I had what you would call a regular horror childhood. Raised on your standard eggs, bacon and Friday the 13ths and Nightmares, it's the same ole story you've heard all before.
But it wasn't until I met Insano Steve in college and the beginnings of the Internets did I get more of a horror education. Faster than you could say "boobies", the internet sprung to life with porn sites with a degree of nastiness.
But with free web space like Geocities and Tripod you also got some horror sites that popped up. Insano Steve soon discovered a very cool site called Losman's Lair of Horror. (It's now defunct) but it had some awesome lists which Insano Steve and I used as a guidebook to discovering some great horror and exploitation movies.
Check out this site for a retrospective of this site.
The 5 movies we "discovered" that I have to admit shaped my horror wiki are below. Mind you, this was circa 1995-1999 and though most of these are common knowledge now, these were all new to both of us. Each of these movies had a profound effect on what I would watch years later, even up to today. Do you remember the first time you watched any of these?
1.) Cannibal Holocaust
My introduction to the cannibal genre was the best the genre had to offer. Never had I scene such horrific acts of violence by uncivilized savages (and on the big screen!).
Real life animal slaughter, scalping, intestine eating and documentary styilized drama.
After watching Holocaust, Insano Steve and I searched for the best the genre had to offer (Ferox, Dr. Butcher, etc.)
This would easily spawn my Top 5 Cannibal Movies of All Time and give me impetus to create the Top 10 Ruggero Deodato Movies of All Time.
2.) El Topo
Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo was a midnight cult success back in the 70s. But when you first watch it, it's like watching what it would be like on LSD but sober.
El Topo was the first of Jodorowskys films that I would dabble into, soon seeing all the others, with Holy Mountain and Sante Sangre being awesome-fuckin-rific flicks.
Why this underground vampire gore flick?
Because it showed me the door into the world indie spatter gore movies. Leif Jonkers Darkness would be my intro into low budget indie horror filmmakers and their dedication and passion to the VHS dubbing genre of the early 90s.
Not a good film by any means, it has some top notch gore and makeup.
It's a simple film, but struck a chord in this jaded viewer.
4.) Luther the Geek
This film is mostly remembered because it has a scene of Stacy Haiduk taking a shower naked.
But a mute, clucking serial killer biting and killing innocent pedestrians is where I had my first WTF moment.
And it's so bizarre and off the wall, this was my first venture in the world of kooky, mostly foreign serial killer films (See Insano Steve's 11 Underrated Horror Movies of the Videotape Era)
He's a geek! He drinks chicken blood! And all he does is cluck like a chicken.
The WTF moment was thus born into existence.
Think about when you first saw this movie. (If you haven't, you should see this perverted and gore-ificly awesome flick) Didn't you feel all dirty and a little shameful that you were about to watch a movie about fuckin necrophilia?!?!?
C'mon. We all have our boundaries. Even us hardcore horror fans. Shit, I've seen movies about bestiality. I'll admit it. But we've all draw lines before.
And though Nekromantik is done very artsy fartsy, it's still about some sick shit. And that ending...oh man, it's the pinnacle of the WTF moment hall of fame.
This probably was the movie that got me as jaded as could be.
Disturbing but entirely breaking a frontier within my horror experience, you can say the movie was utter shit, but it definitely is memorable.
If you have seen some of these flicks, kudos to you. If you haven't, it's like a tutorial of shame and horror wonder. Most horror fans today (I'm talking to the tweens and Gen Y peeps) don't know what us "old timers" had to do to see some of these flicks.
Go to horror conventions, rummage through yard sales, trade in 2nd and 3rd generation dubs and eBay the crap to see some hard to find flicks.
So when we did see these flicks, they were like finding a wad of cash in the trash.
I can thank Losman and his list for introducing me to a wide range of genre flicks. Such a simple site that the jaded viewer would not be here today if it wasn't for that list.
Wherever you are Losman, thanks dude. I owe you one.
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