Thursday, May 11, 2006

Casting Back to the Start #3

It's hard to say where it really all began. Was it the creepy house two houses down from the one I grew up in, was it from my peers, was it familial, or was it the television? Certainly part of it comes from within. Certainly. What though, was the external stimulus that really brought it home. What really struck me and turned me to horror?

I remember some really creepy cartoons that I took an immediate liking to. A dark and pretty frightening version of the Little Mermaid story sticks out in my mind. Ontario or Canada Film Boards short cartoons like the flying canoe with the three men in it are another. Some of it no doubt came from the tone of Battle of the Planets aka G-Force to us little blighters who couldn't get enough of it.

I remember bits and pieces of horror movies on Saturday afternoon television and watching them on the little black and white portable. Nothing much of anything really, more like dark science fiction than actual horror. The horror thing was well entrenched in me by time we first started renting movies. We rented them in a format similar to laser discs but earlier than that (as far as I know) and the disk stayed in a plastic case until the player pulled them out and spit the case back out. They were all double sided.

One of the first movies I got to rent for myself, if not the first was the venerable cult classic Xtro. Talk about a doozie of a movie to see so young. I must have been about eight at the time, maybe nine depending on what season it was. I watched it maybe six or more times. Funny thing was I rented that because my parents told me Halloween 3 was too mature. LOL. In that same format I saw Star Wars (IV: A New Hope--though it wasn't called that that I recall) and watched it twelve times or possible more. I also saw Poltergeist about eight times in that funky format. Each of these was in the same weekend they were rented, often on a loop practically.

I consider myself to have been something old hat with horror by time I was thirteen and I remember the first mention of people seeing the first A Nightmare on Elm Street. The timing is somehow off, maybe it was the release on VHS. I know that the first Nightmare I saw, sometime later I might add, was #3 Dream Warriors.

As for horror books, well I really didn't read much not assigned to me in school until high school and the first real horror novel I read was, of all things, Carrie! I didn't see the movie until quite a bit later than that. Same as I didn't see Evil Dead until relatively late in my horror immersion career. Next time I'd like to talk about the effect of seeing things (and reading) in the order that I did and maybe if I can ferret out how it affected the way I'm approaching my writing.

Mood: blase.
Music: Sugar, We're Goin Down by Fall Out Boy and Bus Stop by The Hollies.

Fall Out Boy: From Under The Cork Tree
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The Hollies: The Best of The Hollies


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