When we first moved to Arizona my mom worked at Hollywood Video. Remember those? Anyway she worked there and I would help out. Whether it was putting away VHS tapes (NOSTALGIA!) or making cases, I would do it all. That is unless it was down the horror aisle. All the covers of killers and the undead would scare the crap out of me. Despite having seen Nightmare on Elm Street as a kid it was actually Troll 2 that scared me. In particular, the ending. It looks awful now, and probably then, but it traumatized me.
Of course, 1996 was right around the corner. And the horror boom was about to begin.
Flash forward a year and a little movie named Scream was released. When you look at the factors behind it, it shouldn’t have been good. The creative forces behind it were far from top-notch. It was being directed by Wes Craven, a guy who’s work was far from solid. Sure he had made Freddy Krueger a household name but he also had just come off the loser of a film known as Vampire In Brooklyn. Penning the script was Kevin Williamson. At this point he was best known for being the creator of Dawson’s Creek. So between a hit-or-miss director and the maker of the ultimate teen melodrama, it looked like it was destined to fail.
What we got was the movie that would revitalize the horror genre. A movie that could not only build suspense but also make you laugh. A whodunit mystery with a hip sensibility that was a perfect fit for the 90’s. With a sharp tongue and a subversion of the regular horror conventions this homage to the past swept the nation by storm. Everyone suddenly knew the “rules” of the horror film. Seemingly everyone that year was Ghostface for Halloween. Myself included.
After some convincing from my friend Jeff I decided to watch Scream. It was late at night and with my parents asleep, we put in the tape. From the opening cheap “cat noise” scare I was at the edge of my seat. I became addicted. Since then I’ve been a horror nut. And boy did Hollywood fulfill my need for more.
From there I followed all of the various knock offs. From Urban Legend to I Know What you Did Last Summer. All of them fulfilled my need for more horror. On this journey, I saw Halloween: H2O. More than just another movie, this one had lineage. An intriguing movie that got me to go back and watch the classic “Halloween” by John Carpenter. From there, there was no turning back. Whether it was the classic Halloween or a piece of crap like Night of the Dead, I became a horror fanatic.
Eventually though, horror wasn’t enough. I was led onto the path of other genre film. I was on the warpath. From obscure animation like Wizards to kung fu classics like The 38 Chambers of Shaolin. This little bit has led me to see hundreds of movies. Even some mainstream movies every now and then. Now with over 300 movies in my collection, I’m the biggest (not really) film nerd in history. I’ll never claim I’ve seen everything but by god do I love it all.
All of this thanks to Scream. Who knows, man. Maybe without Scream my passion for obscure movies wouldn’t be here. Maybe without Scream I wouldn’t find what I’m passionate about writing about. Either way, the film had a big effect on me. And thank god it did. I can’t see any other life path leading me to see Ichi The Killer.