As we make our way into November I can't help but remember something that happened to me this past Halloween eve. I saw the scariest movie I've ever seen, and, no, I'm not talking about Julia Robert's latest film.
It was almost midnight, and I was walking in Downtown El Paso by the old Palace Theater where I used to watch horror double-features for 35 cents when I was a kid. Later it became a porno theater and began showing movies that were horrifying in a different way altogether. Eventually it went out of business. Someone, however, must have renovated it like they did with the legendary Plaza Theater, because it looked like it must have looked when it first opened. I bought my ticket. It was 35 cents.
I felt like a kid again.
I went inside. The audience looked vacant-eyed, much like the porno audience of the dying theater's last years (not that I would know anything about that). The movie was about vampires who hid their true natures by becoming politicians. Chauffeured around in black limousines with windows tinted so dark the blood-suckers were protected from the sun's rays and angry constituents.
The hero of the movie gets elected to office, discovers their terrifying secret, and then spends the rest of the movie trying not to become one of them. The vampire politicians create zombie slaves who are kept subservient with free government cheese. It's a symbiotic relationship. The vampires can't live without the zombies votes, and the zombies can't live without their "free" entitlements from the government. Each creature's hunger causing the other's to grow.
"We are the nosferatu," the head vampire, Count Barackula, proclaims. "The undead. As long as you keep voting us back into office we'll never die."
The hero tries to lead a voter revolution to get them out of office, but fails miserably.
"We vote straight ticket," the zombie voters eerily cried as one, "because the vampires give us more."
"Don't you understand?" The hero was desperate. "They have to take from you before they can give to you!" But it was no use. The zombies wouldn't listen.
"More free cheese!" they chanted. "More free cheese!"
Finally the hero succumbs to the vampires... and votes himself a healthy pay raise.
What a great movie. It was filmed in a 3D so realistic you could actually swear Count Barackula's hand was reaching for your wallet.
When the movie was over I left the theater. I thought about our own upcoming election. I thought about how I was going to vote. Would I vote the same people back into office? Same people, same problems. I looked back at the Palace Theater hoping for an answer...
...but it was no longer there.