Dreams of My Father

A typical Sunday morning at the MadMan residence consists of coffee and watching “Home Foreclosure Auction” on public access (the only channel we have now). It’s fun because we can either pretend we’re in the market to buy or we can spot homes we recognize from the neighborhood and gloat that at least we aren’t those people. And then my father calls and we talk business. I use the term loosely. “Business” for my father usually consists of the week’s finds. This morning:

FATHER:  I saw Zombieland. I’m glad they didn’t puss out on the opening credits and used old-school 80’s metal. It was pure balls going with “For Whom The Bell Tolls”.

ME:  Totally.

FATHER:  It was the best opening credits I’ve seen since Watchmen. Real ingenious scenarios. But World War Z is the one to wait for. Did you see Splinter was on ScyFy last night?

ME:  No dad. We don’t have television anymore.

FATHER:  Well did those fucking bastards even watch the movie before they put in the commercial breaks? Jesus Christ. The whole set-up ruined in that scene where they need to get out to the car to grab the radio… you have the criminal guy armed with the shotgun and the thing’s up on the roof and they go and put a god damn commercial break right in the middle.

ME:  They’re buttholes, dad. It started when they stopped putting out originals.

FATHER:  Well anyways, there’s this trailer you have to check out. Called ‘The Canyon’. Have you seen that? About this couple that gets caught in the Grand Canyon? You really have to check that out. I’ve been watching the Magnet Films site and just renting anything they put out. It’s all this really clever, really minimal stuff that’s all good. I mean, I loved Slither and…

My father is acting president of a firm which has 14 offices nationwide. He votes Republican and watches Fox News constantly. And yet he boasts one of the largest horror film & rock music catalogs this side of the Mississippi. It rivals Alexandria. Why he never worked in entertainment is a mystery to me. The man could spot a sleeper hit the way “The Golden Jew” could pick sports teams in Casino.

So I looked up  “The Canyon” movie. I have to admit; this looks pretty damn intriguing. Like “Open Water” set in the arid southwest.


Logline: A honeymooning couple gets lost in the wide expanse of the Grand Canyon.

Maybe because it’s flat and devoid of wetness and shadows that people don’t view the desert as creepy a location as the woods. Personally, the desert terrifies me. They’re still finding shit from World War 2 rotting out there. Much like the ocean in “Open Water”, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of being caught in the limitless wide open. All you can do is flail your arms and yell for help.

There were eight of us driving back from a Vegas trip years ago. The van we were piled in was new, but started to have engine problems because it was built by Ford. So we pulled onto one of those little desert off-roads trying to find a service station. Somewhere between Barstow and Victorville the van broke down. This was in the end of August. It was 106 degrees outside and we were miles from anything. We spent six hours waiting for a tow truck. During that time we wandered to a little turquoise colored desert shack in the middle of nowhere… the kind with rattle-snake heads mounted on a chain link fence and rusty old cabs cooking in the sun.  Long story short, one of us did something stupid that drew the anger of the men we didn’t know were living inside. Big beefy desert men. I shit you not they chased us off of their property with a fucking shotgun. And this was only in our second hour of waiting for the tow truck. Once we got back to the van we had to spend the following four hours paranoid that Bubba and the gang would come rolling up in a pick-up to take us back to the shack to see Zed. No water. 106 degrees outside. There is nothing more fucked up than the middle of the desert. I’m excited to see this movie.


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