Sunday, April 3, 2011

Confessions of a Childhood Gore Hound

Geekscape is not a paying job. I hope one day it will be. But for now, it's not. That doesn't mean it doesn't have it's perks, beyond interviews with awesome guests and press passes to pretty much any convention, I also get packages in the mail of movies to review. Yesterday I got such a package, the first 22 minutes of Full Moon Features new movie Evil Bong 3D: The Wrath of Bong. It made me think about junior high.

It was the summer before I started 6th grade. Two things happened almost back to back. I rented the movie The Frightners (which was my first 'real' horror movie; although it was more of a horror-comedy)... I LOVED the movie, that same week my cousin David made me watch Scream. It was official, after years of being a pansy that didn't like the sight of blood... now i wanted to actively track down the worst of the worst. It'd start with borrowing movies from different people. Slowly I saw the classics, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street.

In 6th grade however my parent's got an account at the local mom & pops store. I remember the first day I went there on my own. I had been talking to a kid named Adam in class and we decided to hang out after school sometime. Eventually it turned into a "sleep-over" and we decided to grab some movies. Walking through the aisles of horror movies we decided on Killer Klowns From Outer Space and Demonic Toys.

I began frequenting the video store every Friday after school. Picking up everything that I could get my hands on from Full Moon Pictures, Troma Entertainment and Empire Pictures. At the time I didn't understand Troma... I found their movies cheap and stupid. I was more of a Full Moon kid back in those days. (now that's almost completely reversed; full moon is fun but Troma is down-right brilliant).

The Summer was when it got at it's up most ridiculous. I discovered that if you returned movies the day after you rented them, your next rental was free. I'd ride my bike to the video store, pick up 3 movies, pedal back home, order a cheesesteak and make a day out of it. It was then that I started discovering movies like Bad Channels, Basket Case and Evil Dead 2.

I miss those days; as I think every gore hound does. There was something special about those afternoons. You'd never fast forward the trailers, it was the only way to know what was coming next. You'd watch Troma's Lloyd Kaufman hosted intros to each movies as well as wait after the trailers of the Full Moon Pictures for the making of segments titled VideoZone. These were the hey-days of B-horror. And I miss them. You watch films like Puppet Master 3 and there's such a legitimate passion behind them, there was an art-form. As I'm sitting here watching films like Evil Bong, Terror Toons and Gingerdead Man, there's no car or passion, just a desperate money grab with shit effects and down-and-out stars.

There is a beckon of light however for Horror, it lines in the hands of people like James Gunn, Adam Greene, Gregg Bishop, Robert Masciantonio and Rob Zombie. They're out there making movies like Dance of the Dead, Slither, Neighbor and Hatchet. They show a true passion for horror, a love for low-budget "cgi-free" effects and fun stories. If you haven't seen the films of these directors, go and track them down. They're currently the only people saving horror from being nothing but remakes and sequels.

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