by Adam Riske
I started to go to the movies without my parents when I was 12 years old. For the next five years, I was denied entry to R-rated movies on numerous occasions. These are some of the darkest chapters of my life. What follows is the account of five of those experiences, each one for a horror movie that I wanted to see badly at the time.
I’ve ranked them in ascending order of the anger.
What Happened? I went opening weekend to the Randhurst 16 to see Psycho (1998) and was not allowed in because I was only 16 years old.
Why Was I Mad? I’ve seen Psycho (1960) before and this is a shot-for-shot remake of that movie, so what are they protecting me from?
The Alternative: Go to another theater and see something else, which is what my friend and I did. We saw the even more R-rated Very Bad Things at the Town & Country Mall Theaters which unfortunately was not also playing Psycho (1998).
When Did I Finally See Psycho (1998)? About a week later I tested my luck at the Randhurst 16 again and was let in.
What Did I Think? It’s terrible and actually made me enjoy Psycho (1960) a little bit less.
My Sentiments to the Theater Employee That Didn’t Let Me In to the Movie: Kiss my ass.
What Happened? I went opening weekend to the Ridge Cinemas and was denied entry because I was underage (16 years old). The real reason I was not let in was because the theater employee at the box office was a kid from my high school (same age) who everyone, except me, picked on. He didn’t deserve to be bullied, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say he was a total asshole. My friend and I bought tickets to Rush Hour and snuck into Urban Legend. During the trailers, this kid comes into the theater (with a fuckin’ flashlight), shines it in my eyes and goes “GOT YA!!!”
Why Was I Mad? Because this little son of a bitch was on a total power trip and I was never even mean to the guy! Some men just want to watch the world burn.
The Alternative: Go see Rush Hour again. My friend and I ended up getting a refund and leaving altogether.
When Did I Finally See Urban Legend? A few weeks later at the Randhurst 16. The same inconsistent mother fuckers that denied me entry to Psycho (1998) three months later!
What Did I Think? It was a generic and lame slasher whodunit notable only because it was a ripoff of the Scream movies. Hip cast!
My Sentiments to the Theater Employee That Didn’t Let Me In to the Movie: Asshole!
What Happened? I went opening weekend to the Ridge Cinemas and was denied entry (again) because I was underage (14 years old).
Why Was I Mad? Because my friend’s mom was right there with us! All she had to do was say “It’s cool, these kids can see The Frighteners” and the ticket dude would have probably let us in. But instead she goes (at the theater mind you) “This is R? You can’t see that, guys. Four for Multiplicity.” Fuck you, Evan’s mom!
The Alternative: None. Evan’s mom was my ride home. I had to see Multiplicity.
When Did I Finally See The Frighteners? A few weeks later at the dollar theater. I made sure Evan and his punk ass mom were nowhere in sight.
What Did I Think? Disappointing. I’ve tried re-watching it numerous times and I never enjoy it even though I want to enjoy it. Multiplicity is a better movie.
My Sentiments to the Theater Employee That Didn’t Let Me In to the Movie: Ugh, mommies!
What Happened? I went to the Town and Country Mall Theaters and the woman at the box office would not let me or my friend in to see the movie. We were 13 years old at the time. A lone gentleman heard of our plight and offered to buy us tickets. We would have to pretend we were all together. Before my friend could say “Yes,” I actually said out loud “Stranger Danger” and ran to the Garibaldi’s pizzeria near the entrance of the mall.
Why Was I Mad? Two reasons: 1) I did not get to see the movie and it was on a Friday the 13th of October. How cool would that have been? And 2) I may or may not have been about to be kidnapped and drugged and all sorts of bad things. Maybe the guy was just being nice. I don’t know. But it creeped me the fuck out.
The Alternative: The only non R-rated movie playing at the theater I remember was Disney’s The Big Green. Fuck that noise.
When Did I Finally See Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers? I waited until video.
What Did I Think? It’s terrible.
My Sentiments to the Theater Employee That Didn’t Let Me In to the Movie: You almost got me kidnapped!
What Happened? During most of my childhood, I was obsessed with Tales from the Crypt. I even used to watch reruns on Fox with all of the nudity and violence cut out. One Saturday night while watching a rerun, I saw a commercial for Demon Knight opening Friday, January 13th. My head exploded.
Cut to a couple weeks later, I rounded up my crew of fellow 12 year olds and had my dad drive about seven of us to the goddamn Ridge Cinemas to see Demon Knight. One of the other kid’s parents, a kid named Billy, was supposed to have his mom pick us all up after the movie. First problem, the box office person wouldn’t let us in. My dad went up to the guy and even said it was ok. The ticket guy goes “You have to go in there with them” and my dad was all “No, that’s not going to happen.” My dad doesn’t enjoy horror, which I knew going into this debacle, so I wasn’t mad at him. So my dad suggested we call the Woodfield 3 & 4 and see if they would let us in. If they would, he would drive all of us 20 minutes out of the way to the theater. The Woodfield 3&4 was all “Yeah, we don’t give a fuck.” So my dad drove us. Billy said his mom said it was cool and that she would pick us up but to find out what time the movie ended.
