10 movies I should not have seen as a child
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My parents were pretty strict about television (until I got to high school and they pretty much gave up on me). I was allowed one hour a night and that generally meant a rotation of Full House, Hey Dad, Family Ties, Growing Pains and Who’s the Boss?. And movies were STRICTLY MONITORED. Except for on Friday nights when my sister and I would stay at our Grandparents’ house so our parents could have a night of pretending they were childless and pain free. There in my Grandparents’ plastic-covered spare room we would sit glued to the 8.30pm ‘Adults Only’ movie as our Nanna and Zeida slept through their twilight years. And, oh, the things we saw.
What follows is a list of movies I watched during those Friday night sleepovers, movies that upon reflection should never have been seen by my innocent, pre-pubescent eyes.
10. The Malibu Bikini Shop
This is the age-old story of two brothers who inherit a failing bikini shop from their dead aunt. One brother wants to use his new found powers for good and restore the business to its original glory; while the other brother just wants to see as much tits and arse as he possibly can. Hilarity/unparalleled sexism ensues. Shown on Australian television as The Bikini Shop, apparently the ‘Malibu’ in the original title was just too complex a concept for our tiny antipodean minds.
9. Bachelor Party
Featuring Tom Hanks in one of his first starring roles, Bachelor Party is about (GASP!) a bachelor party. School Bus Driver Rick Gassko (Hanks) is about to tie the knot so his ragtag group of friends throws him an epic stag party to commemorate the occasion. But in a plot twist no one would possibly predict, EVERYTHING GOES AWRY. The hookers end up at the bridal shower, a penis ends up in a hotdog, and (to quote IMDB) “the bride’s friends end up dressed as hookers in a room with a number of non English speaking Japanese business men”. Ah, the '80s – where racism and soft porn were like peas and carrots.
8. The Exorcist
I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain to you why The Exorcist is not child-friendly viewing. Suffice to say after seeing it for the first time at the tender age of eight I wouldn’t stand near windows for a year, and I still scream when a priest comes into my bedroom late at night.
7. Pretty Woman
Pretty Woman came out when I was nine and all the women around me went on and on about how romantic it was, what a fairytale ending it had. And if there’s one thing nine-year-old girls like, it’s fairytales. I began to fantasize that one day I too would meet an old dude who would pay me for grown up sexy times and then prevent me from going to business school. This led to me standing up in front of my third grade class and declaring I wanted to be a prostitute when I grew up. This in turn led to a very distressing phone call between my mother and the school principle.
6. Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society is a really good movie and remains to be one of my all time favourites to this day. It certainly contributed to my wanting to be a writer (although at the time I thought of poetry more than pop culture) and it planted the seeds of the teenage lust I would develop for Ethan Hawke. But it also taught me about teenage suicide, which I believe I could have lived without knowing about at least until I saw it on Degrassi High a few years later (RIP Claude).
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