Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Blood-making nourishment (1914)

Ick. This vintage advertisement is the stuff of nightmares. The idea of being forced to consume "cream-like" Cod Liver Oil by an insistent and over-zealous parent sounds hideous. Fortunately, by the time I was child I believe that such over the counter remedies for "delicate, puny" children were no longer in vogue. Though, according to, Cod liver oil does have its benefits. That is if you can deal with the " intense and obnoxious odor of rotten fish and rancid oil" of lesser quality oils and avoid hypervitaminosis A.

I love the expression on the poorly rendered little girl's face. This looks like the face of a young psychotic pushed to the brink by nightly doses of cream-like, rancid smelling, fish oil paste. I can see the razor shop edge of the butcher knife that she cleverly conceals behind her back as it catches the rays of the setting sun in the impeccably clean Edwardian kitchen. Her mother wavers the bottle of Scott's Emulsion ( still available today mind you if you happen to live in one of these exotic locales - Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Hong Kong, Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, Asia and South America) in front of her face for the absolute last time.

But, please, you must pardon my dark sense of humor. Of course, I grew up in the age of campy horror flicks where the antagonists were usually evil children with an axe to grind..."Rosemary's Baby", "The Omen", "The Exorcist", "Carrie", "Them", "The Changeling", "Halloween", "It's Alive", "Full Circle" and more. It seemed the popular horror theme in the 60's and 70's.

Alas, now the genre seems soaked with alien invasions or, most disturbingly, adult psychotics intent on torturing their victims. Frankly, I find that sick and twisted. Though, to be fair, I caught "Full Circle" on cable the other night expecting it to be as frightening as it was when I first saw it.

It was as engrossing as an egg timer.

Alas indeed.

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