Now, I like The Princess Bride. I quote it, I laugh at it, I think it's hilarious. Now, anyway.
I caught my first glimpse of the movie at a tender age when I was on vacation with extended family at the beach. The beach house television was amazing since it got both the Disney Channel and HBO! HBO was verboten to me, however, since I was told it was an "adult channel," which of course made it all the more enticing.
My aunts and uncles and cousins were going to watch this new, cool-sounding movie on HBO while I was supposed to play downstairs. I could hear them howling with laughter at the screen, and I was peeved not to be considered old enough to join in the fun. Besides, I reasoned, what could be bad for me in a comedy? Comedies are for lighthearted fun and witty jokes! I love to laugh; I will join them and they will see they should have allowed me to watch it with them after all!
So, after I couldn't stand the taunting laughter above me anymore, I snuck upstairs. Still half-hiding behind the banister, I looked at the screen. A naked man was strapped to a torture machine and was having the life sucked out of his body! He was writhing in agony. And screaming. His back arched up like a rainbow of pain as the horrible, horrible suction cups sucked his life essence out like so many man-made leeches. Oh, it was terrifying. I ran back downstairs in terror.
This is what they were laughing at? I never could look at those aunts and uncles and cousins the same way again; they had just revealed themselves to be a bunch of sickos.
Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
The Princess Bride. Dir. Rob Reiner. Perf. Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright. 20th C Fox, 1987.
The Princess Bride (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
(See the Machine clip on YouTube here)