EVERY TIME I DIE frontman KEITH BUCKLEY waxes cinematic on the more important films of our time—sort of.
HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS (UNIVERSAL, 1987)
STARS: John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, Don Ameche
THE PLOT: On their way back from a hunting trip, the Henderson’s (fathered by the notoriously masculine alpha-male Lithgow) accidentally plow their wood-paneled station wagon into a hair-paneled man-beast. At first believed to be an actual man, the family soon realizes that judging by its enormous stature and almost inhuman muscular build, their near-roadkill was either me—Keith Buckley—or Bigfoot. (Since I was only 8 when the film was released, I was soon taken out of the running.) Seeing the monetary possibilities of their find, the Hendersons bring the presumably “dead” creature to their house, where, much like my alcoholic uncle on Christmas Eve, he springs back to life and wreaks havoc on the family. But unlike my uncle, the Hendersons learn to love him and become his protectors, rather than just letting him sleep it off in the backseat of his car and then mailing him a video of the family crying while talking about how he is not welcome in our house until he stops swearing at the babies.
THE POINT: Though at times comical, this film pushes the very urgent message of saving our mother earth. The purity of our wilderness needs to be protected at all costs, for if the â€¨careless and selfish ways of man are allowed to flourish, then the depletion of our natural resources is more inevitable than it was in 1987—and that makes man the true beast. If you believe this, and you buy into this movie’s agenda, then the hippies truly have won—but I ain’t no hippie. These colors don’t run, boys. These colors are hamburgers and the irrational fear of monsters who come out of the woods. ALT