Monday, December 3, 2012

Midnight Movies=Teenage Wonderland

Columbo with Lee Grant's character flying them 'round.

While wasting time in front of the 'boob tube' last night for hours on end I went through a Leipziger Tatort, an episode of Colombo starring the impeccable Lee Grant, and, astoundingly, after so many years, Heavy Metal.  To the uninitiated: I'm not talkin' about the musical genre, although the music figures into it, but the animated film of the same name.  I hadn't watched HM since the 80s, but, as soon as I saw the graphics and heard, of course, the music, I knew what it was. 

Films that I associate with a certain time, a certain place, and, mostly, a certain music are:

Heavy Metal
Pink Floyd's The Wall
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Song Remains The Same 
And, A Nightmare On Elm Street, to a degree, because I think I might have been tripping on hallucinogens during the midnight screening.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Song Remains The Same were made in the mid-70s; the other three were made in the early 80s.  All of the films were shown at the Midnight Movies in Hayward during my youth.  I can't remember the name of the theater--Hayward 5?  Hayward Cinema?--but I do know the joint was just across from Southland Mall and shared the same parking lot as Casa Carlita, a Mexican resto I used to frequent with my mom.

-part of the Southland mall parking lot-a rollerskating nirvana.
-couldn't find an image of the resto, but found an image of a 'vintage' CC matchbook going for $3.50 on an Ebay-like website.

Given today's parental climate, I would imagine that, if I were now a teen, there would be NO WAY I'd ever get to see any of the above movies, never mind seeing them at a theater with other nutty folk, possibly under the influence, at midnight.  Oh, and did I mention there was absolutely no parental oversight at the Midnight Movies?  It was teenage abandon and it was good.  I think most of us kids, at least where I lived, had tremendously 'long leashes' all through the 80s.  I'd also like to think that most of us came out of our teenage years largely unscathed, and those that didn't probably wouldn't have fared well regardless.

I don't think I would trade my teen experiences at the Midnight Movies, but I might have wished that I were a bit older before having 'dosed' in order to watch The Wall, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.  This period of time pre-dates Ecstasy by a few years and that's probably a good thing.  Imagine how watching Rocky Horror on 'e' would have worked out...Holy Extreme Touchy-Feely, Batman!  It's probably for the best that those two things didn't combine way back when.

Probably not so much of a surprise, but still I really dig electric guitar.  I also have many-a solid memory of just sitting around at people's houses, high on something, intently listening to Led Zeppelin.  Now, I just listen to Led Zeppelin sans 'crutches', and, to be sure, at a slightly lower volume.


  1. You know, I have never made a "trip" on anything; was just never curious! Just alcohol *LOL*

    Hey! Do tell me more about how 'Heiliger bimbam' came about. I probably won't get to read your reply, so if you could reply to me at my email? That would be fan-tabulous! :) juanita [at]
    Dead-easy to remember :)

  2. Midnight thing I miss doing! And i love the vintage matchbook!

    1. Hi, ST! Yes, the Midnight Movies were always an interesting time. The matchbook is super cute, but if it's 'vintage' does that mean I'm old? Oi vey!

  3. I still haven't see Rocky Horror. Can you imagine?

    1. Well, you could rent it on DVD, but that would certainly be defeating the purpose! :D


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