1.14.2010

the hand

Once when I was about seven we were at the Berg’s house and I watched my first horror movie. The movie was about a pianist, a hand, and a pair of scissors. Or at least that’s what I remember, the terrifying part. The hand crawled across the piano, grasped the scissors, and stabbed the pianist. Why or how or if didn’t matter. It just was, and with help from my brother that hand with its gleaming scissors would become the single most terrifying thought of my childhood. A mere whisper of “the hand” would send me into a spiral of hysteria. I remember sitting with my mother in the bathroom while she whispered, “it’s okay; it’s not real; it’s just a movie; that could never happen” ad nauseum until I fell asleep exhausted in her arms and she would carry me to bed. But my seven-year-old heart knew that hand would come after me some night holding those big scissors to stab me again and again.

8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. There is a certain universality in having a brother. Mine hid under the bed too. Fuckers.

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  3. Around the same time, on the other side of the Millstream, I was watching "The Terrible Sun Demon" about a guy whose face turned black and cracked up whenever he was exposed to the sun, and became a homicidal maniac. His method of destruction was to scare people to death with his appearance, I guess. I just thought of this recently while trying to cajole my 9 year old daughter into bed after an aborted screening of "Little Shop of Horrors." Thumbs up for moms everywhere.

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  4. A quick fact check on Amazon tells me my signal memory is actually called "The HIDEOUS Sun Demon" and if you get it in glorious techinicolor instead of screening it on a 12" B&W TV his skin is green. So less believable!!

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  5. I am going directly to Netflix (okay, maybe youtube) to look for the Hideous Sun Demon.
    The scene that eventually supplanted the hand and its scissors was early in the movie "Night of the Living Dead" when Johnny and his sister are at the cemetery putting flowers on their parents' grave. In the distance there is a man ambling unsteadily over the hill, and Johnny teases his sister, "They're coming to get you Barbara!" I continue to be creeped out by this even today. Don't tell my brother.

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  6. The Hideous Sun God. Best thermo-dynamic horror movie ever. Don't forget your sunscreen.
    Here's the url; b+w, hi-res.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5WFfT5dxYI

    (Anonymous uh oh commenter: I know who you are. Now give me those scissors.)

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  7. My own iconic terror involved a Twilight Zone episode in which a little girl goes berserk and kills her parents with an oversized electric drill. Then she goes after the rest of household and then the neighborhood. At least I think it was the Twilight Zone. Maybe I made it up.

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