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Video Digest: June 9, 2006

Horrors and whores: omens and exorcisms; KISS in the park; Paris sings; Jack Black terrifies; extremely cute child thieves

On Tuesday, I saw The Omen, which I’m ready to declare the comedy of the summer. I didn’t see it because I thought it would be good—a friend greeted me at the theater by enthusiastically asking, “Are you ready to be disappointed?”—but rather, out of some allegiance to my former self, a 13-year-old who read books about the occult and spiked slumber parties with screenings of The Exorcist. The first Omen was no great shakes, either—too long and not enough beheadings. But after giggling my way through the remake, I found myself wistful for the days when comfort could be found in a good serial murder, when I judged movies based on the number of disembowelments, when everyone got whipped up about Stephen King and hair metal, not MySpace and stupid Dan Brown. Lucky for me, it was 6-6-06, so the Internet was filled with with the spirit Satan—not that it normally isn’t, Dateline.

I was delighted to come across a handy guide to exorcisms, not only because I’m planning my own exorcism next week, but also because I love to cuddle up on the couch and watch some guy try to coax the demon out of a grunting, helpless woman.

Wow, I could watch an exorcism all day.

* * *

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of my friends talking about the 1978 KISS movie, Phantom of the Park. Maybe that’s because I keep asking them about it. The movie aired on network television when I was 4, and I remember the creepy babysitter making my brother and I watch it as we argued, uncharacteristically, that it was past our bedtime.

Man, those KISS guys terrified me. All the makeup and the leather and the chest hair and the insinuation of not-entirely-consensual sex. They gave me that deep-down queasy feeling, like when adults talked about how your body would someday “go through changes.” As this clip from the movie shows, Phantom of the Park isn’t scary so much as silly. Watch that pout Paul Stanley gives before karate-chopping the weird snow beast-thingie. Beheadings: That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

* * *

The truth is that, as an adult, I’m generally not scared of movies anymore. I find going to the doctor terrifying; I find my credit card statements harrowing. And I also find this new video from Paris Hilton a little more than unsettling.

* * *

What is she talking about, “stars are blind”? Is she referring to Ray Charles? The whole song is like a bad Babelfish translation. This video makes me nostalgic for Chris Isaak. And I hate Chris Isaak.

But, since you asked, I do love Jack Black. Not holding out much hope for Nacho Libre, but if the movie stinks, it won’t be because Jack didn’t try. Let’s revisit one of his earlier successes, recast as a horror film.

* * *

I’d be hysterical too if someone were teaching my son to play “Stairway to Heaven.”

All right, enough scary-movie talk. Now, let’s kill ourselves with cuteness!

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