Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Horrors (Part I)

Oh, Halloween.  This is the most macabre of all holidays, yet it is my favorite one of all.  It goes back to my dad.  He was a horror movie junkie.  And it goes back to having WWOR, Channel 9, in Pittsburgh when I was a young kid.  It goes back to divorces and being misunderstood and the idea of violence as something that only took place on celluloid.  It goes back to having to move as many times as my mom remarried and wanted to please her husbands.  It goes back to this weird place called Pittsburgh; a place where zombies began and my enthusiasm for gore and terror began and still continues to this day.

Back in the day, my dad took me to so many films, many of them horror films.  As an adult, I sometimes shriek when I see parents bringing their kids to see graphic horror films.  Yet, I was that kid!  I saw A Nightmare on Elm St. 2 and April Fools Day with my dad in the theaters.  Friday the 13th Parts V and VI.  I was a little kid, but he still took me to them.  He loved that shit as much as I did.  We would talk about the goriest scenes and just end up laughing about them.  We weren't scared, we were blissful.  

Yet there is 1982 (?) when Poltergeist came out.  That year, my father was separated from my mother.  He took me to see that film and I was only nine years old.....or eight....  Yet, that movie in the theater scared the shit out of me.  Was it the clown?  Was it the corpses?  Was it the closet light?  Was it not having my father to tuck me in every night?  Was it my mom marrying someone else?  What the fuck was it that made the parts of that movie versus my reality scare me?  So hard to tell.  For sure, I needed a "closet light" to get me to sleep months after that one.

And then there is Pittsburgh itself: the home of zombies.  As a kid, there was a cemetery nearby and there was this crazy cave entrance you could go into.  We called it the devil's kitchen, I think, and we would go down there.  I'm talking boys and girls, with no spelunking gear after school with Reeboks on.  It was dangerous and stupid.  At the same point of time it was awesome.  It was scary and moreso than the horror films we were trying to duplicate and the gore scenes we wanted to make like young, amateur Tom Savinis.  You would go down, and down and down to no end until you were exhausted. To boot, it was on the side of a graveyard.  So terrifying when you really think about it, but for us, it was ho-hum.  

So now, a huge jump forward to 40.  I love being fucked with in safe ways.  I went to Blackout the other night.  It is a place you have to sign a waver to go through.  You are in a living horror film at times, at others, you are just asking yourself why in the fuck are you doing this.  It is a rush.  Your pulse rate is up due to sensory deprivation, a bag over your head, pitch black all around you......

In a weird way it is bliss.......only at this time of the year.

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