Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh October, how I love you so! You have my favorite Holiday of the year, and I don't mean Columbus Day. I'm speaking of course of Halloween. The holiday when the ghosts and ghouls come out of hiding and the scares happen all month long. The month when most studios release their horror movies and supernatural thrillers. The month when I curl up to watch things that will likely cause me to look over my shoulder constantly, and check every nook and cranny before going to bed.

I've loved the horror genre (which to me encompasses ghosts, monsters, supernatural thrillers, etc.) for as long as I can remember. As a kid I was enthralled by the books on all of the Universal Monsters, the My Teacher is an Alien series, and the Bruce Coville's Book of Monsters series.

Several of my favorite movies as a kid centered on the supernatural. At any moment I could have quoted to you my two favorite movies: GhostBusters and The Monster Squad! Ghostbusters was a perfect blend of humor and a few scenes that scared the bejeezus out of me, mainly with the demon dogs (or hell hounds), but it was enough to keep me on the edge of my seat, while having fun. Meanwhile, The Monster Squad was just some all around fun. It wasn't really scary but it had all of the Universal Monsters (even if they were slightly different to avoid copyright) and a band of kids teaming up to fight them (basically Goonies with monsters) and my friend Jesse and I would watch it all the time.

Next came two Disney Sunday Night Movies: Mr. Boogedy and it's sequel The Bride of Boogedy The movies centered on a family who move into a haunted house, and hilarity and creepiness ensue. It was slightly scary to my 6 and 7 year old self and I loved it.. In fact my Aunt and Uncle had recorded it on video and for years I would watch it every time I went to their house. (In fact I know have a copy on DVD which looks like it was transfered from a video from the original airings in the mid-80s, I still love it!)

But then I turned 8 and something happened that turned me off of horror for a while. My brother and I are 4 years apart, but our birthdays are 2 days apart. For my brother's 12th birthday he had a bunch of friends stay the night and they watched House. For those of you who don't know House starred the Greatest American Hero himself, William Katt, as an author who moves into a new house, which is haunted. I could give you the synopsis of IMDB, but instead I'll tell you what I remember. William moves into the new house and it starts to scare the living pants off of me! One of the ghosts was played by Richard Moll, I think he had something to do with Vietnam flashbacks, but honestly don't remember, and something comes out of the closet which I'm pretty sure made me cry.
All in all I couldn't sleep in my bed that night, and I had to check my closet before I went to bed everynight and then I had to sleep with the closet open and the lights on. I know this went on for several months before I could finally close the closet door. I'll be honest I haven't seen the movie since then, I've seen bits and pieces, but I always turned it off because part of me is scared of even seeing it. (Strange Fact I just found out: House's story was written by the writer/director of The Monster Squad!) (I did however see House II, several times in fact. My Aunt and Uncle also owned House and House II. Whereas House scared the bejeezus out of me, House II was a hilarious romp, with no scares in sight. I mean it had a caterpuppy for crying out loud! (That's a half caterpillar half dog thing.))
Because of House it would be a while before I watched anything remotely scary.

Next Up: Clowns. Why Did It Have To Be Clowns?


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