07/16/03
By the acid logic mafia

Our team of crack Acid Logic contributors talk about the movies that changed their lives for the wetter!

The Wizard of Oz
The Movie That Made Me Shit My Pants? Why, Woody Allen's "The Baby Sitter", of course - The movie that made me decide to become a comedy writer. What? "The Movie That Made Me Shit My PANTS"? Oh, I thought you said "The Movie That Made Me Shit My LIFE"!! Sorry. I have never actually "shit my pants" over a movie, but I still haven't seen those Italian horror movies people are talking about so I ain't takin' my diaper off yet.

There is only one movie that made me jump up and run out of the room screaming yellow bloody murder and that is "The Wizard Of Oz". Yeah, you're laughing now that you're all grown up and you've seen "The Wizard Of Oz" fifteen or twenty times, but remember the first time you saw it when you were only two or three years old? Maybe not, but ask your Mom and Dad about it and they'll probably bust out laughing and tell you a story about you getting so scared you shit your pants. Then tell 'em being exposed to Judy Garland and all that musical theater at such an early age turned you queer and watch them shit their pants just to get even!

There are a lot of creepy things in "The Wizard Of Oz" - Talking trees, flying monkeys, the sexual tension between the Tin Man and your Flintstones lunchbox - but what really pushed me from "Funny funny scarecrow, hee hee hee!!" right into "LAWD HAVE MUSSY!!" was the climactic appearance of The Wizard 'is Own Bad Sef. Maybe Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and The Cowardly Lion had to go in there and deal with that guy, but what was in it for me? I was so scared that when The Lion finally lost it and ran out of the room, down the hall, and dove out of the window I said "Fuck this!! You people are tryin' to kill me with this shit!!!" and took off right with him. I bet if you were watching "The Wizard Of Oz" that night in the early sixties you could see me running down the hall and jumping out the window right behind him. And he was still dumb enough to get back together with those other idiots to sneak into the Witch's castle after a friggin' broom? Screw that - I was goin' to bed.
- John Saleeby

Fletch Lives
"Fletch Lives"--the great and underappreciated comic masterpiece of Chevy Chase--definitely made me shit my pants. The early scenes of the film are like a continuation of the original "Fletch"--which was brilliant in its own right--though not truly equal to its magnificent sequel.

"Fletch Lives" really gets going when he decides to move down to Louisiana--with the plan of living on an old Southern plantation that was recently willed to him. First, he has sex with his real estate agent--who then dies mysteriously--and the hilarity just does not fucking stop from that point onward. I'm telling you--this film has it all: a bizarre negro man-servant, Southern belles, a freaky Southern Evangelist preacher, a gay prison scene, a double-crossing old Southern gentleman, a scene with the KKK...it even has a song and dance routine reminiscent of the glory days of Disney. And--of course--we certainly shouldn't overlook Chevy Chase as the brilliant reporter/detective Fletch. Chevy is at his best in this role, and now that I think about it..."Fletch Lives" might have been the last great film he ever made.

If you haven't already seen "Fletch Lives"--do yourself a favor and check that shit out. You could certainly do much worse.
- James Olsen

Re-Animator
I should make clear that this film made me shit my pants in a good way (as opposed to, you know, the bad way.) Director Stewie Gordon took a tongue and cheek H.P. Lovecraft tale and converted it into an over the top gorefest with blood soaked zombies and gyrating intestinal sewage. Protagonist Herbert West (the role that put Jeffrey Combs on the map) is intent on bringing the dead back to life and develops a re-animation serum to do so. He succeeds, sort of, only most of his subjects aren't very appreciative and showcase their thanklessness by running amok while screaming and attacking people. Saner characters try and convince West not to play God, but Herbert can't stop himself. When he brings to life his former scientific nemesis, things go from really, really bad to really, really, really bad and suddenly hordes of zombies are unleashed into the sleepy New England town that serves as the story's setting (and the setting for most Lovecraft material.)

"Re-Animator" should be required viewing for anyone who claims even the slightest interest in the horror genre. I was about 15 when I saw this in theaters and words can't do just to how spectacular it is. Producer Charles Band was committed to outdoing the standard of gore that had been set by b horror films of the seventies and succeeded with flying eyeballs to spare. Just watching Herbert West getting attacked by an angry large intestine is worth the price of admission.
-Wil Forbis

Supervixens
"Supervixens," by Russ Meyer, is an amazing piece of work. 20+ years before the Coen brothers gave us their own country-fried version of Homer's epic (which is also a great film), Russ Meyer did it his way. Which, of course, is to say that "Supervixens" is a crazy, wild romp of a film--a cinematic experience that is heavily laden with buxom lasses, strapping young men, a series of cleverly concealed profoundly deep social messages, bizarre dialogue and the performance of a life-time from the great Charles Napier.

Basically, "Supervixens" is the story of one man's journey across the great American landscape--on the run from Johnny Law--accused of a crime he didn't commit. I guess it's sort of like "The Fugitive", but a helluva lot better. Along the road he runs into a variety of wacky freaks--a sadistic cop, a kindly old farmer with a young nymphomaniac Swedish wife and a couple of wild kids in a hotrod, to name a few. All our hero wants is peace, love and understanding, but instead he finds only anger, lust and insanity.

The standout performance of "Supervixens" is delivered by Mr. Charles Napier (a man who was once described as having the "squarest jaw in Hollywood"). After seeing this film, you might wonder why he didn't get more great roles like this one. His disturbing performance in "Supervixens" makes Keitell's Bad Lieutenant look like a soft, cuddly teddy-bear.

