Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Another One of Dad's Great Ideas!

It was the Summer of 1974 and I was 8 years old. Dad decided that we should have a"family movie night". He'd probably read some article about spending quality time with your kids, and realized it was time to make his first attempt at it. Taking the family out to a movie seemed perfect- he didn't really have to interact with any of us- all he had to do was pay for it, and then spend 2 hours sitting beside his family in silence as they enjoyed a film together. Maybe it could be a bonding experience- we'd all have seen a movie and could discuss it later.
At the time, family films were really being cranked out - Cinderella, The Love Bug,
The Shaggy D.A., Mary Poppins, etc. There was even a Don Knott's movie called the Apple Dumpling Gang that was filmed in Atlanta, with several of my cousins appearing in the background scenes. Nowadays it's hard to find a good G rated film to take the kids to, but back then there was a virtual cornucopia to pick from! But what film did Dad pick for this family bonding experience? He picked "The Terminal Man".
I've never met anyone else in my life that has ever heard of this film. I'd like to get a copy of it someday and see it again- just to see if it's as scarey as I remember. The basic plot is that a brilliant scientist somehow has a serious brain trauma and the cure was to implant a micro-computer in his brain. The experiment works- he no longer has the spasms that he was having. There was one side effect though-- the micro chip caused him to violently kill someone every hour. My family sat in horror as we watched him kill at least 20 people over the next two hours. Some he strangled, some he hanged. He even stabbed a woman (Karen Black) to death on a waterbed- slashing the mattress in the process. The camera focused on the river of bloody water that flowed from the bed, onto the floor and down the hallway.
We ranged in ages from 5-11. We had never seen anything so violent in our lives and I think it scarred us all. Later that night, my brother Jim got in bed with me. He was too scared to sleep alone. A few minutes later, Jim and I went to Joel's room and got in bed with him. I remember crying because Karen Black had died and I really liked her at the time. Before the night was over, we were all in our parents bed. I don't think any of us slept that night- afraid that the Terminal Man might enter the room at any moment.
Dad wanted a bonding event and he got one- none of us were able to sleep in our own beds for over a week. The 5 of us slept together in a double bed for the following week, spending more quality time together than Dad ever dreamed of!


Blogger epgraves said...

THe movie my Mom took me to that had the same effect on me was "Grizzly". About a big Grizzly Bear that killed campers in the wilderness.

We came home from the movie at night and we lived on Washington Rd at the time. The back yard was surrounded by thick woods and I had to walk out to the the very back in the dark to the dog pen to feed the dog. I JUST KNEW THAT THE GRIZZLY WOULD GET ME!

I am also extremely afraid of rats to this day because she also took me to see "Ben."

8:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been laughing uncontrollably for 5 mins.
I was 8 months old.

11:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry 10 months.

11:57 PM


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