Last week, my wife of almost 24 years, Amanda, was diagnosed with metastatic disease, which is a result of a recurrence of breast cancer. This time, it was a 6cm mass on her brain. She had surgery earlier this week and will be going to an occupational rehab today.
Since October of 2014, our family has lived with the Sword of Damocles hanging over our head. (That ain’t no crime!!!) While it has been a long, and arduous journey, we have found many coping mechanisms to keep us moving forward, the biggest of which is trashy movies. Here is something I wrote as Amanda was going through her first round of chemo back on New Year’s Day, 2015:
“People have asked me several times how I am doing. I answer every time that I am doing well, and I mean it. Yes, this sucks. Yes, it dominates our lives. However, that doesn't mean that we are letting those things keep us from getting through the day. I am very lucky in that my two best friends are my wife and my son. We all support each other in ways that I am sure we are not totally aware. When [My son.] Yeats and I sat in the living room on New Year's Eve and played Mystery Science Theater with a really, really awful slasher film (I cannot stress how bad this film was. "New Year's Evil," look it up. Roz Kelly, aka, Pinky Tuscadero stars.), we were really just resting our weary heads on one another’s shoulders and taking a very deep breath. I could not do this without him.”
It was in that moment that my son and I began to find some healing for ourselves. We let go of the bitterness and embraced the suck. Since that time, Amanda has been declared cancer free, and was seemingly on the road to wellness, with this being something that was fading away in the rearview mirror. In November of 2017, she was diagnosed with a recurrence of the same type of cancer, in the exact same spot. She was treated with a heinous cocktail of drugs and endured an almost 10-hour surgery. Last week… well, I covered that in the first paragraph. In all of this time, the things that have taken us away from this awful reality are the likes of Neil Breen, John Waters, JCVD, Dolph Lundgren, HG Lewis, Stewart Gordon, the list goes on and on.
This is the true power of cult films. That no matter what the situation, a good dose of sleaze can cure all emotional ills. Don’t believe me? I challenge any of you to watch Fateful Findings, and not feel better afterward. Hell, just watch this scene:
The truth behind cofeve...
Since this latest diagnosis, we have not had a lot of time to run away to our preferred method of escape, but we were able to squeeze in a viewing of The Greasy Strangler last weekend, and we even got to introduce it to a few friends who might even forgive us for it someday. While Big Ronnie fully dunked his dog, and Big Brayden wooed Janet with poetry like, "Why is the sky blue? Because blue is your favorite color," we laughed, and riffed, and just let the prosthetic genitalia blanket us in a cocoon of blissful distraction. All the while, we were with one another and surrounded by wonderful friends who provided fresh eyes to view a movie that we were very familiar with. In a bid to be the first person to ever say this about The Greasy Strangler, it truly brought us closer together.
When it all comes down to it, we need a little more garbage in this world. Not the kind that is being churned out by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but unique, single-voiced, well curated trash that lives in its own singular galaxy. Garbage not only provides respite from the reality of the world, it also gives us a double-shot of schadenfreude which can help to put that reality into perspective. So, the next time life has you by the nethers, take a couple of hours to gorge on a buffet of beautifully, awful cinematic rubbish. Might we suggest:
Troll 2: Don't piss on hospitality
The Greasy Strangler: The joys of rented shoes
Universal Soldier: Don't get between a JCVD and his lunch
Serial Mom: As close to mainstream as John Waters has ever gotten
Undefeatable: Cynthia Rothrock and two shirtless guys kick and pun
Once Upon a Girl: Poorly animated porn narrated by Hal "Otis from Mayberry" Smith in drag
Don't Piss on Hospitality,
Dylan Donnie-Duke, High Priest of Refuse