This is intended to be a weekly series but it is also a live project, meaning it’s still being worked on. While I hope to have weekly additions, there may be a week or two that I skip because I’m not quite ready. Don’t come after me, it’s only an old TV show … it’s only an old TV show … it’s only an old TV show …
A few choice selections from the annals of Horror history:
- In 1922, German film master F. W. Murnau directed Nosferatu: a Symphony of Horror, a feature-length silent film based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and a monumental horror film responsible for depicting vampires for the first time. In my opinion, it also has one of the most iconic visuals from any horror film in history.
- Between 1931-1956, Universal Pictures released visual representations of Dracula (played by Bela Lugosi), Frankenstein (played by Boris Karloff), The Mummy (also Karloff), The Invisible Man (starring Claude Rains), the Bride of Frankenstein (starring Karloff and Elsa Lanchester), The Wolf Man (with Lon Chaney, Jr.) and Creature from the Black Lagoon (Ben Chapman) among others. The media franchise made these monsters marketable household names.
- George A. Romero’s iconic Night of the Living Dead was released in 1968, bringing the modern-day zombie depiction to the silver screen and inspiring many copycats and sequels over the following decades.
- 1973 and 1974 scared the shit out of audiences with two films that pushed boundaries that had yet to be crossed until that point – The Exorcist (starring Linda Blair) and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (with Gunnar Hansen). The Exorcist was the first horror film to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture and Chainsaw kickstarted the slasher genre with its macabre story inspired by real-life serial killer, necrophiliac and cannibal Ed Gein.
- In 1980, Betsy Palmer played Pamela Voorhees in Friday the 13th – my favorite slasher series that would go on to release 11 subsequent films. 1981 would give us the Sam Raimi-directed The Evil Dead starring B-movie royalty Bruce Campbell as iconic character Ash. 1984 would soon match the slasher hype with the release of the first A Nightmare on Elm Street film in a very long series, spawning the bastard son of a thousand maniacs, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).
- 1985 was the birth year of one of the greatest franchises of all time – Troma Entertainment’s The Toxic Avenger (directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman). While not a horror film, the Toxic Avenger is considered a Superhero Black Comedy Splatter Film and is one of the most well-known b-movies thanks to its multiple sequels, children’s cartoon and toy line.
- Notable big-league horror happenings in the 90s include Scream (1996, starring Drew Barrymore), Ringu (1998 Japanese film that inspired the American film The Ring in 2002), Audition (1999 Japanese psychological horror film directed by Takashi Miike) and the Blair Witch Project (1999, directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez).
- And then, as if this (non-exhaustive) list of horror happenings wasn’t enough, one of the most pivotal moments in the horror genre happened in the small town of Kingsport, Tennessee, in 2008. It was a horror/sci-fi film showcase broadcast on MyTownTV at 9pm on Saturday nights. It was called Saturday Night Grindhouse, and I am partially responsible for it.
We quickly ascended then quickly fell with a lot of emotional moments and intense behind-the-scenes rhetoric in between, the stories of which I had meant to tell in a short book.
But in true artist’s fashion, I’m not going to make it a book to sell you. Instead, I’m going to transcribe what I have written into this blog for your reading pleasure. I hope you enjoy the following few weeks of back story, history, blood, guts, gore and violence as much as I did making it.
Now, if I may …
TUNE IN AND LOSE YOUR MIND!