Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Joys Of Summer

I was reading an internet article this morning about people’s favorite summer movie experiences, and it really took me down Memory Lane.

If you come here often enough, you no doubt have gleaned that I am somewhat of a movie buff.

Believe it or not, when I was younger, my obsession with movies was MUCH worse. For a while, when I was in my early 20’s, I was semi-obsessed with seeing the all latest Summer Blockbusters on opening night. I just HAD to go see it the first night it was released, before anyone else.

My friends and I used to turn it into a weekly party: We would get to the theatre HOURS before the movie started, and got in line early. Then the large group of us would drink, carouse, get into fights, and basically get into all the kinds of trouble that young people can get into, all while standing outside of a movie theatre…

Some of those memories are the best I have of my young adulthood.

So, this article obviously stuck a bit of a chord with me, and I thought I would take a few moments to come up with MY OWN favorite summer movie experiences.

GhostBusters 2 – Yes, the movie completely sucked donkey balls, but this movie still holds the record for the LONGEST I ever had to wait on opening night to get into a movie. We arrived at the theatre at 6pm, and FINALLY got in to see the 11:30 show. By that time, we had gotten into 2 bench clearing fights (one of which ending with the police) drunkenness, and general hilarity. By the time I got into the theatre, I didn’t even care WHAT I was seeing.

Friday the 13th Part 3 – I haven’t talked about it in a while, but I have a special place for Jason Vorhees in my heart. I used to have a friend who loved these movies as much as I did, and on the night before a new Friday the 13th would come out, her and I would rent all the previous movies and watch them all. In a row! Pretty sick, I know. But at the time, it was great fun. Anyway, on the night of F13 Part 3, Eddie Murphy’s Raw was opening up the same night. I guess horror movie fans and urban comedy fans don’t mix too well, because a fight the likes of which I have never seen in my life broke out outside, which ended with some sorry dude getting thrown through the plate glass window of the theatre. Anyway, this was the first 3-D movie I had ever seen, and I had some bragging rights that Fall at school as I told most of the other kids about it who weren’t allowed to see it.

Star Wars – I don’t know what a little 9 year old Slyde thought he was getting himself into when my dad took me to see this one back in the summer of ’77, but I can pretty much consider it the first official geeky obsession that I had. Star Wars just BLEW me away. The first day of school that next year, Star Wars was ALL we talked about….

The Empire Strikes Back – It was three years later, but the end result was the same. The only difference was that THIS time, I knew EXACTLY what I was getting into when I stepped into the theatre... I think I almost convulsed with prepubescent excitement as I waited for the movie to start.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – This movie experience was magical for me. FBDO just happened to come out in the Summer of 86, a few weeks after I had just finished high school. Watching it, I completely agreed with Ferris’ summation of the uselessness of most of the high school experience, and how he felt as he was leaving high school pretty much summed up EXACTLY where my head was at at that time. It just struck a chord with me that I, just like Ferris, just got through the bullshit of high school, and was about to finally experience the real world. It’s still one of my favorite movies of all time.

Jaws – I guess the banner picture kind of telegraphed this one, didn’t it? Back in the Summer of 75, this film, one of the best of all-time, was all ANYONE was talking about. I remember my parents had gone to see it, and they told little 7 year old me all about it. But of COURSE, I was too young to see it. But then, as he did so often throughout my life, in stepped my grandfather, who saw how much I wanted to be the first to see it, and since he just could NEVER say “no” to me, took me to see it one Saturday night when my parents were out, and I loved him for it. Of course, for the next 6 months I couldn’t even take a fucking BATH without practically shitting in my pants in fear that I was going to be attacked by a shark (really), but that Summer movie experience STILL wins hands down as my best ever.

I’ve got others (a ton, really), but I guess I’ll stop there. What about you?


Heff said...

Without Question, JAWS. I DID get in to see it, and I didn't sleep right for a month after that. At least it did keep me from wetting the bed, as I wanted NOWHERE NEAR anything wet for quite awhile.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

I've always loved horror films. The Poltergeist movies captured my soul at a very young age. Couldn't turn away...

Slyde said...

heff: i'm with ya.. i wasnt kidding about being afraid to take a bath...

blob: yes, seeing the first one was definitely a memorable summer experience for me, too...

Callie said...

I loved horror movies, as well.

But my favorite summer movie is, and always will be, Star Wars. I remember waiting 45 minutes in line to see it. For an 8 year old, that's a long freaking time. And I didn't want to see it. It was a 'stupid war movie' my mother was dragging me to see.

From the first chords, as the words started scrolling across the screen, I was hooked. Completely. My never-ending geekdom and my uber-love for all things sci-fi coalesced in that one shinging moment in time.

Slyde said...

callie: as usual, you said it much better than i. i felt the same way.

honeywine said...