My dad drives us to Woodfield and Billy asks what time the movie ends. They say 9:40pm. Then Billy calls his mom who’s all “What? 9:40pm. That’s too late.” So my dad drives us all home.
Why Was I Mad? Because I was SO CLOSE and because Billy’s mom was (I’m not saying she is one) acting like a stupid biotch. Princess couldn’t pick us up at 9:40pm. Maybe she should stop drinking wine at 3pm.
The Alternative: Back at Ridge Cinemas, the only other option was seeing I.Q., which half of my group was onboard with. They were idiots.
When Did I Finally See Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight? Two weeks later at the Town & Country Mall Theaters. The wait was endless. This was back in the day when two neighborhood theaters didn’t have the same movies. I had to wait for Ridge Cinemas to give up their print to Town & Country.
What Did I Think? It was and still is one of my favorite horror movies. It’s unbelievably entertaining.
My Sentiments to the Theater Employee That Didn’t Let Me In to the Movie: FUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK YOU! And Billy’s mom for good measure.
I'm just going to feel a bit old at the moment and mention that when you were seeing very Bad Things at Town & Country I was probably working down the hall at the Waldenbooks there (god, what a weird empty mall at times that was).ReplyDelete
Haha. That makes me happy for some reason. I used to love the pet store there. I would visit the pot belly pig from time to time and see how it was doing.Delete
Yes! Urban Legend! It's a horrible movie but CRAZY BRENDA gives me so much life that I don't even care.ReplyDelete
Hilarious article Adam - the only one of these I had any interest in seeing was Urban Legends and I did - I was in my first year of university but only 17 so I guess I got lucky!ReplyDelete
My worst rejection was for a sorta scary movie you may have heard of - Jurassic Park! - which was only PG-13 but my parents dropped my sister (8) and I (13) off at a theatre (while we were vacationing in PEI) and they wouldn't let her in with just me. She totally coulda handled it - she'd been watching Ft13 movies and the like with me for years. Anyway, I wasn't about to waste my time watching fucking Dennis the Menace so I trudged back to the hotel feeling more disappointed than I'd ever been and definitely interrupted some "alone time" my parents were planning on having. I guess my dad and I both suffered blue balls of a sort that day!
That's horrible! When you want to see Park, you want to see Park!Delete
Well this makes me feel incredibly old as I was "of age" and able to freely walk into all five of those movies with no problem. Other than that, believe it or not, I never had an issue of being turned away like this.ReplyDelete
The closest was either Child's Play 2, which a friend and I had to argue with the ticket taker who had to be convinced to let us in despite the fact we had tickets, or Basic Instinct when my friend's brother bought the tickets and it was just us two 16 year olds and, no joke, a women's church group. That one was interesting...
Between "Hip Cast!" and "fuck you Evan's Mom" this article officially had more laughs than Anchorman 2. What a clever premise for an article. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Oooh yes. That remark hit home. Those character types that love power and revel in it. Gets to me too. Reminds me of bouncers at night clubs. So sad. Even more annoying when you try to be nice and polite and get nowhere. UrrgggReplyDelete
I wish I got to see Demon Knight at the pictures. I love that film
I started going to community college when I was 16 so I would use my college ID to get into movies (they always bitched about it not having my birthdate, but they still let me in). Only time it didn't work was The Blair Witch Project, and I made my mom take me later the same day. Person working the box office had the nerve to ask my mom "are you related to him?" My mom hated the movie but I loved it. Thanks for the assist, Mom, and for putting up with a movie that gave you motion sickness! I haven't seen it since, but that will always be a fond movie-going memory.ReplyDelete
Your mom sounds cool :-)Delete
So, the gist of it is that you were disappointed with four out of the five films a little later than you would have been...?ReplyDelete
No not reallyDelete
When I was 10, the box office lady at Classic Cinemas talked my mom out of letting me see Epic Movie.ReplyDelete
Thank you Classic Cinemas lady, without you I probably wouldn't be in school anymore.
It is part of being a film lover to be denied seeing films you really wanted to at the time I think! People think I look younger than I am so I got asked ID when buying Belle de jour. I convinced the guy behind the counter that this is not the type of film someone under 18 is going to try to get away with. If they are buying Belle de jour, they are old enough to watch it! Weird difference in ratings for you, the Psycho remake is 15 here so you would have been okay!ReplyDelete
This article is so darn entertaining.ReplyDelete
This is one of the best articles I've ever read on F This Movie! I laughed out loud. So relatable, too!ReplyDelete
I remember getting shut down from seeing The Talented Mr. Ripley in the theater when I lived in Washington, not because I was underage but because my friend was only 16 and I felt like I couldn't just saunter in when she'd been turned away. We bought tickets for the only other movie showing around that time: Stuart Little. Then we snuck into Ripley, only to have a theater employee bust us before it started and usher us into Stuart. I was livid but stayed for Stuart Little anyway; later watched Ripley on DVD and loved it.