The 40/50 split

Peter Vincent

When I was in high school, I hung with an older crowd. Starting with my freshman year, I palled around with seniors on the yearbook staff, which I later joined. Throughout my four-year bid, my friends were primarily juniors and seniors up until I was a senior and then even in college I favored older people, juniors and seniors and hip and cool professors and wily adjuncts. In my salad days as a starving New York City playwright, I counted among my two best friends a man in his 50s and another in his 60s, who referred to me as “this kid” even though I was in my mid 30s by then. But somehow with the passage of time I’ve become the Old Guy and my friends, in the main, tend to be a good decade younger. Though we all like a lot of the same things, we speak the same language — at least from a categorical standpoint and a preference for genre — I find we break pretty consistently in matters of taste along what I like to call the 40/50 split.

Peter CushingI was born in 1961; I’ll be 52 this year. My birth coincided with the death throes of the Hollywood studio system, as cinema was changing — not just in America, but all around the world. Still, I saw enough studio product as a preteen to understand their context and importance to movies, how they worked, and what was important and good about them. When I started going to the movies, the New Hollywood had not yet asserted itself. Born late as I was (or felt I was), I still feel as though I had, cinematically speaking, a classical education. I was born at a time when it was possible to see a new Hammer horror film in the cinema, bigger than life. It was also early enough in the 20th Century that you could see older stuff screened for kiddie matinees and drive-in triple bills– ten year old programmers like THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD (1957) and THE VAMPIRE (1957) and foreign imports like CAVE OF THE LIVING DEAD (1964) — all of these, by the way, projected in green so their respective venues could claim “All Color Feature!”

famous-monsters-35From the age of 10 on, I bought Famous Monsters of Filmland at my local stationery store/newsstand and you could see regularly, on Saturday afternoons or weekend late nights, classic horror films, sometimes as double bills. Talk about an education. Every week — thanks to the acquisition by Needham, Massachusetts Channel 4 of the old “Shock Theatre” package of Universal horror films sold to television a decade earlier — I could count on back-to-back showings of DRACULA (1931), FRANKENSTEIN (1931), THE MUMMY (1932) and all their sequels, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) and its sequels, TARANTULA (1955), THE MOLE PEOPLE (1956), and offbeat stuff like THE MAN WHO RECLAIMED HIS HEAD (1934), THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (1935), THE THING THAT COULDN’T DIE (1958), and CURSE OF THE UNDEAD (1959). The fact that I saw all of these movies — nearly the whole Universal horror-science fiction canon, compressed into the space of two years, amazes me now, though I took it for granted them, I ate it up. These movies, and those that followed — TWO ON A GUILLOTINE (1965), THE FROZEN DEAD (1966), ISLAND OF TERROR (1966), PICTURE MOMMY DEAD (1966), TORTURE GARDEN (1967), THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967), WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968), EYE OF THE CAT (1969), SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN (1969), THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1970), HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS (1970), THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1970), LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH (1971) and so on… up until the full carriage return of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968, though I didn’t see it until 1980 or so), THE EXORCIST (1973, saw first run, multiple times) and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974, caught in revival in 1980).

Did you have to Google “full carriage return”? If so, then this is what I’m talking about.

Halloween

I turned 17 the year HALLOWEEN (1978) came out — the perfect age, really, at which to identify with its high school-aged protagonists. When FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) premiered, I was nearly 19, out of high school, camp counselor-aged. These movies were being made for me — I was the target audience, the preferred demographic. My tastes were being catered to… it seemed. And like a good horror hound, I got in line to see all the latest genre scatterings: THE SHINING (1980), THE FOG (1980), THE HOWLING (1981), AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981), FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 2 (1981), FRIDAY THE 13TH III (1982), POLTERGEIST (1982), CREEPSHOW (1982), THE HUNGER (1983), PSYCHO II (1983), A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984), FRIGHT NIGHT (1985), RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985), DAY OF THE DEAD (1985), HOUSE (1986), PSYCHO III (1986), THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, PART 2 (1986), THE LOST BOYS (1987), CREEPSHOW 2 (1987), HELLRAISER (1987) and so on. It was a veritable renaissance of horror, though the genre never went entirely out of fashion. And yet… and yet… I found, as I leapfrogged from title to title, that I really didn’t like these movies all that much.

