Evan ODell, movie reviews

Perhaps it was the Saturday matinee movies on the local superstation when I was a kid that forever cemented my love of horror and science fiction. Movies ranged from Universal Horror and classics from Columbia and RKO to Japanese kaiju like Godzilla and Gamera. The superstation would regularly hold promotions, like 3D and Smell-o-vision, which made tuning in that much more fun.

Maybe syndicated television had something to do with it. I really felt I was discovering something special every time I tuned in to another episode of Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. Night Gallery, and later Tales from the Darkside, also fed my need for televised horror.

Perhaps it was because I grew up on the verge of the home video revolution. I can’t tell you how many weekends before I was old enough to drive, my friends and I would load up on horror movies from the local video rental store and compliment it with junk food and soft drinks before digging in for a long evening of sweet horror movie indulgence. Though, the walk home through the pitch dark, pine tree laden streets, with images of horror still fresh on my brain, was often scarier than the movies themselves.

Maybe it had something to do with the proliferation in the Eighties of low budget horror and the unprecedented amount of horror franchises that ruled the decade. Jason Voorhees was already a larger than life character thanks to all the campfire tales I heard before finally seeing a Friday the 13th theatrically, and 3d at that. I was even a member of the Freddy Kreuger fan club.

It could have also had something to do with my always being a prolific reader. I picked up my first Stephen King novel when I was only 10. After reading about that Evil Clown from Derry, I was devouring all of King’s books and searching out more horrific fiction. Before long, King shared a bookshelf with Lovecraft, Straub, Barker, Poe, Shelley, and more.

There were other influences too, like heavy metal imagery and horror punk, tattoo culture, comic books, fantasy art, printed t-shirts, haunted houses and horror hosts. These days, fan conventions aren’t just for Science Fiction and Anime. Dallas, Texas is home to two Horror Cons.

I have to face it, I’m a horror geek. One of my hobbies is recreating movie props. Most of them are science fiction, but I do have my share of horror and the sci-fi stuff is largely weapon related. I also like to write in my spare time. Some day soon, I hope to make my own horror movie.

I'd love to share my love of horror with others. There are so many great horror movies of yesteryear that are waiting to be rediscovered by today's movie viewers. I love modern horror, but I also want to share my love of classics like the American International Pictures tales of Edgar Allan Poe starring Vincent Price, Hammer's gothic tales of horror featuring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, Amicus' great anthology series, the non-Frankenstein and non-Dracula work of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi respectively, as well as Italian maestros like Mario Bava and Dario Argento. It's a wide world of horror.


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