You freaked-out maniac!

The satellite feed for channel 7 went out this Thursday, leaving me “Lost”-less until I can summon the patience to watch the episode on ABC’s website.

Luckily, Turner Classic Movies was available to keep me from doing something productive or sleeping, and I got to catch the last 30 minutes of the 1978 classic The Boys From Brazil. This is the one about Josef Mengele (played by Gregory Peck) hiding out in South America after WWII, creating dozens of clones of Adolf Hitler, and the Nazi hunter (played by Oscar-nominated Laurence Olivier) who puts a stop to his evil scheme.

It’s also the one that’s finally convinced me I just don’t get the 70s. For some reason, this movie is described as a “suspense/thriller” instead of a “comedy.” Did people just not get how silly this movie is? Were laughably absurd things genuinely scary back then? This is the same era that brought us the ridiculous The Omen and the yawn-worthy Halloween. Does it have something to do with all the cocaine I keep hearing about?

Going through the list of Culturally Relevant Movies I’ve Never Seen has been like walking through a minefield. For every genuinely bad-ass movie like The Killers, or goofily surreal masterpiece like Night of the Hunter, there’s at least two more that leave me convinced I should just avoid seeing them, so I can just trust Common Knowledge and go on believing that they’re better than they really are.

At least I can check off another Mystery Science Theater reference that I finally get: during a scene in Hercules Unchained, Joel has a lion scream “You killed my dad, you freaked out maniac!” That’s from the “climax” of The Boys from Brazil.

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