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Y’all, it’s deer season!
That means it’s time for a bizarre family tradition.
Every year at the beginning of deer season, our family hosts a showing of one of my father’s favorite movies – Escanaba in da Moonlight.
Now, if you’re racking your brain and coming up blank, it’s fine. Most of you will have never heard of it before, and for good reason.
Escanaba is a movie written, starred in and directed by Jeff Daniels. It’s pretty location specific too – the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and that’s basically the only place that people have heard of it.
However, somehow my father caught wind of it and thought it was the best thing since Albert Sodie’s sweet sap whiskey.
I really can’t share much about the movie; you really need to experience it, but I will share the IMDB synopsis which about sums it up: A family of hunters in Michigan deals with the eldest son (Jeff Daniels) who has never shot his own buck.
You should also know that Escanaba in da Moonlight is pretty heavy on the UP slang and dialect, which if you’re not expecting it (or aren’t good with accents) can be a bit hard to follow.
It started with just our family and now each year we have some friends over for the annual viewing. It’s kinda like a redneck Rocky Horror Picture Show night. We wear the same style of hats as Reuben does in the film, eat the same foods, and have a great time!
It’s especially fun when we have (to use a RHPS term) virgins with us who have never experienced the film before. Their reactions are priceless. For those of us who can quote whole chunks of the movie, it’s fun to revisit and find some other amusing line or background scene that we’ve missed before. This year I surprised my father by bringing along the littlest Yooper in a full out Reuben costume! Her Pawpaw was tickled!
It was such a fun night and a great way to send the guys off to deer camp.
If you’re looking for a unique comedy to watch, ( **Full disclosure, it’s occasionally a bit coarse and definitely bizarre. ) you should check out Escanaba in da Moonlight!