Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In Like a Lion...Out Like a Lamb

March and I have had a long, violent history of hating each other. Once when I was a sophomore in high school, March promised me he would be "out like a lamb" but then turned around and snowed a bunch instead. There were ice mounds until the end of April. April!! Another time, March and I were going out to the movies with some friends and I told him to get butter on the popcorn and he "forgot".

Yes, you could say our relationship is complicated, but I've done some thinking and I'm pretty sure he really has nothing to offer. What's good about March? Nothing. And don't even try to say St. Patty's Day makes up for it---drunken assholes wearing green does not cheer me up. I'd rather eat yogurt and watch Full House (yes that is what I did last year...no regrets).

So while doing some thinking about this supposed saying of March being in like a lion and out like a lamb and how FALSE it is---false like Samara being a tortured, trapped soul, FALSE--

I decided today that I would write about film characters that were in like a lion and out like a lamb. Except these characters really are true representatives of the famous saying and not a big fat liar like some other month I know.

Oh right there are some spoilers in case you're not into that kind of thing.


Santi fits in the mold that many ghosts in ghost stories fit into. Do you ever notice how often in horror movies there is a point where things sort of stop being scary? It's like we are repeatedly teased with horror and then suddenly--the sun comes up, the jump scares trickle off and the rest of the film kind of falls into this strange realm of action. What happened exactly?
Well, in the case of The Devil's Backbone and many other ghost stories, we suddenly realize that the ghost is actually just trying to help. Or they are trying to bring awareness to a key point of understanding.

At first they are terrifying and bothersome and then---nice. Funny isn't it? Santi, the ghost from The Changeling and the ghosts in the Sixth Sense all end up being pretty nice.

In fact, more often than not, they are the real victims in all of this--and someone else much scarier is usually still alive.

Darth Vader

Ah the classic in like a lion character. Darth Vader was for most of the series, the most feared character in the entire galaxy. He used the force to kill people instead of using it for useless things like making spaceships levitate. He killed people for disagreeing with him. And his unmasked face looked like a rotting egg. But who would have guessed that when all hell broke loose and the Emperor got electric hands happy, that Darth Vader would turn into a lamb?


In a strangely uncharacteristic moment from Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (also known as the movie that makes no fucking sense), Pinhead remembers his former self and sacrifices himself to save the life of Kristy and that mute girl. What the hell Pinhead? What happened to pain and suffering? What happened to ripping people's souls apart? I mean, you are wearing a long pleather jacket with bloody holes for a reason. Also, your face is covered with pins! You are a badass---A LION. And then suddenly you become a lamb....and it's very, very sad.

Old Man Marley

I wonder how many times I can talk about Old Man Marley this year? Hopefully a lot!
This is another classic case of someone very scary turning into something nice and gentle. When we first see Marley he is all old and scary. He's got weird homeless man gloves on his hands, and shovels snow all menacingly. At the end of our film however, we find that Old Man Marley is just a nice old man. He even saves Kevin's life by putting his snow shovel to good use. God Bless Marley.

Also, see scary bird lady from Home Alone 2 and Crazy Pete from every girl's favorite film, Now and Then--for a similar character archetype (Or actually, pretty much the exact same character).


There are very few things that I hide from strangers. One of those things is that I love dinosaurs. They are the best. And while I personally love the velociraptors the most in Jurassic Park, one cannot deny the insanely awesome moment of retribution that the T-rex has at the very end. She goes from being the most feared dinosaur in all the land--to the savior. Sure she probably would have eaten everyone if they had stayed around for much longer, but she still saved their lives. Even though I've seen this film about 63 times, I still am in anguish trying to figure out how on earth the group will escape the raptors. They're surrounded on all sides! And then...bam. T-REX! Saves the day. God bless you, you little lamb you.


There are very few perfect movies out there in the world but I whole heartily believe that Adventures in Babysitting is one of them. In case you need convincing--just know that Vincent D'Onofrio is a mean and cranky car mechanic and that he secretly is probably Thor. Originally we hate Dawson because he won't give Chris and kids their car with the low amount of cash they have. What are they 5 dollars short? Give the kids a break douche head. But then after, Sarah disses him and his failure to be a true hero--Dawson changes his mind. He smiles, and even quips about having his own magic winged helmet at home. Or maybe he was serious? We will never know.

The People Under the Stairs

The People Under the Stairs seems like it's about people under the stairs. In actuality however, the film is really about those two crazy sons of bitches. While initially the kids under the stairs are pretty terrifying--they are also still widely a mystery. Yes they start off as threatening, but then we realize that they are all just victims of crazy face and crazy face's sister. Not only that, but because of their large numbers, they even end up serving as a really great attack squad. Hey tongueless smelly kid--I like you! I really do!


As is usually the case with ugly people--we almost immediately begin to fear them. It's too bad really because in most cases the ugly people are the nice ones. Sloth is the poster child for this phenomena. Look how scary he is but really--he's just a big sweetie. I also have a stinking suspicion that Sloth is gay but that is neither here nor there. Seriously though, has anyone else ever gotten that feeling?

And in case you need a boost in life (Which I'm sure you do because March is an asshole)
Here is Hakuna Matata in Polish.


The Mike said...

1) March DOES suck, 2) Adventures in Babysitting is perfect. TW rocks the truth once more.

matango said...

Well, Sloth love Chunk.

deadlydolls said...


You also hit on my issue with ghost stories. Once the ghost stops being negative, it's hard to stay scared. That killed me with The Changeling.

Also, you are 100% correct in stating Adventures In Babysitting is a perfect film. D'Onofrio as Thor! Bradly Whitford as "the cool guy." Adam Rapp as a horny teen with redder than apples hair! Should I ever get married, I think I might pay the DJ extra to enforce the rule that nobody--and i mean NOBODY--gets out of there without singing the blues.

And you know what else is great? Don't Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead. Perfect double bill.

Andre Dumas said...

Oh goodness. Don't Tell Mom. YES. I think that may actually be my all time fave. And by the way, I was this close (really close) to making my senior yearbook quote, "Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues". MAN! I should have! What was I thinking!!!??

Unknown said...

Bonus points for the Adventures in Babysitting reference. That got a laugh out of me--and HOLYSHIT! That was Vincent D'Onofrio? Been a long, long time since I saw that movie.

deadlydolls said...

You were young and foolish.

Oh! And the only reason I will wash dishes is so that when I'm finished, I can say in my best The Other Guy From Adventures In Babysitting And Don't Tell Mom voice, "Dishes are done, maaaaan."

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

Ah, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead is fantasmic. Should I waste a Netflix DVD rental on it to catch up? I think so.

Good topic, too. But are you saying that the bad ghosts who turn out to be good sort of ruin the movie for you or do they make it more interesting?

Andre Dumas said...

Yes you should waste a DVD rental!

Hmmm neither really. I just think it's interesting that when we realize they are "good" they stop being scary.

Anonymous said...

I must write to tell fellow comrades, for my neighbour each and every day at 5 O'Clock, tick tock, boils live crabs and lobsters.

The poor animals scream as they enter the boiling pot and I hear the real Derek Hitchmans screams of sick laughter when they scream.

Is there anything I can do about this, ie is the live boiling of these poor animals a crime, is there an authority I can report him to?

Im yer real Hitchman, all yer other D.Hitchmas are just immitating will the real D.Hitchman please boil crabs, please boil crabs, please boil crabs...