Mistaking a Dead Guy For a Halloween Display

You know, the Eighties were relatively substance-free

I've been to Marina del Rey, and nothing about this shocks me. It is a tragic story, and I'm aware of the sensitivities I'm offending, yes, but it is just strange enough for me to do something with it:

The body of 75-year-old man sat decomposing on his Marina del Rey balcony for days because neighbors thought the lifeless figure was part of a Halloween display and didn't call police.

Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed had apparently been dead since Monday with a single gunshot wound to one eye. He was slumped over a chair on the third-floor balcony of his apartment on Bora Bora Way, said cameraman Austin Raishbrook, who owns RMG News and was on the scene Thursday when authorities were alerted to the body.

Neighbors told Raishbrook that they noticed the body Monday "but didn't bother calling authorities because it looked like a Halloween dummy," he said.

"The body was in plain view of the entire apartment complex [and] they all didn't do anything," Raishbrook said. "It's very strange. It did look unreal, to be honest."

An investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the case is an "apparent suicide," and declined to comment further.

Now, don't go blaming Halloween, although, I would like to say that Halloween decorations should not go up until two weeks before October 31st (Christmas decorations should not go up until the Friday after Thanksgiving). That might have saved some trouble. Sad to say, this is probably not how Mostafa wanted to be remembered, and his inadvertent celebrity is grisly and tragic. I hate to make light of it, but don't you find it a little macabre? Sort of like traipsing around with a dead person for laughs? No?

Mostafa's neighbors don't seem too quick on the uptake, in any event.

On a related note, I cannot be the first person to notice that Andrew McCarthy got away with flipping the bird on a movie poster:

I would have to hazard a guess that it must have been his response to whoever his buddies were at the time who might have asked: really? You needed the money bad enough to do a movie with Jonathan Silverman?

Weekend at Bernie's was directed by the great Ted Kotcheff, who is a vastly underrated director, responsible for some of my favorite films, such as North Dallas Forty, First Blood, and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Kotcheff is producing a film titled 1066, about that date in English history--I will definitely go see it when it comes out a year from now.