Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy All Hallow's Eve (open thread)

Or happy Halloween. As a kid I was partial to horror films and some of my favorites were the Hammer Films starring Christopher Lee. But the scariest by far was the late 1970's version of Salem's Lot. The Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee vampires never really left a lasting mark on me. Salem's Lot though was traumatizing. In hind sight it's almost campy. But at the time I was a kid and figured another horror movie, big deal. So I settled down to watch it with my best friend.

Bad move.

This film was different, for Stephen King had done something quite evil and sadistic. He had taken the vampires from 19th century Transylvania,which I could not have placed on a map if my life had depended on it and who were therefore remote and non-threatening, and moved them in next door to me... in the here and now. Now my buddy lived two doors down from me which was perhaps a two minute walk if I took my time. I think that was the longest walk home of my entire life. Every shadow that moved, every leaf that rustled in the breeze bore testament to the wisdom of my having answered the call of nature before setting out on my long journey. Not only did I sleep with a crucifix close at hand for days afterward but I would sneak into the kitchen at night and steal some of mom's garlic from the spice wrack and sprinkle it along the window ledge and by the door in my room.

And so in the spirit of the modern take on the western feast, what's your favorite scary movie or book?

6 comments:

Maureen said...

Psycho. Still don't like taking a shower in hotels.

Anonymous said...

John did you ever see the movie Shadow of the Vampire with John Malkovich? If you haven't seen it check it out.

Adam

Jason said...

The Omen did it for me when I was a kid.

Matushka Anna said...

I had horrible nightmares for weeks after watching The Shining in 9th grade. I kept waking up seeing a man with an axe standing over my bed. I can't say it's my favorite because I avoid horror movies at all costs now!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Myrtle Beach and practically lived on the beach as a teenager. Then came Jaws. Enough said.

off2 said...

In the 50's the public schools in Saint Paul, Minnesota had Easter Vacation during Holy Week. I was low church Episcopalian then. Each of the two theaters downtown had different matinee double feature horror movies every day. That was a maximum of 20 unique interactions with vampires, werewolves, and other cute critters if I could scrap together the bus fare and admission, and get away from my mother.

It was pretty clear that those were works of fiction, deprived of the believability of things that came latter.

In the evening my father would ask, "Why do you want to fill your head with that crap?" Then we would all discuss the plots and characters and laugh together.

Sweet bliss.... Bill, tGf