Horror films? Not for me

One of the overriding problems I had in my later years at FantaCo in the late 1980s was that we were putting out product that I was selling that I did not enjoy. It wasn’t just the Freddy Kruger masks and the Freddy Kruger gloves (plastic, not real) and the Jason Voorhis masks that bothered me. It was all the Herschell Gordon Lewis related material that ewe published that I didn’t read and yet from which I was actually beginning to make a reasonably decent wage that ultimately caused me to quit. It’s not that I had a moral objection to them; it was that I just didn’t enjoy a lot of gruesomeness. I’ve never seen a Sam Peckinpah film, for example. And after seeing A Clockwork Orange, The Godfather and Catch-22 in a short time period, I pretty much swore off movies rated R for violence for nearly a decade. So it’s a miracle that I’ve seen ANY of the movies of the top horror movies. A number of people did this, but I first saw it at Tom the Dog’s.

1.The Exorcist. William Friedkin (1973) – certainly I’ve seen large chunks of this movie at home on TV. Oy.
2.The Shining. Stanley Kubrick (1980) – this movie I actually saw in the movies. And I HATED it, NOT because it was gruesome but because Jack Nicholson’s character seemed to be going crazy when he and Shelly Duval are having their first meeting with Barry Nelson. So I believe NONE of what follows from Nicholson, especially the cutesy “Here’s Johnny!” It felt like Jack doing Jack and I disliked it on that point. Actually thought the excessive amount of blood was laughable, not scary or gory.
3.Alien. Ridley Scott (1979) – saw this in the theater and LIKED it
4.The Silence of the Lambs. Jonathan Demme (1991) – was at my parents’ house and one or both of my sisters was watching it on HBO; I bailed fairly early
5.Saw. James Wan (2004) – now here’s a movie I just will never see
6.Halloween. John Carpenter (1978) – did see large parts of this on TV
7.A Nightmare on Elm Street. Wes Craven (1984) – only small parts of this
8.Ring (Ringu). Hideo Nakata (1998) – neither version
9.The Wicker Man. Robin Hardy (1973) -no
10.The Omen. Richard Donner (1976) -no, still in my no R rated period

11.The Birds. Alfred Hitchcock (1963) – this I saw at some revival theater, and it STILL scares me
12.The Thing. John Carpenter (1982) – no
13.Lost Boys. Joel Schumacher (1987) – don’t think I avoided it, just didn’t see
14.Dawn of the Dead. George A Romero (1978) – always intended to see this, actually
15.The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Tobe Hooper (1974) – oddly enough, this as well. Someday.
16.Jaws. Steven Spielberg (1975) – no, and I feel culturally deprived.
17.The Blair Witch Project. Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez (1999) – no. might.
18.An American Werewolf in London. John Landis (1981) – no, but still might.
19.Se7en. David Fincher (1995) – probably won’t.
20.Poltergeist. Tobe Hooper (1982) – may someday.
21.The Amityville Horror. Stuart Rosenberg (1979) – probably won’t.
22.Candyman. Bernard Rose (1992) no
23.Scream. Wes Craven (1996) no
24.Carrie. Brian De Palma (1976) probably will someday.
25.Friday the 13th. Sean S Cunningham (1980) certainly I’ve seen parts of it.
26.Final Destination. James Wong (2000) – nope
27.The Evil Dead. Sam Raimi (1981) – probably not
28.Hellraiser. Clive Barker (1987) – nope
29.Hostel. Eli Roth (2005) – heck, no, any more than I’d see Saw I to infinity. This played three blocks from my house and I had zero interest.
30.Salem’s Lot. Mikael Salomon (2004) – maybe some day.
31.The Descent. Neil Marshall (2005) – don’t know this
32.The Hills Have Eyes. Wes Craven (1977) – maybe some day.
33.Wolf Creek. Greg McLean (2005) – don’t know this. Tom got bored.
34.Misery. Rob Reiner (1991) – this movie I actually saw in the movie theater and liked, because it feels so normal on the surface. Around this time, someone told me that they were my biggest fan, not having seen the movie or read the book, and it freaked me out!
35.Rosemary’s Baby. Roman Polanski (1968) – saw this in New Paltz, NY in 1971. Happy memories. Oh, it was the date I was on.
36.Child’s Play. Tom Holland (1989) – don’t know
37.The Orphanage. Juan Antonio Bayona (2008) -don’t know, but I’m guessing not.
38.The Entity. Sidney J Furie (1981) – no, but I might
39.Nosferatu. FW Murnau (1922) – seen segments, not the whole thing
40.Night of the Living Dead. George A. Romero (1968) – feel as though I SHOULD see it
41.House on Haunted Hill. William Malone (2000) – don’t know
42.The Haunting. Robert Wise (1963) – no, but not of any real avoidance.
43.It. Tommy Lee Wallace (1990) – no, and it just didn’t look that good in the previews.
44.Audition. Takashi Miike (1999) – don’t know.
45.The Changeling. Peter Medak (1980) -heard of, but don’t really know
46.The Mist. Frank Darabont (2008) – probably won’t
47.Suspiria. Dario Argento (1977) – probably won’t
48.The Vanishing. George Sluizer (1993) – probably won’t
49.Shutter. Masayuki Ochiai (2008) – don’t know
50.Planet Terror. Robert Rodriguez (2007) – now this I did actually avoid when it was part of Grindhouse

So, I’d say I REALLY saw four, all with one word titles, excluding articles: Shining, Birds, Alien, Misery. I should probably add Exorcist. Five out of 50. Probably will double someday.


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