I saw Deadly Friend in the movie theater when it was released, and I was so impressed with its sheer suckitude, that my friends and I went back to see it again the next night, only this time we brought vodka. I still remember the usher having to come over to ask us to keep it down, and as I tried to hide the fifth of vodka I was holding, I dropped it on the ground where it bounced noisily.
Usher: Listen, you guys are going to have to…
(DINK! DINK! DINKDINKDINKDINKDINK!)
Me: Nobody move! I dropped a contact lens!
So Deadly Friend is ok because it’s stupid, and the horror and gore are campy and over the top. Red Dragon lies just on the other side of that divide, along with Blue Velvet, and Re-Animator, a movie so fucked up that a decapitated guy picks up his own head so he can use it to perform oral sex on a woman (which, frankly, is not safe sex. Ask Michael Douglas.)
So, as a mature and responsible parent, I’ve chosen to draw the line and not allow my daughter to watch Red Dragon with me. She’s still young, and innocent, and although she wants to be treated like an adult so badly, I have to do the right thing here. But when she turns 14? Oh, we’re totally watching Human Centipede.