Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

‘Z’ is for ‘zombie’; also for ‘Get that kid out of here’

I had an amazing time the other night at the preview for “World War Z.” In attendance with me and several hundred other lucky movie revelers were the members of the effervescent Fresno Zombie Society. Nothing quite screams scary-awesome like watching a zombie-thriller-action movie with several hundred, blood-and-gore-coered zombies in attendance.

Throughout the show there I sat, munching popcorn,¬† heart pounding and palms sweating; all with a bloody corpse next to me breathing heavily. Their presence really enhanced the mood. (SIDE NOTE: Let it be known that the zombie seated at my left — incredibly nice brain eater, though she was — was just as freaked out as I.)

But no spoilers here — I’ll leave the movie opinion stuff to Rick. Most of it. I do have one thing I’d like to share. A pet peeve, if you will. A large, hairy, overgrown pet peeve that punches me in the face EVERY TIME I go to a movie preview. PARENTS: It’s your crappy parenting.

Movie previews are free; and for those of us with tiny, miniscule pocket books, that means surplus-side in the old budget. Everyone deserves a night out, but especially parents. They  SHOULD be able to have time away, a date night, an opportunity to have fun like NORMAL, non-breeding people. In fact, when I had young kids, I used to weep with joy at the very opportunity of two entire hours to myself.

Here’s the gig: You can’t actually have an enjoyable time away from the kids unless YOU ACTUALLY LEAVE THEM AT HOME. As in, NOT WITH YOU. In the theater. Annoying the rest of us or dying of fright or losing what precious little semblance of innocence they still maintain.

Not all movies require this — as clearly, not all previews are for horror films. “World War Z,” though, was completely, horrifyingly HORRORFUL. Bloody corpses leaping with terrifying snarls devouring other humans? SO SCARY. And lady who brought her 4-year old? I wanted to punch you in the face. WITH A CHAIR.

What were you thinking, stupid lady? What were you thinking bringing a TODDLER with juuuuuust enough cognitive development to understand the visuals of humans eating and chasing and shooting each other but zero capacity to understand that the monsters and the violence are not real or that the fourth wall is just a screen with light projected at it — what went through your limited, selfish brain before foisting this kind of hellish experience upon that tiny child? YOUR tiny child? How is it that your life, your need to see a FREE FREAKING MOVIE trumped the mental well-being of your 4-year-old?

Naysayers: Yes, I hear your limited arguments about how it’s a parent’s choice and how the theater should have stopped the parent and how the kid will likely be fine, it’s just a movie, blah blah blah. To you I say this:


Awesome, yet scary audience member from the Fresno Zombie Society.

Your arguments are invalid. THIS is scary. And she was a wonderful person in the audience, an adult with many other ADULTS there to see a movie NOT MADE for a 4-year old.

Parents: Leave your toddlers at home for this one. I thought this was a no-brainer (insert obvious zombie pun here).

Responses to "‘Z’ is for ‘zombie’; also for ‘Get that kid out of here’"

Tony says:

I so agree with you on the kids (toddlers) staying at home. They only take away from film buffs, who actually enjoy films.

Cujo says:

A lot of these parents are lacking common sense. A movie such as this is not for children and for good reason. Call it a date night and send kids to Grandma’s house for the evening or a babysitter perhaps.

Bob says:

I wouldn’t expect anything less in Fresno – the dumbest city in America and the teen pregnancy capital of the world.

JJJJ says:

Only place I got to watch movies are Sierra Vista on Tuesdays ($5) when the movie has been out at least 3 weekends, and the $3 theater under the same conditions.

If theres more than 5 people in the theater with me, somethings wrong.

Lisa says:

Me too. Love that theater. Hope they don’t decide to change it/ raise the price.

Lisa says:

I have one worse. Don’t bring babies to a movie. Period. Granted it was an animated film and I knew there going to be kids but why bring a baby? They are obviously not old enought to enjoy the movie and unlike a kid, you can’t tell a baby to be quiet and expect it to listen. I don’t to hear a baby walling just because you didn’t want to pay for a babysitter.

Lisa says:

I have another peeve. Don’t bring babies to a movie. Period. Granted it was an animated film and I knew there going to be kids but why bring a baby? They are obviously not old enought to enjoy the movie and unlike a kid, you can’t tell a baby to be quiet and expect it to listen. I don’t to hear a baby walling just because you didn’t want to pay for a babysitter.

Bethany Clough says:

Yes! And if you do take your kid and he or she starts screaming in the middle of the movie – take the kid OUT OF THE THEATER! Missed a bunch of dialogue in Iron Man 3 at Manchester because a kid started screaming and it wasn’t til a bunch of people started mumbling “take the kid outside” repeatedly that the parent finally left her seat. Happened again during the zinger thingamabob and we missed the punchline. I understand kids will scream, but the whole theater doesn’t need to suffer because you don’t want to leave your seat.

Traci Arbios says:

All of you: I cannot agree more. Seriously. Another example: When I saw “Oblivion,” this roughly 7-year old kept walking back and forth behind my seat (to and fro the bathroom SEVERAL times) — bumping my seat each time — and alternately laying on the floor and attempting to have dialog with her mom. Oh, all while playing with a glow in the dark thingie. The deal is, clearly this child was not emotionally ready to sit quietly and politely through 2-or-so hours of adult-style dialog and a complex storyline. Nor should she have been placed in that situation.

So why does one parent’s desire to see a free movie with kids inappropriately in tow trump my desire to enjoy the same movie unfettered? Parents, face it: We, the general populace, do not love your child. We will never love your child. We are not related to it, and we are far less forgiving of their adorable-to-you childlike nature in an adult movie than you are. In fact, on a scale on 1 to 10, we are ZERO forgiving. Maybe even negatively forgiving, which means most of us are quietly seething with malice toward your young child in the PG-13 and up movie, simply because they are being CHILDREN in a place where there are not supposed to be children. And this is not your kid’s fault– it’s yours.

ALSO OF NOTE: We are not socially required to have to tolerate your selfish and/or poor parenting choice. So that said, my general populace friends, the larger question looms: Why do we tolerate it still?

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