Mucho De Niro

It is out of pure concern for the well-being of my readers (you) that I offer the following public announcement: Be on the lookout for Robert De Niro, as he is crazy and may kill you.

I discovered this chilling fact recently when my friend Jennifer and I watched the movie “Cape Fear.” In this movie, Robert De Niro is a guy who is a psycho-killer/rapist/bodybuilder who gets out of prison and decides, out of the clear blue sky, to kill his lawyer and his lawyer’s family. But before he does this, he decides to beat up the lawyer’s co-worker, a process which includes — and please note that some sicko screenwriter made this up, and I didn’t — biting a chunk out of the co-worker’s face.

If you’ve ever had a chunk bitten out of your face, you know how damaging it can be to your social life. That is why this movie was so frightening: because the stuff that happened in it wasn’t particularly scary, but it was disturbing, psychologically. After something gruesome like the facial-chunk-biting incident happens, you think, “Gee how awful that must be for her, having a chunk bitten out of her face! I’ll bet now she’ll have a lot of lepers calling her for dates…”

So when the movie was over, Jennifer and I were perfectly fine, because it wasn’t one of those generic horror movies, the kind with highly attractive teenage males and females who go into the woods that everyone knows are infested with serial murderers and have conversations like this:

HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE FEMALE: What was that noise? It sounded like one of the serial murderers that everyone knows these woods are infested with!
HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE MALE: I’m sure that’s not what it was, but I’ll go off into the trees, unarmed, to look anyway.
HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE FEMALE: OK. I’ll stay here and take off all my clothes.

No, this was the kind of horror movie that doesn’t frighten you until later. I was laying in bed, trying desperately just to fall asleep, trying so desperately just to fall asleep that beads of perspiration were forming on my forehead because of the over-exertion of my Fall Asleep muscles, all because I had realized earlier that it was extremely likely that Robert De Niro was going to burst through my window and kill me. Only in the movie, he never burst into anywhere and killed anybody. He always snuck up on them, only they didn’t show him sneaking up on them, so you didn’t know he was there until the victim did, so I assumed that he was already in my room somewhere, sneaking up on me.

Now, a few people have tried to comfort me with the fact that at the end of the movie, Robert De Niro is killed in a very permanent fashion, but I’m no fool. I realize that in the movie, it was only his CHARACTER that was killed. Robert De Niro didn’t actually die, of course — he was only acting! He’s still alive and well, waiting to kill me.

Since he never actually followed through and killed me, I assume he is still somewhere in my room, living off of dead spiders. So be on the lookout for him. If my column isn’t in the paper one week, you may assume that he has finally gotten me, and you should call this newspaper office (699-3004, ask for the editor-in-chief) and express your sorrow in a loud, expletive-ridden manner. That will surely get their attention.

In publication, my editor's office number was taken out, which I figured would happen.

This column is a personal favorite of mine. Writing about movies is something I've done a lot of, for every paper I've written for. I could probably write a humor column about a different movie every week if I weren't afraid it would get terribly old after about a month. Actually, I might do it anyway if the money were good enough.

This is, by the way, the only time I ever publicly admitted seeing an R-rated movie in its original, R-rated form. I saw plenty before I quit, but this is the only time I ever announced it so brazenly in front of people who might be concerned, like my parents. But as good as "Cape Fear" was, I really wish I hadn't seen it. It was so dreadful.