Sex, Gin, and the Blair Witch Project


Photo credit: Edvard Munch

I can’t stand movies with ambiguous endings. It messes with my worldview. I like things that make sense. That fit into their categories. I like tidy little bows on things. If I want to wonder how something will end up, I’ll just keep living my actual life rather than wasting two hours of my time and 20 bucks on a movie ticket, popcorn in a container big enough to bathe an infant, and more Mike & Ikes than one should ingest in a year’s time, if one is inclined to not have diabetes.

A mild example is the movie Inception.

 I say mild because that top was obviously going to stop spinning. I loved that movie in spite of its vagary because the abrupt ending was in itself a thrilling surprise. A more extreme example is The Prestige, which is about magicians and I get that a magician never reveals his tricks and so the movie magicians won’t either. But after investing two hours in that crap it made me want to go stand in a corner and pound my fists against my temples like Raymond, played to mentally-challenged perfection by Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Or, like myself that time I watched Jim Carrey play Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon all the way to its unsatisfying end.

Speaking of standing in a corner, I will share the most awesome thing anyone has ever done to me after watching a movie together. Wait, scratch that, as I once agreed to watch a sexytime movie with my husband. I will share the most PG-rated awesome thing anyone has ever done to me after watching a movie together. Or rather, PG-13 (or Mature Audience or whatever you kids call it these days) because the person who did it was this guy I dated who was a guilty-Catholic type, and the night I speak of ended in him taking a scalding hot shower and counting rosary beads.

Let’s call him Mick. Mick and I went to see The Blair Witch Project together.  It was opening night so it was still that gonzo-indie-flick-that-might-even-be-true, not that shaky-camera-corny-excuse-for-a-horror-flick. There could totally be a student film crew making a documentary about an urban-legend witch in the woods of Blair, Maryland who stalks her victims then makes them stand and face into a corner before they meet their end.  The film crew could totally have disappeared and their footage found a year later and made into a movie. Just look at this totally convincing 1999-style webpage.

Well it was 1999 in this story and I was convinced enough to be totally spooked.

After the movie we drive past several ominous-looking wooded areas on the way back to my apartment.  Once inside I beeline to the kitchen to mix a few cocktails and Mick hits the little boys room which is accessed through my bedroom which is accessed through the living room per standard one-bedroom apartment specs. I shake my martini and mix his Gimlet, which I actually measure out because he used to be a bartender and I want to impress, and also because I’m ridiculously type A. After both drinks are finally ready he’s still not back.

Were I already in my 30s and married with children like I am now I would assume that he was (ahem) using the facilities and gone to watch tv on the couch with my drink. But in this story I’m 22 and I assume he is waiting for me in my bed.  So I wander into the dark room and look around. Hmm…no  rose petals or candles… So I turn to look in the direction of the bathroom and there he is STANDING IN THE CORNER. With his back to me and head bowed. OH MY GOD THE BLAIR WITCH IS RIGHT BEHIND ME! SHE IS ABOUT TO DO WHATEVER IT IS BLAIR WITCHES DO TO PEOPLE!  I screamed. Out loud. Very loud. Genius! In that moment Mick mimicked what is so good about a good movie, it reaches in and grabs you, pulls out a primal reaction be it fear, shock, or heart-bursting love.

And that’s what’s missing when movies leave me hanging. It’s the cinema equivalent of a bad lay.

Mick was rewarded handsomely that night for getting my blood curdling and took an extra long shower while chanting in Latin. We shared many more gin drinks that summer and attempted a long distance relationship after I relocated from Dallas to Chicago. We broke up poorly, but reconnected years later and exchanged a few friendly emails about why we didn’t work and how happy each of us is now.

All is right with my worldview. Roll credits.


~ by rrohrback on December 3, 2011.

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