Psycho IIII don’t want to make it sound as though I’m slagging on 80s horror movies — I don’t mean to be that glib or reductive of an entire decade of work. There were some great genre titles during that time; in addition to those mentioned above, STRANGE BEHAVIOR (1981), EVIL DEAD (1981), THE STEPFATHER (1986), NEAR DARK (1987), THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1987), HENRY… PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (1987), EVIL DEAD II (1987), and BRAIN DAMAGE (1987) all strike me as being chancey, personal, or innovative in some way and I own precisely two of them on DVD. Hmmm… only two? Yeah, I mean, as much as I appreciate some of these films I just don’t love them, I don’t want to re-watch them, they don’t have the evocative heft to me — to me, I’m saying — of Karl Freund’s THE MUMMY (1932) or John Moxey’s CITY OF THE DEAD (HORROR HOTEL, 1960) or Herk Harvey’s CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962). And a whole other category of 80s horror I just can’t abide — the franchise HALLOWEENs and FRIDAY THE 13THs and ELM STREETs and PSYCHOs that some of my friends still discuss, from which they still try to tease merit, and I’m just not buying it. As fun as FRIGHT NIGHT was to me in 1986, I just can’t accept it as canon, especially not from people who have yet to see, say, THE UNINVITED (1944) or NIGHT OF THE EAGLE (BURN, WITCH, BURN, 1962) or  THE INNOCENTS (1961) more than that one time — or who will watch THE INNOCENTS and follow Pamela Franklin to AND SOON THE DARKNESS (1970) and THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) but not to OUR MOTHER’S HOUSE (1967) because it’s not, someone decided, a horror film.

poltergeist-originalIt seems to me that people who were born ten years after I was, who were impressionable young children in the early to mid 80s, and for whom movies like HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13TH, POLTERGEIST, PSYCHO 2, and FRIGHT NIGHT represent the first generation of horror fans to have it all handed to them. When I was a kid, horror films were made by studio contractees, by hacks, journeymen, and lifers — they banged out the work as best they could without a real passion for the idiom; ten years later and horror movies were being made by horror fans who grew up wanting to make horror movies: John Landis, Joe Dante, Sam Raimi, Don Coscarelli, Tom Holland, Tobe Hooper. Horror movies in the 80s stopped being so personal and specific to character and became all about the filmmaker, stopped drawing from our shared fund of mythical and folkloric archetypes and started referring to the genre itself in an attempt to be “ultimate.” To be spectacular. To go big. There may be no better illustration of this tendency than the elevators cannoning blood in Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING, a movie I’ve never loved, though many of my friends (and some more than others) could not live without it. But there’s also a comfort factor. 80s horror movies were saying, in effect, it’s okay that you like what you like — which is a lovely sentiment, really — but the empowerment factor, the narcissism, became too much for me. When horror movies started saying “Know what I’m talkin’ about?” as if to say “We’re on the same page here, right?” I looked the other way.

"BUFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER"Oh, and it only gets worse. If I was, at 25, a bit too old for FRIGHT NIGHT, I was as I neared my 30s beyond the grasp of a great many entertainments that my friends (then in their teens) would find seminal, formative, indispensable. I’ve never been able to stomach STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION or any of its spin-off series — it’s just so dull-looking to me, so cheesy yet so po-faced and self-impressed, and I can’t get beyond the fact that the cast looks like they’re wearing track suits. Ditto BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, which is an important show for many of my good friends but I can’t stand it. I don’t know if I’m speaking for anyone but myself, but if you’ve grown up with Nigel Kneale than you really can’t get very much out of Joss Whedon (as much as I admire his entrepreneurial spirit). I’ve seen probably less than ten episodes of THE X-FILES and bleh. During the 1990s I stopped watching TV almost entirely; I cut my cable in, oh, 1995 or so, around the time I became a contributor to Video Watchdog, and I subsisted on a steady diet of movies for the next several years. I realize I’m in the minority here, probably even among my age group. And again, I don’t go there today to put down 80s horror film fans… I guess what I’m really getting at is what a difference ten years can make in the establishment of an aesthetic. I’ll stop here, having alienated, I fear, about 2/3 of my Facebook friends list but also by saying that when I’m 60 I’ll be curious to check in with my 50 year-old friends to find out what they think about those darn 40 year-olds.

