Here we are at nearly the halfway point on the 31 Days of Horror challenge, and things are going quite well! The movies are getting watched at a good clip, my brain is still intact and most importantly, I'm still having fun. Currently, I am sitting at 39 movies watched for the month of October! Not to shabby, says I! (What are you doing with your free time, says my mother!) But it's okay, it's what I'm here for.
For today's entry of 31 Days of Horror, I'm going to switch things up a bit and share with you a bit for a book I've been working on in my time outside Bloody Good Horror. You've got some tastes of it here in the 31 Days of Horror articles this month, but in book form, there's quite a bit more at play and I got a bit more in depth. All the same, it's part of what makes me the horror nerd I am today, so I thought I'd share. I'm a long way off from ever finishing this little memoir style book, so this may all you get to see for some time! The book itself is about how I became a writer and podcaster, focused so intently on horror and science fiction flicks. This little episode takes place when I was about 10 years old.
I hope you enjoy.
My dad had picked me up one Saturday morning, it was my weekend with him and he was rather excited when he picked me up. He had since gotten off the third shift, so I didn’t have to spend entire days entertaining myself in the basket full of paperback books. He informed me we were heading to the store to buy a VCR and even better; we were going to rent some movies.
He had it all planned out. If you bought a player from them, the store would let you rent as many movies as you wanted for no additional charge for that first weekend. We were going to make good use of that VCR and we were going to do it in style. His plan was that I would pick some movies, as would he, and we would trade off choices after every movie. Popcorn and soda was on the docket for the entire weekend, and I was ecstatic.
At first I was tentative in my choices, figuring I was only going to get away with PG and family friendly fare. By this time in my life, I had started getting adventurous in my movie choices when shopping with my mother, and she was a wee bit concerned. She knew full well I could handle most of what Hollywood had to show me. My mother had an open mind, she wasn’t really too interested in censoring me from the world around us. But as a teacher, she knew well enough to be concerned when I started trying to bring home titles filled with more blood than humans on the cover. My father on the other hand, had complete faith in my being able to handle fiction and if I couldn’t in fact handle it; it was high time I learned.
Our pile of tapes grew tall, me grabbing a comedy or two I’d had my eye on, knowing my dad wouldn’t hide my eyes if the girls went topless or cringe at the heavy use of swears. My dad circled around the action and adventure for a bit, selecting a classic such as “Death Wish” for one, and nameless others that never left an impression. Then, he made his way to the horror section.
He pawed through covers, one after the other, often times showing the same fascination in his eyes that I had shown when I first visited that store with my mother. He’d be drawn in by the cover art, giving the actors named on the box little thought. He’d flip the box over, pouring over the synopsis, silent as he read on. One by one, he’d pull the box and add it to the pile, soon the choices of horror movies out numbered the others we had already chosen.
“Dad,” I stammered as I looked at the tapes myself, blanching at some of the images and worrying about what I was in for in the night ahead. “Mom doesn’t really like me watching horror movies that much.”
My dad let forth a grunt as I pawed through more tapes, one after another. “Why’s that?”
“Probably because I get scared and have nightmares when I watch them and she has to stay up with me.” I replied, blushing a bit at admitting how the movies that excited me also filled me with certain doom when trying to sleep.
“They’re just movies,” Dad replied, matter of fact. “Nothing there to be scared of.”
“But monsters and killers and stuff,” I muttered.
“All made up, my man.” Dad replied.
“But what if Mom finds out I watched them?” I asked, unsure of what might happen if I played along.
“Your Mom’s not here, is she?” He asked. “I sure as hell ain’t going to tell her.”
From that moment on, my father and I had a special bond, a special thing that was just for him and I. That thing was horror and little did I know it was going to shape my life for years to come.
The movies we selected that day were inconsequential. I’m fairly certain at least one of the movies was “Q The Winged Serpent” starring the late great David Carradine, but I can't be positive. It didn’t really matter though. What mattered is that my father and I spent the weekend together, piled upon the couch eating popcorn by the fistful. There were jumps and scares, there were laughs, there were cringe inducing moments in the basking glow of the color TV shown upon a darkened living room. We were there together, we were having a blast and it was good.
Ah, good old Bud the Chud, the sequel that didn't have much of anything to do with the original! Sequels can often be problematic, but this one they just threw out any pretense of trying to tie them together. Actually, that's a little strong, they did make a connection in brief fashion by turning the C.H.U.D.'s into a super soldier program, first experimented with in the original flick. Now though, the C.H.U.D's are barely cannibalistic and are certainly not underground. In fact, they're not much more than zombie comedy now. Which is kind of sad, but this flick still has some charm to it, and a few laughs.
We'll be covering "Dracula Untold" on the next Bloody Good Horror Podcast, so I'll leave the heavy discussion for that. What I can say though is that I didn't altogether hate this movie! The setup was a vaguely interesting twist on the legend of Vlad Tepes, so it was nice to see them experiment with that angle for a bit. It's been said that "Dracula Untold" is going to kick off a new Monster Universe for Universal, which could prove interesting if they crank out more flicks like this. Note that I said interesting, not necessarily good.
They 80's were a fun time for horror flicks, both American and non. They had an atmosphere all their own that was made of up unique fashion and hair styles, which are both here in abundance. The 80's were also known for some great practical effects, which "Demons" excels at. It's a pretty gooey movie to say the least, and there's some cool stuff going on if you're a special effects gore hound! My finger tips still ache a bit seeing claws sprout out of that one ladies finger nails and watching Geretta claw a dude's eyes out was pretty great.