The Beast Must Have a Problem He’s Not Telling Us About

Friday night I imitated a normal person and left work before dark. I just sat at home and watched movies on AMC, so I guess I imitated a depressingly boring normal person, but still, it beats working.

Apparently, AMC runs horror movies on Friday nights, and this week we got: Puppet Master (a reminder of how horrible the 80s were), Magic (not as bad as I’d heard it was, but still not really good), and The Beast Must Die (quite possibly the greatest movie ever made in the history of cinema).

I’m only partly exaggerating about The Beast Must Die; I’m actually a little embarrassed that I’d never heard of it before. It’s everything a late-70s horror movie should be, and then some. It’s like a cross between a Castle horror movie, Enter the Dragon, and a blaxploitation flick, right down to the chicka-chicka-wow-wow on the soundtrack. Best of all is the “Werewolf Break” that’s promised at the beginning of the movie and then delivered 15 minutes before the end — everything stops for 30 seconds to give the audience a chance to piece together the clues and figure out who’s the werewolf. Plus, it’s got Peter Cushing and Michael Gambon, each of whom has this completely inexplicable ability to make a movie seem classier, even though their careers absolutely don’t warrant it.

None of the movies are actually scary, of course; the only disturbing thing about my evening completely and gloriously wasted was the number of commercials. I don’t know if it’s always been like this, and it’s just been too long since I’ve watched TV “live;” or if AMC saves up all their questionable content for Friday nights, but these ads were a non-stop Parade of Sexual Dysfunction. They had male enhancement products in forms I didn’t know (and was happier not knowing) existed — herbal supplements, powders, pills, drinks, and even a delicious shake. (Which kind of make sense, if my own results after a delicious shake are any indication).

All at varying levels of FDA approval, but with one thing in common: the ads are hosted by the smarmiest sons of bitches you’d ever want to see. And the women are all either rolling their eyes and grinning talking about “that certain part of the male anatomy” — I think they’re talkin’ about the penis — or there’s the one that takes the opposite tack and has the moderately-but-not-quite-attractive woman trying to shame guys into calling. “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?” she demands, and I have to reply, “I’m waiting for you to calm the hell down and see about getting those moles removed, lady.”

And that was before they started bringing out the vibrators and pumps. The vibrator commercial is bad enough, because it’s got women giggling over a magazine ad, unable to come (ha!) right out and say what the heck it is they’re even selling. Then the middle aged woman who’s been listening in the whole time pipes up and tells them where she buys hers. While you’re still desperately trying to get that image out of your head, they start with the ads for the Medicare-and-most-insurance-approved pumps for gentlemen. Those ads are all guys no younger than 50, most of them looking like they just walked off the set of “Hee Haw,” talking about how the vacuum action changed their lives and “if you got a brain in your head, you’ll call right now!”

And it’s moments like those when you think, “Yep, it’s been a good run, but I think it’s time for the human race to just die out now.” But they just won’t let it!

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