I’ve only ever really walked out on one movie, Van Helsing, in the theater (and Dustin has already written a comment diversion on movies that you refused to finish watching despite paying the price of admission, but those comments are no longer visible since the switch to Disqus). For me, leaving Van Helsing was an entirely voluntary experience, and to be entirely accurate, I’m not sure that I even missed much playtime because I stuck it out for nearly two hours of sheer misery before giving up the fight.
Yet there’s another unfinished movie that haunts me to this very day, and it’s one that I’ve never even managed to watch all the way through although it’s currently playing on Netflix Instant Watch. I actually tried to rewatch it this year, but this aversion stems from a rather embarrassing experience as well, and here’s what happened.
It was the last day of seventh grade, and our school was scheduled to close (forever!) due to low district population, so students was being farmed out to different districts for the following year. The teachers were mostly losing their jobs (although, for a few of the more fortunate ones, some were being relocated), and they just didn’t give a rat’s ass what we were doing on this final day of “education.” So for the last day of school, they let us bring in whatever movies we wanted to watch — no questions asked.
Well, I was a shy and retiring type during early adolescence, so my shoot-em-up type choices weren’t up for grabs. One of the boys took first dibs (and last time I heard, this dude is a hardcore Satanist these days, just FYI) and popped a VHS into the player.
Yes, that’s the 1986 horror comedy, April Fool’s Day (not the recent, straight-to-DVD remake, obviously). But since I’d never heard of the movie and hadn’t developed a taste for scary movies yet, I was slightly petrified from the very beginning. I seem to recall very early in the film that a young lady peeled off her jeans to go swimming while ferrying to an island getaway with some friends, and then — out of nowhere — some dude (a groundskeeper, I think) got his head mashed between the ferry and the dock. And he howled — oh my god, the howling. At that point, our teacher figured out something was seriously amiss, immediately stepped into the room, and snapped off the television.
Obviously, we didn’t get to watch the rest of the movie, but it was enough for me. Over a decade later, I was informed that all of the very bad things that occurred throughout the whole movie (vague SPOILER ALERT) were a joke, and nobody really got hurt or killed. I’m convinced that if I’d watched the rest of this movie soon after the aforementioned incident, it probably wouldn’t have scared me at all. Instead, the memory/mystery of the howling tormented me for the entirety of the summer vacation, which was largely spent camping out near Leadville, Colorado where I was convinced that the howling would invade my grandparents’ pop-up camper and swallow all of us. In short, I have never been able to regain any ability to hit “play” on the Netflix site for April Fool’s Day. I’d really like to watch this movie in full, but it’s just not going to happen … no matter how ridiculous I feel while knowing that the dude didn’t really get his head mashed in, and his howling was just for show.
My question to you is this: Is there any movie (for whatever reason) that you have never been able to fully endure even though you’re slightly ashamed that you haven’t been able to finish watching it? Or you can just laugh at me in the comments section. That’s fine too.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.