maybe i'm remembering wrong, for i am quite known for my completely useless "memory" (yes, it's so bad, there's something slightly ironic about naming it such), but one of my few memories of early life involves sitting cross-legged on my mother's bed watching gruesome horror movies in the dark. that's it. no games with friends or special christmases or ballet recitals but cinematic homicide.
(my mommy had a penchant for action films so i watched a lot of those too.)
i wonder now how much my early cinematic tastes affected who i've become. up until the age of 25 or so, i only had bloody dreams. babies fell from the sky and splattered on the sidewalk, vampires morphed out of blocks of turkey ham, skyscraper-sized gorillas traversed the city smashing people with their enormous ape feet (yep, these are all real). it wasn't until my late twenties that i had real dreams with people and not ghouls or monsters in them. maybe i was just born weird or maybe watching the pivotal final scene in Sleepaway Camp pushed me over the edge. who knows? all i know is that today, i am a near 30-year-old who still collects crappy anchor bay horror movies and is *this* close to crying if the evil dead remake becomes a reality (read: this would be bad, so very bad).
The Best of My Cinematic Adolescence
Night of the Creeps - hard to find yet so worth it when you do. what do you get when you mix c-level actors, slugs from outer space, and a college campus? this wonderful exercise in brilliance.
Scanners - david cronenberg is a creepy, creepy man. that said, he makes a mean movie. one of the more serious films on my list.
Monster Squad - not really horror, moreso horror influenced. it's like The Goonies with classic movie monsters. i just learned this, but the guy who's responsible for Night of the Creeps (Fred Dekker) also worked on this. he's a genius.
Silent Night, Deadly Night - at the time, i had no idea mothers were so pissed. i guess they were pissed about the killer santa. whatevs, this movie is great.
Prom Night - one of Jamie Lee Curtis's finest films.
Black Christmas - another tale of christmas crazies. considering how stressful this time of year is, i'm surprised there aren't more christmas serial killers. this was recently remade, and i refused to acknowledge it.
Phantasm - it's old and, i feel, kinda overlooked. too bad cuz angus scrimm as the tall man is just scary for no reason.
Hellraiser - another one of the scariest on this list. while many of my picks have comedic undertones, this one is straight horror through and through. to this day, i dread opening my eyes when lights are flickering. i just know the cenobites will be standing there.
The Thing - one reason why Kurt Russell and John Carpenter are the men (not because they're white). horrifying and classic.
Fright Night - can't say how many times i've seen this one, but it still holds up for me. Chris Sarandon was born to be a vampire.
976-EVIL - apparently this was directed by Robert Englund. good job, Rob.
Creepshow/Creepshow 2 - you gotta love horror anthologies. some of the finest minds in horror come together for the greater good, which is what happened here. plant dude, played by Stephen King, actually makes me sad. "Thanks, lady, thanks for the ride."
The Hitcher - C. Thomas Howell should never have stopped. i recall being at my former best friend's aunt's in the suburbs (whew). one of the bestest deaths in horror history.
The Puppet Master - i'm not sure what to say about this one. it was, for sure, creepy. little demonic dolls traipsing around killing folks? it looks cheap as hell but works for some reason.