Friday, November 21, 2008
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…
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.
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***