Sunday, December 21, 2008


This is not an entry about the delicious milk based food product called Cheese. I do love it, I was born in the American Midwest, famous for Dairy farms, cold winters and liberal politics. SO I am a fan of cheese. But that isn't what I am going to talk here about.

What I am here to talk about is Movie cheese.

Perhaps you believe that the only good movie is a bad movie. Or perhaps you believe that anything short of a masterpiece isn't worth your time. I occupy the middle road, wherein I appreciate very well done thoughtful work, but, sometimes, there is just nothing better than a cheesy monster movie. This resort to lowbrow entertainment isn't a statement about my intelligence, it is a statement about my state of mind.

You see, when I am tired, or depressed, or worried, I do not want to think. I want to NOT think. And watching movies that matter cause me to think. Monster movies on the other hand, especially giant monsters as the central feature, require you to watch and feel, but rarely think.

When I am depressed I resort to comedy, such as The Little Rascals or The Three Stooges. Twice when I had lost a loved one, and the funeral and sadness still stuck in my mind, I did not find humor in anything or joy in anything until I watched a Little Rascals film. It was pure, innocent humor.

So how are animals so large as to destroy cities innocent? Well, nobody dies in these who you get to know, unless they are evil, or a military or government type official. And really, when they do die, which is rare, you see it from a distance and never have to worry for the reality of it all. These movies paint scenes and tell stories using a giant brush, and broad canvas.

So the movie posters and stills you see here are from some very fun films. However silly the story, or unbelievable, for the hour or hour and a half it takes you get to escape. Different people use different sorts of cheese films. Some people, like me like giant monsters, or silly comedies, others like sappy patriotic or romance stories, but we are doing it all for the same reason, we want to sit, watch, and think later.


nilskidoo said...

I am the same way with anything featuring Peter Lorre or Jimmy Stewart.

So what if windows might present themselves as vices? The power for movies (and records, and GN's...) to give us an escape is itself a flavour for life.

great article.

alex-ness said...

thanks bud. I appreciate it. And I love Peter Lorre. Everything he did was very wonderful.

kurt wilcken said...

I rarely used to watch the Drew Carry show, but I remember one where for some reason he had to get from here to there in a hurry and he was trapped in a stairwell by a couple guys carrying a Lego skyscraper. When Drew impatiently asks if they could hurry up because he was late, the guys set down the building and announced that they were going to take a break.

Drew said, "Y'know, one of my heroes is Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser. And I'm sure that he'd say there was a way for us to compromise here..."

Then he added: "But my other hero is Godzilla, and he'd say, RARRRR!!!!" And with that, Drew smashed through the building.

alex-ness said...


nilskidoo said...

and British comedies too. I have a theory that Eric Idle is the bastard son of Harpo Marx.
Groucho is still my patron saint.

Alan Coil said...

I love cheese.

Alan Coil

alex-ness said...

Well Alan a better question would be, WHO DOESN'T?

Steve Chaput said...

I have always loved 'monster' movies. There's just something about huge, lizards and giant insects or aliens destroying entire city blocks. I don't recall the first film of that type I saw, but one of the local (by which I mean from either Providence or Boston, as those were the stations we generally picked up in southeastern Connecticut) would run that sort of thing every Saturday afternoon. I'd also sit up (when I got a bit older and my parents got me a small, B&W set) at night and watch CHILLER THEATRE. Great fifties Sci-Fi and earlier Hollywood horror stuff.

You did sometimes have one of the 'good guys' killed during these movies, but generally because they were sacrificing themselves towards the film's climax, or trying to save their friends. Otherwise, you're right. You had about as much sympathy for most of the nameless characters killed as you did for the hapless crewmen in the red jersey killed in any ST episode.