Those kids, it has always seemed to me, were damned insipid. They deserved everything they got. I remember thinking that when I was about six. They risked death for a lollipop.
I sighed through “Hushabye Mountain.” Still do. The world is no Hushabye Mountain, that’s for sure.
Anyway, the Child Catcher is a sort-of personal hero of mine, a great wallow in horror. The best character I know. He’s the boogie man, worse than a vampire, because he preys on children. And he rips them away from their parents. It’s so Anne Frank, really. How it must have terrified European parents in 1968, 23 years after the war. And note, too, that the parents dress in lederhosen.
Right now, I’m writing a short story about the Child Catcher, but am not quite pulling it off. . .
Interestingly, Ian Fleming didn’t pull it off, either.
His book, doesn’t even have the Child Catcher. In fact, it doesn’t even have the Baron; it’s a lackluster piece of hum-drumery of very low quality. Really, don’t bother. It’s just James Bond gadgets for kids. The family just rides around in France, for crying out loud.
I love it when movies are better than the book (Wizard of Oz, another one–there’s no Wicked Witch).
Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang was the second movie I ever saw (the first was something about a man who had befriended a shark). I saw it in some theater located on a high floor in Tokyo. I remember looking out the window in the lobby and seeing gigantic billboards. Below was all of Japan.
With me was my nanny, Miss Kim. I had no worries about Child Catchers in gentle Japan. If I was lost, it was easy to find my tall, Caucasian mother. My nephews, however, who grew up in South Carolina, were terrified by this scene.
Oh, their delicate horror.
On another note: Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd does “Hushabye Mountain.” It’s kind of Dark Side of the Rainbow.
Actually, THIS is Dark Side of the Rainbow