Movies come and movies go – but there are those special movies. The ones that your moms and dads and grannies and grandpas and whoever – try to keep you from seeing. I know you know the ones I’m talking about; the ones you weren’t supposed to watch, but you did anyways. They scare the living shit out of you because you’re all of five years in life had yet to prepare you for the visual of little Johnny and Jason eating the skin of dear ol’ dads face as it illuminates the room from the t.v. set.
Admit it, you were scared. Maybe some more than others – I know I was!
But as time goes on, life has a funny way of moving along, and eventually – we watch those movies again. And maybe, we like ’em. And a little more so each time, even. As new movies come and go, graphix are updated and creative juggernauts step up their effects game – those movies that once terrorized your night time trip to the bathroom – have become beautiful, nostalgic classics. Anticipating the release of Friday the 13th, I’ve come to thank those movies that scared the shit out of me, that I love so dearly now. They were the beginning to a path of art culture that I may have otherwise never had the interest in experiencing and my whole life could have been very different (hey, back off my butterfly effect logic, man – and no one gets hurt 😉 )
So I think it’s time to give credit where credit is due – to the (now) classics that made us both pee our pants, and love our horror and gore, from silliest to serious – roll call please.
Okay kids, this one was meant to be a stab at modern society and the way it has viewed the rock n’ roll industry, from the outside. If you were like me and happened across this beautiful little gem when you were eight years old – then you understand why hair metal is so scary (besides the ten feet of next generation cousin it’s on their heads)! Our story begins in the sleepy little town of Mill Basin, where an up and coming rock and roll band have decided to play their first concert. Okay – not to bad, right?
That is, until the big scary rock band comes to town and starts turning everyone into these guys with their satanic, demon – spawning vinyls.
That guy there? He’s the hero – the dopey high school teacher with a stache’ game that would make Bert Reynolds proud. Representing all that is good – he is protective over his students and is invested in their well being. So much so that he beats this girl down a few minuets after she starts coming onto him. Why?
Because feliacio somehow loses its appeal when the teeth come out….
This one, my friends – it’s the movie you know like the back of your hand (because you made sure to know what you were running from) but can’t recall anything about when you first saw it (because you were so traumatized) except that you were way to young. The story is simple really – a haunted house which is inherited to the main character tries to torture the writer as he seeks to confront his post-war internal grievances and then a random kid needs to be baby sat and the writer who just happens to be staying at this recently inherited home get picked for the job. Why? Well because we needed a reason for Cobb, our main character to be a hero. The child is kidnapped and Cobb must face his internal turmoil to defeat that house. Plus you get to meet all these wonderfully dynamic monsters, ‘SandyWitch’, ‘Little Critters’ and the piss your pants come rushing out of the dark, ever so lovingly named ‘The Closet Monster’.
And if that wasn’t enough to make you refuse to go to Aunt Marion’s funeral as a child – there were plenty of sequels to fix that.
The end all – be all to fuck your rules mom – I’m not doing it. After haphazardly stumbling into the hallway one evening while my mom was taking in a leisurely viewing of the 1996 film, well – I won’t even admit to you how many more times I sat in the dentist chair as a child. You see, this movie – caught at the beginning and somehow unbeknownst to my mother, viewed in its entirety from the hallway – crushed every ounce of trust or respect I ever had for a dentist. Ever.
Meet Dr. Alan Feinstone. He looks like your average creepy but still sort of nice kinda guy, right? I mean, after all one can only appear to be so friendly after plummeting to the depths of the disgusting mouths of dozens to hundreds of people for a living right? On his wedding anniversary, he discovers his wife is steppin out. Oh hell no, why did you have to go piss off the dentist, man?
As you can see, madness ensues. The good Dr. starts having some psychosis after catching his wife, and through a mix of hallucinating that other women are his wife, men are her lover and a whole chaotic slew of bodies seems to be left in his wake – as well as a detective who has caught on to the case.
And of course because we haaad to go there (did we have to go there?) what movie would be complete without multiple creative gore scenes reflective of the exact nature and tune to which the good Dr.’s brain shorted out. Let’s not forget, the moment when someone should really, really run and sits there deer in the headlights style. If there isn’t enough here for you to hate your dentist – you can supplement you dental fear with the sequel, aptly titled The Dentist 2: Brace Yourself (you see what they did there?)
Meet Jack. Jack seems like a nice kind of crazy here, that smile so full of life and excitement. Jack is a writer who is picking up some money and serenity by agreeing to be the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. His son and wife in tow – they shut in for the winter and Jack begins to work on his writing – which rapidly goes nowhere. His son becomes sensitive to the paranormal activity that Jack is increasingly aware of.
You know what they say about all work no play, right?
It sends you out with an axe to repeat the actions of dead people. Lesson learned.
Doomed repeat the events which tragically took place in this secluded hotel – Jack begins to psych out and his son and wife are off and running for their lives – eventually leaving a very constipated looking Jack in the snow to freeze and die. Hailed as a true classic, few rivel this now not so scary movie – save perhaps the equally disturbing IT. Speaking of our Number One…
Ladies and gentleman – meet the face of an entire generations nightmares. I don’t care what you say – there is nothing nice about this guy from the moment we meet him. Something in the way his yellow teeth seem steely cold and eager to grind the bones and flesh of little kids is just an immediate turn off, I don’t know. If you stayed up late to watch this one, you were staying up late for nights, weeks to follow trying to pretend that you had never seen it.
Such a convincing performance given by one of my all – time favorite cult film veterans – Tim Curry – something in his portrayal of the actor convinces me that he had watched some terrifying clown torture and demolish lives before, it’s almost inarguable that Curry’s performance as Pennywise was an immensely accurate depiction of exactly the types of things that come from hell.
With a remake of Stephen King’s “IT” in the works, it’s urgent to point out and hopefully it will go without saying that – this movie is still fucking scary, for one reason. It’s the creepy way that Pennywise commands fear and authority even while behaving as a normal clown would – there will never be another Pennywise performance as epic, and we can only hope that in a effects driven society – the director will still appreciate the art of and level of performance that is required to make this the prime recipe for horror film stardom. We’re counting on you to scare the shit out of our kids so one day they can grow up to appreciate all the beauty of the art that is Horror Cult Classics!