#496: The Horror

 THE HORROR

GETTING MORE TALE #496: The Horror

It was a rite of passage:  When the youth began renting restricted horror movies!

In the mid-80’s, my best friend Bob was obsessed with horror movies.  He found them funny.  He liked pausing and going slow-mo any time a rubber prosthetic was being hacked off a victim by the killer.  We enjoyed laughing at the ridiculous situations.  Don’t go into the woods at night, for god’s sake, and don’t trip over every twig and branch when you’re running away from the bad guy!

Of course, there were always rock and roll connections.  Via the soundtracks, you’d get exposed to a few cool rock tracks.  The first horror movie Bob and I watched together was a perfect example of this:  John Carpenter’s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic Christine.  We’ll circle back to the music.  But the language!  Oh my.  We had never heard swearing woven into such intricate dialogue before!  King truly is the master of the art of profanity.  We learned new ways to swear from that movie.  Some favourites:

Yeah try it you little bald fuck, and I’ll knock you through the wall! FUCK!”  – Buddy Repperton

“OK, that’s the last time you run that mechanical asshole in here without an exhaust hose!” – Will Darnell

“I knew a guy had a car like that once. Fuckin’ bastard killed himself in it. Son of a bitch was so mean, you could’ve poured boiling water down his throat and he would’ve pissed ice cubes.” – Will Darnell

We watched Christine, rewound the tape, and watched it again, twice in a row.  I still love that movie today.  It’s not my favourite horror of all time (that would be The Shining, also based on Stephen King) but it does come in second.  My dad and uncle didn’t mind me watching it, because the car involved in the film was a 1958 Plymouth Fury.  Such things seemed to matter to adults.

I always preferred comedy to horror, but Bob and I were a team, so we compromised and usually rented two or three movies at a time.  Strangely enough, it’s really only the horror films I remember today.  I couldn’t tell you what comedies we rented, but I remember Friday the 13th, do I ever!

We would ride our bikes up to Steve’s TV on Frederick Street.  It’s still there, too, in the same spot but stocked with the latest and greatest tech.  In the 80’s, it was a growing business and had the largest collection of videos for sale and rent that I’d ever seen.  Bob and I would discuss and pick out a couple horror films and a comedy.  We’d bring them back by bike and rent more.  The first time we did this, Steve’s TV asked for a note from our parents to rent an R rated movie.  Minor delay!  We’d just have to make another trip on our bikes.

We rented the first Friday the 13th, and the second.  I somehow missed the third and fourth (I am pretty sure I was at the cottage on vacation those weekends) and jumped right onto the poor fifth movie (A New Beginning), which didn’t even have Jason in it.  As I started highschool, Jason finally returned in Part VI (Jason Lives) and our movie renting continued.  When the Friday the 13th movies were done, we did the Freddie movies, and the Halloween films.  We even did the third Halloween, the one that had nothing to do with the rest of the series.

We rented so many that eventually Steve’s TV had nothing left we hadn’t seen.  We started checking out a new store, Jumbo Video.  They had a cool horror section that looked like a haunted castle.  We rented everything there, too.  Jeff Goldblum’s remake of The Fly was one.  I remember a really terrible movie called Madman Marz, but there were many more that I can’t remember at all.  As highschool went on, we ran out of horror movies to rent at Jumbo.   We temporarily began renting ninja movies (Bob was taking Karate at the time) but it was horror that we really liked.

An automated video rental place opened up.  It was a small room full of vending machines that dispensed videos!  They had a small selection of horror, so Bob and I began to eat those up too.  The Fly II was one of the first we rented from that automated store, and it was just awful.  Clearly, we were exhausting the horror movie stock in Kitchener Ontario.  There was nothing left for us to rent.

The rock and roll connections with a lot of these films were really interesting to us, since we were both exploring hard rock at the same time.  Christine, our first horror experience, had an incredible soundtrack of oldies:  Little Richard’s “Keep-A-Knockin’”,  “Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly, and of course the newbie “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood.  As much as we were obsessed with the movie, we obsessed over that song.  Playing it over, and over, and over again.  A bit later on, Alice Cooper appeared in a couple films, also providing music for Prince of Darkness and Friday the 13th Part VI.  Horror went hand in hand with our rock obsession, but in the long run, “there could be only one”.  For me, rock won out.  Horror films still bring a chuckle, but the days of obsessively trying to watch them all are long gone.  Do they even make good horror movies anymore?  I don’t even know.  They do still make great rock and roll, that’s for sure.

