Traumafessions :: Reader Jay R. on Dirty Harry

Hey guys,

I discovered your site about two months ago and now I’m on here every day. So much good stuff on here. Anyways…I’ve loved horror flicks my whole life and there have been plenty during early childhood that scared the living shit out of me. My dad had a pretty big collection of vhs tapes and movies taped off of T.V. CUJO did a real number on me… I was scared of dogs for awhile after that one… and LADY IN WHITE had me sleep with the lights on for a week or so. But one that had an unexpected effect on me was DIRTY HARRY… with Mr. ANDY ROBINSON as the Scorpio Killer (who was based off of the Zodiac Killer.) My dad had the CLINT EASTWOOD spaghetti western trilogy on at least once a month… so I had seen all three and was familiar with CLINT as an actor.

I can’t remember how old I was or what grade I was in, but there was this Friday where I had faked sick and stayed home from school for a three day weekend. It was great… nothing but cereal and T.V. all day. It wasn’t too long after watching THE PRICE IS RIGHT that I switched to a movie channel and DIRTY HARRY was on. I had missed probably 25% of the movie already… but I knew CLINT from the spaghetti westerns so I decided to watch. It wasn’t until I got to see ANDY ROBINSON as the Scorpio Killer that things started to get real scary.

Two scenes in particular did it for me… the first was at the Mount Davidson cross where Scorpio was wearing a ski mask and giving Harry a royal beating. The second was near the end where he has an entire school bus full of kids held hostage. LALO SCHIFRIN‘s music added to the creepiness of his character even more.

Needless to say… a great sick day turned into me home alone and scared shitless. I just watched DIRTY HARRY again recently and he is still one of the best villains I have ever seen in a movie. Goddamn..when he’s yelling, “I’ll kill all your mothers!” to the kids in the bus… that may have been the scariest part. I have nothing but love for the film now… and still think of that particular day as a point where rabid dogs and ghosts didn’t seem as terrifying as an extremely disturbed human being who enjoys killing people.

I managed to find the “bus scene” on YouTube. I never had to ride a bus to school… my grade school was in walking distance. Thankfully.

P.S. At some point in my early teens I had purchased a vhs copy of DIRTY HARRY.. which I watched constantly and showed to everyone I knew. I was such a fan of Scorpio at this point that I started lacing all my black shoes and boots with white laces. I was surprised to find the below video on YouTube when I was looking for Scorpio footage to submit.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments