FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Apr 1, 2008

don't tell mom, the babysitter's hobnobbing with satanists

Unless you’re Paris Hilton, chances are when you hit your teens your parents put a stop to your weekly allowance and forced you to get a “real job”.

Wait, ARE you Paris Hilton? OMG hi! I totally saw you at the Scream Awards last year and you were, like, skipping down the hall and I thought that was funny. And I’ve totally copped your method for avoiding talking to people- you know, pretending to talk on your cell phone? Except I’m always forgetting my cell phone so I end up, like, talking into a fruit smoothie or my elbow and people look at me all funny. Are you and Nicole Richie still friends? I saw that episode of The Simple Life where you worked at Sonic for a day and it was—

Sorry, got off track for a second there*. The point is, jobs for teenagers tend to suck, don’t they? Retail this, fast food that, mow this, deliver that; no wonder teenagers are so damn sullen all the time. In my opinion, the worst of the worst job is the one that girls are most often saddled with: babysitting. If you’ve got kids, I’m sure they’re lovely. If you can relate to kids and you love babysitting, you’re awesome. Me? I just don’t really get ‘em- nor do I get the appeal of looking after someone’s kids for money. The idea of getting paid something like a dollar an hour to be saddled with the enormous responsibility of, you know, someone’s life is a bit much for me, even if the family should offer up “all the sodas you can drink!”

I say all of this after having successfully completed the Babysitter’s Training Course in 8th grade. Might I add, I even passed with flying colors- I emerged from the course with an arcane knowledge of snack mixes and I correctly circled “Call 911” in response to the question “What should you do if the baby explodes?” Regardless of my stellar performance, my certificate declaring me a competent babysitter didn’t inspire me to seek out work in that particular field as a teen- I chose the “retail hell” route instead. In fact, in my life I’ve babysat exactly one time...as an adult...for a co-worker who was in a real bind. I spent the day with her three ADD-riddled punkass brats and while it was happening, I wanted to kill myself. I came home with the migraine to end all migraines and something like $15 for my troubles. If I still had that stupid babysitting certificate lying around, I surely would have set it afire with only the power of my rage-filled thoughts!

As if that day weren't enough to put me further off of babysitting until the end of time (plus a week), then horror movies certainly would be. Hi, Laurie Strode, anyone? Or "Have you checked the children?" Babysitters, as a rule, do not fare well in the horror realm.

"Oh my God...there are children in the house?!"

Yesterday, Cinematical brought news of House of the Devil, a flick currently in production about a babysitter getting mixed up with a family of devil worshippers. Seriously, they had me at the devil-worshipping mom is played by Mary Woronov.

In my mind, this movie will be a throwback to an era when movies about Satan and Company were abundant and nonsensical. These kids today will deem House of the Devil "slow and boring", whilst I will deem it "atmospheric and awesome". The supernatural '70s will be back, baby- back in a big way! We'll see the DVD release of many weird and creepy thrillers such as The Haunting of Julia. The success of House of the Devil will show studio execs that original properties can rock and the remake train will derail for a little while. A seismic shift will occur in the world of horror moviemaking, and I can't wait!

So say we all.


*You know, I get off-topic and go all tangent-y here at Final Girl all the time. It's kind of what I do, though I'm not necessarily saying it's a good thing. Do you think it's a good thing, or do I ramble on about irrelevant crap so much that you get bored and confused? I'm always scolded gently reminded by editors at other websites for which I occasionally write that I need to stay on-topic more and be more precise. Is my style being hampered by The Man, or is my "style" only a "style" in my head? Has writing only to please myself- on a blog of all places- led to my growing a garden in desperate need of a trim? No, that's not a euphemism, yes, it probably doesn't make sense...and yes, I'd really like to know what you think.

28 comments:

dreamrot said...

Personally, I like the off topic tangents. You do it well.

Theron said...

A dollar an hour? Those are '80s prices, my dear. babysitters do quite well these days...

