So Long, Charlie Brown
Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Maxwell. But you can call me Max. I used to be a big fan of the Peanuts cartoons. I constantly watched the TV specials and had so much merchandise of them. I even went to see the movie many years later because why not? It was Peanuts. My childhood icon. Eventually, I did grow out of it and it became another childhood memory. Occasionally I watch the specials with my family though and went to see the movie with my wife and kids.
One time while I was shopping, I found a strange DVD in a Walmart movie bin. The title was "So Long, Charlie Brown" with the cover art being of Charlie Brown. He was sitting on a log, seemingly depressed. Alone. I decided to buy it, take it home and watch it. I thought it was a darker take on the Peanuts. It was, but I didn't think it was at this degree. When I took it to the checkout, the lady who worked there froze, and her skin turned pale. She proceeded to ask, "Sir, are you sure that you want to buy this? I'm asking for your own sanity." At this point, I didn't know if I wanted to see the special anymore. But it only made me more morbidly curious. So I responded with yes and paid for it. What a mistake that was.
I waited until night, while my kids were asleep and my wife was working 3rd shift. However, I noticed something awful. The disc cover was disgusting. It had an illustration of Snoopy's rotting corpse while Charlie Brown was smoking a cigar, supposedly made out of shit. I was disgusted, and I knew something was wrong. I looked at the back of the cover and it was blank. However, out of morbid curiosity, I put it in my DVD player anyways. It seemed normal at first. The Warner Bros logo, the previews, etc. Eventually, it cut to the title screen. The background was the front cover art. The only option was "Play". So I did exactly that. And the special began.
It cut to the opening. It was panning across the town. The title eventually faded in. It was a normal Aerial font and the color of it was blue. I knew something was off, but I continued to watch. It cut to Snoopy on the roof of his dog house. He was just laying there, lifelessly. As if he was dead. He didn't move at all. He didn't speak. He just lay there, Then Woodstock flew over to Snoopy. He started crying. It wasn't hyper-realistic. However, god damn. I felt awful for Woodstock. He had possibly just lost his best friend.
The scene then panned into Charlie Brown's house. Then it cut to his room. He was looking out the window, crying. It then cut to a scene of the rest of the Peanuts gang having a good time. It cut back to Charlie Brown, which he then said, "All I do is wreck people's lives. I serve no real purpose other than to torture other people. I'm useless. A nobody. And it wouldn't matter if I was gone". I started to shed tears, but I continued to watch. He then walked into his closet. There was a noose and a stool in there. I knew what was coming next. However, I was too lazy to stop myself. Charlie then put his head into the noose and jumped off the stool. Immediately, he started to wiggle himself out of it. You could tell he instantly regretted it. I was shocked. I didn't think Charles would turn these light-hearted cartoons into something so depressing and morbid. Charlie's face turned blue. He tried to pull himself out, but couldn't. And the entire time, he was choking and gagging. Finally, he just relaxed. He stopped moving. He just hung there. Charlie Brown... was... dead... I started crying. I was attached to him since I was just a baby. My childhood was destroyed. I know that I'm a pussy, but goddamn!
Eventually, Sally came into his room. She seemed confused, wondering where her brother was. "Big brother?" she asked aloud over and over again. She searched everywhere in his room. Eventually, she opened the closet door. And there he was hanging there. "Big bro-". She stopped. She let out an ear-piercing scream. Luckily, I turned the volume down just in time. She burst into tears. She started mumbling to herself. "He's gone. My brother is gone". Eventually, word got around about his passing. He meant a lot more to everyone then he thought. A funeral is held for Charlie Brown. Everyone is sobbing.
We start to see the aftermath for the rest of the special. It cuts to Lucy and Linus arguing. They're constantly screaming at each other about the suicide of Charlie, and who's fault it is. Eventually, Linus has had enough. He proceeded to slash at Lucy, got a grip at her neck, and started to saw her throat off. She was screaming in pain. Linus starts to laugh. He's gone insane. I was horrified. I didn't even know what I was witnessing. Blood started pouring everywhere. It was still cartoon though, not hyper-realistic (thank God himself). Though that didn't change the fact that it was still incredibly disturbing. Lucy had her head decapitated. It had cut right through the bone. Linus started crying of laughter. He then proceeded to cut open her torso and ate her intestines one by one. I didn't even know anymore. I was so disturbed and disgusted that I was questioning my sanity. It was dark out. I checked the time, and it was 2:45 am. I continued to watch anyways, I don't know why I went past the suicide part. Have I gone insane?
Two days later, and the local news reports on the event. Funny enough, Marcie was the one reporting. It then cut to an interview, where Peppermint Patty was interviewing Linus. She started asking him many questions. Why did you commit the murder? What was your reason for it? Do you realize that what you did was wrong? And so on. Linus responded with silence. He didn't know how to answer. Peppermint Patty started repeating herself for an answer. Linus finally broke. He proceeded to attack Peppermint Patty. He cut her open from the stomach to the heart and ripped her open. All the while she was screaming in pain. Blood splattered everywhere. It was truly horrifying. Then she stopped screaming. She stopped breathing. She was dead. In the background, I noticed that Sally was climbing out of a 2nd story window. The scene then cut to her. She was bursting with tears. And before I knew it, she jumped off. She then hit the ground, dying instantly. It cut to a close-up shot of her. She was just laying in a puddle of her own blood.
Without context, it cut to Marcie. She was running away from Linus, who was holding a butcher's knife. Then it cut to Woodstock flying to somewhere. He eventually flew into a hole. In it, there was a giant stack of dynamite stretching across the whole town. Woodstock was crying. I believe that he was attempting suicide. He lit one of the many sticks of TNT off, and sat there, waiting for death. And before I knew it, a giant Michael Bay-style explosion, before my very eyes, wiped out the whole town.
The footage then started corrupting before the scene finished. There was a red filter. And it started cutting to random, creepy images. One of them shows a mangled corpse of a hanging kid resembling Charlie Brown, which really affected me later on. It then played the whole movie backwards and sped up by at least 150%. The credits finally rolled. "Finally," I said to myself, "it's over". At this point it was 3 am, so I took out the disc, threw it back in the case, and threw it on top of my shelf. I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't. I kept thinking about what the fuck I just watched.
The next day I contacted the studio, telling them what I had just witnessed. They put one of Charles' sons on the phone with me. He told me that Charles had been going through a lot mentally. Working on that comic strip 24/7 and those specials really took a toll on him. And that special is how he expressed his anger and frustration. Fortunately, he came out of it. He didn't know how the special got into a Walmart bin, or how I was able to buy it and pay for it. I eventually hung up, some of my questions finally being answered.
I forgot about the movie until about a year later during Spring cleaning, when I rediscovered the DVD. Suddenly, those bad memories of watching it flooded back to me. I still have that DVD. I haven't ripped and uploaded it yet. However, I'll try to do it soon. Beware when watching it, however. For the things that you may see will forever stay in your mind, for the rest of your life. I've never told anyone about this, until now. My name is Max, and good day.
Comments • 0