When I was a mere 8-years-old, I had already seen my fair share of horror movies. Not sure my Mom approved of that, but it was what it was. So when the ‘climactic scene’ compilation Terror In The Aisles came out in 1984….it was kind of like the Cliff Notes version of horror movies up until that year, spliced together to show you all of the good stuff and no filler (which for a kid with ADD and Transformers on his mind, was a godsend).
I mean, revisiting Terror In The Aisles now – does it seem a bit unnecessary? Sure. We do get Donald Pleasence & Nancy Allen doing their best Siskel & Ebert impersonation throughout the movie though, so that’s something. Ironically, Gene Siskel gave the movie ‘zero stars’, but he was a tool and never showed horror movies much love anyway. And also ironic is the fact that Donald and Nancy do not make an appearance in the film’s original trailer:
But at the end of the day, Terror In The Aisles had a great poster to promote it – and can still provide fun background visuals if you watch it. At this point in time, you’re probably not going to see anything from the clips shown that you haven’t already seen (unless you’re a bear and have been hibernating for 40 years and haven’t seen Rosemary’s Baby or The Exorcist……which would kind of be cool because you would be a bear). If you’d like to take a trip down memory lane, or just want to experience it for the first time – Scream Factory recently released a new transfer on Blu-ray. Have fun watching, and you can curse Gene Siskel while you do.
I can honestly admit that I was addicted to renting horror movies in the 80’s. It’s ok – I know that I had a problem, and I’m here to come clean and try to make things right with all of those who were around me at that time in my life. I can remember renting upwards of 10 movies at a time, some I never even would get around to watching. But the true travesty of all of this, was that there were horror movies that I passed by, and for whatever reason never rented. One of those movies had a pretty tantalizing cover, so I’m not sure what stopped me from giving up my hard-earned dollar to give it a shot in my VCR. And that movie was 1983’s, Terror On Tape.
How on Earth could I not rent a movie that claims to have ‘a compilation of the most terrifying scenes from 20 of the scariest horror movies ever made‘? And if you flipped the cover over, that list of movies included a movie called Vampire Hookers. A movie called Vampire Hookers!! What the hell was I thinking? I guess I was too worried about renting Sleepaway Camp for the tenth time. I actually really dig compilation flicks, and honestly loved Terror In The Aisles which came out about a year later in 1984. I felt like I undoubtably dropped the ball on Terror On Tape, even more so when I found this excerpt on Youtube from it:
Alright. That sealed it for me. Bad costumes, bad acting, and a set piece that looks like it’s straight out of a bad porn movie. This lovely piece of cinema looks like it speaks volumes as to why I love 80’s horror so much. Extra cheese indeed! There’s something endearing about a horror movie that knows where it stands as far as overall quality goes. I definitely need to track down Terror On Tape, but something tells me that it just won’t give me the satisfaction that it would have had I rented it back in 1983. Nevertheless, this looks like required viewing. Off to Ebay I go!
If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I love Taco Bell. Oops….wrong revelation. What I meant to say is that if you throw a skull up on a horror movie poster, more than likely I’m going to love that poster. So to no surprise, I loved the poster for the 1984 documentary, Terror In The Aisles:
Sure the tagline ‘It’s A Cute Above The Rest‘ is kind of cliche and cheesy. But who cares. Look at that skull! I love the simplicity of it and if you look close, you can see a ton of horror titles within the skull. For those who don’t know, Terror In The Aisles was a documentary that was surprisingly released in theaters in 1984. With commentary both on screen and off from genre vets Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen, it was basically a walkthrough of horror movie history, featuring a lot of ‘best of’ clips. A huge guilty pleasure of mine, it was recently released as a special feature for the Halloween II Blu-ray release. Even though the focus is on the poster, I’ll leave you with a TV commercial promoting Terror In The Aisles, just to give you more of a nostalgia fix.