I guess Dallas Texas was meant to be a big part of my life and also a big part of my movie education. I really didn’t realize it until pretty much just now but I saw so many films, rented many, and when I live there, traveled the metroplex in search of VHS.
My mother moved to Flower Mound with my new Stepdad right after her announcement. I never truly resented my mom for leaving, sure it hurt and left a massive concussive wave that still reverberates in the family today. I stood behind her because I understood that she wasn’t happy and no amount of anything would change her mind. I accepted the new part of my life and everybody else’s and made it work for me. I visited quite a bit on the weekends and on one particular weekend I saw a movie that would change my life again.
My mom always knew that I liked to go to the movies all the time and one particular afternoon she asked if I wanted to go. Of course I said yes and she ended up dropping me off at the theatre. The movie that was playing right then was “Pulp Fiction” I was about 10 minutes late into the theatre with only the front row to greet me. The theatre was packed and I sat down just as Jules and Vincent opened the trunk in that completely Tarantino shot from the inside looking up. To say I was hooked was an understatement. The next 2 hours and 20 minutes went buy like days! I wanted to go back in and watch it again but I had to get picked up.
My mind was on fire!! The scenes played out in my head over and over! The soundtrack reverberated in my soul. I got home on that Sunday and I tried to spread the Tarantino gospel to whomever wanted to hear.
Amarillo at this time, from my perspective, never got the movies like this. Again at this time too the Internet was a baby and the research I had to do was magazines, references from other movies and my own due diligence to seek out this content. I often feel like my generation was the last of this kind of behavior when it came to knowledge. I romanticize this period in America as well because of my youth. If you wanted to know anything at all you did have to look and in Amarillo very few people and places had adequate materials to get the job done. I was like Charles Bronson in the Great Escape, I was diggin’ tunnels.
The video store at this time also became more of a refuge besides my heavy drug use and alcohol consumption. I finally thought I had a future in something because I wanted to do something in the movie industry.
Tarantino opened my mind to all kinds of movies. I saw a ton of exploitation movies in the past but nothing could compare the the independent flood that I found myself knee deep in. I looked for everything he had done and at this point it was a few scripts that he had sold like True Romance, Natural Born Killers, and his own masterpiece Reservoir Dogs.
I watched Reservoir Dogs so much that if I did have my own copy I would have worn it out. The independent films of that time came to the forefront because of Pulp Fiction to the point that it seemed like everybody was trying to capture that vibe and magic that it had. Sundance movie channel was actually showing great movies and I was enjoying the hell out of it. THX-1138, Clerks, and now back in my life Star Wars, were in constant rotation.
Rewind back a year or two now. When my mom left my dad sold the house we lived in for 10 years and we moved into an apartment. It was exciting but scary at the same time. I had visited many friends and family in apartment but I was going to live in one. The best part about that first apartment was that literally 100 yards away was a small little theatre called “Showplace”. It only cost a dollar to go see a movie and I was in heaven! Getting stoned with my friends after school and going to see shitty movies was the best. I think we saw “Street Fighter” at least 20 times. The sound was horrible, the seats terrible and the screens were completely worn. There was always something going on with the projectors too. You would be halfway through a movie and then bam! Nothing. It was everything you hoped for in a dollar theatre. I always thought I was the luckiest kid in the world because I was always alone at home and I could go see a movie anytime I wanted.
I remembered all the movies I had seen there before as I was growing up. Tremors, Gremlins 2, and too many to list here. On Friday nights my friends would come over and we would get high as hell and trek over to the theatre because it was always full of people. They had a Mortal Kombat 2 machine and we would stay forever it seemed like.