My good friend Elizabeth phoned me the other night to inform me that it was Linda Blair's 50th birthday. The reason that this merited a phone call is that Linda Blair and her movies had a profound effect on us. Here is the story.
I read somewhere once that the teen years are the most impressionable that a person will be in their entire life and that the stuff you liked back then you will like throughout your life. This has certainly proven to be the case with me and my friends. We all remember the same stuff, and here is why.
1) The TV only had 13 channels. There was no cable. It's true! Therefore, everyone watched the same stuff on TV.
2) There were no VCR's. You couldn't record a show and watch it later. (I know, how did we survive those dark times?) Consequently, everyone watched the same stuff at the same time.
Bacause of these two things, certain TV events were the talk of the school the next day. The more memorable ones were Roots and Trilogy of Terror, but the one that I remember as being the most talked about among my teenage girlfriends was a movie of the week called "Born Innocent" starring Linda Blair. We already knew her from "The Excorcist", so we couldn't wait to see what kind of role she would play next. And she did not disappoint!
She played a teenage girl that ended up in Juvenile Hall for reasons that escape me. In fact, most of the movie escapes me now except for that one scene. The scene we all talked about the next day. The scene where she was raped with a toilet plunger handle in the shower by the other girls there. They called the plunger Johnny. They said meet Johnny and then they raped her. Whoa. It was a fairly graphic scene and left a serious impression on all of us. As I recall, none of us ever ended up in Juvy. Or is it Juvie?
If you click to make this bigger, you can read the back of the DVD box in the original 70"s curvy font. Awesome!
And the front of the box is hilarious!
The next movie of the week she was in was called "Sarah T, Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic". It was good, but not as controversial and we must not have learned any lessons from it since by that time we were all stealing liquor from our parents' cabinets.
Sarah T., your efforts were in vain!
So anyway, I couldn't talk to Elizabeth the other night when she called because I was out knitting at Starbucks with a bunch of people, so the next morning she calls me at 6am to tell me that I should knit a plunger cozy. For Johnny. I declined. Then she said that if we lived closer then we could rent Sarah T. and watch it over drinks. That sounds perfect.
So Happy 50th, Linda. And thanks.