Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Paperboy (5 Stars)

This is my first blog post after arriving in Germany. I'll be continuing to watch and review films for as long as I'm here. Would you expect anything less from me? However, I do have a few problems. The main problem is the different layout of German keyboards. The letters themselves are in the same places, apart from Y and Z being swapped. This in itself is a problem. Even though I have the habit of looking at the keyboard while I type, my fingers go instinctively to the places where I expect letters to be. Even while writing this post my fingers keep hitting the Z when I want a Y. If I'm not careful I'll end up writing about "The Paperboz". Ugh!

The special characters are scattered around the German keyboard, some in the same place as the as the English keyboard, some in completely different places. The most difficult character is the @ symbol, which is fiendishly hidden at Ctrl-Alt-Q.

Standard English computer keyboard

Standard German computer keyboard

You can see the differences in these diagrams. Look at the symbols in the top row above the numbers. The differences are irritating for people like me who type a lot. The characters written in blue are the symbols accessible with the Ctrl and Alt keys. For instance, the square brackets, "[" and "]", have their own keys on English keyboards, but in Germany it's necessy to press Ctrl-Alt-8 and Ctrl-Alt-9.

Now to the film itself. The last time I reviewed it I pointed out that it's difficult to buy. It was released on VHS tape in America way back in 1995, but it's never ben released on DVD in America or England. As far as I know it's only been released on DVD in Greece and Australia. At least in those two countries people have taste! Unfortunately it seems to be out of print in both countries. Luckily it's now been published on YouTube. I assume that this is legal -- I hate illegal downloads -- so click here to watch the film.

Joe Bob Briggs calls "The Paperboy" the most underrated horror film ever. I see what he means. On paper it doesn't look like much. There's no high bodycount. There's no supernatural killer. It's all about the cute 12-year-old boy who lives next door. His upbringing in a fanatical Christian family has turned him into a stalker and a psychopath. After the death of his mother Johnny McFarley becomes obsessed with his next door neighbour, the school teacher Melissa Thorpe, and wants her to become his new mother. He doesn't care how many people have to die for him to achieve his goal.

Johnny would have done better if he'd looked for a girlfriend instead, but the only girl we see in his life is 16-year-old Brenda. She's too much for him to handle. She knocks him off his bike and sends him home soaking wet. Johnny's conduct in the film exemplifies a typical male characteristic: any man who is inadequate in dealing with women has a choice between two courses of action. Either he submits to her, or he resorts to violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tick the box "Notify me" to receive notification of replies.