Stacie Ponder said...

Hmm. And here I thought I was accounting for inflation and adjusting the wages accordingly.

In my babysitting course I was taught that babysitters worked for butter or seeds if crops were plentiful that season.

(and thanks, dreamrot! I feel better.)

Pierce said...

I'm with dreamrot, the tangents are good! Don't change a thing.

Babysitting is lame. Guys can get saddled with someone wanting them to do it too ya know. My friends wife for instance thinks that I should be like a built in babysitter anytime she needs one. Screw that. It takes like 2 days to recover from a few hours of that noise. Plus she doesn't even pay

...Maybe the lesson there is that I need new friends?

Steve said...

The only time I babysat as an adult was for a co-worker once and then I invited my gf over for fun in a new and strangers bed just like in a horror movie. Luckily, we weren't killed by some sadistic, mask wearing guy watching us like we deserved!

Oh, and I'm a fan of 90% of your tangents.

Bloody Mary said...

Don't go changin' just to please them. The Man can stuff it. (May I refer you to your quotes of endorsement over there on the right sidebar, except maybe that last one.) The tangents are a value-added service, there would be just that much less to love if they were cut.

I was actually babysitting the night I saw Halloween for the first time - I'll blog about it this October!

Bill Walsh said...

Ze tangent, she is ze style.

MediaKitten said...

I'll chime in on the tangent train - love 'em! They always add that little extra spark, that little, how do you say, je ne sais quoi?

And Mary Woronov! Woot! But seriously, if I showed up for a babysitting job and she was the mom I'd run the other direction. Especially if she worked at a mall with robot sentries or was wearing a jumpsuit and a comet was set to fly over head...

BexyBissell said...

More tangents! More tangents!

Don't let the Man get you down. The Man sucks. He has ugly hair and wears tan loafers and chews gum with dubious flavor combinations like Cantaloupe Wintergreen Pizazz!

(Really. No need to change a thing...and please don't!)

Ryne said...

Definitely don't change the tangents. They add zing, zest, seasoning!

And yes, those are words from Microsoft Word's thesaurus.

Seamus of the Hill People said...

Tangent Girl rocks! 'Nuph sed.

Pax Romano said...

Just knowing that Mary Woronov is going to be in a new film has made my day.

And, no, I don't mind if you go off topic. Not in the least.

Adam said...

Your tangents are a delicious sprinkle of Adobo on your articles. Keep up the good work.
Babysitters AND Satanists!? I'm officially psyched.

Mariana said...

It doesn't make any sense to me to invite a person as a writer, and then ask them to change what they bring into their writing, their own style and personality. If the Man doesn't apreciate that, why didn't he invite someone else?

Anonymous said...

When I think of tangents, I think of that scene in The Catcher In The Rye where Holden is talking about an English class where they are supposed to yell "Digression!" whenever a fellow student goes off topic. Then he talks about how he actually likes the digressions.

So there. Digress with all the colors of the wind!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Seems like the tangents are part of your voice. I mean, you know, voice in the writing sense. I don't know what you sound like. That would be creepy, since I don't actually know you.

Anyway, keep the tangents. They're just as fun as the rest of your writing.

Joseph Emmerth said...

Don't ever change:)

my roomates, who aren't into horror movies, have heard me laugh out loud whilst reading your tangents so many times that now they look forward to me reading them out loud. So there you go; even non-horror fans dig your free-wheeling romps!

Anonymous said...

Simply: Yes, your style is being hampered by the man. Fight the power. Um, word. [obscure gangsta sign]

Kevin said...

I tend to digress (which is, funnily enough, a phrase I often employ), so your tangents are a joy to me, like jimmies on ice cream or an extra icing rosette on the corner slice of cake.
(But only if the cake is chocolate.)

Anonymous said...

