Our kids get out of school on June 16, and have been lame duck students for a couple of weeks now. They had to take some kind of intense standardized test, and then it was kick-back time. From what I gather, they’ve just been hanging around, sucking on Ring Pops, and watching movies since late May.
A few days ago the older boy was telling me about an anti-drug movie they watched, that was really old and over the top. He said everybody was laughing, and not taking it very seriously. Go figure.
And it got me to thinking… about the many “shock,” and hilariously portrayed informational films I was subjected to during my school career. And I thought, yeah, that would be a good topic for an update.
So, here we are. Below I’m going to tell you about the films that stick out vividly in my mind, all these years later, then turn it over to you guys to do the same. How’s that sound? Good, let’s go.
During grade school we saw a film that featured a woman suffering from elephantiasis. We pronounced it “elephantitis,” and couldn’t stop talking about it, for weeks on end.
The woman was normal-sized above the waist, but had legs the size of a washer/dryer combination. She was moving, ever so slowly, and it was like something out of Ripley’s Believe It or Not. We just sat there, wide-eyed and blown clean away.
News of this “elephantitis” movie spread throughout the elementary school within minutes, and kids who hadn’t seen it were completely out of the social loop for weeks.
It was one of the most amazing things any of us had ever seen. And, even taking into account the internet, it remains near the top of my list. Shit!
Also during grade school, we watched an anti-smoking propaganda piece that featured an endless parade of poor bastards with neck holes.
A few had electronic voice boxes, which made them sound like the robot on Lost in Space. It was mildly disturbing. But it prepared me for a guy on my paper route, years later, who spoke through one of those contraptions. He was really nice, and would vibrate, “Good afternoon, Jeff!” every day.
But it wasn’t the voice boxes that made the movie so memorable. Oh no.
One guy, you see, was so hopelessly addicted he continued smoking — through his hole! It showed him holding a cigarette up to the opening, there was a sound like a vacuum cleaner, and the tip turned red. Then, a few seconds later, a jet of smoke came blasting out of the dude’s neck.
It also showed a woman who’d just recently undergone a neckholectomy, or whatever, and was trying to learn to talk again. She kept going, “Bah… bah bah…… bah.” And we walked around doing that for a full month or more.
During junior high, all the boys in our grade were herded together into the gym, and they showed us a film about our “changing bodies.” It was from the 1960s, I think, and featured a lot of clean-cut doucheketeers in hard shoes.
The scene that sticks out in my mind was a kid sitting beside a small table with a telephone on it. He sat there agonizing about something, then picked up the receiver. He proceeded to ask some girl to the town picnic, or whatever, and put the phone back down.
Then he leaned back in relief, with his hands behind his head. And he had gigantic sweat stains, the size of trash can lids, under both arms. And the whole gym erupted in laughter/revulsion. Just a spontaneous, communal reaction.
And in high school we saw plenty of driver’s ed films featuring death and gore on the highways. Usually the Ohio highways, for some reason. One of these epics was called Mechanized Death, I remember.
All featured a lot of blood, and were fairly disturbing. But for some reason I clearly remember a scene in which a mangled car, now upside down, was shown in silhouette. It was dusk, and you couldn’t see much detail, but there was a corpse lying across one of the tires of the car.
I can’t explain why I remember that so vividly, especially since there were plenty more gruesome things shown. But there you go.
And finally, during a high school biology class, they showed us a film of a baby being born. A human baby… being born. And it was one of the most horrific things I’ve ever witnessed.
There was a lot of screaming, stuff ripping apart, a large tuft of Jimi Hendrix hair, something that looked like an entree at an Italian restaurant… It just kept going on and on. I wanted it to stop, but it seemed like it never would.
And now it’s your turn. Use the comments link to tell us about the movies you were shown during school, that left some kind of mark.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
Pre-order your summer WVSR shirt here!
IE: Further Evidence
theoatmeal.com has been producing some fine web content lately. Glad you found them.
I never got to see any of the good Driver’s Ed movies! However, thanks to youtube, I’ve been able to watch Signal 30, Mechanized Death, and several others. My daughter just got her learner’s permit on Monday, so naturally, as a “concerned father” I pulled up Signal 30 on the computer and had her watch it with me. The movie was gory, but my daughter’s horrified reaction was priceless!
For some reason, back in the 1970’s our teachers thought they had to give us an itro to artsy-fartsy films. Among the ones we suffered throught were “Rashamon,” The Seventh Seal,” “Occurence at Owl Creek,” and a film rendition of Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery.”
Damn… Dorothy got 28 Biebers and I only got 22…and I think she’s a few years older than I am ;-).
I remember a film in Junior High health class that showed an operation with a diseased lung being removed (anti-smoking film, of course). Since I live in Ohio, we also saw all of the Ohio State Highway Patrol videos too. Maybe Ohio high schools got a discount or something.
Yeah, Dorothy’s a few years older than you; that’s why she knows more street fighting tricks. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it twice: Don’t fuck with Dorothy in the street. She’ll slap you so hard your mama will get whiplash.
WB in OH says
26 or 33 beebers, depending on how much I lie about martial arts training.
We had a lot of the drivers ed gore fest films but I can’t deal with that stuff so I just kept my head down. Yes Buck, I am a PUSSY!
What is this Beeburs nonsense you all speak of? What did I miss?
