So ...why do I have a website dedicated to horror movies?
Why should anybody give a crap about my opinions, reviews, insight when it comes to the wonderful, wicked world of horror?
Well, I may not have a Masters Degree in Horrorolgy (yes, I made that up), I like to believe that I am pretty damn well educated when it comes to the monsters, nightmares and evil that has cursed our movie and TV screens for decades.
Egotistical? Yeah, probably. But quite frankly, I feel that I am very qualified to start the spark in what I hope will become a very engaging, fun and interactive horror movie site.
For anyone who is wondering how horror became such a huge part of my life, allow me to start from the beginning.
The very first four horror movies I ever saw were “The Exorcist,” “Jaws” “Night of the Living Dead” and “The Amityville Horror” - all by the time I reached my 10th birthday.
Pretty cool, right?
Now, before you gasp in shock and accuse my parents of being less than stellar role models, please understand that they didn't exactly let me watch them. In the late 70s, “The Exorcist” aired on CBS one evening and I sneaked downstairs to watch it while my folks were upstairs. Later, my family was visiting relatives and I got to sneak out with cousins and see “Jaws.” And, on one Halloween night, Channel 11 and “The Chilly Billy Theater” showed a midnight screening of “Night of the Living Dead,” which I watched at a friend's house. And, in 1979, I somehow miraculously talked my father into taking me and my siblings to see “Amityville.”
It was officially the genesis of my life-long love of horror.
I became obsessed. After this first foray into terror, I would do whatever I could to satiate my voracious appetite for horror. I would go the Bowlby Library and spend hours reading the movie sections of newspapers in the hopes of finding advertisements for the scary stuff and read reviews about any new thrillers that came out. I religiously watched any programming that talked about or featured horror, such as “Sneak Previews” with Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, as well as scoured the boob tube for reruns of classic shows like “Twilight Zone,” “Night Gallery” and “The Night Stalker.”
(Heck, I even became obsessed with family-friendly sitcoms like “The Munsters” and “The Addams Family,” just because they had ghoulish characters in them.)
I would frequent Doody's Book Store in downtown Waynesburg and spend hours sitting cross-legged on the floor reading classic horror magazines such as “Fangoria.” And, I would head back to the library to check out Stephen King's classic novels as well as borrow audio cassettes of classic radio shows from a bygone era, shows with titles such as “Suspense” and “Inner Sanctum.”
And then I found my second home – the legendary Opera House. I became good friends with the family who owned the theater, and I would go to watch many, many great horror movies over the years. The theater had the best popcorn – which is even still today my biggest vice – and the workers were so nice that they would give me horror movie posters, which I would later plaster all across my bedroom walls.
And just when I thought my horror obsession could not be any greater … along came the 80s.
Ah, the magical, wondrous 80s. A decade where two of the most incredible things ever happened – the explosion of the home video/VCR market, and the abundant Golden Age of Horror, where it seemed as if at least one new blood-curling thriller was being released in theaters every week. Even the titles would make my spine tingle with glee - “Hell Night,” “He Knows You're Alone, “When A Stranger Calls,” “Prom Night,” “Terror Train” and so many, many more.
And the more Golden Age of Horror flourished, the more mainstream exposure this exciting genre got – through movies, TV, music, books and magazines and the rise of video cassettes and video stores – it seemed as there was never going to be an end to this marvelous madness.
And it was during the early part of the 80s when I would be exposed to the three horror films that forever changed my life: “Friday the 13th,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the greatest horror movie ever made, John Carpenter's 1978 classic “Halloween.”
To be continued...