I've been to 3 that I remember in my entire lifetime since I hate movie theaters. The first one must have struck a chord since I still remember it and I was under 5. It was back in the good old days of drive-in theaters and my parents used to throw us in the back of the station wagon to sleep while they watched the movie. This time it was Sleeping Beauty playing. I still remember feeling sorry for the Queen. There she was being attacked by these brats after she had struggled for years to get her spotlight. So sad.

Dr Zibbs said...

Some weren't in Summer but the moives that blew me away in theater were:


Young Frankenstein

Animal House


American Beauty

Silence of the Lambs

Waiting for Guffman

Unknown said...

You know what's funny? I have NEVER seen a movie on opening night. I absolutely cannot stand to wait in lines. I freaking hate it with a passion.

So, I ask you. Is it wrong that my six-year-old daughter just LOVES the Jaws movies? Yes, we watch it on the Sci-Fi channel whenever it's on. That movie will always be great!

FBDO - What can I say. A freaking classic.

Slyde said...

honey: i went to a few Drive ins back in the day.. mostly cheesy 70's b-movies like "SSSSS the killer snake" and "grizzly"

zibbs: some great additions... Lambs left and impression on me too

bina: i'd LOVE to show my 6 year old jaws, but i know id never get him into the water again..

Unknown said...

Great movie choices .. with the exception of GB2 and F13th. Meh.

To this day my favorite movie of all time was The Breakfast Club. I know I know.. but my cousin had a sluber party that night.. we were 13 and we watched it God knows how many times in a row between pillow fights, truth or dare and whatever slumber party games teenage girls play.

My other movie experiences are not as exciting as yours. OH WAIT.

We were drunk and stoned when we went to go see "Burn Before Reading' From what I can remember.. it probably sucked just as bad as if we were stone cold sober.. but I am scared to find out. We almost got thrown out for laughing hysterically and pretty inappropriate behavior.

Good times good times

mo.stoneskin said...

The Empire Strikes Back - the first time I saw that was one of the happiest moments of my life.

*sits back and reminisces the beautiful moments*

2abes said...

Movies, Movies, Movies....how about some baseball memories...

Slyde said...

dizz: i cant knock the breakfast club. i dont think it was a "summer" movie, but i absolutely LOVE that film.. the best of the brat pack films..

mo: you and be both, buddy.

abes: baseball? whats that?

Mrs. Hall said...

I don't have any specific summer blockbuster memories, but I do remember going to see Godzilla with my brother when were younger (him age 7, me age 5). It was a budget movie theater. I was too little to understand why actors were lip synching so badly.

My mom dropped us off at the street corner. So it was just me and my brother. I was wearing shorts and I still remember the cold a/c on the back of my legs.

kind of sad though. I mean, my brother and i have nothing, zero, nada in common. So these little memories I have, of growing up, seeing godzilla and him doing WWF moves on me . . Seriously he would put me on the floor, get up on my parent's queen size bed and fly down, body slamming me . .

Funny. Wait a minute. On my facebook page/photos, he is doing a wrestling move on my son. HUH. i guess somethings never change.

I see my brother once-twice a year for holidays. But even though we know live in the same city, i've seen him once in eight months. We just have nothing in common.

well except for godzilla.

and the beastie boys . . .

which counts for something right?

(sorry to be such a bummer here :)

ok, good post!! :)

Verdant Earl said...

A little Slyde trivia for you all:

If he saw the movie in the theater, he can tell you the exact year he saw it and who he saw it with. I'm constantly amazed by it.

Two of my favorite summertime movie experiences were both helmed by James Cameron. Aliens and T2. Sure, I was older...but those two were just about the most incredible times I ever had in a theater.

Verdant Earl said...

Wait a minute...a comment by me and I wasn't a dick at all? How odd is that?!?

Slyde said...

holly: thats sad. I dont have any siblings to relate to that, but i always thought that if i did, we'd be close.

earl: yeah, aliens and t2 were in strong running for the list. aliens definitely would have made it if i werent running so long already

earl X 2: dont sell yoursel short.. your STILL a dick!

Chris H said...

We lived at the beach every summer and long weekend... JAWS ruined it for me! I was pertrifed to get in the water... and I still don't like it much.. always looking for the bloody shark!

sybil law said...

Star Wars was definitely the one that blew me away as a kid. And the Empire Strikes Back. But Star Wars more so, for the obvious reason that it was first and I'd never seen anything like it.
E.T. was the other one.
St. Elmo's Fire - my friend dragged me to that lame movie but we liked it at the time. Haha!

Cocaine Princess said...

It wasn't that long ago that I finally got around to watching JAWS. I've yet to properly watch the sequels from beginning to end.

I remember a few years ago Will Smith movies use to dominate the summers. The year Men In Black came out every little boy on Halloween came dressed in a black suit and shades.

