I’m still figuring out what I can write about that you would find useful and entertaining. Monsters seem to be a good subject, so here’s one of my faves and why I think it works.
In the X-Files, there were some kickass monsters ranging from the camp fun of Worm Boy to the heartbreaking genius of Clyde Bruckman. But only one episode was deemed so disturbing that Fox (the channel, not the agent) decided they could not place it in reruns.
The aficionados gasp, for I can only be talking about the Peacock Family from the Season Three episode “Home.”
The Peacocks hit so many phobias of the able middle-class of Peoria. In order of appearance: they live in a run-down house near a kids’ baseball diamond; they leave a miscarried fetus where Jimmy Jr. can find it; they are backwoods hicks; they are misformed products of many generations of incest; they listen to the creepy “Wonderful” by Johnny Mathis; they kill lovable cops named “Andy Taylor” with their bare hands; they are proud of their Dixie heritage; the three sons have reproductive sex with their limbless mom. Then they get in their huge ancient car, put Mom in the trunk and get away.
To me, the writer Glen Morgan has always used the loving family as a source of dread (see his recent series “The River”). In many episodes of “X-Files”, the monsters either want babies, or are luring children, not for food or abuse but for comfort or empathy. It’s the Adams Family, obviously, mixing nurturing values with unsavory environment.
Glen also knew his viewing audience. “X-File” fans were not likely to sit and watch NASCAR or “Hee Haw”, so he took every redneck trope and cranked it up to eleven, while naming his unfortunate sheriff after Andy Griffiths’ character from the rural Avalon of “Mayberry.”
The reveal of this over-the-top story had to be gradual. The shadowy family could not coaxed from their house. There was not enough evidence for a warrant. Scully suspected a woman was being held hostage. The sympathetic sheriff who had been long-suffering with his name makes his move on his own and is killed by a booby-trap. The FBI agents discover the mother living in a drawer in a bedroom filled with ancient family pics and Dixie flags. They gun down two brothers, while the third and the mom make the get away.
The fans seriously lost their shit after this show. Fox took it out of rerun rotation.
Corollaries: Horrid rich people ? Watch “Society” or “Rosemary’s Baby”.
How could we create a horrific hipster? A horrid kotaku?