Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It’s Not The Years, It’s the Mileage

Man, do I feel old today.

No, I don’t have any aches or pains this morning. And my Depends diaper hasn’t needed changing in days….

No, I feel old this morning, because I just read that Raiders of the Lost Arc turned 30 years old last week.

I can’t fucking believe it.

Raiders is, hands down, my favorite film of all time. It is a movie that changed the way I looked at movies as a kid, and I know it sounds strange, but it helped to shape the kid I was, and the person I would become.

When Raiders first opened, on June 12th, 1981, a 13 year-old Slyde had decided he didn’t want to see it, thank you very much. He had heard that the movie was about an archeologist searching for an ancient artifact, and in my youth-addled mind it sounded to me like it was a National Geographic documentary. That just sounded boring as shit to me, so I passed on it.

Towards the end of Summer of that year, they decided to re-release it, and my childhood friend Rich kept harping all damn Summer how “mint” the movie was (ah, the 80’s!), and that I HAD to see it. So, when my parents told me they were going to see it, I asked if Rich and I could come along.

That turned out to be, at the time, both the best and worst decision of my life.

It was the BEST decision because I finally got to see the movie that, to this day, I would watch more than any other movie EVER. That movie became fucking MAGICAL to me.

It was the WORST decision because Rich was a right prick the whole time. He was one of those kids who just HAD to rub it in if he knew something that you didn’t, and since he had seen the movie already, he kept leaning over to me during the film and telling me what was about to happen. After the scene where the truck blows up that we THINK is carrying the basket with Marion in it, Rich leaned over to me and whispered, “Don’t worry.. she’s not dead. They switched baskets!”, I promptly punched him in the nose and moved my seat.

But in the end, not even a thoughtless youngster could tarnish what would become one of the best movie experiences of my life. I fucking LOVED Raiders, from the opening scene to the closing credits, and that feeling of awe-inspiring AWESOMENESS has never left me.

When my family got our first VCR, the first movie I asked for was Raiders. In the years that followed, I would watch it again and again, every few weeks, savoring every bit of it. Even though I’ve since graduated to dvd’s and Blu-Rays, I STILL have that original tape.

That Fall, I pleaded with my parents to buy me a whip and the official Indiana Jones Stetson. In the end, I bought the hat myself, and against their better judgment, they bought a 13 year-old a real whip. I would set up soda cans in my basement, and practice for hours and hours, trying to get the snap and my aim just right to be able to hit every can on my first try. I got really fucking good at it, too. I practiced with gusto, thinking that when I one day became a super hero, I could incorporate the whip into my costume and that it might one day save my life from an army of evil ninjas.

I’m still waiting for that to happen.

But I’m ready.

When the sequels came out, The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade, I took those days off from school so I could be the first person I knew that would see them. Even though they didn’t quite measure up to that special experience of the first film, the magic was still there. I loved ALL those movies.

And now, 30 years later, I still love them, and no matter how old Harrison Ford gets, I will always have a slightly gay man-crush on him, just for the way that he made a 13-year old boy feel during that very special Summer of 1981.

And, for that, I will always feel grateful.

26 comments:

sybil law said...

Noooo doubt. Harrison Ford will always be one of my man crushes, but for me it first started in Star Wars. Still - Raiders is awesome. The chick in that movie wasn't that hot, though. At least, I never thought so.

Annabelle said...

So you're handy with a whip you say?

Slyde said...

sybil: Marion isnt my type really, either. But there was something about her in that little white dress..

Anna: a real pro, i am. We need to meet up so i can show you..

Malka said...

Thanks for making me feel old. I'm eyeballing my 42nd birthday, and didn't need the perspective that this blog lends to my age. All the same, the world would crumble without proof that people in their 40's can still be hot like us.

badgerdaddy said...

I have a friend who bears an uncanny resemblance to Marion.

That's all I have, I'm sorry.

Heff said...

Just try to imagine how Harrison Fart feels.

Slyde said...

Malka: see? we're the same age... destined to be together :). p.s. glad you're digging game of thrones... told ya.

badger: ah yes, but does she look like 80's Marion or 2010 Marion. 2010 Marion isnt all that hot.

heff: i can only imagine...

2abes said...

The movie is still magical. I have an interesting story about how I was drugged/kidnapped/dragged to the theater during work by a wacky Indy fan to see Crystal Skull. Reflecting, I kind of wished I stayed at work.

Leigh said...

Love that movie when I was a kid too. Still do and that crystal skull was such a disappointment. There are few movies that I can watch over and over (Die Hard is one-sorry!) But Raiders is on that short list. Actually watched all the Back to the Futures recently and they took me back to my teen years too.

latindog said...

Raiders changed your life when you were a kid ?!?!

Is it possible you would have been more of a pussy if not for that gruff leather jacket clad hero?

Well I guess it led you to a lifetime habit of playing with your whip...

Slyde said...

abes: i dont remember it that way.

leigh: agree 100%. Die Hard rocks and the BTTF movies hold up nicely.

Latin: et tu, Willy?

Marlene said...

Raiders of the Lost Ark was an amazing movie - I agree! Love Harrison Ford (still), too!

I'm about two hours east of Lancaster.

MarkD60 said...

Funny about your brother trying to ruin the movie for you! You deserved it.
I feel the same way about the movie 'Snatch'. I could watch it over and over.

Slyde said...

marlene: 2 hours east? ok, thats doable. just have the guest room ready for me.

mark: agreed... snatch is a stupendous film.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Indy is hawt!! Even thirty years later.

B.E. Earl said...

I dunno how I missed this post yesterday. Must be slipping. Agreed...Raiders is def one of my favorite films of all-time. And, like you, I saw it the second time it came around to theaters that year. Was the "Rich" kid the same Rich I know? Because that makes it all the more hilarious.

Lotus07 said...

I noticed that you managed to leave out mention of 'Indian Jones and the Crystal Skull'.....

some things are best left to memory and not resurrected from the dead.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

One of my favorite things to see at Disney World - at Disney Studios - was the Indiana Jones show. It was soooo much fun and I also have loved all the movies since I was younger.

Slyde said...

candy: agreed... any HEY, stranger! :)

Earl: nope, not the same Rich at all. This particular rich and i really stopped being good friends around when high school came around.

bruce: yeah, i kinda mentioned my hatred for it in the label of the post... i was SOOOO damn dissapointed in that mess.

twin: When i was in disney last year, thats what i wanted to do more than anything, but i tried to get in 3 times and it was sold out every time. bummer. :(

i am the diva said...

i knew we had a sexy connection!! lol
indy is my fave!!

Tamara said...

I thought you were going to reply to Earl that you and Rich stopped being friends after this movie ;-)

I first saw this movie about a year ago. And it was the same feeling for me as most of the other "classic" 80s flicks I've seen: I don't get all the fuss. It must be a memory thing - the same feeling I have for movies that shaped me as a kid that I can now recognise as not being all that great as actual movies, but that were good at the time.

Slyde said...

diva: of course!

tam: REALLY? YOU? Arent you a movie buff? and you JUST saw Raiders for the first time? I am shocked, my dear.

Paticus said...

And good to see as a true Indiana Jones fan you did not add Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, like they did for the DVD release, those jerks.

Slyde said...

pat: yeah, i didnt really care for the way they had to made the trilogy "indiana jones and", either.

its "Raider of the lost ark", dammit!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Great story! Especially the punch in the nose/moving seats part. In any case, I'm thinking that even though we're the same age, since I've never been emotionally attached to that movie, I can slide by without feeling old. :-) But happy favorite movie anniversary!

Slyde said...

jill: yeah, he really DID deserve that punch....