This is just me rambling on about movies from the 80s. There is no coherence here.
I was eleven when I first saw Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in the movie theater, and I was devastated that Spock had died at the end. Look, I was just eleven at the time and I didn’t know about that mind meld stuff, Spock putting his fingers on Bones’ face and saying, remember, and that meant in the next sequel he’d come back to life. My friends and I went around putting our fingers on each other’s faces and said, remember, not knowing what the heck we were doing.
Stuff like that that made absolutely no sense to my eleven year old mind was said all the time. Like in The Empire Strikes Back—Yoda says, no, there is another, and like I’m supposed to know that little line meant Luke and Leia are siblings, or Darth Vader telling Luke that he was his father was supposed to be real? Back then, we were debating whether or not Boba Fett was really Luke’s dad. Then, in The Wrath of Khan, you’ve got Khan quoting Moby Dick throughout and I’m supposed to get that? For Spock, I figured, you killed someone, he stayed dead, which I think was the big reason why my father was a big Dirty Harry fan.
Anyway, Spock dying was upsetting, but the really disturbing thing was when Khan planted those bugs into the ears of Chekhov and that other guy. I was freaked out, and there was no way any bug was getting within a foot of my ears. It was sort of like when I saw E.T. soon after. I loved E.T. but I was afraid that long glowing bony alien finger that looked like white hot metal you’d pull from a foundry would pop out from under my bed and say, ouch!, and I would scream and no one would hear. A couple years later there’d be Temple of Doom—don’t get me started. Even as a grown up I can’t even watch the scenes of the room full of bugs and the meal with snakes and monkey brains.