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Last updated July 3,
2004; first published to the web: July 3, 2004.
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Ryan Morini – Berks
B – Movie Enthusiast
People often ask me,
“Why do you waste your money
on those things?”
Flickering, faded bootlegs
of failed filmmaking from
Japan or Hong Kong, not to forget Korea, or
the European powers of Italy, Spain, France—
perhaps even Germany.
There are always the Philippines or Indonesia.
And for the truly adventurous, Vietnam, Brazil,
Or drive-in fare,
if not worse,
from our own country…
that surfaced somewhere in a chipped plastic
or a garage sale,
or under that great, sun-faded beacon,
probably written in magic marker on an excised
scrap of cardboard,
It seemed hard to justify at first,
watching hungry, angry zombie heads fly out of
Seeing hordes of the undead that look just like
But for some cheap and inexpertly-applied face
hopping vampires from Asia,
or plastic-fanged ones from Transylvania,
giant man-eating rabbits
or leeches, ticks,
or anthropomorphic turkeys,
Satanic hippie cults,
evil Nazi plots to genetically design an Elven
the yapping zombie remains of a vivisected dog.
Movies lit by car headlights at night,
movies lit by torchlight so ineffectual on film,
movies lit not at all
that let the darkness be itself…
and make the television screen look like it’s
movies lit by the sun, that disguise daylight
with “night like” blue camera filters,
movies lit by the sun that disguise nothing and
script it as night.
The female lead might have been chosen for reasons
other than acting,
And the male lead might be the producer’s nephew,
and both might be in their thirties playing teenagers.
If the soundtrack doesn’t sound horrible,
it was probably taken from the public domain,
or stolen from another film.
The plotline might be a Frankenstein’s monster,
unable to conceal the seams
that hold together poor replications of better
But these days when I go to the theaters,
my feet sticking to the spilled soda that stuck
to the floor,
my wallet unmoved by the constant pressure to
buy popcorn and nachos,
or even if I stay home and rent that film a year
I find that I don’t remember much about what
most of the time.
I remember the ludicrous castration that was
when a wayward biker urinated on Bigfoot,
and I remember that flying zombie head as it
sprang out of the refrigerator,
right next to a beer,
and caught a hungry man first by surprise, and
then by the throat.
And the man-eating monster that came impossibly
from “mutated” river silt.
At any time, I can call forth these mnemonic
and get them to dance and cavort
unabashed as no overgrown sales pitch can.
And the smile they bring me grows stronger and
with the wisdom of growing experience.
But my inquisitors are blind to the wonder.
“That’s stupid!” they’ll say.
“How could that ever happen?”
I say these things too, perhaps, but not the
Then they go off to watch “Music TeleVision” with
sitcoms that are malformed clones of each other,
dramas and soap operas that make “histrionic”
talk shows filled with yelling.
I wonder if I should feel coarse,
when my friends’ taste in the absurd
seems so much subtler than mine?
er night you lie in bed; light peels back from
Monsters crawl through your mind; you know they’re
Parents tell you they don’t exist; how naïve
you could be.
Two bangs of a loud drum, one after the other.
Your parents have lied again.
The television set broadcasts more fear; you finally
see the monsters.
Scare the monsters away; they hide again until
You question once more your parents’ words; they
look at you and turn away.
Two crashes of rock, one on top of the other.
Your parents have lied again.
Ryan Morini's poem
appears here with his express written permission and cannot be reprinted
or otherwise used without his express written permission.