How many times have you re-visited a movie or television show that you loved as a kid, only to discover that it didn't hold up to your older, wiser adult eyes? Sometimes the pull of nostalgia is so strong, we'll go out of our way to ignore the flaws of something that we know totally stinks, just because it made a big impression on us when we were kids. Other times, those flaws are impossible to ignore.
I watched The Never-Ending Story quite a bit growing up in the 1980's, and when the title hit DVD for the first time in 2001, I snapped it up on the day of release. At age nine, the movie was wondrous and magical. What I discovered seventeen years later was a movie that barely made a lick of sense, with wildly inconsistent special effects. What I'd long considered as one of my favorite movies ended up being disappointingly mediocre. In a way, I wish I'd never seen it again. I'd rather have kept my nostalgia for The Never-Ending Story, than be faced with the cold, hard reality that it wasn't really all that good.
But what about re-visiting a movie that you hated as a kid? Would you discover the opposite effect -- that a movie you'd dismissed as a child would turn out to be a masterpiece to your adult self? I decided to put this to the test with a movie that I found unbearably annoying when I was young, Alien from L.A.
If I would've looked around online a bit before I sat down to watch Alien from L.A., I would've discovered that it's widely considered awful. I had no idea the film was the target of a 1993 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and it wasn't until I pushed play on the DVD player and saw the credit "Directed by Albert Pyun" that I suspected I might be in serious trouble.