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25 comments

  1. Coop gained a ton of traction with “Man” as it peaked my curiosity about him so much so that when Constrictor came out I bought it!
    DOKKEN though in Dream Warriors man that cracks me that vid with Kruger ..I dunno bout that one …hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still watch most the horror films that come out. I’d say the good ones are being fewer and farther between and the bad ones are always good for a laugh. It’s the average seen-it-all-before ones that you need to avoid!

    And Alice was well creepy in Prince of Darkness, that’s a great film!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the last “new” horror film I tried to watch was Zombie’s Halloween 2. And I liked the first one. But the second was so bad, so nonsensical. I guess I gave up after that. I know I wouldn’t like the Saw films!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually really liked Zombie’s second Halloween movie and was fairly disappointed that his run stopped there. I can understand why folks weren’t so keen (it’s a Halloween flick), but I reckon it’s a fine movie.

        The first Saw movie was good. After that it’s all “oh, this again? Swell …”

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  3. The first Friday The 13th was my first real horror flick. My buddy Jason had one of those movie players where the “disc” was plastic and the size of an LP. Anyway, it scared the crap out of me (we must’ve been 8 or so).

    I’ve seen a ton of “horror” films over the years, none of them are really scary. Often times, psychological thrillers – the ones that really get into your brain – are far scarier than the slasher crap.

    Funny, I never considered The Shining a horror film. I suppose it is, though, if you look at it that way.

    We don’t watch horror much anymore. I guess reaching my 40s made me tired of the silliness. Having kids totally changed my perspective on violence in movies, too, all the stabbing and ripping and wholesale mass shootings in action films, even, just totally became unnecessary. Add to that my lovely wife hears about enough real life horrors in her job as a mental health professional and, well, ain’t a whole lot of horror watching around here anymore.

    But I agree, when you’re a kid, it was terrifying fun to have the crap scared out of you by some silly movie.

    But since this is a music site, you’re right. Sometimes the soundtracks are pretty cool!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that’s the one. We never had one of those at home, our first was VHS.

        Also just realized that my first horror flick was Friday The 13th, and the buddy I watched it with is named Jason.

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  4. I went off the Friday the 13th series after the fourth one. To me, it just got too ridiculous after that. I was a big horror film fan during my teenage years of the 70s but for some inexplicable reason, they no longer interested me in the 80s. Carrie is still the best Stephen King film in my book.

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      1. I’ve never seen Cujo or Firestarter so that evens it out. The amusing thing about when I went to see the original Carrie, I went with my mother and her boyfriend and at the very beginning of the film, my mother wanted to leave because of all the naked teenage girls in the locker room scene. I was 15 so I was quite enjoying that bit.

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  5. I love the old horror movies (meaning from the 70-80’s). The Shining still freaks me out to this day. Children of the Corn also terrified me for some reason when I was a kid. My favorites back then were the Nightmare on Elm Street Movies. Those were the movies that my friends and I would go see immediately, plus I used to do a great Freddie impression of him saying “How Sweet, fresh meat”. I made some girl in the theatre that was sitting in front of us freak out when I did that.

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  6. Loved this. I had a friend who was 6’7″ and although he had a real baby face, he always got served in video shops and off licences when we were 15 – we must have seen them all back then. Most of them were watched for the sole hope of seeing boob – which most directors happily provided. Happy days.

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  7. Great post Mike, a really fun and entertaining read. Nothing beats horror movies when you’re a kid :)

    Friday the 13th scared the proverbial out of me when I was young. I remember The Entity and John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned has similar effects :)

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  8. I was never a huge fan of horror. That being said one of my favourite movies of all time is John Carpenter’s The Thing. I have watched it every Halloween since 1993. (Last year I even got a chance to see it for the first time on the big screen.)

    I think my first exposure to horror was Alien. The TV commercials used to freak me out when I was a kid. I wasn’t until years later that I actually became a huge fan of the film. I’m probably one of the few people you’ll find who actually liked Alien 3. But I digress,

    I remember watching Friday The 13th Part 2 with my sister and her boyfriend at the time. (Spoilers) :) The end was getting all quiet and noises were linked to a cute little dog. Then CRASH, Jason comes through the window. Scared the crap out of me. I was maybe 12 at the time but that scare stayed with me.

    I think the last “horror” film I saw in the theatre was OUIJA. Wow what a stinker. An AA-14 horror film that a friend dragged me to. A terrible movie that for some reason is getting a sequel.

    With out getting into “essay” territory. Which I could very easily do on this topic. I am also a huge fan of the classic Universal monster horror films like Frankenstein, Wolfman, The Mummy, etc. There is a wonderful charm to them.

    While I never went through as many horror films as you did as a kid. I was selective and did get a chance to see some as a youngster.

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