The Corner

Movie Disappointment

My son (11) is developing an interest in horror movies. This is a bit of a parental conundrum, as most recent horror movies are too gross for an 11-yr-old (and movie ratings, by the way, are, in my experience, deeply unhelpful parent-wise). So I’ve been casting around in my memory for MILD horror movies from times past, when things were a bit more tasteful. Well, I had a dim recollection of having seen, around 30 years ago, a movie called Sssssss, about a mad professor type (with, of course, a beautiful young female assistant) who turns people into snakes. It seemed like just the ticket, so I rented it from Netflix & watched it with my son over the weekend. (My wife, an ophiciophobe, refused to watch with us.)

What a disappointment! Sssssss isn’t the dumbest horror movie I have ever seen — THAT is a very crowded field — but it was way dumber than I remembered. The plot line didn’t even make sense. Even Danny could see how dumb it was, and wasn’t scared at all. What bothers me is, how did I so totally mis-remember the thing?

(Danny did enjoy the title though: “Dad, did they make a sequel named Ssssssssssssss?”)

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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