Monday, January 30, 2012

How I Became a Horror Fan (or, "Why My Bubble is a Little Off")

The first movie I ever saw in a theater was The Food of the Gods. I was eight, and my parents weren't much for babysitters. In the movie, people were attacked by giant wasps, a giant chicken (it's scarier than it sounds, especially when you're eight), and giant rats. I ended up sitting in a dark theater scared out of my wits . . . and fascinated. I started encouraging my parents to see more movies (and drag me with).

The only movie for kids I ever remember seeing was one that a friend's parent took us too, The Rescuers. The only thing I remember about it was that Eva Gabor was a mouse and it was lame. That same year, I went to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It made such an impression on me that I made a pilgrimage to Devil's Tower years later.

So before I was even a teenager, I was consuming a steady diet of horror and science fiction: Day of the Triffids, The Blob, Them!, Night of the Lepus, It's Alive (who knew babies could be so scary), Damnation Alley, and every Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi movie I could get my hands on.

But my future as a horror and science fiction fan wasn't set in stone until I saw Alien at age eleven. After that, there was no going back. I was hooked.

Probably because of these early films, my preference still leans toward monster horror. It's what I prefer to watch and read . . . and prefer to write.

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