It’s a Horror to Know You: Ryan Clark of Thrill Me! (http://thrill-me.blogspot.com)
1. What is the first film that ever scared you?
It’s difficult to recall, but I’m going to say Frankenstein (1931). I had seen The Ghost of Frankenstein prior to watching the original, but I think I handled that one pretty well. When my mom finally bought the original on VHS for me, the main thing keeping me from watching it was the commercial at the beginning for the Universal Monsters Classic Collection and the clip it showed of the monster’s hand rising from the slab as the good doctor yells, “It’s alive!” I actually brought the movie to Catholic school (!) and convinced my first grade teacher to let us watch it in class to help me conquer my fear. It didn’t work, though, because I was shaking so badly in my seat that she took out the tape. Eventually, I worked up the nerve to watch it at home, and I was fine.
2. What is the last film that scared you?
I don’t get scared by films very often anymore, but A Serbian Film filled with me a sense of dread that I haven’t felt in a long time. The tone of it disturbed me more than the disgusting acts.
3. Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated.
Okay, I’m gonna pick three that are TRULY underrated:
The Premonition (1976) – Bizarre supernatural horror film with a wacked-out, terrifying performance by the late Richard Lynch as a psychotic mime and a nice turn from Ellen Barber as a mentally ill mother who kidnaps her daughter (All in the Family’s Danielle Brisebois) from her foster parents. I can’t figure out why this film is rated so low. It’s a little cheesy (if you think that’s a valid criticism – I don’t) but it has wonderful atmosphere akin to Let’s Scare Jessica to Death and Don’t Look Now.
I Know Who Killed Me (2007) – I know, I know… Maybe this belongs on the next list, but I don’t care. I don’t hate Lindsay Lohan like most people, so I’ve got nothing against this unique, giallo-esque gore thriller. The lighting is exquisite, the score is highly reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann, and Lohan really isn’t bad at all. I wish she’d get her act together and make more movies like this one.
The Headless Eyes (1971) – I genuinely enjoy this piece of trash. It’s probably the allure of sleazy 70s NYC that draws me in, and it’s way grittier than even Maniac could ever hope to be. The opening scene alone is brilliant: a thief gets his eye poked out with a spoon and yells “My EYE!!!! Aaarhhhhhrrrgg!!!” on a loop as he staggers into the street with his eye dangling by a thread and people crowd around him. Classic.
4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.
Breeders (1986) – For me, this beats out Troll 2 as the best worst movie ever made. It’s about an alien’s attempt to take over the world by raping virgins – except the “virgins” all look like they belong in 80s adult movies. A big-haired feminist doctor and a clueless detective are on the alien’s slimy trail, and they play it so seriously that every line of dialogue is gold.
Scream for Help (1984) – I just reviewed this one for my blog. I really think it should become a cult movie on the level of Rocky Horror, because it’s so delightfully over-the-top in every way, yet there was genuine talent involved behind-the-scenes, so it’s alternately engaging and mind-boggling.
Pieces (1982) – What can I say about Pieces that hasn’t been said before? So many great and hilarious scenes, but for me it’s all about Lynda Day George repeatedly screaming “BAAAAAASTAAARD!!!!” at the sky.
5. Send us to five places on the Internet !
And the Facebook page for the book I’m working on, Blood Among the Stars: The Making of “Carrie” (HERE).