September 21, 2011

There are few things scarier to a child than forced medical procedures – anything that requires being strapped down is bad, bad news. Even before I was aware of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, I knew that shock therapy was fucked up.

Far scarier than anything that happened in Oz, Auntie Em dropping Dorothy off at the asylum to get her brains scrambled FUCKED MY SHIT UP. Nevermind the fact that Auntie Em was played by Carrie’s fucked up mom.

Even so, I let my kids watch it anyway. They love The Wizard of Oz just as much as I do…besides, I could always turn it off if they freak out, right? Well, they didn’t freak out, so don’t call CPS on me…yet.

The first question my son asked was, “Why isn’t it in black and white?” I’m pretty sure I asked my mom the same question over 25 years ago, sitting in the movie theater. He also wanted to know why the characters didn’t look the same. He understood Dorothy was a different actress , but he was bewildered that the Cowardly Lion was a real lion and the Tin Man and Scarecrow weren’t just dressed up people. I explained that the characters were meant to look like the illustrations from the original book, but I really need to buy him a copy, because my old copy doesn’t have the artwork. He’s one smart cookie for six years old – he caught on right away and didn’t ask too many questions after that. He really liked the film and was disappointed when I deleted it from the DVR to make more room for Hoarders and Animal Hoarders.

I’m still a big Fairuza Balk fan. I liked her as a crazy witch in The Craft, but I loved her as Ed Norton’s crazy girlfriend and Adam Sandler’s crazy girlfriend. She hasn’t done much lately, what happened to the market for crazy?

My three year old wouldn’t look at the screen when the Gnome King was exploding, but that was her only reaction – she didn’t cry or scream or demand I turn it off. She wasn’t scared of Mega Pythons either – she just laughed when it ate people, so I think I may have a little Knobby Jr. on my hands…seriously, DO NOT call CPS, I promise I won’t let her watch Faces of Death until after she starts Kindergarten.


Year – 1985
Rating – PG
Runtime – 113 minutes
Genre – Fantasy
Director(s) – Walter Murch
Writer(s) – L. Frank Baum, Walter Murch, Gill Dennis
Actor(s) – Fairuza Balk, Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh, Piper Laurie, Matt Clark
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "May I call you Mom, even if it isn't so?" - Jack Pumpkinhead (Brian Henson)