Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Every town had one, some local announcer who introduced horror movies late Saturday night. In our neighborhood, we watched "Sinister Cinema" with Victor Ives, a cheap Dracula knock-off in a room of fake cobwebs and rubber rats. Midnight movies were generally shoddy old monster movies from the 1950s that were probably in the public domain--meaning, the local affiliate station didn't have to pay fees to air them. As kids we didn't care. Anything scary was a thrill, and we had very little concern about acting ability or production value of a specific film as long as there were monsters, spacemen, vampires, werewolves, blobs from outer space or a good old-fashioned psycho killer on the loose. We'd gorge on barbecued potato chips and clam dip and root beer in the back room while the folks entertained their friends in the living room. Occasionally, an inebriated guest would peek in on us, but generally we were left alone in a world of fright and thrills. Years later I'd read the Greeks on catharsis--how the vicarious experience of fear and exhilaration was actually good for you--but back then the only Greeks I knew were Jason and the Argonauts. To this day, the scene where Jason battles the skeleton warriors is one of my favorites.
An old favorite. In the film clip above, SCTV does a spoof of local "Creature Features" with the fangy Count Floyd. Enjoy!