As Steve Goldfinger has been one of our most prolific BOLLI Matters writers, we thought it only fitting that we give him his own feature for his blend of memoir and creative nonfiction writing. Welcome to the stable, Steve!
AT THE MOVIES
by Steve Goldfinger
My fright alarm went off for the first time when I was three years old. It was my first movie, and the picture, my parents later told me, was Pinocchio. It was Stromboli who caused me to shriek and them to carry me out to the lobby and then home.
Little has changed since then when it comes to my shriek alarm. I left The Deer Hunter when the Russian roulette scene had the soldier pointing a gun to his temple. I knew enough to never even try to watch Jaws or Psycho. If I had known about the bathtub scene at the end of Diabolique, I would have been spared that episode of chest pain and tachycardia. I was brave enough to join friends to see Fatal Attraction–but not without a blue woolen sweater to cover my eyes at the scene they warned me would be coming. I adjusted the pull length on the sweater to obtain a suitably gauzy image, but this maneuver prevented me from stuffing my ears to quench the music as it amped and crescendoed at the same time.
Much as I would try to imagine an orchestra on the set (ridiculous!) or a director in a chair in front of the actors and a hanging microphone just above their heads but cut away, it never worked . I just got too rapt up and would totally suspend any whiff of disbelief.
A sequel to the Saw series, a horror movie for the the films’ avid followers, will be released just before Halloween–concocted by none other than my own Peter Goldfinger and his writing partner, Josh Stohlberg. How could such a thing happen?
It is not Pete’s first venture into the horror genre. He is married to Jen Jostyn who had a lead role in House of a Thousand Corpses; and yes, its producer, named Rob Zombie, remains one of their close friends. A while back, the Pete and Josh duo wrote Sorority Row and Pirhana-3D which outdid Jaws by about a hundred mutilations, most of them attractive coeds being plucked from a lake and halved by huge scaly carnivores. The lake gradually reddened as the action progressed.
When I arrived to visit Pete in Los Angeles, he told me it was my lucky day–I could come on the set when they were filming Sorority Row. The nude scene. Well, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad. I discovered that viewing a horror movie in the flesh, so to speak, wasn’t really that upsetting. Not at all horrible.
So I await the pre-Halloween event. The title of this one is Jig Saw. I’ve seen a few trailers on my iPad. And I’m saving my blue woolen sweater for the real thing.
Since joining BOLLI nearly three years ago, after a long career in medicine, Steve has been exploring his artistic side. He has taken writing classes and participated in the Writers Guild throughout but has also taken part in CAST and the Book Group.
2 thoughts on “STORIES FROM STEVE: AT THE MOVIES”
Steve, this essay is completely delightful. I loved it. Thank you for sharing it with our BOLLI community. I look forward to more.
Wonderful glimpse. I am now thankful my grandfather waited until I was seven to take me to my first movie, The Day The Earth Stood Still. The nightmares only lasted six months, and I suffered no longtime trauma. I do occasionally envision a giant robot incinerating the earth, but I just mumble “Gort, Klaatu birotta nicto” and ignore the vision.