It’s a Horror to Know You:: FatherOfTears!

It’s an Horror to Know You: FatherOfTears!

OK, just who is this guy hiding behind a “Twin Peaks” character avatar? My name is Bob, age 45, and I reside in Northern New Jersey. My TV viewing back then could have been considered typical: Saturday morning cartoons, TV shows like “Emergency“, “Kung Fu” and just about all those Sid & Marty Krofft shows. I also spent a good deal of time watching syndicated reruns of classic 60’s TV shows like “Star Trek” and the Emma Peel/Tara King episodes of “The Avengers“. I was also hooked on “The Little Rascals” too. There was also the comedy stuff like “Gilligan’s Island“, “I Dream of Jeannie“, “Bewitched” and so forth. I did also spend a good deal of time watching sci-fi and horror movies on TV. Who didn’t rush home from school to see ABC’s “4:30” movie whenever “Monster Week” was on! Let’s also remember WPIX Channel 11’s “Chiller Theater” with the claymation 6 fingered hand coming out of a pool of blood:

Yes, a bit creepy bit it never scared me outright. I even saw “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” in a theater when it first came out and I thought those Ray Harryhausen animations were great! Now this was all early to mid 1970’s and asides from a few scenes in “Star Trek” (The Empath absorbing McCoy’s injuries and Scottie’s alien possessed girlfriend) and a few TV commercials, one involving a cymbal monkey toy, I was never terrified from something seen either on TV or at the movies till 1977.

What is the first film that ever scared you?

A three way tie starting in the Summer of 1977. Yes, it involves a TV add for a Dario Argento movie:

I first saw this during a commercial break for “Welcome Back Kotter“. Ten year old me thought this was some type of shampoo commercial and this was then popular brunette like Jacklyn Smith……till “she” turned around! Made my heart leap into my throat! Scared me so bad each time it came on I ran out of the room……while my seven year old sister ran into the room to watch it! For years just mentioning the name “Suspiria” would make me stop for a moment and freeze! After that it was the trailer for Magic:

That voice! The rolling eyes! It didn’t make me run out of the room but I would sit by the TV sort of frozen in terror! Number three was an actual movie: The made for TV film “Salem’s Lot“. For years I was used to Lee and Lugosi’s vampires who, while creepy, looked human. Reggie Nalder’s Kurt Barlow scared me! Oh, the townsfolk vampires with their sunken eyes and pale faces were just as terror inducing! Don’t get me started on those “window scenes” with the floating vampire kids!

What is the last film that scared you?

2005’s “The Descent“. The whole claustrophobic atmosphere in those caves got to me. OK, I’m not claustrophobic but I always feel uneasy watching a TV show on “The Discovery Channel” involving spelunking! Crawling in an 18 inch wide hole that could be filled half way with water! No lights except for you glow stick and flash light. Oh, those “Crawlers” reminded me a bit of the Barlow character from “Salem’s Lot”!

Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated.

The Witchmaker” (1969) A professor of paranormal studies and his student with psychic abilities go out with a small group to investigate reports of witchcraft of the Louisiana swamps. The sorcerer who resides in the swamp has killed young women for their blood so he can use it to summon his fellow evildoers. He has his sights on the psychic and he wants her in his coven. As for the rest of the group? Well……Some scenes do show the film’s low budget but the dark exterior swamp scenes cast a feeling of eeriness as do the scenes in the underground lair where the sorcerer does his black magic.

Messiah of Evil” (1973) OK, yet another zombie movie. However it has two of the all time classic zombie kills seen in a horror film. First there’s the theater scene:

And then there’s the supermarket scene where 1970’s “The Price is Right” model Anitra Ford suddenly becomes the main course:

Inferno” (1980) The sequel to “Suspiria“. Some may not like the fact that Argento used Keith Emerson instead of Goblin. I thought he did a good job. Most of his pieces were more subtle than the Goblin music in the previous film but I don’t think the eeriness felt in that New York apartment would have worked with more louder “Suspiria” pieces. Yes, the “Mater Tenebrarum” piece was out of place near the end of the film. The movie is also missing “Suspiria’s” BOLD red colors but the featured blues and green work well here.

Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Speaking of “Suspiria” sequels there’s the film that’s the basis for my username: “Mother of Tears“. Yes, I found it not as good as the first two films though it wasn’t completely wretched.

