I was at a friend’s house the other night and we were watching some bad 80’s horror movies. This is a weekly thing for us. We meet up on Wednesday nights, grab some take-out food and make jokes about some truly awful piece of cinema. It’s great fun if you’ve never tried it.
Anyway, the film we were lampooning on the night in question was the 1985 classic ‘Return of the Living Dead.’ Return was an interesting zombie film in that it spawned a five part series and pitted people against zombies that were not just lurching automatons, but capable of running, speaking, and learning. In a famous piece of the film, a zombie uses the radio in an ambulance to request more paramedics be deployed to the scene (and thereby provide more food for the horde).
But the part that got me thinking wasn’t the zombies, it wasn’t the mutation-causing rain, and it wasn’t the logistical question about why a funeral home had so many ready-made zombie defenses built in. no, my question came from the nudity.
In the movie’s opening we see Freddy and his uncle working at a medical supplies warehouse. Freddy’s friends are waiting for him to get off work so they can all go to a party. The friends decide to wait in the cemetery (dun dun duuuuuuuuunnnn). While they’re waiting, a girl named Trash starts talkingabout ways that people could die, asking the rhetorical question, ‘what do you think the worst way for you to die would be?’
In the worst piece of foreshadowing EVER, Trash reveals that the worst way to die, in her opinion, would be to be surrounded by a bunch of old guys who would gnaw and bite her until she was dead. “But first,” Trash elaborates, “They rip my clothes off!”
With that, she tears her own shirt right down the front, revealing that she isn’t wearing anything underneath. She tosses the torn garment aside and proceeds to do a little strip-tease dance on top of a grave. She spends the rest of the movie stark naked. This isn’t a huge plot hole since she tries to seduce a guy after her dance and then gets eaten by zombies a few minutes later, but we’re led to believe that her clothes are all torn beyond repair and her boots are now lost.
Imagine that this had been a normal night, Bible Worker. Suppose Freddy had gotten off work, met up with his friends and they all went to the party. Trash has torn off all of her clothes (apropos of nothing) and is stuck traipsing around in a pair of ratty thigh-highs. How would they explain that at the party?
“Hey, Stan! It’s great to see you! Glad you could make it! ...so what’s with the naked girl?”
Not only would she have to go through the entire party naked, but then she would have to go home afterwards. Even if she lived alone she would still have to get out of the car, say her goodbyes to her friends and walk to the door to get in. even if you leave outthe obvious question of how she would get in anyway (one has to assume her keys were in her pocket, which is now in some graveyard bushes), you still have to wonder what’s going through her head and through the heads of the neighbors as well.
I’ve lived a few places, Bible Worker, and while I usually don’t care what people think of the way I dress or the music I listen to, I’m also not thrilled about the idea of old Mr. Penrose upstairs seeing me in the buff. Taking into account that Trash probably has fewer hang-ups about nudity (evidenced by her seeming eagerness for an excuse to bare it all) you still have to figure she’s feeling a little squirmy inside while she trudges up the walk.
That is, of course, unless this is such a common occurrence with Trash that it’s just taken as normal.
“Welcome to Burrito Central. Can I take your order, please?”
“Yeah, I’d like two beef burritos, a large coke, a side of chips and some guacamole.”
“We’re out of guacamole. Sorry.”
“…Then I’m going to rip my clothes off!”
“Ok, can I get you anything else or will that be all?”
Love in Christ,