8/26/09

Viva VHS #2: Uncomfortable Movie Moments with the Folks

In the early days of HBO and VCRs (around 1982-3), I would have sworn on a Bible that my mother timed her entrance into the living room to perfectly coincide with nude scenes. I’d be watching Trading Places all by my lonesome, and then as soon as Jamie Lee Curtis takes her sweater off – here comes mom. “What exactly are you watching, son?” As if this was some sort of porno rather than a 5 second topless scene.

I’ve heard the same sort of stories from other people – it seems everyone’s got an embarrassing and awkward movie viewing moment from their childhood. A co-worker once told me that for Christmas they got a brand new Betamax, and the whole family, including grandpa and grandma, gathered round to view the very first movie rental…. Fast Times at Ridgemont High! Little did they know, the whole family was about to be treated to teen sex, masturbation, abortion, drug use and nudity on that memorable Christmas morn.

Personally, my worst moment was going with my mother to see what I thought would be something similar to Pretty in Pink or St. Elmo’s Fire. That movie was Less than Zero, and the scene with a butt naked Robert Downey, Jr. with semen running down his chin was pretty uncomfortable to watch with mom. Sure, I was old enough to vote, but that didn't make it any less awkward.

Then there's the time mom, my little brother and I went to see Eddie Murphy's stand-up comedy movie, Raw. Given the title, I'm not sure how none one of us suspected it might be a little.... well, raw.

Anyone else have any uncomfortable movie moments with the folks?

21 comments:

  1. Try sitting down as a teenager with the folks on a Friday night and popping in a family movie rented only because Diane Keaton was on the cover. No, it wasn't Annie Hall and it wasn't The Godfather, it was Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Orgies, rapes, rough sex and drugs doesn't not make for a family movie night. After 25 years, I still have the image of my Dad prematurely pushing the 'stop' button on our beta-max VCR and then several moments of awkward, perspiring, stone-cold silence.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I once taped a porno over some family videos. Doh!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Parents always walked in when there was a bit oh nudity on screen.."What are you watching?" are the exact words my Mom would use,Dad just sat down and watched. :)
    One funny story i have is watching a rented kung fu tape with my nephew who i think was 11 at the time (we thought Jackie Chan was in the movie) and every line of dialog ended with "you BASTARD!" so naturally we were going "YOU BASTARD!" all through the film.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Since my dad insisted on the full cable package when cable first became available in our area, there are too many to remember!

    But the worst in recent memory was when for some reason I was going to the movies with my parents and what we wanted to see was sold out. I saw that Trainspotting was playing at the same time and suggested it based on the fact that a friend said it was really good.

    Talk about an awkward two hours: heroin suppositories, sex with an underage girl, dead babies on the ceiling, etc, etc, etc!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Humanoids from the Deep, circa 1980 on HBO. I was 11, my brother 7, and we're watching it with my mom when some guy who's a ventriloquist(?) is in a tent on the beach at night with his girlfriend.

    It was bad enough that the guy makes the dummy ask, "Wanna see my wood pecker?" - then the girl quickly disrobes to reveal her natural retro boobs. At that point my mom grabs the remote, changes the channel and declares with a smile, "This movie is boobie-censored!"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Richard DoyleAugust 26, 2009

    A bunch of friends of mine rented a VCR back in 1982 and rented "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Videodrome". His mother walked in right during Jennifer Jason Leigh's nude scene. Miraculously, she never came in at all during "Videodrome".

    A few years later, I had a TV in my room, and had figured out how to receive the (at the time) new pay channels for free. One of the first films I saw was "Night of the Living Dead". My mother barged into my room just as the zombified little girl was killing her mother with the gardening implement.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Settling in with my mother and sister for the HBO premier of Lipstick turned out to be somewhat uncomfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are hilarious! I remember that scene from Humanoids from the Deep - OUCH! That would've been a tad awkward.

    Richard- I swear mothers have a sixth sense of when a movie is about to cross the line of good taste. Of course your mother came in right when that girl killed her mother - it couldn't have been any other way.

    Tranispotting with the folks? Whew. I bet that was a mighty long two hours.

    Hitch- That may be the worst ever. Both Richard Gere and Diane Keaton butt naked, full frontal, spreading cocaine on their teeth - not exactly my idea of family friendly entertainment!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'll never forget the painfully awkward viewing of River's Edge with the extended family on Thanksgiving circa 1987. Nothing like a dead naked body to help settle a fat turkey dinner. Even weirder is we watched the whole freaking movie despite my mom's constant objections to the subject matter.

    Also I recall cringing watching Monty Python's Meaning of Life with my dad and younger sister (I was like maybe 11). The 'live organ donors' "barfing Mr. Creaso' and 'dying by being chased over a cliff by topless women' scenes were totally excruciating.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hilarious. I actually saw Stripes with my parents when I was a kid - great movie but lots of cringe-worthy awkwardness there!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Quote of the year: "Nothing like a dead naked body to help settle a fat turkey dinner." Thanks, Feo Mateo.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There are just way too many to name. It did seem like every single time there was any sort of nudity onscreen that my mom would decide to walk into the room.

    ReplyDelete
  13. yep LOL I know what you mean

    ReplyDelete
  14. How about some role reversal?

    Remember the 'ol creepy horror movie, "Don't Look Now," with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie? There's this graphically extended sex scene, which was very explicit. I was a teenager when I walked my folks' room and found my own mother watching this scene on rather rapturously in the middle of a Sunday afternoon in the mid-'80s. Dad was out of town on business. Mom quickly changing the channel upon being startled by my surprise entrance.

    Egads. That was infinitely more creepy than the movie, itself, which is actually a classic.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Another memory: Remember all those cheesy, late-night Emmaneulle and Lady Chatterley T&A flicks on Showtime?

    Sylvia Kristel -- she was the actress. Hadn't thought of her in ages.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My dad came home with the groceries while my brother and I were watching "Silence of the Lambs". He set the bags on the counter, asked what we were watching, and then looked up to see the "tucking" scene. Ha! He was not too pleased until he realized after the screaming that we were watching an otherwise ok movie.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This might be the funniest post and post commentary ever.

    I have nothing that compares. My parents were super strict....the "F" word in my house was "fart" and pg was about as crazy as it got.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I know exactly what you are talking about. I did a blog post on this exact topic titled " the parental video curse". Those are awkward moments.

    ReplyDelete
  19. There was some sort of S&M scene in "High Anxiety" and after grandmother came in to find my watching it, sat down and watched the rest with me. Just a LITTLE UNCOMFORTABLE!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'll never forget the holiday dinner with my parents, sisters, and my grandmother, who all sat down later to watch "A Room with a View". That sounded like a very safe choice. I'll never forget the look on my grandmother's face during the swimming scene with 3 nude men running around the lake. Oh boy, I had no idea there were movies at the time with full frontal male nudity, and no quick shot this one, oh no!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Many years ago I watched "The Wicker Man" on VHS with my father, a self-proclaimed "Square" from Nebraska. I had already seen it several times, but only on TV. This time, however, Britt Ekland's "Willow's Song" scene was complete and uncut. We both pretended that it never happened.

    ReplyDelete