The Return of Count Yorga” This was done with more for laughs. It does have its moments though. The scene where Yorga’s brides crawl out the earth from their graves is good. It’s also interesting to see Mariette Hartley, the lady from those “Polaroid” commercials in this as well as a young Craig T. Nelson. By the way, how did Yorga come back?

Speaking of horror films with Robert Quarry I also liked the zombie film he did called “Sugar Hill“. Chrome colored zombies with silver eyes!

Send us to five places on the Internet!

I am a big fam of the current ABC series “Once Upon a Time” so here’s that show’s official site.

As some of you have seen I am a big fan of the classic TV series “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. Here’s the official fansite.

The official site of rising rock performer Annie Clark/St. Vincent.

The Kyle MacLachlan site.

And I might as well plug my Vimeo channel.

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9 years ago

This is a great IAHTKY FatherOfTears!
The trailer for Magic still creeps me out and I must admit that I never watched the movie because the trailer bothered me so much.
Salem’s Lot also scared me and my parents didn’t even let me watch it (I finally saw it in the 80s). I saw the commercials, could hear it from my bedroom, and had the boys next door describe it to me in great detail.

Lynette Fromme
Lynette Fromme
9 years ago

Oooo, ooooo, remember that Star Trek scene with the girl without a face? Yikes!

9 years ago

Well, that theater scene from Messiah of Evil will have an encore presentation in my nightmares tonight. How did this movie escape me? It’s now on my must-watch list (but it’s not on Netflix? BOOOOO!).

Growing up with WPIX, I also loved the Chiller Theater opening. And I’m totally with you on the Magic trailer and Salem’s Lot for first scares. A great IAHTKY…thanks for sharing, Father!

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9 years ago

UPDATE: Messiah of Evil is available on Amazon Instant for $1.99, but even better, it’s available for free to view or download at the Internet Archive:

9 years ago

I’m with FoT on “Messiah of Evil” – that film is a nightmare turned to celluloid – with some terrific early 70s backdrops that remind me just enough of being a little kid around that time.

Am I the only one that thinks “The Descent” might have been a better film without the goofy bat people? For me, being lost in a the depths of some cave with some people that you don’t really trust is plenty horrifying.

Anyhow great post.

arthur teagarden
arthur teagarden
9 years ago

Indeed, an excellent post! I didn’t like Mother of Tears the first time but really got into it the second, and need to see inferno again.
In a Psychotronic interview with Robert Quarry they mention that the mysterious Santa Ana winds (and boffo box office) was what brought back the count! And Sugar Hill was on TCM a while back- campy and spooky, my faves.

9 years ago

Thanks for printing this!

@ mickster: I saw “Salem’s Lot” while staying over at a grandparent’s house and I nearly jumped out of the chair when Kurt Barlow suddenly jumped up on screen and let out a growl!

@ uncle lancifer: That underwater scene in “Inferno” was great too! Oh, as someone who had 5 cats at different times in my life I didn’t like the cat flinging scene as well as the scene where the antique shop owner drowned the stray cats in a bag ๐Ÿ™

@ Film Father: My introduction to “Messiah of Evil” was actually via a 2 in 1 DVD set that I bought and it came with “The Devil’s Nightmare”:

@ Lynette Fromme: My first reaction to the woman who was made faceless in “Star Trek TOS” was “HOW CAN SHE BREATHE?!?” Yes, while fun to watch as a kid it could be upsetting at times!

@ Chuckels72: That idea of just the women trapped alone in the cave would have worked too. There were also people who thought the “Crawlers” could have been a figment of Sarah’s imagination and she did the actual killings.

@ arthur teagarden: So that’s how Yorga came back! Oh, and for “Sugar Hill” I actually saw the trailer for the movie on TV back in the early 70’s. Flash forward to a few years ago where I saw an article on the movie on this site I thought it sounded familiar.

Oh, “The Witchmaker” almost became a “Name That Trauma” as I first saw the ending to the film on TV some 30 years ago. However, I came upon its trailer while “surfing YouTube” a few months ago. The whole movie is uploaded but it’s from a very bad transfer and it’s dark. I managed to get a DVD made by Code Red who did a pretty good job of “cleaning it up” sans some audio and video skips.

9 years ago

Good stuff!
I’ve never even heard of ‘The Witchmaker’ so the hunt is on for that one.

I also have more good will than bad regarding Mother Of Tears… really, the only element that sends it to the crapper for me is Mater Lachrymarum herself… just sooooooo wrong.
Not that anything was going to live up to the promise of those brief glimpses of Ania Pieroni in ‘Inferno’