Scream If You're In The House Of Hammer - The house of Hammer was built over the course of the late 50s to the mid-70s; it was one constructed of rich Victorian wood and peopled by everyone from ...
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Although the thinking man's horror blog Arbogast On Film is out of commission, its eponymous resident reviewer's love for horror and its resonant effect on his own life continues to live on...
"How did your horror love develop?"
I suppose my interest in horror developed as a defensive reaction. I grew up during the Vietnam War but the details of that clusterfuck were largely kept from me and nobody talked about it other than the fact that my cousin Jackie had disgraced the family by dodging the draft. But it was the dawn of media saturation and there were certain current events that just could not be ignored. The Tate-LaBiance killings really changed me, disheartened and damaged me. I knew from then on there was no safe place, that there were evils from which my parents could not protect me. So I began to steel myself, I suppose, by dipping into the macabre. That all sounds very deterministic but, really, it was also about being 10 years old and discovering Famous Monsters of Filmland and thinking monsters were cool.
Horror cut through the haze of life in an isolated milltown, cut off from anything interesting or cultural or fine where all anybody cared about was football, where young French-Canadian Catholic boys leavened their catechism with cruelty. I was bullied for a while, until I got too big and too weird to mess with. There was a palpable sense of pointlessness in my county and so there was a lot of drinking, adults and kids, and kids routinely died out on the highway in road accidents. Another kid went on to become a serial killer with a double digit list of victims, all young girls. In accepting that we were all cut from the same cloth, we were all neighbors, but that some of us chose one path and the rest of us chose another, I guess I was already forging my horror aesthetic.
In later life, my appreciation for macabre subjects has played an interesting role in the real life death and, I'm sorry to say, even murder of loved ones and close friends. I've lived some real life horror movie scenes, one of which robbed me of a child, and yet horror is still important to me. Crucial. It's my thinking cap, my worry beads, my safe place. I wish people would treat the genre better, especially those who profess to love it so much.