Updated: Jun 13
By the time I became a teenager movies were even more of my life. I remember a friend of mine told me once how crazy it was that I knew who directed movies and the actors that were in them. Not just the principle actors but the supporting actors. I would rattle off some background character and be able to place them in at least 5 other movies. I loved it. For some odd reason those details, and what most people thought of as useless information, stuck in my brain and I wanted nothing more but to cram as much of it as I could in there.
Now I watched all kinds of movies at this point but I was kinda confined in my movie tastes. I guess just like most people when they reach a stagnation in anything. But I wasn’t satisfied with that level. Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger just weren’t doing it for me anymore even though I still enjoyed them every time I watched them. I always say I have watched a movie at least 100 times and I know that can’t be possible but my favorites, I know it’s more than that. So here I am at an impasse, what movies to watch now. The horror section and a Sci-fi section kept getting smaller and smaller. The same box art, the same copies of movies gone off the shelf, just wandering. Until I saw the box for “The Killer”
I was already familiar with Steven Seagal, Don the Dragon Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock and Jean Claude Vandamme and all the cronies that rose up in the time of American Ninjas and the heyday of Cannon Films. There were only 2 copies of The Killer on the shelf in the new release section way in the alphabetical corner it was stashed in. Chow Yun Fat in his white suit with the gun drawn, Danny Lee on the other side doing the same, both about to explode off the box! I couldn’t grab it fast enough.
When I got home that night the video went straight in. I didn’t even realize it was in another language but from my Kung- Fu days I knew it was dubbed. The strange voices didn’t bother me at all because the ultra violence and the way that John Woo created these complex and diverse characters blew my mind. It felt like the first time I saw Platoon or going to the theatre to see the Cape Fear remake. I did not want to leave the screen for a second. Hong Kong cinema opened the door for almost everything to be put in my brain again. Little did I know that my life was beginning a new phase, my movie life was receiving new vigor and excitement.
Pot. I smoked a lot of it. I had already gotten the taste for alcohol at an early age but pot. That was my jam. Movies were now better than ever and I could really turn off the outside world better than before. Soon after this newfound renaissance occurred for me another event shaped me even more.
One night I heard something that I never thought I would hear. I was in my bedroom playing some Mortal Kombat 2 and I could hear crying in the living room. I really didn’t even know it was crying until I walked in and saw my mother and father talking on our green sectional couch. My dad was crying and when they saw me he told me to go back to my room. Before I got two steps back into the hallway leading to my bedroom my mom blurred out “We’re getting a divorce!” If there was an emotional nuclear bomb invented this would have been the equivalent for me. I dropped and immediately started crying.
It’s weird what your body and mind does when something like this happens. My mind was unraveling but flashes of my favorite movies and music flooded the newly darkened corridors of my mind and soul. All I wanted to do was escape into the celluloid recesses of the movies I so loved.
Even before this night I hated myself, I mean I hated what I saw in the mirror. I was overweight, and everyone in my family always gave me shit about it. My self image was as strong as a plastic straw holding up a boulder. I did not care for myself at all. But the one thing that I had was movies. I lived everything that I saw. I was a part of that screen albeit the TV or the silver one. Maybe that was why my brain had a capacity to retain all the information so easily.
At this point movies and music and drugs became an even bigger sanctuary for me. I have this weird ability to remember the exact place I saw a certain movie. Going so far back as Return Of The Jedi in Dallas Texas when I was like 4. Little did I know my brain was going to go into movie overload with one single film leading it all.