Hello readers! Welcome back to another thrilling episode of the Writing Fisherman. I’m thrilled to report I did in fact get to do some fishing about a week ago and had a most excellent time. Within the two hours of the time allotted I lived up to that part of my self appointed moniker, enjoyed a superbly aromatic cigar, and enjoyed the overall escape before returning once again to life.
Originally I’d began writing a piece on patriotism. It’s in the news a lot of late and a subject dear to my heart. I’m passionate about it so the vitriol I spouted in that original draft instead released my feelings like a page in a personal journal and I realized I WILL NOT be posting it. Perhaps come Veteran’s Day I’ll re-write it for what is the true heart of it. We shall see. Instead I dipped into my drafts within WordPress and found this little gem I’d never finished, and may make a series out of. In a previous post, I talked about reading, “Ready Player One”, by Earnest Cline which I loved. The story references many old movies, and television shows from my childhood in the 70’s and 80’s, naturally resulting in reminding me of many others. Over time I’ve collected many of these old movies on dvd only to realize they have not held up. By my telling you about these movies, I provide a window into me and what helped form me growing up. Try not to judge too harshly.
The Lone Ranger was the epitome of the classic, good-guy cowboy. White hat. Sharp outfit. A horse of unmatched speed and intellect. And that mask which hid his identity apparently as effectively as Clark Kent’s glasses. So when Hollywood put out The Legend Of The Lone Ranger, circa 1981 I was thrilled. Cue the William Tell Overture! It starred Jason Robards, Christopher, Lloyd, Michael Horse, and in his “lone” acting credit still to this day as the Masked Avenger, Klinton Spilsbury. Unfortunately for Klinton, we still don’t know what he sounds like as his voice was dubbed by James Keach (uncredited).
I was ten years old when this came out and had been the Lone Ranger for Halloween twice already! I had the lunchbox, collected the action figures (which I still have a few), and a couple years ago I got the dvd for Christmas. Funny how time can romanticize something which was such a stinker. Still I enjoyed it and couldn’t deny the thrill I felt at times especially when that thrilling music played, but Oscar material this isn’t. Although Christopher Lloyd as the bad guy in this pre-Doc Brown performance was pretty great and Jason Robards is always fantastic. Something which really struck me is that this one from 1981 actually holds up against the recent re-boot starring Johnny Depp even without the huge budget. They’re both bad in overall, but also so fun to watch and if you care to check it out you can find this one in its entirety on YouTube here.
From the wild West to the future of 1980’s warfare, I give you: MegaForce! A year after the Lone Ranger where I rode stick ponies around the neighborhood and avenged the poor, my interest was drawn to the future with this rapid-fire movie. Starring Barry Bostwick, Michael Beck, and Henry Silva, I was awed by the mystique of a secret strike force with cool vehicles and technology that could swoop in and save the day. There was also the feathered hair and ridiculous outfits which were throwbacks to the 1970’s idea of cool and, ashamedly, I wished I had. Instead I cut and painted sheets of cardboard to decorate my bicycle MegaForce style complete with toilet paper tube rockets! What can I say?
The movie dazzled me in my pre-teen youth and when my wife got me the dvd for Christmas (same year as the Lone Ranger dvd) I had myself a little throwback movie session. My own ten year old son, the only child who’d watch it
with me, was himself dazzled by the spectacle complete
with many, “oohs”, and a few, “Whoa!” Meanwhile I chuckled, shook my head and groaned inwardly at what had become of something I once loved. But it wasn’t the movie that’d changed.
I knew it was adulthood that had its’ grip on me and it was likely that
many of my old favorites were going to be lacking that sheen of awesomeness I’d once felt, so long ago. See the trailer below and I believe it too is fully on YouTube.
Since that amazing Christmas of throwback movies I have learned that there is a way I can still enjoy these classics of my childhood. The key is moderation. That fateful Christmas, I received and watched 4 of my childhood favorite movies and was let down by all but one. Once in a while, if my mood is right and I have the television to myself, I can slip one of these old movies in without shame and just enjoy. True, I often need to turn off my brain to stop the critical thinking and allow the inner child to gleefully re-emerge. But getting in touch with that kid once in a while is still fun, and perhaps that is the point. Maybe it is the key to staying young? I just don’t wear the silly outfits anymore. Or at least not when anyone is home. “Hi Ho Silver!”
Do you know either one of these movies or do you have ones yourself which is a guilty pleasure? Something which rocked your world as a kid but doesn’t stand the test of time today? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear them and see if I know it too. Until next time!