Some movies are a mystery to me

Kevin Cowherd

February 24, 1993|By Kevin Cowherd

Since there was nothing on TV the other night, and my wife and I didn't want to do anything too radical like, you know, actually sit and talk to each other, we rented one of those slasher movies.

Some people might think it unseemly for a man of my age to watch such trash.

But the truth is that I am very comfortable around trash, having wallowed in various forms of it for years. Also, slasher movies serve as a tremendous boost to the ego -- the victims in these movies are so stupid that I always end up feeling like Jonas Salk by the closing credits.

The movie we rented was about this psycho killer who's terrorizing a small town in the Midwest. (Yeah, I know, I know . . . there's a plot you don't see every day.)

In the opening scene, your standard, garden-variety teen-age vixen airhead named Bambi -- why are they always named Bambi -- is home alone watching the 11 o'clock news.

Sure enough, the lead story is about some dangerous lunatic who's carved up a half-dozen people in the area with a chain saw and is still on the loose.

Suddenly, Bambi hears a noise in the basement.

But instead of speed-dialing 911 or screaming "AHHHH! IT'S THE PSYCHO KILLER!" and running out of the house like any normal human being, Bambi goes downstairs to investigate!

You talk about wanting to smack somebody. It was such an incredibly stupid move that I started jumping up and down on the couch screaming: "BAMBI, DON'T DO IT! LET THE COPS HANDLE IT! THAT'S WHY WE PAY TAXES!"

So now Bambi starts down the stairs to investigate this noise that anyone with even half a brain knows was caused by the psycho killer.

And what do you figure she takes along with her?

A shotgun? A machete? A baseball bat?

No, this ninny takes a candle!

Say, there's an even match-up: 95-pound cosmetology school grad with a candle versus a 225-pound psycho with a chain saw.

So now here's Bambi poking around in the semi-darkness -- here it's 1993 and none of these basements are ever wired for electricity.

Suddenly she hears another noise.

Me, I'd be shooting up the stairs so fast you'd see smoke trails. But not Bambi.

You know what Bambi does? Bambi holds the candle up, and in a quivering voice asks: "Who's there?"

As chain-saw-wielding madmen are not in the habit of introducing themselves before they strike, Bambi's words are met with silence -- until about two seconds later when the psycho fires up the Homelite and lunges out of the darkness.

The thing is, when a person's as stupid as Bambi, you can't even feel sorry for them when some psycho starts carving them up.

By this time, I was so emotionally drained from shouting instructions that all I could do was throw my hands up and say: "Aw, hell, take her . . ."

Of course, the psycho killer's next victim, Tiffany, was even dumber than Bambi, if that's possible.

Here the psycho killer has carved up four victims (Bambi being the latest), the cops haven't a clue, the whole town of Pleasantville is in an uproar . . . and what does Tiffany do?

Tiffany comes home one night from a date and goes to sleep with the bedroom window wide open!

Me, I can't go to sleep without checking every door and window in the house 15 times. And the only thing you have to worry about in my neighborhood is raccoons knocking over the garbage cans.

Hey, if you're going to leave a window open, you might as well put up a marquee in the front of the house that says: WELCOME PSYCHO KILLERS! ASK ABOUT OUR SHORT STAY RATES.

To make a long story short, Tiffany quickly gets whacked and turned into hamburger. And at the end of the movie, they finally catch the psycho, who turns out to be the son of a prominent businessman.

Naturally, this comes as a huge surprise to the hick police chief and everyone else in town -- even though the businessman's son was withdrawn, sociopathic, a known peeping Tom and a man who conducted Satanic rituals involving the slaughter of livestock.

I don't know . . . when the cops were hauling Manson away after the Tate-LaBianca killings, I didn't hear anyone say: "Sure, he's got the vacant stare, the heavy drug habit, the Messiah Complex, the requisite history of unspeakable cruelty to animals . . . but Charlie a murderer?"

Unless I just missed that quote.

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