A while ago, I talked about moments that stay with you forever.
In the 1970s, my dad was perhaps the first person on our street that got himself a video recorder, one of those old top-loading monsters that was, as far as I recall, produced by Grundig. When I was 13, I sneaked into the living room one afternoon and watched The Fly (1958), although I wasn’t really allowed to. The film was absolutely tame, especially compared to today’s standards (kids of the same age today watch torture porn in high definition), but it had one scene in it towards the end that scared me sh*tless that time. The film revolves around an experiment in which Andre, a scientist, tries out his new invention, a matter transmitter, which he claims can disintegrate matter, then reintegrate it elsewhere. Just as he steps into the disintegration chamber, a fly also flies into the chamber. In the process, of course, his atoms become mixed up with the fly, and now he is unable to reverse the procedure.
Nobody believes what happened until the end of the film when two other characters, Francois and inspector Charas, discover the entrapped human fly (it has Andre’s hand and arm) in a spider’s web, with the huge spider approaching. The moment I am referring to is when the fly tinnily screams “Help me! Help me!”
Did I ever mention that I hate spiders?
That scene scared me although watching it today, I think it’s rather funny.
As one reviewer put it, “The climax (“Help me!”) has given many viewers chills while providing others with chuckles — I’m in the former camp; the primal terror of that situation never fails to move me […].”
But, it gets even more surreal and oddly Freudian.
When I then went up to my room and started listening to music on the radio, on came “All Around My Hat,” the rather upbeat title track from Steeleye Span’s new album (All Around My Hat. 1975). Until this day I cannot listen to that song without the feelings I had when I first watched that film scene quickly creeping up on me. Every single time.
I was and am weird.