Tuesday, 22 April 2014

I Hide Behind Cushions

Shaun of the Dead, rated 15, is a zombie comedy film -  I watched it this evening.  I did laugh, especially at a scene of multiple zombies choreographed to 'Don't Stop Me Now!' but at times I had to hide my eyes behind a cushion.

The threat of violence, especially when mixed with suspense, scares me.  I knew I was being manipulated, I knew it wasn't real, but film a zombie from behind and then make her turn round really, really slowly, add a menacing soundtrack with a rising bass line, and my heart starts beating faster.

Marathon Man was my first 15. I watched it on TV during the long school summer holiday after O levels.  I was bored, and in love with Dustin Hoffman.  I wasn't in love with him enough to watch the dentist scene to its conclusion.

I'm not scared of much.  I can pick up spiders and slugs if necessary.  I can do heights, flying and standing in front of a class; I don't mind injections, and I camp on my own.  But I've hardly ever watched a film certified as 18.

There's something about the visual limits of a film screen, about facial expressions and gestures combined with mood-altering music - something about what is suggested as happening just out of shot - that plays havoc with my imagination.  At times this evening, zombies were in the sitting room, or just outside the window, about to force entry.


  1. Liz, we must have been separated at birth! Marathon Man-I remember rushing out of the living room and sitting in our breakfast room during the dentist scene (despite, like you, adoring D.H.) and trying to block out the screams (his) unsuccessfully!

    1. Since writing this post, I've had my tolerance challenged further by watching Scarface, A Clockwork Orange and Kill Bill. All the choices of son no. 1. I'm possibly slightly, marginally, fractionally tougher as a result ... !