A quarter cup of non-decaffeinated coffee has unlocked repressed memories of watching Speed Racer as a five-year old, which I always found extremely scary and confusing. The contrast between Speed’s cute family life and the appalling evil and danger to which he subjected himself was just so bizarre and impossible to assimilate that it has troubled me ever since. Watching it on after-school TV, which suggested normalcy, was a real mind-fucker, too.
Now I am hysterical.
I rant: “If you’re a professional car racer, you can’t just kill the other drivers!”
I invent ironic dialogue: “So long, Pops, Trixie, Spritle. I’ve signed up for a race through an active volcano. If I win, I’ll bring home a big trophy, and we’ll go someplace nice for dinner. If I lose, I’ll be burned to a crisp in molten lava, along with twenty other people.”
And, of course, I take to YouTube, finding the show’s opening credit. I watch it over and over, really freaking out. Check out the boyish grin at 0:28 and nonchalant murder at 0:40.