34 Responses The 40/50 split
Posted By Bob Gutowski : June 14, 2013 3:14 pm

As my spiritual slightly younger brother, Richard, you know I’m 55. Is it that four year difference that has me considering FRIGHT NIGHT (the original) to hold an important place in horror comedies? However, I totally agree with you on the non-appeal of ST:TNG, BUFFY, and THE X-FILES. Hell, I was only able to make it through the first season and a few shows of the second season of TRUE BLOOD. When things start to get too complicated (hierarchies of vampires and an influx of other extraordinary creatures in both BUFFY AND TRUE BLOOD, and the whole “Cigarette Man” mythos of THE X FACTOR) I tend to lose interest. Brave piece!

Posted By Bob Gutowski : June 14, 2013 3:14 pm

As my spiritual slightly younger brother, Richard, you know I’m 55. Is it that four year difference that has me considering FRIGHT NIGHT (the original) to hold an important place in horror comedies? However, I totally agree with you on the non-appeal of ST:TNG, BUFFY, and THE X-FILES. Hell, I was only able to make it through the first season and a few shows of the second season of TRUE BLOOD. When things start to get too complicated (hierarchies of vampires and an influx of other extraordinary creatures in both BUFFY AND TRUE BLOOD, and the whole “Cigarette Man” mythos of THE X FACTOR) I tend to lose interest. Brave piece!

Posted By John Mundt, Esq. : June 14, 2013 4:24 pm

Hey there, Mr. Smith. I read your “40/50 Split” post with a sense of recognition as I recalled a similar thing happening to me…except with comic books. It really bothered me, too, when my love for an entire medium seemed to ebb even as my younger friends were blathering on and on about “classic” recent, seemingly “lesser” stuff. Even more distressingly, this came as I was making some attempts to be part of the very business that was somehow losing its glitter for me. Eventually, I had a two-pronged “Ah-ha” moment.

First, I realized that, as I began to try to create my own comics, I became more critical of what was being published (and my own work, of course). After all, why wouldn’t I have become something of an “expert” after seeing thousands and thousands of comic books? This de-romanticized comics a bit for me, breaking them down to products in my mind (artistic products, but products made by human hands nonetheless). The magic was simply gone once I saw how the illusions were made.

Second, as I struggled to create my own stuff, I found it hard to ingest other new stuff without creating a sort of self-doubt (“Is this what they want?”) and style-corruption (“Do I have to learn how to draw like that now?”). It’s then that I made a choice to accept that I am a product of comics I’d read – and truly loved – during my formative years. I had to basically “close-off” my active acquisition of creative influences. The comics of, say, 1974 to 1989, are my “classics,” and I am now reflecting (or regurgitating?) that era in my most personal work.

I imagine that this is similar to what you experienced, especially as the “changeover” seemed to happen for you about when you embarked on a playwriting career and began your Video Watchdog contributorship. In fact, that’s probably what makes your voice (in my humble opinion) so valuable here as a Morlock; a strong background in (your) classics, hours and hours of film-watching, and a creative and critical mind. If the “down-side is that you don’t have the same affection for some recent stuff as you do for the films you saw as a kid, that seems like a fair trade to me.

Posted By John Mundt, Esq. : June 14, 2013 4:24 pm

Hey there, Mr. Smith. I read your “40/50 Split” post with a sense of recognition as I recalled a similar thing happening to me…except with comic books. It really bothered me, too, when my love for an entire medium seemed to ebb even as my younger friends were blathering on and on about “classic” recent, seemingly “lesser” stuff. Even more distressingly, this came as I was making some attempts to be part of the very business that was somehow losing its glitter for me. Eventually, I had a two-pronged “Ah-ha” moment.

First, I realized that, as I began to try to create my own comics, I became more critical of what was being published (and my own work, of course). After all, why wouldn’t I have become something of an “expert” after seeing thousands and thousands of comic books? This de-romanticized comics a bit for me, breaking them down to products in my mind (artistic products, but products made by human hands nonetheless). The magic was simply gone once I saw how the illusions were made.

Second, as I struggled to create my own stuff, I found it hard to ingest other new stuff without creating a sort of self-doubt (“Is this what they want?”) and style-corruption (“Do I have to learn how to draw like that now?”). It’s then that I made a choice to accept that I am a product of comics I’d read – and truly loved – during my formative years. I had to basically “close-off” my active acquisition of creative influences. The comics of, say, 1974 to 1989, are my “classics,” and I am now reflecting (or regurgitating?) that era in my most personal work.

I imagine that this is similar to what you experienced, especially as the “changeover” seemed to happen for you about when you embarked on a playwriting career and began your Video Watchdog contributorship. In fact, that’s probably what makes your voice (in my humble opinion) so valuable here as a Morlock; a strong background in (your) classics, hours and hours of film-watching, and a creative and critical mind. If the “down-side is that you don’t have the same affection for some recent stuff as you do for the films you saw as a kid, that seems like a fair trade to me.

