I just found your site today, and it’s great.
Around 1987, when I was 5 years old, I have very distinct memories of being in the video store with my mother. I didn’t look at the children’s movies though. She would always find me in the horror section, looking at the back of the VHS movies. I remember one picture in particular, a woman in a bathtub holding a toaster. I’m thinking there had to be another picture, such as a leg sticking out of the tub, and the toaster was next to it, maybe. I have no idea what this movie was (I doubt I was a very good reader at 5 anyway), but I don’t remember being scared of the picture, just interested. I enjoyed the back of other movies too; I do remember THE THING, MONKEY SHINES, and a movie about flesh eating ants. I’m pretty sure this is where my fascination with death began. I believe the term is death hag. I can view death pictures, like Nikki Catsouras, and there’s no problem. It’s pictures like the entry on MR. SARDONICUS that terrify me, to this day, at 26 years old.
Another thing that scared me to death was the cover of one of my mother’s Simplicity Sewing magazines; I’m guessing from late ‘80s/early ‘70s. The picture was of a young woman with long brown hair (no bangs of course), her mouth was making a small O shape, and her hand was up in front of her. The fingers on her hand turned into a pair of scissors, a thimble…a little rolly wheel thing on her middle finger (this was in front of/below the O of her mouth). The mouth shape and the fact that her fingers “became” scissors is what scared me. Early Photoshop I guess. I would beg my mom to make that face and then it would freak me out and I would make her stop. Funny. I found that picture online once but unfortunately I can’t find it again. I hope I find it before I have a kid so I can scare her with it.
Also the usual fare: Wicked Witch in the WIZARD OF OZ (actually, the monkeys), Chuckie, FIRE IN THE SKY, and IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS are the movies that really got to me, that I lost sleep over or slept with the light on. Today, of course, I love horror movies, esp. zombies. I think we can all agree the scariest part is when the characters lose the local T.V. and radio stations. At that point, you’re on your own. The end is nigh, huh? This is why I keep a shotgun under my bed and drive an SUV.
I sure wonder about that toaster lady, though.