Root 66 says
I remember in grade school, we saw several of the Bell Labs films–“Hemo the Magnificent” was the best one. They showed a guy with his chest all opened up and his heart was beating! Cool stuff (to grade-schoolers, anyways.) There was also one about weather, I think it was called “Meterora: the Unchained Goddess.” It too, was memorable since we grew up in tornado alley.
I’m amazed several people recall “Signal 30” from driver’s ed. I’ll never forget the charred torsos and the guy that got cut in half by falling out of the car door. Yep, that’s “burned” in my memories forever! I didn’t realize Ohio was so infamous for these films…i figured everyone showed them.
Drug Delivery Guy says
@Sam in Rochester
That is the most f***ed thing I’ve ever seen.
Chuck in Belpre says
Check the Further Evidence link.
21 Biebers!…I was not willing to bite off my own fingers.
Chuck in Belpre says
Where the hell are my box scores?
Daddy O says
“Free To Be You And Me” is still the stuff of nightmares.
Curse you Marlo Thomas (and Friends)
Mr. T says
rod serling paid to show owl creek bridge on twilight zone, and it’s available on the twilight zone treasury dvd. (it’s also one of three movies based on ambrose bierce short stories in the dvd “Ambrose Bierce: The Civil War Stories.)
it won the oscar for best short feature.
Thanks for mentioning it. I’ve wanted to track it down for years but I couldn’t remember the title.
Chuck in Belpre says
The only film I remember(and it horrifies me still) was that one they showed is sex ed, the “silent scream” abortion one…showing a fetus going thru a supposed saline abortion..skin sloughing off..etc etc. I won’t get into it. Didn’t change my sexual habits, but I never liked that ass of a teacher, forcing us to see that shit. 🙂
We watched the Apple Dumpling Gang once.
The weirdest video we saw was a video on safe sex. The narrator/actor came out and started talking about sex and the evils of having a baby when you should be fighting japs in north viet nam and of course getting the “exotics”.
Well he proceeds to give an analogy of safe sex being like being a beekeeper. Basically if you protect yourself you won’t get hurt and everybody ends up happy.
So it cuts to a field and he’s standing there in a full beekeeper suit and standing next to a beehive. It went from weird to creepy real quick. His beekeeper suit had a flap in the front that must have been custom made. He reached in, whipped out his dick (which was sheather in beekeeper netting) gave the hive a nice kick (to rile’em) and proceeded to fuck the buzz out of the bee hive.
Well, this must have been like the 3rd take because the bees had figured it out and had found a tiny hole near the flap and proceeded to storm his balls like it was D-day.
He dropped to the ground shrieking and writhing and then started rolling away like he was on fire (which he was in a way). You could tell the camera man was laughing because the view was jiggling ever so slightly.
I guess they thought that was as effective as it gets because that’s the take they kept.
In eighth grade science, we watched a film on sex. Some horny filmmaker thought it’d be a great idea to put a small camera in this lady’s hooha, and record the lady’s special friend making a deposit in the Bank of Bajingo with his..umm…third leg. And then show this to a room full of 13-year-olds.
It was rather awkward, and I’m not sure what we were supposed to learn from it.
t-storm…I fly back out on the afternoon of the 19th. Maybe next time. I coulda used a good wing man.
LEAVE JUSTIN ALONE!!!
i am trying to get back. friday the 18th Jason Isbell at Fountain Square.
I’ll keep you posted.
I know I went to school a long, long time ago, but the idea of showing a movie to 13-year-olds with this kind of content would have gotten the whole junior high staff fired.
In what passed for sex-ed, the teacher would neither confirm nor deny the EXISTENCE of a hooha, much less shove a camera up one. I will stipulate that cameras were larger then — maybe hoohas were too; I don’t have any information about that.
The entire sex-ed section of the required semester of “health”, which lasted about 45 minutes, consisted of the wrestling coach, Mr. Naubert, entering the classroom, letting us know that he would kick ass in response to any giggling, clearing his throat and sipping water for about twenty minutes, then mumbling to the class, (I swear this is word-for-word, though it’s been 46 years) “Just keep it in your pants, boys; just keep it in your pants.”
On balance, I don’t know whether I would have been happier the last half century had I taken his advice or not. It’s a closer call than I thought at the time, but clearly the information was somewhat less comprehensive than that which you received.
I don’t know where Mr. Naubert banked.
The Qweezy Mark says
Hoohas are actually much, much larger now. I have a lot of information on that.
Mr. T, thank you! I had no idea it was picked up by Twilight Zone. Now I have to find it. Oh yes, I need this.
WB in OH says
Good to know the hoohas got bigger, I was worried Mr. Winky was getting smaller.
Mr. T says
it’s also available on its own.
you can get it on netflix or from amazon
great movie. thanks again
Good Morning Surf Reporters……
In gradeschool we were shown “The Haunted Mouth” which told you to brush and floss. Scared me into brushing my teeth for 3 days straight.
On a couple of occasions in elementary school I sat through a movie about a woman who was born without arms.
During the course of the movie she drives, shops for groceries and then prepares an entire meal for her family WITH HER FEET.
Anyone else remember this one?
I grew up in the era of the Coronet coming of age films. They were shown at least once a week and were the cheesiest things ever. I recently rediscovered them on Youtube. Just keyword Coronet and you’ll be able to see most of what we were exposed to in the late 60’s and early 70’s. They are a real hoot!!