I am taking a break from packing and cleaning to knock out a blog post while eating dinner. I will of course embargo this so that it seems like I actually released it in the morning. However we all know what is happening… that I am making my way to Pax South. I have a whole bunch of anxiety about going to the convention once again, but in the grand scheme of things I think this will be a really good year. For the last couple years there has been the stress of having to make press appointments and attempt to be the surrogate of a publication at the convention. This time around I represent no one but myself… and of course the blog and podcast. I will also once again have my good friend Ashgar to roam around with, which should be awesome as well. I’ve made a pact to just go do things… rather than spend the entire convention walking around in circles looking for something to do like we managed to do last year. Tomorrow will of course be spent driving, and I am hoping I can remember to pack everything that needs to be packed. I made myself a Trello board in a vague attempt to keep track of things… and I already failed to get away from work with something so I am off to a grand start.
This is going to be a bit of an odd post, but earlier on twitter I happened to read a tweet from Matticus, to which a friend replied that he was “THEE Matticus”. Instantly the above clip went through my head, and it is something that I have found myself mimicking throughout the years. The problem being… no one has a damned clue what I am referencing. This is the point where I realize that the movies that were seemingly important to me growing up include some oddities. There is of course Star Wars and Indiana Jones… but also a lot of movies that have not really stood up to the test of time. Why they are special to me… is for an equally odd reason. I grew up without cable television, in fact the first time I had cable was in 1996 when I moved away from home and got an apartment at college. While I lived on the outskirts of my town… the cable refused to run down my driveway because it would have taken them just outside of the city limits. As a result I largely existed with over the air television… often watching excessive amounts of UHF stations because they seemed to have far more interesting broadcasting than the major networks. The other salvation however was the VHS tape… of which I had plenty both legitimate and with crudely scrawled labels on their spines.
One of my dads work buddies took it upon himself to help my predicament and it became a regular thing for us to send home a package of blank tapes, and at some point in the future receive a bundle of some of the most random movies. These all consisted of whatever happened to be currently playing on HBO during the block of time when he was recording something, and as such there are weird streaks of movies that all came out in the same one or two year period that stick out in my mind. The first of these is of course Romancing the Stone… which while an action flick probably would not have even made it on my radar were it not for the fact that it was one of the few action films we had, prior to the local video store closing the liquidating all of their movies. Of note this is the point where I picked up Alien, Aliens, and Predator. The truth is while I remember the plot well… the only line that sticks out of the whole movie is the “zee joan wilder?”, and even then largely because my cousin and I thought it was hilarious to quote it.
Another one of these movies that holds a special place in my heart is My Science Project, which is admittedly a pretty forgettable 80s science fiction film. It is this weird mix of a bunch of themes at the time crudely cemented together with a bad time travel plot line. In truth it was the time travel aspect that I liked the most, and even to this day I have an silly enjoyment of anything Fisher Stevens is in. Once again… this is not even a movie I probably would have rented but the fact that it mysteriously showed up on one of these recorded tapes meant that I watched it way more often than I probably should have. Rental movies were sort of a special occasion type thing, at least until I got into the middle school era. The first video rental place we had in town had a sort of shopping club buy in aspect to it, and the rentals were like $5 a piece… which was madness for 1984. I think the membership cost something silly like $100… but we had one even though we didn’t use it that often. I had a bad habit of renting the same movies over and over… like Ultraforce… which I was simply enamored with because of the flying motorcycle scene. The 80s really were a strange time.