Posted By downpourblue : June 14, 2013 4:50 pm

Funny, I was just thinking about this “cutoff” this morning in a different context. But in this context, I just want to comment on BUFFY. While I completely ignored it during its original run, it has caught the attention of my 11-year-old daughter; as a vampire-with-kissing alternative to the insultingly insipid TWILIGHT, it will suffice. I do like Joss Whedon, though, but really for FIREFLY and DR. HORRIBLE’S SINGALONG BLOG. I’ve skipped all the comics-based Whedon movies just because they’re not my bag. I think, at 47, I’m in the DMZ between the aesthetic of the 40s and the 50s.

Posted By downpourblue : June 14, 2013 4:50 pm

Funny, I was just thinking about this “cutoff” this morning in a different context. But in this context, I just want to comment on BUFFY. While I completely ignored it during its original run, it has caught the attention of my 11-year-old daughter; as a vampire-with-kissing alternative to the insultingly insipid TWILIGHT, it will suffice. I do like Joss Whedon, though, but really for FIREFLY and DR. HORRIBLE’S SINGALONG BLOG. I’ve skipped all the comics-based Whedon movies just because they’re not my bag. I think, at 47, I’m in the DMZ between the aesthetic of the 40s and the 50s.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : June 14, 2013 8:31 pm

This topic fascinates me & I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately so I decided to jump in with a few observations…

I was born in the late ’60s so I can sympathize with a lot of what you’re saying. I think there are more factors at play though. My father loved horror/sci-fi movies and encouraged me to watch things at an early age that other kids were not allowed to watch so this undoubtedly had some influence on me. In general, my parents were very liberal in their attitudes regarding my watching/reading habits when I was a kid and that really helped me develop my own tastes & interests early on. I suspect your parents must have been somewhat similar? Most folks I know didn’t really start developing their personal tastes & interests until they were in college so I was somewhat of an anomaly.

Interestingly enough, I have a much younger brother who never really knew our dad and he dislikes horror movies. Has almost no interest in watching them unless they’re peppered with jokes.

It’s also important to keep in mind that we came of age when there were only a handful of TV channels available and the local movie channels regularly aired classic horror & sci-fi. We got a taste of the good stuff early on as well as an education that later generations didn’t have. When any given Sunday you can catch a triple feature of WITCHFINDER GENERAL, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and THE INNOCENTS followed by a late night double bill of BLACK SUNDAY and SCEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON it’s going to have an impact on you. Things changed drastically in the early ’80s and the kids that grew up then got their viewing habits shaped by premium movie channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) that tended to screen the newest & hottest stuff. Black & white movies literally seemed to vanish from TV for a few decades. I personally think the ’80s & ’90s were rather dire for horror as a genre in general.

That being said, I know plenty of older folks who like all the stuff you hate and dislike the stuff you love. Individual taste plays a huge factor into what we choose to like and how we respond to different things. Oddly enough, I like (and in some cases deeply love) all the pre-80s movies you mentioned but we start to part ways when it comes to ’80s movies we enjoy. I could live without STRANGE BEHAVIOR, SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW and BRAIN DAMAGE for example and I’d replace them with THE SHINING, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and THE HUNGER. I also didn’t understand the appeal of BUFFY & STAR TREK TNG but I really liked the first 3 seasons of X-FILES. Like you, I don’t own any American ’80s horror films on DVD but I’m sure there’s a few European’80s fright films on my video shelves. I suspect some of that is due to my preference for pre-80s horror as well as the fact that stuff like THE SHINING & AMERICAN WEREWOLF gets aired on TV every Oct. so I can always revisit them then if the urge strikes.

In a nutshell (how did I get into this nutshell?), I think a lot of factors shape our interests and when we were born is definitely part of the equation but I also think other factors are at play.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : June 14, 2013 8:31 pm

This topic fascinates me & I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately so I decided to jump in with a few observations…

I was born in the late ’60s so I can sympathize with a lot of what you’re saying. I think there are more factors at play though. My father loved horror/sci-fi movies and encouraged me to watch things at an early age that other kids were not allowed to watch so this undoubtedly had some influence on me. In general, my parents were very liberal in their attitudes regarding my watching/reading habits when I was a kid and that really helped me develop my own tastes & interests early on. I suspect your parents must have been somewhat similar? Most folks I know didn’t really start developing their personal tastes & interests until they were in college so I was somewhat of an anomaly.