Fuck the man! Don’t change a thing! I love your blogging/writing style, and I’ve stolen several of your favorite bits: namely referring to people (mostly at work) as “jerks”.
Kudos for citing The Haunting of Julia, a flawed but creepy film based on my favorite Peter Straub novel. Last summer when I was in England, I actually visited the house, street and park where the story takes place. While walking through the park, my wife, who knows nothing about the book, was like “this place is freaky!” We found the sand pit but luckily there wasn’t a blond haired girl burying dead animals in it.
Chuck Wilson

Stacie Ponder said...

You guys rule! And just so you know, the question wasn't me just fishing for compliments or whatever. I really wanted to know your thoughts because I've been told at 2 different websites to sort of...you know...cut the shit a bit. Trim the fat, lest the readers get confused or whatevs.

I mean, that's fine, but on some sites my 'voice' has been edited so heavily that the end product is barely recognizable as my writing, which, yeah, begs the question- why ask me to do it if you're going to change it all up and make it all un-Stacie flavored? BAH I SAY.

My tangents don't seem to confuse anyone here, but then I suppose that people who DO get confused or irritated just don't come back. People who come back are used to my...retardedness...and that's that.

The people who get confused or irritated and don't come back are jerks, by the way.

I'm totally rambling now, and it's feeling a bit as if I'm talking to myself. It's weird.

Can you believe the price of gas nowadays?

Chris Cooke said...

I am a good baby sitter by the way, quite in demand. I like kids and I feel like a bad uncle sometimes (sitting up with young teenagers watching horror movies, feeding the little ones sweets), but I deal with the other issues well enough - telling stories, changing nappies, dealing with tantrums and crying and so on. Though reading this was the first time I ever heard about this 'pay' system!? No one has ever offered me money... My back pay will be huge!!!! HUGE!!!!!!

And keep at the tangents, that's where the truth is and that's what makes Final Girl such a great place. It's why we read ya!

Goose said...

Never change, I like you just the way you are.

ARBOGAST said...

My teenage job was running the incinerator at a local department store. Why didn't anybody ever make a movie about that?

I love children. I'd much rather hang out with them than most of the people I meet in the film business. Kids never look over your shoulder while you're talking to them. But occasionally you do have to catch their vomit in your hands.

Tim Bird said...

Wait a minute- You can actually pay people to take your kids off your hands? Just, here ya go, see ya later? Wow. That's good to know. I thought you were stuck with 'em until they were eighteen. Or if you could find some Arab Sheik to buy them. And it's not that easy to find a Sheik here in the states. Believe me, I've been looking.

I don't mind your writing style at all, Stacie. It's fun following your thought processes and rambling free-associations. Guess I'm part of the last generation of unsupervised free-range kids that was left to our own devices after school. Did anyone see Open Range? I'm not a big Kevin Costner fan, but I thought Robert Duval was brilliant in it. We'd get home from school and put our book bags on the back porch and go and play until the street lights came on and then we'd have to run home and get ready for supper. Do they still make book bags anymore? We all carried them when I was a kid. Now they all use backpacks. Only backpackers used to have them back then. Guess that why we called them backpackers. Or dirty hippies. That's when they were begging outside the Super Market reeking of Petruli oil and playing acoustic guitars. What is a petruli anyway? Some sort of flower? An animal? Maybe it's some small rodent like a Muskrat or a Mink. They probably squeeze them to get the oils out.

I don't think you should change a thing. Although a little lipstick now and then wouldn't hurt.

ARBOGAST said...

Yeah... on your nipples! Now make 'em dance! Now gimme everything in the register!

Imon said...

That tangent right there made my day. I actually came back and read it again. And I felt I enjoyed it too much to not bother commenting on the issue.

Missy Y. (formerly A Case of You) said...

Hey, I'm bored at work and reading old posts. Did you ever see this? I reviewed it for FusedFilm.com. If you're interested, I'll send you the link. I'm not in the mood to pimp myself of my own accord.

But I'm curious to know what you thought about it, if'n ya did see it.