Like most kids of the 70s and 80s, I was weaned on a steady diet of the unsafe and inappropriate. It’s surprising that we survived plastic Halloween costumes, a severe lack of seat belts, sugar cereals, Hamburger Helper, and a wealth of completely unsuitable literature. Oh…the books. I learned so much from books. From Judy Blume, I found out everything I ever wanted to know about being a girl (Deenie, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret). From Anonymous (Go Ask Alice), I learned as much about drugs and addiction as one kid would ever need to know. And from V.C. Andrews, well…I learned about incest.
Lifetime Remakes Flowers in the Attic
Yep, I’m talking Flowers in the Attic, the first in Andrews’ uber popular Dollanganger series about a completely twisted grandmother who, believing her grandchildren were the devil’s spawn, locked them in an attic and abused them, all while tormenting their mother and generally putting Mommy Dearest to shame. Neglected by their mother, who, after her husband’s death, returned to her parents’ home for the money (isn’t it always about the money?), the siblings are forced to make the best of the situation. To do so, they create their own little bubble of strange happiness and end up finding love in the most surprising of places (like right there, with each other. EW).
If you haven’t read the books, you’ll be wanting to. Now. Cult classic, creep show, total addiction.
These were among the books we hid from our parents, passed around at sleepovers, snickered, giggled and dreamed about. We knew what was happening in the story was wrong, but couldn’t stop reading. Flowers in the Attic was our Twilight, the precursor to our 50 Shades of Grey, but much darker and definitely sicker. The popularity of Flowers in the Attic, and the 40 million copies sold, has grown as it passes through generations of teen girls. I’m guessing the kinda sick subject matter – which weirdly we somehow considered romance over horror – has universal appeal. Which is why the book was made into a corny 1987 movie starring Kristy Swanson. I’m not sure I watched it. I was 19. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember. And there were no PVRs.
Of course, what would an 80s movie be without a remake, courtesy of the land of cheesy, the Lifetime Network? So thrilling! On Saturday, January 18th, we can all get our fill and more of The Sick and Twisted, The Young and Incestuous, The Wicked and Totally Taboo. Faces you’ll recognize in the film: Ellen Burstyn as the grandmother, Heather Graham as Mom, and Kiernan Shipka (of Mad Men fame) as Cathy.
According to early reports, the adaptation is worth tuning in for and more importantly, true to the original – the book that was a childhood staple. I know I’ll be watching, blindfold and barf bag in hand. And popcorn. I can’t watch my incest movies without snacks. Are you excited? Will you be watching? Flowers in the Attic airs on the Lifetime Network on Saturday, January 18 at 8pm est.