Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Growing up as a child of the night by Stephanie Julian

My mom is a huge horror fan and created me in her image.

As a kid, the first movie I remember watching with her was "The Wolfman" staring Lon Chaney Jr. I have a very vivid memory of sitting on the couch next to my mom and watching a man turn into a hairy creature who died a tragic death. From then on, I was hooked.

We watched Dr. Shock together on Saturday afternoons. We went to see Jaws, The Thing, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Alien, and every slasher/monster/alien movie you could imagine. My mom braved the midnight movies to take me to see Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Eraserhead and Rocky Horror Picture Show.

We swooned over Frank Langella as Dracula and, later, at Gary Oldman. We laughingly cringed at out-there films like Re-animator and The Toxic Avenger. We've kept the tradition alive with movies like Paranormal Activity.

My mom bought me my first Fangoria and Heavy Metal magazines. She gave me her copies of Stephen King's Carrie and Salem's Lot then proceeded to buy me every Stephen King book I ever wanted.

Then I had kids of my own. My youngest (like my younger brother before him) doesn't like scary movies. Not the way my oldest and I do. When Paranormal Activity came out, my mom, my son and I went together. We had a great time. And when Super 8 opened, we were at the first showing.

Bring on those children of the night. My mom and I will be there to greet them.

17 comments:

  1. Rocky Horror is NOT Horror. I know because I've seen it a few times (rounding down) and that means it's not horror. Same for "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Those are just part of everybody's cinematic education.... right?

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  2. I can't watch horror movies or even read horror stories. I always thought it's because my imagination is so vivid. I always suffer for the poor schmuk who goes down to the basement in their bra and panties.

    My husband loves them, so he lets me sleep in on the weekends and watches them early, before I get up. I can't imagine starting the day that way!

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  3. I don't like horror, but I love a good scare. Bring on the ghosts, werewolves, vampires and otherworldly creatures, just no gore please.

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  4. Stephanie, we are our mother's children! My mom was frightened of her own shadow and well, I am, too. I don't watch any kind of horror or read it, but I can certainly understand why you do. God bless moms!
    Amelia

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  5. What awesome memories you and your children are making with your mom! My momma gave four more generations all a bath in the country music gene pool. Like Amelia said, "God Bless Moms!"

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  6. Isn't is amazing how our folks exposing us to their favorite things growing up either have us loving or hating them?

    I love old movies - westerns, musicals, etc. and am not a big fan of scary or gory movies. Strange how our boys see no reason NOT to watch Zombieland during breakfast, while our daughter will sing along with My Fair Lady! LOL

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  7. My mom and I watched West Side Story and The Sound of Music together. She isn't a big fan of horror movies. We prefer to sing rather than scream.

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  8. That is so awesome! My mom brought me up on horror movies too. We were die-hard Freddy fanatics. I'm continuing the tradition with my oldest stepdaughter. Also, didja know that Bruce Campbell is on twitter? Good times.

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  9. Grace, Plan 9 is another one of my my mom's gifts to me, along with all Freaks and the original Dracula.

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  10. Your poor hubby, Ashlyn. Scary movies are best at night, with all the lights out. When the creaks of the house sound like footsteps...

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  11. Anita, I love a good zombie emboweling as much as the next horror fan. But I don't watch Saw and the like. There are way too many human monsters out there.

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  12. Amelia, my mom never balked at buying me a book or taking me to a movies. I can't ever thank her enough for either.

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  13. Carolyn, my mom also took me to my first concert when I was 10. Tom Jones. To this day, I'm a huge fan and whenever I catch him on TV, I call my mom to tell her.

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  14. CH, my youngest and I share a love of Rent and John Waters' movie, Crybaby. I think it must be in the genes.

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  15. Shana, my mom took me to my first Broadway show when I was 10 or 12. A Chorus Line is still one of my favorites. Since then, we've seen so many shows together, from Dreamgirls and They're Playing Our Song to Mamma Mia and The Producers. When we took my sons to see their first show, Spring Awakening, my mom and brother, who also loves the theater, were there with us.

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  16. Ann, yes!! I follow Bruce. He's amazing. Mom and I saw Evil Dead the first night it opened, all because Stephen King said it was the scariest movie he'd ever seen. So of course we had to see it.

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  17. Love horror movies! Fun post. Can't wait to read Stirling!

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