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That’s a Classic?

Imagine my chagrin when I tuned into Tarantula (1955), which I had DVR’d in expectation of a nice slice of cinematic cheese, to find out that TCM considers it a classic!

TCM was in the midst of their Classic Film Festival. I’ve never been to a real film festival, where you go somewhere, stay a few days, decide which screening or panel discussion you will attend. I am envious of those who have. However, one can’t have everything. I have cable television and a DVR. It’ll do.

So there I was, about to watch a classic film. Then again, the 1933 King Kong is considered a classic. Plenty to laugh at there. What makes something a classic anyways? That people keep watching it. Apparently people have been watching Tarantula since 1955. Who am I to argue?

I wrote the preceding the week before last. I did not continue because I was quite pressed for time. My movie posts (can’t quite call them reviews) tend to run up to 1,000 words. I did not think I would have time to type it in. Today I will have time, but will I have the inclination?

As it turns out, I don’t think that matters much, because after two weeks, I don’t seem to remember much about the movie. I remember the science was spurious, even for a horror movie. For example, why did the animals injected with the stuff just get big while the people got big and deformed? There could be a philosophical discussion in the answer to that, but as usual we’ll save the half-baked philosophy for Lame Post Friday.

I seem to remember something about the beginning that made me want to watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers again (the 1956 original, not the 1978 remake). I’m not sure I can describe what it was, but Tarantula didn’t do it as well. Something to do with the atmosphere of normalcy before things got horrible (and of course I mean horrible as in belonging to a horror movie, not horrible in a bad movie sense).

Ah, I just checked in the TV Journal and the note I made was that Invasion moves fast and Tarantula moves slow. I think what I mean is that Tarantula gets bogged down in the “normal” part while Invasion does not. I seem to remember watching Invasion thinking, “Ooh, I wish I was there, having cocktails and a cook-out — no I don’t!”

I just re-read what I wrote so far and noted the words “Who am I to argue?” Apparently I think I’m someone, because I didn’t think this flick was such a classic. When looking up the year, I noticed that Leonard Maltin thinks highly of it. Then again, Maltin and I often disagree. Perhaps I can come up with a little half-baked philosophy on why for Lame Post Friday.

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