Interestingly enough, I have a much younger brother who never really knew our dad and he dislikes horror movies. Has almost no interest in watching them unless they’re peppered with jokes.

It’s also important to keep in mind that we came of age when there were only a handful of TV channels available and the local movie channels regularly aired classic horror & sci-fi. We got a taste of the good stuff early on as well as an education that later generations didn’t have. When any given Sunday you can catch a triple feature of WITCHFINDER GENERAL, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and THE INNOCENTS followed by a late night double bill of BLACK SUNDAY and SCEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON it’s going to have an impact on you. Things changed drastically in the early ’80s and the kids that grew up then got their viewing habits shaped by premium movie channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) that tended to screen the newest & hottest stuff. Black & white movies literally seemed to vanish from TV for a few decades. I personally think the ’80s & ’90s were rather dire for horror as a genre in general.

That being said, I know plenty of older folks who like all the stuff you hate and dislike the stuff you love. Individual taste plays a huge factor into what we choose to like and how we respond to different things. Oddly enough, I like (and in some cases deeply love) all the pre-80s movies you mentioned but we start to part ways when it comes to ’80s movies we enjoy. I could live without STRANGE BEHAVIOR, SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW and BRAIN DAMAGE for example and I’d replace them with THE SHINING, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and THE HUNGER. I also didn’t understand the appeal of BUFFY & STAR TREK TNG but I really liked the first 3 seasons of X-FILES. Like you, I don’t own any American ’80s horror films on DVD but I’m sure there’s a few European’80s fright films on my video shelves. I suspect some of that is due to my preference for pre-80s horror as well as the fact that stuff like THE SHINING & AMERICAN WEREWOLF gets aired on TV every Oct. so I can always revisit them then if the urge strikes.

In a nutshell (how did I get into this nutshell?), I think a lot of factors shape our interests and when we were born is definitely part of the equation but I also think other factors are at play.

Posted By Susan Doll : June 14, 2013 9:48 pm

I am on your side of the age line, and I can see what you mean, especially for ordinary movie-goers. But, like Kimberly, I think there are other mitigating factors for other types of movie-goers. I think exposure to films from the past is a key to appreciation. The younger viewers are the less likely they are to know older films of any genre.

Posted By Susan Doll : June 14, 2013 9:48 pm

I am on your side of the age line, and I can see what you mean, especially for ordinary movie-goers. But, like Kimberly, I think there are other mitigating factors for other types of movie-goers. I think exposure to films from the past is a key to appreciation. The younger viewers are the less likely they are to know older films of any genre.

Posted By Doug : June 14, 2013 10:40 pm

I feel kind of disconnected from this 40/50 idea, as in my life there aren’t too many friends/family on the same generational wavelength regarding movies. Most of my friends are either ten years older or twenty years younger-I’m sort of a middle aged ‘tweener’. I mostly shared movie stuff with my older brother who passed away.
Susan, regarding younger viewers-you are right, they are less likely to know older films. But they are sponges, taking in information at a rate I could envy. I believe that by the time they are our age, with the digital revolution curating the classic cinema we love, these youngsters will have even more films to love, honor and cherish. They will be able to share Karloff and Chaplin and Bette Davis with their grandchildren.
Of course, Jerry Lewis and that “Hey Verne!” guy will also still be known, but the great will always outweigh the bad.
Side note-loved “Oz The Great And Powerful” on blu-ray; I think Sam the Wizard worked his magic just fine.
A hundred years from now the kids may enjoy both ‘Oz’ and ‘The Wizard Of’ without realizing that they were separated by many decades-to them it might just be one story told in two different styles, like “Kill Bill 1 & 2″.

Posted By Doug : June 14, 2013 10:40 pm

I feel kind of disconnected from this 40/50 idea, as in my life there aren’t too many friends/family on the same generational wavelength regarding movies. Most of my friends are either ten years older or twenty years younger-I’m sort of a middle aged ‘tweener’. I mostly shared movie stuff with my older brother who passed away.
Susan, regarding younger viewers-you are right, they are less likely to know older films. But they are sponges, taking in information at a rate I could envy. I believe that by the time they are our age, with the digital revolution curating the classic cinema we love, these youngsters will have even more films to love, honor and cherish. They will be able to share Karloff and Chaplin and Bette Davis with their grandchildren.
Of course, Jerry Lewis and that “Hey Verne!” guy will also still be known, but the great will always outweigh the bad.
Side note-loved “Oz The Great And Powerful” on blu-ray; I think Sam the Wizard worked his magic just fine.
A hundred years from now the kids may enjoy both ‘Oz’ and ‘The Wizard Of’ without realizing that they were separated by many decades-to them it might just be one story told in two different styles, like “Kill Bill 1 & 2″.