WendyB said...

I saw Jaws way too young too and have never gotten over my fear of the ocean. Even if I am just ankle-deep I am on the lookout for landsharks.

Slyde said...

chris h: well, we DO both live on islands :)

sybil: you're a star wars chick? i never would have guessed...

cocaine: for what its worth, i'd only say jaws 1 and 2 are worth anything.. the rest are pretty much shite

wendyb: you and i are in the exact same boat... if i think about it enough, the beach STILL freaks me out.

terri said...

The only ones I can remember getting really crazy over were Grease 2 and Superman. I had posters of Christopher Reeves all over my bedroom.

AlleyCat Runs said...

We watched Star Wars on the weekend! My niece had never seen it.

I grew up in the country & we only got to the cinema once every 12 months or so. By the time I as old enought to drive myself I was more interested in going to the pub to see bands.

I only remember seeing Bambi & ET at the cinema as a kid. ET is still one of my faves. The only flicks I've seen opening night/week are Lord of the Rings trilogy & all Harry Potters!

Mrs. Hall said...

ok happy thoughts



and for godsakes man

do another post on the snapvine

plug my message about the deep family secret, the marital betrayal and lesbian undertones that was my message!!!


badgerdaddy said...

I just noticed how limp the right wrist on your Zombie Me thing is. Coincidence?

I've got a fair few summer blockbuster memories - mainly because we usually get the big movies a week after the US, or we used to, anyway. So, for example, I watched a midnight screening of Batman Returns with my best friend, which bridged over into my birthday. Happy days.

Silence of the Lambs, too. The friend I saw that with died just a couple of weeks later, so it's great that I have a really happy bunch of memories from that, bunking off sixth form one afternoon.

Slyde said...

terri: grease 2? really?

alleycat: you know, i still havent sat thru star wars with my little one.. maybe soon.

holly: maybe another snapvine post soon is in order... at some point i'd like to do a whole post FROM snapvine..

badger: the limp zombie wrist is COMPLETELY coincidence, thank you very much!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

As a kid I remember seeing Animal House and loving it. I think part of the overall allure was that it was rated R and super naughty. The scene with the devil and the angel still kills me.

Jaws-I experienced all that and more...

Star Wars-I fell in love completely.

Gone With The Wind-My all time favorite EVER! Call it a chick thing,
My second runner up: Grease
I saw it so many times that I had practically covered my bedroom door with the ticket stubs.

Slyde said...

candy: you saw GONE WITH THE WIND during its summer opening?

my god, i didnt know you were THAT old? you look great for your age! :)

GiGi said...

E.T. was my first movie in the theater - I still love that one. We also were pretty good at sneaking into R rated movies as we got into our teens (Fatal Attraction scared the SHIT out of me)....thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll be back!

Slyde said...

GIGI: ET could have been on my list as well. I remember seeing it my last day of summer vacation, before i was going into junior high.... i loved the movie, but remember sitting there all worried about what tomorrow would bring. Plus the first day of school was my birthday :)

Elise said...

The only two movies that I've seen on opening night were Independence Day and Stardust... I know, I know, but I can't be bothered to wait in line. I get so frustrated when I get to the ticket booth and the only seats left are right at the front.

My first ever movie at the cinema was A Little Mermaid. Loved it so much.

I remember when Ariel realised that she'd made a mistake trusting Ursula. My father leaned over and said "She should have listened to her dad."


Mrs. Hall said...


i had another dream about Earl.


wrote about it on the blog


ok, carry on ;)

Faiqa said...

First? You're old, dude. Good thing you're hot. ;)

Also, I have never understood why people wait around to see movies. I like movies, even love them, but I'm too much of a princess to wait with the masses in an obnoxious line to see one. I did that ONCE... to see (hangs head in shame) a 007 movie.

I did it for the boy I was dating, and was pissed the entire time. Good thing he was rich and good looking or I would never have married him.

Michelle said...

Saturday Night Fever released in 1977. Not a summertime movie, but one of my favs to see in the movie theater. Filmed in brooklyn not far from where I live. COOL!!!

Bruce Johnson said...

That summer movie expeirence has just as much to do with the time in our lives as it does with what is on the screen.

I too, recall being a freshman in college and going to see Star Wars.....that was the first (and only) time I left the theater, and go right back in line to buy another ticket. Saw it twice in one day.

Other than that, I can't recall, although I remember being very impressed with "Blade Runner" when it first came out....and the first time I saw Fellnini's "8 1/2" in a college art house, sort of changed my life.

Nej said...

Jurassic Park, the Missouir river went over it's banks while we were at the theater (massive storms and flooding all week), and knocked the power out. When we finally got out to the parking lot, everyone's cars had floated up against the building in a big pile.

Not a movie opening I'm soon to forget. :-)