Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Howl at the Moon

The Howling (1981) PosterWhen I was nine years old, my dad took me, my sister, his girlfriend and her kids to the movies.  Sweet huh?  In theory, sure.  In reality, notsomuch.  I was taken to see... The Howling.  

Before we delve into the creepy factor, I have to address the blatantly obvious "you were not old enough to be in an R-rated movie" or perhaps the "that was not appropriate for children your age" or maybe even the "what an irresponsible dad you must have had" crap!  

I will agree that you are right.  Not only was I not old enough to be in an R-rated feature film but it also contained content that was not appropriate for an adolescent my age.  I'll be completely honest, however, I loved the horror genre.  That notwithstanding, it was still highly inappropriate.  I can still vividly remember the nudity and sex scenes.  Folks, I'm 41... I was 9 when it came out.  Do the math.  Parents, do NOT act like these things don't "stick" with your children... they DO!  They'll remember... they'll remember the nudity... the sex... the violence.  There are some things they simply can not "un" see.  Once the damage is done, it's done.... However, my dad wasn't irresponsible... just made a bad judgment call.  Live and learn.  

...but I digress.  Let's talk about the creepy factor.

Simply stated -- this movie scared the shit out of me.  Granted, like I said, I loved the horror genre. As a kid, I used to watch horror and sci-fi movies with my grandmother's brother, Uncle Leon.  He liked them too.  He used to call ANYTHING weird from either genre "voodoo" movies.  We had a time.  For me, the creepier, the better... but something about that movie really scared me to death.  I mean, I slept with a flashlight for MONTHS after... 

... with the bathroom light on

... and I probably would have had a revolver full of silver bullets if I were given the option... 

... stored in a box of garlic... 

... that had been blessed with Holy Water.

And you know that a film has topped your creep factor when long after it's gone from the theaters it's still fresh in your mind.  

You see, my best friend, Shannon, lived 5 houses up the street from me. This meant that from time to time, I had to walk home from her house... 

after dark... 


Are ya following me here?  (Yeah, I thought you were, too, and that's why half the time I would RUN!)

You see this short journey home was far worse in the fall when the ground was covered with dried leaves.  We lived in an established neighborhood FULL of mature trees.  Once fall had crept in, yards were covered with them.  These were deep blankets of leaves... the kind you could rake into a pile  and jump in.  We didn't have lawn crews bagging everything up and blowing it all into the street to be carried away with traffic.  We had the yards that everyone played in... covered in a crispy blanket of terror!  

You see, those leaves -- while fun to play in during the day -- made me fear for my LIFE when I was walking home at night.

I had always been told that your senses become more acute when one of them has been removed... so think... nighttime... dark... moonless... alone... walking.... and then... the rustle of leaves... which obviously meant that a werewolf was about to attack and so you would RUN RUN RUN HOME as fast as you can!  If I ever heard a rustle (which was probably from a neighborhood cat running away FROM ME), I would run so hard because I knew that if I had turned around (like those idiots in the movies) I would have tripped and I would have been a gonner.  I know the werewolves would have been chasing me down Woodoak Drive.

With Halloween upon us this Friday, I'm thinking we'll stray from the macabre and watch Hocus Pocus instead after binging on candy corn.  


Paula Kaye said...

This brought back memories of movies I watched as a child. When I watched those same movies as an adult they didn't scare me as much because I could rationalize it was just acting. Unfortunately Darian and Harley have seen tons of movies that I wish they could "un-watch" And theirs was because of bad parenting. Good to hear from you again April. I've missed your blogging.

Deserae said...

I have never liked horror movies...they scare the crap out of me and give me nightmares for YEARS!!!! The first date I ever went on was to the movies to see Nightmare on Elm Street, I still remember it like yesterday. LOL!!!!
Happy Halloween!!!