Posted By Quarlo : June 14, 2013 11:34 pm

Not much is ever written about the other reason that you I or anyone like or don’t like a time period of movies or TV. What was happening in our lives at the time. When we watch something for the first time, it is cemented to that time in our lives and will stay there. I am a great fan of Star Trek Next Gen, especially 3rd season on up. Began to look forward to it on Sat at 7:00, while working really long hours at a bad job. I was also in a really stressful long term relationship that had more downs than ups but she was also a great fan. She would call me at work excited that it seemed really good but recorded it so we could watch it together. I’ve been with someone else for a few years and it’s fantastic. But just thinking of the show gives me the best memories of that relationship. That’s extreme, I know, but I think our own lives get meshed with our likes and dislikes of past media more than we realize.

Posted By Quarlo : June 14, 2013 11:34 pm

Not much is ever written about the other reason that you I or anyone like or don’t like a time period of movies or TV. What was happening in our lives at the time. When we watch something for the first time, it is cemented to that time in our lives and will stay there. I am a great fan of Star Trek Next Gen, especially 3rd season on up. Began to look forward to it on Sat at 7:00, while working really long hours at a bad job. I was also in a really stressful long term relationship that had more downs than ups but she was also a great fan. She would call me at work excited that it seemed really good but recorded it so we could watch it together. I’ve been with someone else for a few years and it’s fantastic. But just thinking of the show gives me the best memories of that relationship. That’s extreme, I know, but I think our own lives get meshed with our likes and dislikes of past media more than we realize.

Posted By tdraicer : June 15, 2013 12:11 am

I’m three years older than you and had the same childhood experiences, and could agree with you on many of your opinions…until we get to Buffy and Joss Whedon, a show I love and a brilliant writer I revere. So chronology is not entirely destiny.

Posted By tdraicer : June 15, 2013 12:11 am

I’m three years older than you and had the same childhood experiences, and could agree with you on many of your opinions…until we get to Buffy and Joss Whedon, a show I love and a brilliant writer I revere. So chronology is not entirely destiny.

Posted By DevlinCarnate : June 15, 2013 3:42 am

i’m the same age and geographical location as you were growing up,it truly was a cornucopia of films for the young horror buff,and we even had the goofy horror hosts like Ghoulardie and the somewhat more twisted Simon’s Sanctorum…and the movies spanned the range from the Universal classics,the Hammer Frankenstein and Dracula series,and of course the oddball sci-fi and horror films of the 50′s and 60′s….if the atmosphere was right,i could pick up the Worcester station that for some strange reason had a library of all the K.Gordon Murray dubbed Mexican horror and wrestling flicks

Posted By DevlinCarnate : June 15, 2013 3:42 am

i’m the same age and geographical location as you were growing up,it truly was a cornucopia of films for the young horror buff,and we even had the goofy horror hosts like Ghoulardie and the somewhat more twisted Simon’s Sanctorum…and the movies spanned the range from the Universal classics,the Hammer Frankenstein and Dracula series,and of course the oddball sci-fi and horror films of the 50′s and 60′s….if the atmosphere was right,i could pick up the Worcester station that for some strange reason had a library of all the K.Gordon Murray dubbed Mexican horror and wrestling flicks

Posted By Gene : June 15, 2013 10:48 am

I was fortunate enough that local broadcasting stations showed their versions of Creature Features as well as Saturday afternoon fright fests. In the summer afternoon television had “Dialing For Dollars” which always showed great horror and noir goodies. Even during the school year I could get home to a good fright movie before the evening newscast. I still search for some of those films because I only saw portions of them but I am still surprised at what was being televised. They wouldn’t be able to do it today. I’m sure I saw some Giallo films on Saturday afternoons when I was a bit older. Up to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween I’m pretty OK with the horror genre. After that, it’s chiefly an abyss of some interesting but mostly uninteresting fare. Though I did enjoy the campy silliness of Buffy, The Cabin in The Woods (save for 15 gory minutes towards the end) did nothing for me. Which isn’t to say Whedon isn’t a talent just not a man absorbed by and influenced (enough) by what I hold to be a form of classic film making.

