Halloween Endurance Test: the Video Best Week of Your Life Scrapbook/At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964)

This year’s [2008] Halloween Movie Endurance Test was inaugurated by viewing The Video Best Week of Your Life Scrapbook.  It’s a Young Life video scrapbook of some summer camp they must put on. It might have been the best week in their lives, but it certainly was the scariest fifteen minutes of mine.  I loathed this flick, I hope it translates into my (amazingly) hostile review.  

First off, the video’s full of kids who, by my best estimation, will all become soccer moms and those fathers you see on television who are too busy working to spend time with their families.  The ones who get choked up when they hear ‘The Cat’s in the Cradle.’  A song most likely found in their wives musical collection.  These are the same people who will end up having mid-life crises when they get older and realize that the streets aren’t paved with gold.  So they then become flabby and insular; living only to work and screw the wife while fantasizing about screwing the the secretary.  Which is fine, ‘cuz the wife’s too busy fantasizing about someone else during the disgusting session also.  Missionary, of course, ‘cuz they’re Christian.  Not too much foreplay either!  You just have to save all those fluids for Jesus!

The movie starts with a baton race.  Why?  Who in hell knows?  Apparently the ‘best week of your life’ will involve running around with batons!  To think you thought you knew all there is to know about you!  Now this race, and its inclusion, is puzzling ‘cuz one of the teams is clearly cheating.  

The kids end up running through the woods, passing off their batons.  They’ve decided to run this portion of the race backwards too.  Again I don’t know why.  You then see a guy, obviously winning, because he’s running forwards!  No mention is made of repercussions for the transgression.  I guess Jesus has to love you; even if you piss all over his moronic games.

Then they have a hoe-down.  Yeah, a hoe-down.  Complete with straw hats, overalls, and tons of white folks.  I guess I should’ve mentioned earlier that at the film’s beginning we saw the one token black boy get off the bus.  Last, of course, ‘cuz they made him ride in the back.  His departure from the bus, and the film, is shown in slow-mo in a desperate attempt to convince us that these aren’t all Aryan poster children we’re watching.  Which is only partially true; they’re really not.  They might all be blonds, but they’re all bleach blonds; of both genders!  I’ve never read any claim of Nazis using bleach to improve their Aryan-ity. Deny, cover up their Jewish heritage? Sure, but never anything about modifying their hair color.

Next up is the pool sequence showcasing the camp’s gentlemen pushing the women-folk into the pool.  There’s nothing like playfully reinforcing brutal domestic routines for everyone.  I always suspected that the church didn’t mind this violence.  Little did I suspect, though, that they actually taught such things!  

Eve was, after all, the cause behind mankind’s downfall.  So I guess it’s only fitting that these guys take out their ‘never-going-to-truly-be-holy’ frustrations out on the fairer sex as soon as possible.  Plus that whole Eve was made from Adam’s rib which makes her inferior to him.  

I’m already disgusted and I still have six minutes to go!  This is revolting.

Oops, looks like I spoke too soon about the token black boy.  ‘Cuz an Asian kid shows up too.  This is totally on the level now!

I get the sinking feeling that these are all the people that went on to marry their high school sweet hearts and sell life insurance.  They now order Girls Gone Wild videos and dream about what could’ve been.  Instead of focusing on what they could be doing now.

Was that a girl from my art class?  No wonder this video unnerves me so much.  It actually is full of people who I might not have known, but certainly had the opportunity to know.  That ‘holier than thou’ high school click that ended up getting their just deserts by being impregnated by (already married) dentists.  Now you could say that these girls had been taken advantage of, since they’re often doped up on laughing gas before being violated.  And you might be right.  But if I heard about what’s going on at these parties, then they had to have known too.  If I hear about it, then it’s practically a Parade feature!

‘Jesus Christ – the most attractive and captivating person to walk the Earth.’  Now disregarding the speaker’s man-lust for a second, but since-fucking-when was he that captivating?  I can think of many more captivating people, let alone attractive ones.  Sweet Movie‘s ‘star’ Otto Muehl is a perfect example.  I have a video featuring Otto crapping on a table.  Has Jesus ever released such a video?  Or even had such a tale included in his book?  (Did they leave that part out of the last supper tale? )  Not to kick a man after he’s been dead for two millenniums, but ole Jesus doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell nowadays.  Son of God or not.  

The music stinks too.  A bunch of (what else?) white dudes trying hard to sound earnest.  Going for that whole folk shtick.  Strumming an acoustic guitar type of thing.  You know the deal.  (And be thankful if you don’t.)

You really can’t go wrong with this film. A holdover from last year’s [2007] inaugural Halloween Endurance Test, I watched it again this year as a way to look back at the past, and also pad out tonight’s running time. No matter how scary those Young Lifers are, 15 minutes does not a horror film make.

‘If I run into the devil, I’ll invite him over for dinner!’ 

Coffin Joe obviously has his priorities straight.  At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul continues to hold up; for reasons beside the fact that I corresponded with Mr. Coffin Joe when I was in high school.  It was perhaps the greatest pen pal relationship ever.  I don’t believe he understood my English, I certainly could only understand a very small portion of his Portuguese.  But we both spoke the language of exploitation.


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