Pulp Fiction? Or Pulp Fiction?

August 3, 2007 at 10:50 pm (Drunk and disorderly, Waxing Nostalgic)

Tonight KUFO radio is having a late-night showing of Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece from the ’90s. Why am I not already in line? Been there, done that. I was a fixture at midnight movies in the late ’70s and early ’80s. It might be fun to revisit those days. It would seem like a perfect Friday night, what with me being the radio groupie and all.

Instead, I will be the Grandpa on the porch and tell you about when *I* was a young ‘un…

Wish I could remember the first midnight movie I went to. In 1978, Fifth Avenue Cinemas would have midnighters every Friday and Saturday. Most weekends it was a good one, and my Freak Brother contingent would make an appearance. We would score some alcohol and pot, and wait in line so we could sit up front. There were lots of concert films, schlocky horror, campy porno type stuff. In other words, my kind of cinema!

Some fuzzy memories-

Eraserhead– Saw it with my ex-wife while tripping on acid. A fun way to spend an evening with a young mother.

Pink Flamingos– Went with a date, as did most of the folks in line, to see John Waters X-rated tribute to white trash family life. People were smoking joints in line, and a police detective bragged loudly to his date that he “could mess up quite a few lives” if he were to go to work right now. A scary looking hippie said, “I wouldn’t, piggie.” Dirty looks were exchanged, but nothing happened. When the ‘singing asshole’ came onscreen, (you know the scene) the cop and his date ran for the exit. Several others left as well. Pink Flamingos is not your typical 70s porno film.

I saw it several times in a midnight movie situation. One time I sat next to a highly recognizable transvestite televangelest. She gave Divine a run for her money.

Flesh Gordon– If you haven’t seen it, go to Netflix or check Movie Madness. All porno should be this entertaining.

Rust Never Sleeps– This film got Freewheelin’ hooked on Neil Young. We would see it every time it showed. One time, I didn’t make it through the show. I had consumed several large bottles of Tooth’s Sheaf Stout, and had that spinning-off-the-planet feeling even while sitting up, so I went outside, as the Aussies say, to yawn in technicolor. I woke up on a park bench on the PSU campus as the sun was rising. And it hurt. Don’t think I drank Tooth’s Sheaf after that.

Another time, I believe it was the night the world found out ‘Who Shot JR’, we went. Freewheelin’s wife had to see who did shoot JR, so we held off going to wait in line. Not being Dallas fans, we took the ghetto blaster into the bathroom and listened to Blue Oyster Cult, drinking whiskey and smoking out while I sat in the tub and he sat on the toilet. While unconventional, it is still one of my favorite brotherly memories. After Miss Ellie (or whoever it was) was cuffed and stuffed, we staggered to the theater. While Freewheelin’ and I were the subject of intense scrutiny at the door, his sober and *normal* looking wife waltzed right in with our baggie of joints and pint of Wild Turkey. (Only the best on Neil Young night!) At the end of the movie, while the credits ran, fans from the crowd got up in front of the screen and played air guitar to ‘My my, hey hey.” As the kids today would say, it was awesome.

Some (but nowhere near all) of the movies we’d seen:

-George Romero’s Dead series, (Night of, Dawn of, Day of, etc…) as well as Martin and Knightriders.

Heavy Metal many times.

Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, anything done by Ralph Bakshi. Cartoons were big with us. I saw a Looney Tunes festival after smoking opium in Couch Park.

Of course there were the concert films. Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Pink Floyd’s The Wall. For several years, it would be an odd weekend (or a very sucky film) that we’d not be there, diggin’ the scene. Alas, we got jobs and wives and lives. And they stopped showing midnight movies.

Nowadays it’s Harry Potter and The Simpsons getting the midnight treatment. Soccer moms with herds of tweens have taken over, and the closest thing to a controlled substance is Red Bull. It’s all about being first to see it, not loving it like an old friend.

At least KUFO gets it, and is trying to keep that rebel feeling alive. It would seem kinda weird though, to be served booze in a midnight movie. (We would use the occasion to perfect our concert smuggling skills.) It’s showing at the same theater Mizelle and I sneak chocolate milk into when we have pizza. How the times have changed! Delicious irony, once again.

So instead of venturing out into the night, I sat home and watched Pulp Fiction on my home system. Some years ago, I bought the super-deluxe editions of Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, $40 well spent. I watch them regularly, Jackie Brown more so. I copied Pulp Fiction and turned the X-GFs kid onto it. (He’d been bragging about sneaking into Smokin’ Aces, so I deemed it proper he should see a decent adult thriller.)

I love all the little things noticed during repeated viewings. The restaurant from the opening and closing, where the “Robbery!” occurs? It’s the Hawthorne Cafe. (The Bagdad Theater, where tonight’s midnighter is, is on Hawthorne Boulevard.)

Ving Rhames even made the news today. (Marsellus Wallace.) Somebody is “a long fuckin’ way from okay.”

And if you really want to see some memorabilia? Head over to Movie Madness on Belmont. What’s left of Marvin’s head is on display is over there. (Marvin was the poor black kid who got his head splattered all over the back seat of Jules’ car. Hey, it was an accident…)

So, just as the movie would be getting started, I have already watched it (again) and have written this as well. And I’m not drunk! Gee, I could watch yet another movie. Not without knocking back a pint of something, though.

I’ve got some Ben & Jerry’s out there chillin’.

Aw, c’mon… It’s not even midnight…

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