I was sitting here thinking about how I got introduced to the world of horror and it finally came to me…..my Dad woke me up one day and scared the shit out of me with a Gene Simmons Kiss mask on when I was 5 years old – no wait, I’m thinking of Happy Gilmore’s grandma from that movie – although my Dad would end up creeping me out later in life with a cheaply made Santa Clause beard and mask that still haunts me to this day.
But no, my first real introduction to horror was watching Night Of The Living Dead on my Grandma’s rabbit-eared TV in her kitchen after eating some chicken and polenta. It frightened me, to the point where I constantly looked out of my front window across the street of my house to the cornfield to see if any zombies were coming to eat me or some bugs off of our trees (sidenote: that cornfield has now been turned into a lovely row of houses). And from that point on, I was fully immersed into the world of horror.
The classic black and white is where I started (Creature From The Black Lagoon, White Zombie, The Screaming Skull, Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein) and then I graduated to the movie that would change me and almost make me change my pants (pee or poop, take your pick): Halloween (don’t worry, I’ll delve deeper into that in a later post)
So I just have to say that my two main influences for getting fully into horror were my Dad and Svengoolie. Who’s Svengoolie you say? Slow down….we’ll get to that at another time. Have to say my Dad because he supported my love of horror – taking me to purchase Fangoria magazines at B. Dalton Books (right next store to Hot Sams Pretzels….cheesy salted pretzels….mmmmmm), and scouring the horror racks at Video To Go or the one and only Coops Video Store (where you could buy a washing machine and rent a movie at the same time! woohoo!) to bring me home my horror fix. We’d sit on the couch and pop it in the VHS player, sometimes my Mom would join us and say in a motherly way “Anthony! Cover your eyes!” when a luscious pair of 80’s b-movie breasts would show up on the screen. Of course I would do the “peek through the fingers” trick just to spite her though. She didn’t understand that boobs were as big of a part of horror movies in the 80’s as some spilled out intestines.
It’s been a long time coming for me to finally have a place where I can write about my thoughts and give witty (debatable) insight on horror, vent about bad idea remakes (remember the Bad Idea Jeans commercial on SNL from back in the day? No? Ok…moving on), and bring you some reviews of flicks from the days when you would get excited when you saw the Vestron Video logo before the opening credits. Have to thank my supportive horror wife Paula (if I was to say this out loud, it wouldn’t sound right probably), Stizo for logo influence (stizomedia.com), and Molly (of the world famous almostmakesperfect.com) for helping me out. Dirty Horror has been born! Hooray!