Posted By Gene : June 15, 2013 10:48 am

I was fortunate enough that local broadcasting stations showed their versions of Creature Features as well as Saturday afternoon fright fests. In the summer afternoon television had “Dialing For Dollars” which always showed great horror and noir goodies. Even during the school year I could get home to a good fright movie before the evening newscast. I still search for some of those films because I only saw portions of them but I am still surprised at what was being televised. They wouldn’t be able to do it today. I’m sure I saw some Giallo films on Saturday afternoons when I was a bit older. Up to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween I’m pretty OK with the horror genre. After that, it’s chiefly an abyss of some interesting but mostly uninteresting fare. Though I did enjoy the campy silliness of Buffy, The Cabin in The Woods (save for 15 gory minutes towards the end) did nothing for me. Which isn’t to say Whedon isn’t a talent just not a man absorbed by and influenced (enough) by what I hold to be a form of classic film making.

Posted By Gene : June 15, 2013 10:58 am

I neglected to mention that I grew up with older people chiefly being my source of friendship. My mother was 44 when I was born, so she was a chief source of what are still my main interests. When I was young my influences were elderly neighbors who educated me on Liberty magazine, WWII, WC Fields, Mae West, old cartoons, The Big Bands, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. Old Time Radio was a huge part of my Sunday afternoons at home. So, I am and always was a bit distanced from people my age. I used to engage myself with younger people but even though I am professionally a “Techie” I just find little to be engaged by these days. A lot has changed and what I deem to be of substance just is lacking in so much of what I encounter.

Posted By Gene : June 15, 2013 10:58 am

I neglected to mention that I grew up with older people chiefly being my source of friendship. My mother was 44 when I was born, so she was a chief source of what are still my main interests. When I was young my influences were elderly neighbors who educated me on Liberty magazine, WWII, WC Fields, Mae West, old cartoons, The Big Bands, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. Old Time Radio was a huge part of my Sunday afternoons at home. So, I am and always was a bit distanced from people my age. I used to engage myself with younger people but even though I am professionally a “Techie” I just find little to be engaged by these days. A lot has changed and what I deem to be of substance just is lacking in so much of what I encounter.

Posted By tdraicer : June 15, 2013 11:19 am

>Though I did enjoy the campy silliness of Buffy, The Cabin in The Woods (save for 15 gory minutes towards the end) did nothing for me

Well everyone is entitled to their opinion, art is subjective etc., but “campy silliness” is a phrase completely out of place in reference to Buffy (unless you meant the butchered movie and not the tv show). I could offer a score of examples, but will go with just one: The Body. Campy silliness? No, heartbreaking drama.

Posted By tdraicer : June 15, 2013 11:19 am

>Though I did enjoy the campy silliness of Buffy, The Cabin in The Woods (save for 15 gory minutes towards the end) did nothing for me

Well everyone is entitled to their opinion, art is subjective etc., but “campy silliness” is a phrase completely out of place in reference to Buffy (unless you meant the butchered movie and not the tv show). I could offer a score of examples, but will go with just one: The Body. Campy silliness? No, heartbreaking drama.

Posted By Gene : June 15, 2013 11:39 am

tdraicer – Like you say, everyone is entitled to their opinion. And campy silliness is how I see Buffy – which as I said I enjoyed (very much). That in no way was a putdown just how I see it.

Posted By Gene : June 15, 2013 11:39 am

tdraicer – Like you say, everyone is entitled to their opinion. And campy silliness is how I see Buffy – which as I said I enjoyed (very much). That in no way was a putdown just how I see it.

Posted By Doug : June 15, 2013 5:46 pm

You want camp? I’ve got camp for you-”Jack Of All Trades” starring Bruce Campbell, exec produced by Sam Raimi. It is silly, stupid and hilarious.
You remember how Bob Hope played his comedy in “My Favorite Brunette” and the Road pictures? That’s Campbell’s model for this show, and it works. Never let a plot get in the way of laughs.

Posted By Doug : June 15, 2013 5:46 pm

You want camp? I’ve got camp for you-”Jack Of All Trades” starring Bruce Campbell, exec produced by Sam Raimi. It is silly, stupid and hilarious.
You remember how Bob Hope played his comedy in “My Favorite Brunette” and the Road pictures? That’s Campbell’s model for this show, and it works. Never let a plot get in the way of laughs.

