Every now and then I attempt NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, which occurs in November and is a challenge to post something to your blog every day for a month. I have been successful exactly once; I usually give up a few days in or forget to post just once and ruin everything. NaBloPoMo has become more ambitious the last year or two and now challenges bloggers to post every day, any old month of the year. They do try to help bloggers out by suggesting a theme, which is always optional and is intended to spark some creativity. This month's theme, which spoke to me as others have not, is strange. I'll bet I could write about something strange or direct your attention to something strange every day for a month. After all, there's an entire internet out there, and there's some freaky stuff hiding in its dark corners.
For instance, here's a kinda strange picture:
That is a still (or maybe a collage -- it's hard to tell) from the movie that scared the living crap out of me as a kid. My sisters and I saw part of it on TV one afternoon when I was about 6, and our screams of terror at the monk who hid behind pillars and broke the necks of passersby with his whip brought our mom running; she turned off the TV and told us to go outside and play. Since I didn't have the forethought to check the TV Guide listings to learn what we'd been watching, the movie's title was lost to us; for the next three decades Mary, Susan and I referred to it simply as The Monk. Whenever one of us would describe the movie to someone, we were met with blank stares; no one, it seemed, had ever heard of a movie about a murderous, bullwhip-wielding monk, and I'm sure it crossed all of our minds at one time or another what maybe the three of us had experienced some kind of mass hallucination. (Interestingly, none of us remember the monk's cowl being bright red, so I'm guessing we were watching it on a black and white TV. Hey, it was the early '70s -- such things were not uncommon then.)
A few years ago, my friend Norman showed up with a DVD in hand: a thriller entitled The College Girl Murders, with the red-draped monk, his whip, and a couple of scared-looking women on the cover. I think he stumbled across it at his local Best Buy. Could this be it? It was! We watched it and it was a laughably bad movie, with weird, out-of-place broad comedy interspersed with some harmless T&A and the much-anticipated monk-on-coed violence. Stranger still, the whole thing was in German! What the hell was some local Los Angeles TV station doing showing a 1960s German horror flick on a Saturday afternoon? My new DVD was subtitled, but the version my sisters and I saw must have been dubbed; none of us recall subtitles. So bizarre. Even stranger was the fact that I had had no luck figuring out what this movie was, after years and years of inquiry -- it turns out that the German title is Der Monch mit der Peitsche, or The Monk with the Whip, which you'd think I would have stumbled across somewhere.
I still have my DVD copy, if you want to borrow it.