31 Days of Halloween, Day 7 – The kids are NOT alright. It’s KILLER KID WEEK!
Countdown to Halloween:
Killer Kid Week
“Thank Heaven, For Killer Girls” Hall of Fame Inductees … Part I
I don’t really have the time management skills it takes to commit to doing a blog a day for 31 days. And I don’t know why I pretend I am. A busy work week, a weekend visit from the parents and a morning-crippling happy hour were not on the agenda. Life happens and our commitment to something that has no inherent value in and of its self; an endeavor based solely on the misguided notion that people should pause, take time out of their busy day and listen to what I have to say about really important things; things that matter, such as what movies about killer kids would be fun to write about … well, it gets pushed aside. But that’s just an excuse and, hey – that’s blogging, right?
So, there’s that.
But there’s also the fact that I ran out of killer-kid movies I wanted to tell “you” about. I didn’t want to write about the obvious movies like Children of the Corn (which is terrible, by the way), The Omen, Pet Semetary, The Bad Seed, etc. (And if I was going to write about The Exorcist at all, I’d be more interested in blathering on about its bizarre family of sequels and prequels, and none of those qualify as killer kid movies. Nor does the original really, when you consider that mayhem was compliments of thedevilhimself.
For these reasons, instead of a review of another killer kids movie, we can wrap up this half-assedly executed “theme week” with a list of my favorite little girls that kill; (And we’ll spread it across two posts so that it counts twice.) they’re the girls that aren’t necessarily at a movie’s center but leave an impression. Here are two of my four favorites in no particular order:
Little girl zombies are especially effective because they represent the worst that a zombie plague has to offer: sweet children turning into flesh-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to rip you apart even as you try to protect them. In this category two little girls really stand out. Karen is THE face of Night of the Living Dead, her image is iconic and her big scene … quite simply: unforgettable. Not only have we worried for this young girl; bitten in a movie that came out before anyone was really sure what it meant to be bitten — but we’ve also observed her heartbreaking deterioration. “I hurt,” she says. It’s a great line (and it’s what Kyra Schon wrote on the photo she autographed for me at Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland.), and all the more poignant because, well shit…she’s just a little girl. We hurt too, Karen. We hurt too.
And then – boom! – flesh eater. Not only the kind that would eat her own mother, but the kind that hacks Mom up with a garden spade — something that zombies don’t even normally do! — BEFORE eating her guts.
Mom is so frozen in fear, shocked that her sweet Karen would turn on her in this way, that she can’t even find it within her to do something so simply practical as … maybe get out of the way? -as her daughter moves toward her, ever so slowly? -with a spade in hands raised high enough above her head that intent to kill is obvious? You might also want to direct your attention to the fact that she chewed her dad’s entire arm off! Do you know how long that would take with pre-adolescent teeth? This little girl doesn’t do anything half-way.
Anyway, that’s the power of Karen.
Vivian ( Hannah Lochner) from Dawn of the Dead (2004)
She may not have the place in history secured by Karen, but she’s special to me. Not in a “Curly-Sue like-a-daughter-I-never-had” kind of way. But she represents a moment in a movie where you immediately become very glad that you are watching it.
Introduced in a quick establishing scene at the top of the movie, Vivian is literally the girl next door, innocently showing how she can skate backwards now! Moments later she becomes our first real indicator that some time between Sara Polly bedtime shower fuck and dawn, the world went APESHIT!
Why is the little neighborhood girl sneaking around our house in the early hours? Why won’t she answer me? What happened to her-? Oh my God, her face! Oh my God! She ripping my neck out with her teeth, and pouncing around like a rabid pre-teen panther! ARRRGGGGGGurrrgle …
Tah-dah! Welcome to Dawn of the Dead! Get ready for some crazy shit!