I enjoy horror movies. I would say that they make up at least 75% of the movies I watch. I saw “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th V” in the theaters before I turned 11. I was born in 1976, and I came of age at the dawning of a new era in film; the abundance of direct to VHS horror movies was at an all-time high during my early teens. I had parents who didn’t really see a problem with me watching horror, in fact, my stepfather was a key contributor in pointing out some gory classics to check out. Otherwise, I might never have known the glory of this, or this. Of course, once I started to get a bit older, my tastes started to veer toward stuff like this, instead:
I had to be careful, of course. Back in the day, video stores would sometimes keep the videos behind the counter and you would have to take the box up to rent the movie. That could get embarrassing. Luckily, most of the time you would just take the tape up, but you knew the clerk was on to you. You knew that he knew you were a sick fuck. In reality, I was 15 and full of raging hormones, and the guy behind the counter probably couldn’t give 2 shits that I was renting “Hello, Mary Lou: Prom Night II”
Horror is fun, to me, anyway. It took me awhile until I was ready to explore the worlds of Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, and George Romero, to name a few, but watching mostly garbage for ten years really helped me appreciate greater works as I got older. Nowadays, I really don’t care for nudity and sex in my horror, and I accept them begrudgingly when it comes to the likes of Friday the 13th and company (Incidentally, just put Jason back at Camp Crystal Lake again and let him kill all the stoners and randy campers again. No need for reboots and remakes. It was a pretty simple formula and it worked.)
It’s a bit of a cliche anymore to talk about horror in October, but for me, horror is 365 days a year. With each passing year we are seeing less and less works of good, quality horror and the genre is becoming so stagnant that I’m not sure if it is going to recover this time. 13 year old me would be very bummed.
Next year will see the final installment with the original cast of my beloved Phantasm series. You can watch the trailer for Phantasm V: Ravager here, and if you’ve never seen any of this series, you are really missing out. Phantasm is one of those series where the sequels make sense because they are a continuation of the story, and not just a money-grab (except for Part 2.) You care about the characters, and while you might not root for the bad guy, you walk away in awe. With this movie, I feel as if the final chapter is coming to a close on the horror I truly enjoy. Fulci has been dead for awhile, Argento makes terrible movies anymore, as does Romero. There are some directors out there right now who I enjoy (Wan, Wingard) but their movies do not have nearly as much of an impact as their predecessors. Is this just me showing my age? What do you say? What are your favorite moments, or favorite era?