The first movie I ever remember seeing was "The Wolfman" with Lon Chaney Jr. I embarrass the hell out of my guys when I recite the entire "Even a man who is pure at heart" speech. They like to call me a geek and I proudly say, why, yes, I am.
I have my mom to thank for my horror-movie fixation. Some of my earliest memories include sitting in front of the TV watching Dr. Schock on a Saturday afternoon. Roger Corman films were a staple of my childhood. As I got older, Mom and I graduated to George Romero, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter and Wes Craven.
Almost every weekend, we were at the theater watching "Toxic Avenger," "Reanimator," "Poltergeist," "Friday the 13th" and countless other low-budget blood baths. I remember being on vacation in Florida and going to see "Alien" because we'd seen the absolutely coolest billboard for the film in New York City.
When I could drive, I got a job at a movie theater and I actually enjoyed working the midnight shift, where I'd watch "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," "Dawn of the Dead," "Day of the Dead" and "Eraserhead" every week. I had the hugest crush on Tom Savini, who not only created some of the most amazing special effects for George Romero films but also had a role in one of my all-time favorite cult films, "Knightriders."
I devoured Fangoria Magazine every month, looking for new movies for my mom and I to see.
I never lost my interest in horror films, though I don't get to the movies much anymore. And honestly, they just don't make B-horror movies like they used to and J-horror doesn't do it for me
That's why Halloween is always welcome in my house. TCM shows old Poe films with Vincent Price and one of the PBS stations will show the original "Nosferatu" or Bela Lugosi's "Dracula." And somewhere, on some cable station, Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder will fall in doomed love in Francis Ford Coppola's "Dracula."
So here's a shout out to my mom, horror film fan and still my favorite movie buddy.