Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Long Black Coat

The other day I added a movie to my favorite movie list on Facebook.  I like this list.  I like other people's lists.  I think in some way it's representative of who you are as a person.  Okay, look, I know I'm crazy.  I've even blogged about this before.  (Click here if you care.)  But, seriously, I've put a little thought into mine.  It's a list of movies I love love love.  Movies I'd watch again and again.  Movies that somehow speak to me.

I noticed a pattern.  Maybe I'm not as cool or as deep as I think I am.  Apparently all a movie has to do to be included in my list is feature a character who wears a long black coat.

I really like long black coats, you guys.  Long black coats speak to me?

At first glance, there are some super obvious examples.  The Matrix should probably be called "People in Sunglasses and Long Black Coats." Then there's Underworld.  (Hot Vampires in Long Black Coats.)  And, finally, Hellboy.  (Demon Dude In A Long Black or Beige Coat.)  These were enough to make me laugh.  Then, I kept looking.

In True Grit, Rooster wears a long black (if dusty) coat.  In Heathers, J.D.'s signature look is his long moody coat.  Well, and his cigarette.  Silent Bob (from almost every Kevin Smith movie ever) wears that iconic black trench with his backwards baseball cap.  Bender from The Breakfast Club wears a long GREY coat but in my head it is black and you're all in my head, right?

Then there's television:  Angel and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer!  Sherlock from Sherlock! Sheriff Bullock from Deadwood!  Omar from The Wire!   Doctor Who always wears a long dark coat, although it's not always black.  Same with Captain Mal from Firefly.  It's a long brown duster.  Same effect.

I'm not sure what my deal is but I will admit to always loving a guy in a long black coat.  Probably since High School, when every rebellious boy worth his Doc Martens rocked a trench.  A long (particularly black) coat says you're tough.  You don't care.  You're going somewhere or doing something where things might get messy.  You're going to fight some computers to save humanity or try to bring order to a town of outlaws or you're going to be the coolest guy in detention.  You're about to battle the slayer or travel to the future or blow somebody's head off for stealing your drugs.  A black coat signals a badass in film and television.  And, I guess I'm buying what they're selling.

No, I don't own a long black coat.  And, yes, if someone was advancing quickly toward me in a dark alley with their hands in the pockets of their long black coat, I'd be more likely to run away than to jump into their arms.

But, still.  There's something about it.  Maybe from now on I'll decide whether or not to watch things based not on the plot or their Rotten Tomatoes rating, but on whether or not there are any long black coats.

*photo from memento-mori.com.