Ah, the joys of free association. While reviewing the new theatrical version of IT for Aleteia, I couldn't help but recall all those other ITs which have appeared in movies over the decades. Naturally, I had to write about them over at SCENES. That led to a discussion of It Conquered the World, which just so happened to be a favorite of fellow B-movie aficionado Frank Zappa. Knowing that, what else could I do but share this video a fan put together for the rock icon's ode to all things low budget. Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing and listening pleasure, we present Cheepnis...
In his book You Are What You See: Watching Movies Through a Christian Lens, author Scott Nehring suggests that "we make a statement with the films we choose to see, and those films eventually express themselves in our daily lives." If that's true, what does it say about folks like me and Frank Zappa who have a deep and abiding love for cheap monster movies and the like.
Well, obviously, I can't speak for Frank and neither can he now, so his reasons will have to remain a mystery. As for myself, there is no one answer. Part of it is the simple fun, escapism, and novelty to be found in these types of films. I mean, did you watch the video? There's a clip in there featuring a giant monkey swinging a dinosaur around by the tail. That's fun, escapist, and novel all rolled into one.
There's nothing inherently evil in any of those things, although they can end up that way if not taken in moderation. Continuous novelty seeking, for instance, might indicate someone is a dopamine or adrenaline junkie, and we wouldn't want that. Rest assured, I know when it's time to stop having fun, turn the channel, and wallow in the misery of the nightly news for a while. And vice versa.
But it's more than just the entertainment aspects. Like many other religious persons, I try to filter everything through a spiritual lens. Or as the Jesuits might put it, I do my best to find God in everything. And yes, that even goes for movies with giant monkeys swinging dinosaurs around by the tail. You'd be surprised how much God can be discovered in films like that. Often buried really, really deep, sure, but still there. And surprisingly, that makes them all the more fun, escapist, and novel. As evidence, I offer ten years of this blog.
And that's enough navel gazing for one night. Let's get back to the movies shall we? See you next time.