Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Facts of Life - Seven Little Indians

About two years ago, I ran a post about Childhood Nightmares.  Included was a section on the Halloween episode of The Facts of Life.  The episode was pretty creepy, with the girls afraid that Mrs. Garrett had been possessed by the spirit of a murderess.  I incorrectly informed you that there was a Robert Serlingesque narrator in the episode.  I had confused The Halloween Episode with the  Seven Little Indians episode.

Strange things are afoot.....
 Seven Little Indians was an Eighth Season episode (number Twelve to be exact), which aired on January 3rd, 1987.  I can quite vividly remember watching the episode for the first time.  Let's was I was eight.  This was a little bit before I had first been exposed to Nightmare on Elm Street, so I was still pretty soft and quite a wuss.
Don't worry, George....have a balloon!
This episode plays as a body count/who-dun-it.  The girls take Andy to a horror movie (The Halloween Hacker 3: Part 6, A New Beginning, Dave Returns, Again).  on a dark and stormy night.  Tootie is freaked out by the film and can't sleep.  She hears noises downstairs and we discover that Andy is dead in the store, his mouth full of rubber cement.  The way in which the girls try to rationalize his death is pretty amusing:

Beverly : As you can see he must have come in here to blow up the inflatable moose.....

Natalie : Somehow the antlers punctured the plastic container.....

Jo: Spilling the horseradish......

Natalie : Causing him to slip on the jellybeans....... 

Tootie: And when he opened his mouth to say "Ouch!",

Jo: The rubber cement fell in and finished him off!

Beverly: Death by Rube Goldberg!

Rube Goldberg, in case you are wondering, was a cartoonist and inventor who made a series of cartoons that showed insanely complex machines that were used to for the most mundane tasks.  Basically like the crazy contraptions you'd see on Looney Tunes.....or even better....remember the board game Mousetrap?  Yep, like that.

You know things are freaky when the ketchup floats....
After Andy's death, the rest of the cast falls victim to the mystery killer Agatha Christie style, all the while having events narrated by the Rod Serling wanna-be.  I loved the Rod Serling guy.....his main schtick is that he likes to say Tootie's name.  It's fun for him, I guess. is kinda fun.

The other deaths are amusing as well, death by fuzzy dice strangulation, Beverly is poisoned and makes quite an over dramatic exit....and even George Clooney makes and appearance (oh yeah....George Clooney had a recurring role, in which he played a character named.....erm.....George).  Sadly ol' George doesn't last long and ends up hung up on the coat rack in the closet.  The ending scared the shit out of me more that it really should have.  Of course now, I find it hilarious, but I'll tell you what.....when I was eight, it nearly destroyed me.

May be funny now....not so much twenty five years ago!
In my childhood bedroom, my closet door did not close all the way.  It was always open just a crack.  My bed was next to the closet door and I couldn't stand the thought of a killer standing in my closet, peering at me from the darkness.  I remember climbing down the stairs and telling my mother how scared I was.  I spent a good forty-five minutes sitting with my mother while she comforted me and assured me that there were no killers in my closet.  It's amusing to think back to those more innocent days and look at what I've become. I'm quite sure that as my mother was comforting me that night, she certainly never would have thought I would become The Midnight Cinephile.  Funny ol' world, ain't it?

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