I promise you, gentle reader--this film will make you laugh, cry, scream, sigh with ecstasy, vomit, shake your fist--and yes--it will also make you shit your pants.
- James Olsen

Night of the Living Dead
When thinking of that have made me shit my pants or otherwise blown my mind, my thoughts have to go to horror and sci-fi films. "Night of the Living Dead" is the first one in my head. I remember being over at my dad's place on one of his custody weekends with his girlfriend (now my step-mom.) As I'm sure I'll be with my kids, he was determined to show my brother and I all the classic films of his day one weekend at a time. We did almost nothing else but watch videos on our visits. I was about 10 at the time I saw "Night of the Living Dead," and I thought it was the end of the world, or at least a re-broadcast of the end of the world. The black and whiteness merged with the gore and the realism totally twisted me. I remember everyone falling asleep. I woke up near the end, looking outside for zombies and wondering whether or not my dad, future step-mom, or brother was a zombie. The nature and subject matter of the film was on a level I wasn't mentally prepared for, either by my father or by the neural connections in my developing brain.

The movie fucked my world up in serious ways. I'm better now. They're coming for you Barbara! They're coming to get you! Barbara!
- Cody Wayne

Tuff Turf
Man, you can't go wrong with this piece of schlock from the 80's. After a couple of John Hughes "rich white kid" soap operas (like the untouchable "Breakfast Club") hit it big, the cocaine liberals of Hollywood started feeling a little guilty and said, "Hey, why don't we do a film about poor white kids?" That idea didn't fly, so they compromised with a film about a formally rich white kid (James Spader) who becomes poor and moves to some amorphous ghetto in Los Angeles filled with multi-ethnic gangs and breakdancing b-boys.

There's a couple scenes from this movie that will definitely make you blow your colon:

1) James Spader gives the same performance he does in every film, hiding the smoldering anger chicks love beneath a veneer of indifference. But in "Tuff Turf," he lets his guard down long enough to sing a love ballad to the Cyndi Lauperish trollop he's pursuing. It's called "We Walk the Night" and has got to be one of the most embarrassing moments ever committed to film. What's even worse is that Spader actually sings it, as opposed to just lip singing over Michael Bolton's dubbed vocals, and that boy ain't no Smokey Robinson.
2) Jim Carroll - that's right, "These are friends of mine that died" Jim Carroll appears as the leader of some sort of fruity Mr. Mister type band that all the ghetto kids line dance to. He's got the foofed up eighties hair and everything. And get this: a young Robert Downy Jr. is his drummer. (Maybe that's where Downy picked up his heroin habit. Several years later, Downy played a character in "Less Than Zero" who whores himself for junk the same way Carroll used to - and for a pimp played by James Spader! Funny how life works out.)
3) Every eighties movie seems to have a routine where some decked out chick dances around a bar, getting up on tables and knocking over the drinks of patrons who say, "Wow, she's great! I'm glad she spilled this seven dollar Cosmopolitan on my 500 dollar Brooks Brothers suit." "Tuff Turf" has the definitive version of such a scene when Kim Richards goes crazy in a dance club while schlocko-Motown act, Jack Mack and the Heart Attack*, belt out third rate Huey Lewis and the News material.

*I actually saw these guys play in person when I attended a live taping of the Fox Late night show that eventually turned into Arsenio Hall.
-Wil Forbis

Cliffhanger
"Cliffhanger" is Sly Stallone's oft-overlooked mountain-climbing adventure masterpiece. The first 20-30 minutes of "Cliffhanger" rank among the most exciting in motion picture history. If you've seen it, you know what I'm referring to--and if you haven't seen it yet--believe me, you're in for a real treat. You'd have to be a robot to not shit you're pants during the opening sequence of this film.

After the beginning, the plot sort of meanders through being a drama and action film. It does feature a kooky and somewhat compelling performance from John Lithgow--as an international brainiac super-badguy. And the producers were wise enough to cast that very, very lovely girl who played Maggie on the TV show "Northern Exposure" as Stallone's love interest.

So, you've got Stallone against a group of high-tech euro bad-boys--sort of like the goons in "Die Hard"--and you've got Stallone against a big fucking icy mountain. And I think he pretty much pulls it off. But really--the only reason I love this film so much is that blissful, beautiful opening scene. After that, you can pretty much get up and make yourself a ham sandwich or whatever...go change your pants....
- James Olsen

SteppenWolf
In the mid nineties, I went through a period of abject poverty and most evenings' entertainment was a 22 ouncer of Steel Reserve and a movie borrowed from the public library. I don't know if you've ever rented movies from the library, but they specialize in pretty odd fare - mostly European films and weirdo documentaries about indigenous tribes of southern Africa - no point collecting movies that anybody would actually want to watch! One film I came across during this period was "SteppenWolf," the movie version of Herman Hesse's novel, directed by Fred Haines. I'll tell ya, this Haines guy makes David Lynch look like...like... some famous director who's not known for being insane. Starring Max Von Sydow as a beleaguered author, "SteppenWolf" is a mind bending carnival ride of insanity that could have only been produced in the 60's. But what the films lacks in cohesive plot and direction, it more than makes up for with a surreal modern classical score, drugged out dreamscapes and midgets - lots of midgets. (Well, just one actually. And he may have been a dwarf.)

I shit you not when I say, to this day "SteppenWolf" is my favorite film.
-Wil Forbis




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