When I was four years old, my father quietly woke me up after my mother put me to bed and snuck me — not my sister or my two brothers, just me — to the local cinema so I could see a movie on the silver screen for the first time. As someone with several siblings both older and younger, that magical evening is one of the only times I ever remember being alone with my father while growing up. It is among my most cherished memories. I recall as though it was just moments ago the thrill of being out of the house past my bedtime. The surging of my soul as I watched father argue with the women in the box office who refused to sell him a ticket for a child. And most vividly, I recall the kaleidoscope of flickering lights that overwhelmed my eyes as I emerged from inside the canvas army bag dad ended up using to smuggle me into that glorious auditorium.
The year was 1978, the movie was Dawn of the Dead, and that night was the beginning of my romance with Film. A romance that today climaxes in this, my momentous and historic first movie review for the Polkville Penny Pincher.
As a young child and frankly into rightnowhood, I didn’t, and don’t, sleep much. For unknown reasons, I can’t be in a dark place alone. I fret over my safety greatly while awake and dream of zombies eating my brain during the few minutes I can maintain sleep. I also feel a giant weight of anxiety and terror press upon my thorax whenever I pass rows of seats all facing the same direction or an Army surplus store. In fact, until I was hired by Cornelius Pencilstopper to pen this column, I had not stepped foot in a theatre since my then 16-month-old cousin Sam and I climbed out of dad’s canvas bag in 1981 to see Omen III: The Final Conflict. Mom didn’t let me go to the movies anymore after that kind policeman brought her to join us at the theatre. Coincidentally, that was the last time I saw father without a chaperone.
So this morning, I did it. I rode my razor scooter to the Polkville 6-Plex, bought a ticket, took a deep breath, marched right into the theatre, and immediately collapsed into an unconscious heap on the butter flavored floor. Rather embarrassing, I will admit, but Colonel Pencilstopper is a generous man, and said I could avoid the theatre and instead review any of the six used VHS cassettes for sale next to his register here in the headquarters and only distribution center of the Polkville Penny Pincher, the Polkville Dollar Store. The Colonel explained all the VHS cassettes used to belong to his youngest boy Pickering, who is now a grown man whom he no longer has a relationship with on account of Pickering getting a Diego Darkcanyon tattoo on his left quadricep.
After the store closed that evening, I went into the storage room, took the surveillance tape out of the VCR, and popped in my selection: Blood Bite VIII. Much to my surprise, and quite contrary to what is shown on the cardboard sleeve the movie sits in, this is not a film about a young rhythmic gymnast who performs at her peak in the Olympics until she reaches a state of exhaustion, only to be carried to the gymnastics finish line by her loyal and loving childhood dog named Blood who managed to free himself from the eight chains of time by biting through them in order to get the women he thought had forgotten him so long ago to what could only be a gold medal ceremony.
Oh no. Tragically the plot of Blood Bite VIII is not the hyper-emotional uber-realistic loving pet focused sports documentary that surely most viewers expected as I did. Instead, this mountain of trash is a meandering, long-winded, too bizarre to be true story that after much preface, more background, extra build up, and several unnecessary details turns into a foolish waste of time likely only enjoyed by the obviously disturbed writer of the piece himself. If I had to summarize my take on this film in one phrase, it would be this: Blood Bite Sucks.
Well, that’s it for this issue! Join me in next year’s installment of the Polkville Penny Pincher when I give this another go and review a movie I am certain this time is an adorable child animal companion reunion story: Pet Sematary.
Connie Tonnette, Polkville Penny Pincher