Friday, November 21, 2008

Into the Restricted Zone

Escape from New York

Ah, that first R-Rated film in a theater. It’s kind of a defining moment in every kids life…sort of like some early introduction to adulthood or, at the very least, something to brag about to the other kids at school. My memories of my first venture into the restricted zone have been on mind after a conversation I had with my mom recently, so I thought I would share a few memories here.

It’s always been my memory that my first R on the big screen was none other than John Carpenter’s Escape from New York back in 81. Yep, I was kicking it with Snake Plissken just a month after my eighth birthday. The memory is forever cemented in my brain, as is the bragging I did to any kid I could get to listen to me for months after.

My mom alerted me to the fact recently that I actually saw The Exorcist as an infant with her and my father, so technically my first R in a theater was Friedkin’s classic shocker. The Exorcist, can you imagine? The news thrilled me, but I just wish I had known it sooner. Imagine the bragging I could have been doing all these years…

sudden_impact

A few other early R memories are seeing Sudden Impact with my Aunt Kathy just past the age of ten in 83. Outside of being my introduction to Dirty Harry, the trip also marked the first time I had ever had what would eventually become my movie candy of choice, the mighty Milk Dud.

The first R rated film I ever snuck into alone was 1985’s terrific Creator, a film that remains among my all time favorites. My parents had dropped me off to see something else (a dreaded PG film no doubt) and while I can’t recall what that was, I can most definitely recall the impact Virginia Madsen had on my twelve year old eyes that day…I have still yet to fully recover from it.

Virginia Madsen, Creator

Growing up in a very liberal house had its benefits, so by 13 or so there wasn’t much off limits (although I do remember getting in trouble for a late night viewing of De Palma’s Body Double in 86 or so). I always get a kick out of hearing recollections from folks about their first ventures into R rated features on the big screen, and still never tire of bragging of my time with Snake and The Duke back in the day.

***Partially inspired by Roger Ebert's reprinting of a moving article he wrote on Virgina Madsen and her family a year or so after Creator came out***

10 comments:

Steve Langton said...

Some great memories there, Jeremy. really cool you got to see The Exorcist at an early age. Not sure what my first X cert movie was, but I'm certain it would have been one of the Hammer horrors. We got to see a load of these on the big screen. Can also remember seeing Blood On Satan's Claw and a big cheer going up when Linda opened her robe. She had a cult following with schoolboys all over the country after that.

Adam Ross said...

As far as R-rated movies go, "Escape from New York" isn't too bad, I don't remember it being all that violent or gory.

My first R in a theater was "RoboCop 2." It came out shortly after "Total Recall," which my dad would not under any circumstances let me see ... but he did take me to see "RoboCop 2."

Keith said...

Hey Jeremy. That's so cool. Man, you've got a better memory than I do. Do you know if the original Walking Tall was rated R or not? If it was, then that was the first R rated movie I saw. I don't remember it though back then, but I know my uncle and his wife took me. Have a great weekend. Cheers!

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks guys, I was hoping soem of you woudl share our memories as well.
Also Steve, be on the look out soon for a post on Blood on Satan's Claw.

Stacia said...

Ah, memories. I think my first R-rated film was "Die Hard", but I'm not sure. I know I saw it in the theater, but I am having trouble believing my parents took me to see an R-rated film before I was 17.

My husband and his friend got in to see "Heavy Metal" when they were about 10-11 years old, if you can believe it.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Stacia,
I still remember seeing Die Hard at the theater and how excited that first viewing was. Heavy Metal at ten..now that is cool!

Guillaume said...

CREATOR is a gem!!!!!!
A very touching,moving film with great performances all around (Vincent Spano,Peter O'Toole,Virginia...)
This film deserves a love letter on your blog Jeremy,ha ha!

FULL CIRCLE,WAKING THE DEAD,CREATOR,Carpenter,ALMOST FAMOUS,Nastassja,we agree on so many things,that's cool!

J.D. said...

The first (and only) R rated movie I ever snuck into was TOTAL RECALL with a buddy of mine and it was worth it, but we were totally paranoid that we were going to get busted until the lights went down. Good times...

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks G and J for the continued comments. Great to read and my apologies for not thinking you both soooner. Also, great to hear some love for CREATOR, a film I really adore...

Will Errickson said...

Ha ha, the first R-rated movie my friends and I got into was 1984's Where the Boys Are. We paid some random older teenager a couple bucks to say he was our cousin, which he did, and which totally worked! Wow, I haven't thought about that dude in years. He actually argued with the ticket person! Good times. Going to the movies just isn't as fun anymore.