The SHALLOWeen Series: Harry and the Hendersons
This Halloween season, I'm presenting a new feature: The SHALLOWeen series! I'll share a series of very shallow assessments of all the movies (and the one music video) that have ever scared me. Get ready... I'm a true 'fraidy cat.
HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS, a 1987 family movie featuring the talents of Kevin Peter Hall, John Lithgow and Rick Baker, scared me mightily as a child. Well, the teaser trailer did, anyway. To this day, any cursory search on YouTube fails to turn up a clip of that teaser, something that has mystified me for years. Did the teaser ever exist? If not, how did I see it? Did I somehow slip bodily into this dimension the same way that "The Berenstain/stein Bears" and "Shazam" slipped out of it? Spooky Halloween thoughts.
Moving on . . . It's weird how a generally family-friendly, heartwarming movie with a strong environmentalist message could have been advertised in such a terrifying way. But it was the '80s. Basically everything was scary. Tylenol and subway trains and daycare centers and mailboxes were now perceived threats, so why not make a really scary movie trailer?
I'm not really going to get into the movie -- This is SHALLOWeen after all. But I will say that once I got over my fear and watched it, (I really don't know how that even happened considering the fact that I was so frightened of "Harry," I couldn't even hear the name without screaming), it became a fave. I'd watch it over and over and over again as children often do.
Returning to this movie as an adult, it was easy to think I'd hate the movie now... But I actually found it quite charming. It pulled at my heartstrings in new ways, and I loved it even more. Maybe living in the horror-scape that is 2017 America has really made me long for simpler times when a 9-foot-tall, nature-loving Sasquatch could be loved and protected by people who were able to eschew their former predatory behavior and treat him like a member of their own family. I mean, I certainly would. Look at that face!