Wednesday, May 13, 2009

he sneers through smeared lipstick ...

my family's home wasn't much of a slumber party draw. it wasn't located in elton hills, where all the boys lived. it didn't have a freezer filled with snack food, and a video camera for recording re imagined miss america pagents. it didn't have fannie's dad's secret recipe for popcorn, a pizza parlor at the end of the block, or a magic bathroom mirror that hid even the most splotchy teenager's acne, and made the most limp-banged broad in the bunch's tresses blossom and bounce.

my house had two small things: 1) a ready supply of pillsbury glazed orange rolls for breakfast; 2) a vhs tape of four episodes of "alfred hitchcock presents" that were recreated in 1985 based on original episodes. my friends and i watched this over. and over. and over.

right now i can only think of three of the episodes on that scraggly old tape:

a kid stumbles upon a gun -- which he/she thinks is fake -- and runs around the neighborhood pointing it at people. in the final scene, there is a gunshot and a young girl slash almost victim stammers: "it b-b-b-buzzed. r-r-r-rright by my. ear."

a man ends up in some sort of bet against a rich woman. she wants him to wager his digits. in the final scene, she takes off her long, silky glove to reveal that she only has a thumb.

a nurse is taking care of an invalid in an old creepy house. incidentally, the town is in the middle of a dead-nurse crime spree that happens to be most feverish within a two-mile radius of this mansion. when sam, the gardner? butler? chauffeur? goes to the hospital to pick up extra oxygen tank, two nurses and a drunk housekeeper are left alone in the house.

AND it's storming.
AND another nurse has recently died.
AND when that forgetful nurse stella was locking the basement windows, she missed a latch.

this one ends with the phrase "yes stella. you forgot about sam." oh, snap! one of the nurses was really the killer in drag! his wig falls off as he stranglers her. he sneers comically through smeared lipstick.

*i watched the 1965 version of the nurse one tonight. through hulu, it is possible for me to trigger all sorts of repressed pop culture memories. which one of you assholes wants to play totally 80s trivia against me?


beret said...

Ah, the finger cutter episode. That one freaked me out for years. But wasn't the guy betting against some other dude and the dude's *wife* came down the stairs at the end and took off her glove to reveal she was missing some digits too (like she had lost a few bets against her husband as well)? Or I might be misremembering.

9th and Hennepin said...

In the One About the Gun they really built the tension because the armed child, little more than a toddler as I recall, loaded bullets in the chamber one by one, so with each encounter she had there was a greater chance the gun would fire.

I also recall that the poor kid was kicked off one of those "rides" that you see outside of a K-mart by a Mom who wanted her bratty kid to not have to wait his turn. The armed toddler pointed her gun at them, it didn't go off, and she went about her day. I remember thinking that that kid and mother probably deserved to get a cap in their ass.

christina said...

ohhh, beret. you are totally right. and so are you, 9th and henn.

now if i could just remember the fourth movie! bah.

Krupskaya said...

The finger cutter one was a short story in a book of mysteries my mom gave to me on a road trip to Oklahoma. Upon further googling, I find now that the short story, "Man From the South," was by Roald Dahl (!!!).

And the four Hitchcock revival shows are on imdb. Lotsa stars in the finger-cutting one.

Anonymous said...

I vividly remember the nurse one (was it called The Open Window? Or The Basement Window? Something like that. So scary. And the finger cutting one too...the guy bet the other guy that he couldn't light a lighter X times in a row on the first try. Ahhh... also, we seemed to watch The Shining a lot at your house. Maybe this is why there weren't many slumber parties at your house? The orange rolls didn't cover the memory of terror from the night before! You did have the warmest bathroom in town though. And a crimper. - Fannie

Maurey said...

Was the fourth one the One About the Leg of Lamb, where the wife kills her husband by bashing him over the head with frozen meat?

chuck said...

I remember the One with the Gun. All the kid's friends had very realistic toy guns with fake bullets you could load and unload. The kid assumed the real gun was a toy.