1. What is the first film that ever scared you?
I can’t quite remember the first film that ever scared me properly, so maybe this is a Name That Trauma too. I was 3 or 4 years old (I guess this age because my family moved into a new home in 1989 when I was about to turn 5 and this was two houses before that). I remember hiding under my mother’s bamboo coffee table (which she still has in her living room today) with some glow in the dark legos. In this film I remember something with a single walking corpse roaming around an apartment building hallway. I got so scared I actually spilled Ecto-Cooler in my own eyes. As far as fully formed memories with movie titles, I can remember seriously avoiding the VHS box art for THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW and EVIL DEAD 2 (I swear that skull’s eyes follow you around the room) as a kid in video rental stores. And my mother, in her infinite wisdom, took me to see PET SEMETARY in theatres. I must have been 4 or 5 years old! Zelda was….. very scary. But I didn’t cry until I got home.
2. What is the last film that scared you?
I hate to say it because I don’t really care for the film but the first half of INSIDIOUS was very interesting, jarring at times. However, once the “astral projection dream walking” was introduced to the picture the tone changed entirely and it became a hokey, disappointing mess. But early in the film when the mumbling over the baby’s monitor suddenly let out the throaty screaming “I WANT HIM!”, I dropped my drink all over the floor. I recently watched the 1980 Isabelle Adjani film POSSESSION for the first time and I can not stop thinking about it, trying to dissect it. It is very unsettling to say the least and has stayed with me for months.
3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.
MANIAC COP 2: Officer Matt Cordell definitely isn’t a top tier boogeyman the likes of Freddy, Jason or Michael Myers but this sequel was the best in a trilogy of slasher movies from the late 80s/early 90s. In this one, Supercop Cordell has returned from the dead (for a second time) to seek vengeance on the crooked police force who sent him to his grave. He’s an undead killer but he’s totally justified (unlike Freddy child killer or Michael Myers brooding psychopath). Robert Z’Dar, Bruce Campbell, Robert Davi, Claudia Christensen – what a line-up! I had a chance to meet Robert Z’Dar before his passing and he was optimistic about a MANIAC COP 4 and even a remake! (RIP Z-Man)
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 4: THE NEXT GENERATION. There is nothing that any of you can say to sway me the other way. This film is A-MA-ZING fun. Stop taking yourselves and B-movies so seriously for a second and accept that someone made a Leatherface movie that wasn’t a gory slasher picture. That it IS funny. VERY funny. The all-time great lines that Matthew McConaughey‘s Vilmer character gave to us. Beautiful pieces of dialogue that everyday folks like you and me can use daily. Things like, “First I’m gonna kill ya… AIN’T NO FUCKIN’ BIGGIE.” “I got a mind…. TO SLIT YOUR GOD DAMN THROAT!” and “WE GOT LOTS MORE FUN TO HAVE TODA-AYYYYYY!” This movie is hot nonsense. Wonderful stupidity. The wall full of keys? Remote control body parts? And the Illuminati, now? Renee Zellwegger tells Leatherface to “sit the fuck down” even! I love it.
TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME: Though maybe not a horror film per se, it still falls into some kind of supernatural thriller category. Using monsters/devils as a metaphor for child abusers, this film packs some punches in the upsetting scenes department. This film probably isn’t underrated by the Internet’s standards but among every day, real life people its hard to find a TP:FWWM fan. Also, I have some special edition Cinescape magazine that was a horror encyclopedia and somewhere under movie devils/Satans it said that TP:FWWM is the most potent horror film of the 1990s. Not bad praise.
4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.
Well, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 4: THE NEXT GENERATION, I guess.
POPCORN. “Buy a bag! Go home in a box….” This movie could have been so great but it just fell short. I basically watch it and think about where I would have taken the plot if I had been in charge.
RAWHEAD REX. Okay, so the monster’s rubber suit was odd, his face was frozen and he couldn’t close his mouth. And no one in the town questioned why there was a stained glass window in the church of a monster demon getting buried under a statue. And the monster’s name is Rawhead Rex (a Clive Barker dick joke?). But the monster baptizes a priest in urine! So, you take the good with the bad.
5. Send us to five places on the Internet!
retroCRUSH – Former X-Entertainment contributor Robert Berry‘s now largely un-updated site is a lost treasure trove of old pop culture lists and articles such as The Top 100 Coolest Monsters and The Top 100 Scariest Movie Scenes.
OSW Review – Three Irish lads (grown men! husbands! doctors!) provide humorous audio commentary to old 1980s/1990s pro wrestling pay-per-view specials with in-dept facts and figures such as performers salaries, then backstage gossip, event attendance/buyrates, and “whatever happened to?” updates. Very funny stuff if you watched this stuff at all as a kid.
Intoxica Radio with Howie Pyro – Longtime punk outsider musician Howie Pyro‘s podcast featuring some of the best garage, exotica, rockabilly, surf and other strange records from his vast collection. It’s bad music for bad people (RIP Lux. Come play with us, Ivy)
The Cryptkeeper Five – Trenton, New Jersey’s greaser gang may very well be the best “living” band in the world today. Are they rockabilly? Punk? Swing? Well, yes and no. So, what do they sound like? Like Glenn Danzig & The E-Street Band. Or The Sonics Horton Heat.
Disney’s 20,000 League Under The Sea Ride – An extensive, masterful tribute to the now defunct 20K ride from Walt Disney World. Wow!