The best bits of horror are the ones that don’t come and go in a flash. It’s easy to look at most slasher films and yawn because the idea of a guy in hockey mask killing teenagers after they have sex is not only trite, it’s over too soon. Real terror is the stuff that sticks with you and running some kid through with a knife takes more or less about the same amount of time it just took the same kid to have sex with the hot cheerleader (or football player, whatever floats your goat) a few minutes of on-screen time ago.
At least they went out doing what they loved.
Even something like “The Thing” – a classic horror movie if there ever was one – derives its best scares not from the weirdly shifting alien creature, but from the growing sense of unease and paranoia that permeates the movie like rancid popcorn butter on your fingertips and the roof of your mouth. You’ll likely get over the head sprouting spider legs, but the gnawing worry that everyone around you is a thing will hang out with you in your house for a few days, drinking cheap beer on your couch.
Sure, you could say there’s a creeping horror that some knife-wielding maniac is going to kill you after you have sex, but if you’re really worried about that after nookie time, you’re doing it wrong. Besides, after you’ve dealt with a few knife-wielding maniacs you realize they’re just regular Joes looking for a swift kick in the balls.
Now, I get it, horror is different for everyone. Some people get squeamish about blood, others don’t like needles, still others – like me – have a thing about teeth. For my money, any horror movie involving root canals is gonna haunt my dreams for weeks. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a horror movie. That scene in “Marathon Man” where the Nazis are giving Dustin Hoffman an impromptu root canal without anesthesia still freaks me the heck out.
But the best horror stories are the ones that actually happened. They don’t have to involve witches or devils or Nazis with dentistry fetishes. The most terrifying thing I ever heard of happened on a soccer field in bright daylight.
This is a story that a buddy of mine in Kenpo told me. Apparently one of the guys he knew was a field doc for a soccer team and was working when one of the players got the ever-loving snot smashed out him. He got hit so hard it dislocated his hip joint – just popped that sucker right out of the socket. That’s scary, sure, but it’s apparently not an uncommon injury in soccer. When you get your hip popped out, you writhe around on the ground until someone pushes your leg back into socket and you move on. I gather it hurts, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. Not as bad as, say, having Nazis fuck with your teeth, but still not fun.
So, this player gets his thigh bone pushed out of socket and the medics rush over, check things out, and do what they need to do to get it back where it belongs. A few tweaks, a mighty shove, and the leg bone pops right back into the socket.
The player immediately starts screaming bloody murder and rolling around in obvious agony like someone just crushed his teeth in a vise or he just got some wicked paper cuts on his nipples. The docs, needless to say, were perplexed. They felt around and it seemed like the leg went right back where it should have.
The human body is a cool thing, but it also doesn’t take kindly to getting slammed around. The player had gotten hit so hard that it not only dislocated his hip, but it shifted one of his testicles. That testicle wound up in the empty hip socket just before the docs slammed the dude’s leg back into place.
Yes. This actually happened. Enjoy your next soccer game.