Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cloverfield vs. Cucuy

Back in the old days, we had black & white monster movies that in comparison to movies today look pretty lame. We grew up with the Channel 9 Million Dollar Movie running "Godzilla" every night for a week and twice on the weekends. Corny as it seems when I watch it now, that post-atomic era reptilian creature stomping through the streets of Tokyo still gives me the creeps!

Here's why: In the summer we slept with the windows wide open and from somewhere far away outside you could hear a scary noise late at night. If you got to bed early enough, you didn't hear it. We couldn't figure out where it came from, that loud, slow "WHOOSH-WHOOSH" seemed to be off in the distance, like big heavy footsteps. I swear, it sounded like Godzilla was marching up Brooklyn Avenue. Add to this, the family tradition of discipline by instilling fear. "That's the Cucuy coming to get you if you don't go to sleep." Any menacing creature is given the name of the Cucuy, regardless of country of origin. When the nearby brickyard finally closed, I learned the truth about the sound, coming from the bellows that stoked the fire for the bricks. So much for trying to scare us anymore!

A 21st century version of the Cucuy appeared in movie theaters this past weekend, and from the trailers, it has that same creepy Godzilla thing going on, stomping around the streets of New York, upsetting everyone and everything. This movie has the silly name of "Cloverfield" but don't be mistaken. This has the makings of a truly scary movie. Not the crap where blood is gushing everywhere, saws, machetes, guns, torn limbs, with flying mummies and psychopaths running amok. Yawn. Nah, I like the slow Mummy, the dusty scraggly one nobody can out-run, even though he's slower than your Granny. I appreciate a good "things-that-go-bump-in-the-night" movie. In a claw-to-claw smackdown, the Cloverfield monster would defeat any Cucuy from the 'hood.

Well, you can imagine my surprise the other day when on my way to work, I got stuck behind the radio DJ Cucuy and his tour bus. That was really scary, I was almost late!

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