This week I was asked a very interesting question, which led to a major problem and consequently - a major headache. Now before you ask me whether it took place in a court of law - no it didn't........those charges have never been proved and in any case I'm still in the opinion that sending a just a few emails a day to Helena Bonham-Carter professing my undying love is in no way shady or obsessive.
No, the question quite simply was; If given the choice, just what would my personal dream movie memorabilia item be?
Now you see, while I have considered that question before (as I'm sure have many others) for some reason I haven't spent a great deal of time pondering over exactly what dream piece of Scifi/horror or fantasy kit would head my personal 'want' list. Yes, there have been occassions of thinking occasionally "I like that Lightsabre/blaster/phaser etc etc and would just love to own it". The mere fact that I'm usually broke means that the thought and ability to pay the price of some much lusted after items never quite match. However, you know how it is with 'ear worms', once they find their conniving way into ones brain they simply refuse to leave. And so this was the case for me.
There I was, minding my own business and about to pay some online bills when I decided that I would quickly check my emails before parting with my well earned money. What could possibly go wrong? Well not much, except for an email that caused my ear-worm of all ear-worms. The message in question came from a representative of Invaluable.com who did two very sneaky things. Firstly, he immediately praised and complimented me on my recent blog article A love letter to Star Wars. I won't be so uncouth (for once, I hear you say) and embarrass him by going into details about his compliment - lets just say that it was effusive......and quite probably accurate.
Invaluable is the largest online global auction marketplace for fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles and estate sales.They have a revolving door of must-have movie memorabilia and props up for auction. For example, two years ago, they were fortunate enough to hold an auction for Harrison Ford’s blaster from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi.
Here’s a link to the retired lot: http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/harrison-ford-han-solo-dl-44-blaster-from-star-379-c-44e307f3bc
Apparently it created something of a huge amount of interest.....I can't imagine why :-)
So, back to the problem of the ear-worm. Those who know me well will be fully aware of my habit of becoming well and truly obsessed with questions that may never have an ultimate answer. So the request to think of my ideal piece of movie memorabilia morphed over the period of a few hours from being what should have taken a few moments of my time to eventually fill most of my conscious thoughts for the rest of the day. In other words, I couldn't actually reduce my list down to a top 10, let alone make a decision on the ultimate dream piece.
Eventually I decided to put on here merely a couple of my ultimate 'wants'. Of course, the list will most likely have already changed before I have finished pressing the 'publish' button....
A mask, a chainsaw and a suit from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
I'll take the mask.....or the chainsaw.....or the suit.....
Don't get me wrong when I say that I like masks. But it's a fact, I do. For me one of the hallmarks of some of the classic horror/slasher films of all time, apart from plot and action etc, mostly have an iconic mask or two. You all know the characters that I'm talking about. As it turns out, I would sell my children, pets and even my favourite wine glass to own a particular mask from a very particular movie. Actually, scratch that. I would sell all of the previously mentioned to own absolutely ANYTHING from this very movie.
I've never made it anything of a secret that my favourite horror film just happens also to be my favourite movie of all time. Period. I'm not going to give anything near a detailed synopsis of the plot as any self respecting horror devotee will be at least familiar with the rudimentary elements - the other two people in the world can watch it for themselves. However, to basically sum it up... Loosely based on the true crimes of Ed Gein, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre tells the story of Five teenage friends who are travelling across the State in order to pay a visit to their grandfather's grave after stories of vandalism and desecration have reached them. As they travel cross-country to the homestead they chance upon an old run-down property, where they are hunted and terrorised by a chain-saw wielding murderer and his not so lovable family of grave-robbing cannibals.
This is a movie that is much more than that as it takes you along with it on an adrenaline fuelled journey of barely suppressed terror. Indeed, there are times, particularly in the last act of the film when that the experience becomes more of a sensory and emotional overload - such is it's intense and unsettling power. There are scenes and images within this film that burn themselves onto your consciousness for a variety of reasons. Yes there are scenes of unyielding violence which will shock, even on repeated viewing, particularly from one of the true iconic horror characters, Leatherface.
I've been obsessed with this film ever since I saw it on VHS during the catastrophically misjudged attempts of the British film establishment to ban it for many a year. That obsession all these years later shows little sign of abating. So.................
I want one of Leatherface's masks. Please help me, I'm a worthy cause........
A Time machine. a smoking jacket & an Eloi wig from The Time Machine (1960)
I can see myself wearing that smoking jacket.....
The movie holds a special place in my sci-fi affections for two reasons. Firstly, it seems to have served as a much needed 'crutch' to lean upon in times of emotional uncertainty. For some reason, it has always been one of my 'go to' films where I could be certain that it would either soothe, inspire or provoke whatever emotions needed to be provoked at that particular time. I'm not sure why other films that I love with equal measure aren't on that 'go to' list while this has one pride of place on that list……….hmmmm, maybe this blog entry will serve as yet another much needed self-indulgent analysis of yours truly :-). Anyhoo, The second reason why I adore this version of The Time Machine is quite simply that it is perhaps the perfect example of how to make a truly beautiful piece of science fiction, features a stellar performance by Rod Taylor and the employs an endless array of creative and sumptuous cinematography.
However, for myself and many others, the real star of the film is the time machine itself. It is an object of genuine beauty. MGM art director Bill Ferrari created the Machine, a sled-like design with a big, rotating vertical wheel behind the red plush seat, together with with a plethora of knobs and levers that is a attention to a designers wet dream. It is a movie prop that has become an integral part of the wider entertainment history. Even those few that may never have seen the whole of this wonderful movie will recognise the truly beautiful design of the machine and from which film it comes from. It is a contraption that quite simply screams out Victorian Steampunk charm.
If anyone was to give me access to the full size, or miniature sized Time machine from the film, I would love them forever. If they were to get me access to a smoking jacket even a wig from an Eloi, I would love them for plenty years.
The Facebook page for Invaluable can be found RIGHT HERE
The Facebook page for Invaluable can be found RIGHT HERE