Another FB game. Like the last time, you list 15 movies that have affected you taking no more than 15 minutes and tag at least 15 friends. I was tagged by author and artist Holly Heisley, who went the pre-emptive one step further (thanks, Cat, 'preciate it) and listed the why.
Would it surprise you to learn I find this harder than listing 15 authors? It surprised me.
First, I am reluctant to admit I've been affected by certain movies. Isn't that odd? I'm not reluctant to admit much.
Second, this isn't a list of favorite movies, although they could overlap. This is a list of movies which have for whatever reason made an impact on my life. Are there 15 of those?
Third, I am rarely affected by an entire movie. It's usually about scenes for me.
Since I'm a bit of a coward, I decided to try listing them here. If I'm pleased with the results, I'll put it Out There.
1. Jaws. This is why I do not swim in lakes, muddy pools, swimming pools or those little plastic kiddy pools you buy at Walmart for $15. Seriously. Absolutely terrified of what's lurking in the water. Thank you so much for that, Steven Spielberg. I hope your virtual sheep makes you happy while...
2. The Grudge. Scared the poopooweeweekaakaa out of me. Couldn't walk down my basement steps for a couple of weeks afterwards. Woke up in the middle of the night with a panic attack thinking the freaky Japanese ghost was under my bed. It came out in 2004. That means I was 33 when I saw it. Yeah, safe to say, I was affected.
3. The Sixth Sense. I cannot remember a movie surprising me before or after this one. The most amazing part? No jerks spoiled it for anybody. You didn't hear anything before you went except, "Man, you've got to see this show." I'd say it affected everybody.
4. Pan's Labyrinth. I was 37 when I saw it, and, again, I was shocked and horrified, and that doesn't happen to me very often with a movie. The sheer brutality of the thing. At one point (if you've seen it, you know it), I simultaneously contracted into a little ball and tried to hurl myself over the couch to get away from the crazy homicidal murderer (and I don't mean the thing with the eyes in its palms). As much as I loved the special effects, I don't think I can watch it again.
5. Kill Bill vol 1. Yes, I'm ashamed to admit it. I love the fight scenes set to music. I watch the initial knife fight between Uma and Vivica (oh, so fierce, my lovelies, fierce and furious) and skip through most of the movie to get to the "Showdown at the House of the Blue Lotus." I'm sick. I know it. I'm a bad, sick person. But this is my inspiration for my written fight scenes. Minus the "wire-foo," of course.
6. Galaxy Quest. The only movie Holly and I would share, I think, as far as impacting goes. This is the perfect movie. It is the only movie I never fast forward through. The irony? All the deleted scenes involve the crew. Chuckle.
7. Shining Through. I don't care for war movies. Well, war movies without aliens. But this one keeps my interest. It may be the first heroine I can remember who was both quiet and rowdy at the same time. She seemed to be soft-spoken and polished but she was scrappy. I admire that. I wish I could emulate it.
In that same vein...
8. The Spanish Main. Thanks to the voracious demands of South Korean audiences, you can find this on dvd. A Dutch pirate (Paul Heinreid) marries a Spanish lady (Maureen O'Hara - whatever) as revenge on his enemy and they fall in love anyway. I've always liked the idea of arranged marriages. This is one that worked. It keeps showing up in my stories.
9. Nell. I've watched this a lot. Maybe 30 or more times. Almost as much as Galaxy Quest. Is it possible for someone to live completely alone? I don't know. I wish I did. So I watch it. And wonder. And create Raven the druid.
10. Mirrormask. I'm a sucker for a weird soundtrack, and this movie has one. It's just your standard coming-of-age tale but it fascinates me. Was this what growing up was like for Brian Henson, son of the famous muppeteer? Plus, like the crazy lady in the mask shop, I'm surrounded by sphinxes. Don't let them see you're afraid... I strive for a little weird when I'm writing.
I hate to admit this one...
11. Batman. The Tim Burton one. Which now seems so silly and corny and ridiculous. But after watching it the first time, I went home and promptly wrote a short story inspired by the movie about an FBI agent exposed to toxic chemicals which simultaneously mutated her into a super-warrior and made her certifiably crazy. In other words, pretty much the screenplay for Batman Returns, so I guess I wasn't the only one inspired. I filed Catspaw, and started writing other stuff. It was kind of my start in the writing world.
12. Conan the Destroyer. I have to put it up here. It's a B movie at best, but it contains all the necessary elements for a perfect D&D adventure, and thus the perfect fantasy story. Dungeons & Dragons the movie was a sad little remake in comparison. Plus, as often as tall, bald, black warrior women show up in my books, I'd be lying if I didn't admit this movie affected me.
13. Heavy Metal. Not the whole movie, just the part with the white-haired warrior woman. Big Brother (unbeknownst to our parental units) allowed me to creep out of bed to view this last segment. In his defense, he did not allow me to watch any other parts. I've wanted white hair ever since. Don't know why, since the warrior kills herself and her giant bird by flying into the sun. But her hair looked good while she did it.
14. Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. Never heard of it? Not surprising. Like Conan the Destroyer, this has a little bit of all the things I love in a story. An older bodyguard (Peter Strauss), a spoiled princess (Molly Ringwald), a sturdy wingman (Ernie Hudson, ladies and gentlemen, let's give him a hand!) and a quest involving a scary evil man-thing (Michael Ironside). I could have written it. I wish I had.
I left 15 open, knowing I would remember one later. I did.
15. The Blob. The original, with the jello-mold creature. This movie convinced me people are stupid.
How hard is it to drop the stick? I mean, really. It also tapped all my fears of the inexorable, inescapable horror of being chased by something that won't stop until you're dead. Like the Terminator. Or The Bodyguard. Probably why I've never married. Anyhoo....
Okay, that list took me 8 days and 3 hours to compile. Not bad for this turtle.