It’s a Horror to Know You: Hail ants!
1. What is the first film that ever scared you?
Big Bird explodes Mr Hooper’s ’10’ machine (1969) This is kinda weird, but I was only maybe four or five (and a ‘sensitive’ kid) so after I saw this for the first time and then knew what was going to happen I was terrified to ever watch it again! I would run & hide from the TV if this scene came on and wait until it was over. A combination of knowing that it was going to explode, and the fear of Mr Hooper being upset that Big Bird broke it (watching it today the most disturbing thing is seeing season one’s gangly, hick-sounding Big Bird!)
1. What is the last film that ever scared you?
Aliens 1986. To explain, I was 20 when I first saw this and prided myself on the fact that movies simply did not scare me. Ever. Not The Exorcist (thought parts of it were hilarious!), not Jaws, not even the first Alien (I had heard & read everything about it before finally seeing it on HBO). But I saw its sequel Aliens completely cold at its midnight premiere. And something about being somewhere dark & creepy and then imagining those things being out there, even today, it makes me want to just lie on the ground, curl up into the fetal position, cover myself with leaves, and wait for dawn hoping like hell they don’t see me!
3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.
Return of the Living Dead (1985) Besides being one of the funniest comedies ever it, IMO for the first time since Romero’s original, truly captured the whole ‘being overwhelmed by zombies fear’ that everyone today takes for granted.
Apollo 18 (2011) How can you not appreciate the sheer brilliance of a ‘Blair Witch on the Moon‘ story?! Being stuck there with creepy, dangerous creatures (and a slowly turning evil crewmate) beats being stranded in a tent out in the woods by a factor of a million! Not a perfect film, but an exceptional example of the eternal greatness of the ‘less being more’ concept that horror films have all but abandoned in favor of sexy vampires or endless waves of CGI creatures.
Black Christmas aka Silent Night, Evil Night (1974) The original film to be based on the “The calls are coming from inside the house!” urban legend, and probably the best. At times cheesy but often brutal (yanking the house mother up with a huge meat hook!) the killer is never seen nor is any motive ever given. This adds to the film’s ‘pure’ evilness. And the ending with the callback to the early mentioning of the other phone line in the attic makes the urban legend tie-in actually work!
4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.
Monster in the Closet (1986) A silly but sometimes effective thriller with a silly but sometimes effectively scary looking monster! Also the film is often overlooked for it being one big ‘gay’ joke.
Rawhead Rex (1986) Another seemingly silly gore-fest meets supernatural film with, again, a somewhat cheesy yet terrifyingly scary looking creature. Something about those red eyes gets to me.
The Boogens (1981) Only because it was made during the endless phase of Halloween/Friday the 13th teen sex/slasher films, I enjoyed it turning out to be an ole fashioned monster movie instead! And even though they’re just puppets, in their context they were kinda scary looking.
5. Send us to five places on the Internet!
The Official Ninja Webpage. More funny than scary, but man is it funny!
Rare Movies Worldwide. Place to find lots of the films and TV shows mentioned on Kindertrauma on DVD.
The Prelinger Archives. A collection of old, public domain films including many that are unintentionally scary, funny, racist, or sometimes all three!!