Posted By Jamie N : June 16, 2013 6:08 am

There is no disputing matters of taste. I enjoyed some movies you loved, but not necessarily all of them. I am barely a 1960′s child so my coming of age years were filled with Jason, Freddy and many other films you didn’t like. However, as a fan of the genre, I educated myself with classics such as The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre among many others. I understand what you’re saying with the age difference, but good storytelling is relative to the audience.

Posted By Jamie N : June 16, 2013 6:08 am

There is no disputing matters of taste. I enjoyed some movies you loved, but not necessarily all of them. I am barely a 1960′s child so my coming of age years were filled with Jason, Freddy and many other films you didn’t like. However, as a fan of the genre, I educated myself with classics such as The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre among many others. I understand what you’re saying with the age difference, but good storytelling is relative to the audience.

Posted By swac44 : June 17, 2013 10:19 am

Born in 1967, instant horror fan thanks to reruns of The Munsters and The Addams Family, which I noticed bore some resemblance to characters spotted in a friend’s older brother’s copies of Famous Monsters of Filmland. He was also allowed to have the Aurora monster model kits, which I (raised Baptist) was not. Also caught a few forbidden glimpses of Kolchak the Night Stalker which scared the bejeebers out of me, and introduced me to a lot of horror archetypes, before I got to see their big screen versions.

Funny, as a kid I spent a lot of time hanging out in used record stores, seeking out the cool stuff via the tastes of their owners, who were 20-odd years or so older than me. These days most of my friends are a full generation younger than me as well, but our tastes seem to align music- and movie-wise, and since I’m often told I don’t look my age anyway, it doesn’t seem to matter much. But I never got into ST:TNG either, tried to watch it in its first season, but all the stories felt recycled from the first-gen Trek. I understand it got better (3rd season onward, as someone else noted), but by that time I had no interest. As for Buffy: The Vampire Show, I prefer to refer to it as “The Willow Show.”

Posted By swac44 : June 17, 2013 10:19 am

Born in 1967, instant horror fan thanks to reruns of The Munsters and The Addams Family, which I noticed bore some resemblance to characters spotted in a friend’s older brother’s copies of Famous Monsters of Filmland. He was also allowed to have the Aurora monster model kits, which I (raised Baptist) was not. Also caught a few forbidden glimpses of Kolchak the Night Stalker which scared the bejeebers out of me, and introduced me to a lot of horror archetypes, before I got to see their big screen versions.

Funny, as a kid I spent a lot of time hanging out in used record stores, seeking out the cool stuff via the tastes of their owners, who were 20-odd years or so older than me. These days most of my friends are a full generation younger than me as well, but our tastes seem to align music- and movie-wise, and since I’m often told I don’t look my age anyway, it doesn’t seem to matter much. But I never got into ST:TNG either, tried to watch it in its first season, but all the stories felt recycled from the first-gen Trek. I understand it got better (3rd season onward, as someone else noted), but by that time I had no interest. As for Buffy: The Vampire Show, I prefer to refer to it as “The Willow Show.”

Posted By robbushblog : June 21, 2013 4:08 pm

I totally agree with you on The Shining, ST:TNG, Buffy and The X-Files. And I was the target age for the latter three. I’m 38 and I didn’t really much care for the horror offerings of the 80′s either. Although, I do own copies of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street, but none of their sequels. I have The Evil Dead and The Evil Dead II because they were presents given to me by someone who misjudged my movie tastes. I think great horror, for the most part, ended in the 70′s.

I watched a lot of older movies on WGN and TBS and local stations when they would show them. I occasionally watched Elvira when she would show an old movie. Older movies have always had a mystique about them that has intrigued me much more than the mostly crappy 80′s movies most of my peers enjoyed. My parents’ books about old movies and old movie stars probably influenced me greatly in that regard.

Posted By robbushblog : June 21, 2013 4:08 pm

I totally agree with you on The Shining, ST:TNG, Buffy and The X-Files. And I was the target age for the latter three. I’m 38 and I didn’t really much care for the horror offerings of the 80′s either. Although, I do own copies of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street, but none of their sequels. I have The Evil Dead and The Evil Dead II because they were presents given to me by someone who misjudged my movie tastes. I think great horror, for the most part, ended in the 70′s.

I watched a lot of older movies on WGN and TBS and local stations when they would show them. I occasionally watched Elvira when she would show an old movie. Older movies have always had a mystique about them that has intrigued me much more than the mostly crappy 80′s movies most of my peers enjoyed. My parents’ books about old movies and old movie stars probably influenced me greatly in that regard.

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