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PCR #393 (Vol. 8, No. 40) This edition is for the week of October 1--7, 2007.

"The Heartbreak Kid"  by Mike Smith
Let's Scare Jessica to Death..."Blecch"?  by Andy Lalino
DVD Review: "The Dick Tracy Show, Volume 1"  by ED Tucker
Conquering Thrush .... Pay Up .... Passing On .... Gee Wally .... .... .... .... .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 29: Daniel J. Travanti by Mike Smith
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Oddservations by Andy Lalino

Let's Scare Jessica to Death..."Blecch"?

It was a day as ordinary as any other. You know, the typical routine - get up, go to work, eat lunch, check the Crazed Fanboy message boards, eat dinner, sleep. Now, in the course of one of those activities, namely checking the CF message board postings, I was elated to see the return of Fangrrl, who has been undergoing a recuperation for an ailment for some time now. Honestly, it was great to see her back in the CF fray. Evidently, during the healing process Fangrrl had the opportunity to rent a few cult movies from NetFlix (honestly, though, Fangrrl, you should be getting your cult movies from Tampa's Unique Video store). Great, I initially thought. She even mentioned some of the titles, which I thought were outstanding...Videodrome - the Criterion Collection edition - fab! Nextly, the revered Let's Scare Jessica to Death...

And that's when the proverbial bomb dropped.

In her posting she described how she felt about the movies, whether she "liked" or "disliked" them. When I first read the title Let's Scare Jessica to Death, it was described by the following.

And I quote:


Look, I held it together. I breathed with it. But I have to state that the very first perception that hit me was that "Bleech" was a term implying the possibility that Fangrrl did not like this film. But I kept my cool and re-read the posting. "Bleech". "B-L-E-E-C-H". When I mouthed it, it came out sounding like "Bleach", as in the chemical.

So I thought "Bleach"? Was Fangrrl trying to spell "Bleach" and missed a few keyboard buttons? Look, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I figured hey, maybe she thought Let's Scare Jessica to Death was "dirty" and called for a "Bleaching". Or, perhaps she meant the film was shot too dark and needed to be "Bleached".

At this juncture I was also unsure if Fangrrl was familiar with Mad magazine artist Al Jaffee, who is famous for his famously descriptive "YECCH"! And then I wondered, did Fangrrl really dislike Let's Scare Jessica to Death and bestow a dreaded "Blecch" to it, and just happened to misspell it? Like I said, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but yet I couldn't escape the fact that in all honesty I think Fangrrl was referring to LSJTD with a God's honest "Blecch"!


Let's Scare Jessica to Death rates a "Blecch"?

This '70s cinematic artifact that could practically be a golden step stone on the pathway to cinematic heaven? Naw, I thought. She must have it confused with some made-for-TV movie where a Bonnie Franklin lookalike is once again in peril.

But then again...

Now, this whole conundrum brings to light a question: are some Cult Movies beyond the tainting of an individuals negative perceptions? I guess what I'm asking isLSJTD so untouchably majestic that Fangrrl is not allowed to summarize her feelings about it with a "Blecch"?

I'm submitting that is indeed the case.

Certainly, people are entitled to their opinions to a degree, but when a film, such as LSJTD (other examples being: Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, etc.), is so utterly beloved, is anyone, Fangrrl or otherwise, allowed to cast a negative light upon it? I mean, this was a film that gave people nightmares for weeks (including yours truly) in the early and mid '70s when it was incredibly broadcast on television at the time.

The film is sacred. It's like saying Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula" was simply "a so-so read". I will freely admit that Fangrrl did defend her position admirably, but in the big picture her efforts are ultimately futile; I'm going on record in hereby classifying Let's Scare Jessica to Death as "Wholly and Totally Untouchable" in terms of negative criticism. I'll not go as far as to demand a retraction, I would simply advise fellow Fanboys and Fangirls to remain in light, and really think about the film you perchance may have an inclination to dislike, or else you may encounter a column such as this in the near future.

You have all been put on immediate notice as of this writing (even Nolan Canova, you know, that guy who saw 'The Simpsons' movie...) to clean up your act, or I'll turn anyone and everyone in to the Zohra Lampert International Society of Cult Movie Lovers.

"Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino.  The Oddservations banner is a creation of Andy Lalino. All other graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.