Sunday, January 13, 2008

Wilhelm Screaming

(Note: sung to the the tune of "California Dreamin'") Sheb Wooley played Pvt. Wilhelm in DISTANT DRUMS (see the marquee from Chicago's Victory Theater circa 1954), and the Wilhelm Scream has been used dozens of times in film, and in my real life. well, because its a girly-man scream. Last time I used it was when I opened the plant at 6:45, my footprints the only one in the snow, then letting a wail out when I heard Dee from bindery saying hi, after entering through another door. Surprisingly, the Wilhelm Scream is used in DEATH PROOF, now one of my favorite Kurt Russell films (and I know I'm gonna get shit from some of you). But, hey, I've got a man-crush on Kurt, and if he and Ernest Borgnine were the actual stars in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, well, I'd be watching it every snowy night. But this blog entry has a path you see, one that leads back to the ubiquitous scream. After hearing Jack Nitzche's "The Last Race" and The Coasters' "Down In Mexico" on the soundtrack, I spent the morning going through my stack of cassettes. Honest-to-God & Elvis cassettes. I slip in the mix I call "Dance, Clown, Dance!"--120 minutes of pure bliss, the songs mentioned above some guys singing the Spanish version of Elvis's song (Marie's The Name Of) His Latest Flame." Aiiee, chihuahua. "Wrestlin' Women," "Tornado," "Private Eye." Don't ask me the singers names, its a mix from other mix cassettes, what they call a polak hillbilly mix. Hell, it even had "King Tut" on it. Well, I clacked it in my player, it went squeeeeee and snapped. My first Wilhelm Scream of the new year. I'm sure I can find someone to fix it, just as Steve Austin was fixed and became that Million Dollar Baby, or whatever. First the computer is my nemesis, is it now reaching out to all mechanical objects to destroy me? Will the metal shards in my arm make me fight myself like Bruce Campbell in EVIL DEAD 2? Questions abound...