How I found out I loved Horror films (AKA: how a nightmare led to a Nightmare)

Sometime when I was around 8 or 9, the flashy new cable channel my dad had ordered kept playing previews for Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill. I was fascinated by the scene in the elevator with the flash of a straight razor. I BEGGED my parents to let me watch it. “Let me watch it! Please please please ohpleasepleasepleaseplease pleasesssseeeeeeee”. They both told me I’d get nightmares and I was too old to sleep with them when I got scared, NO WAY. But I did not relent! Finally, they gave in.

Guess what? I had nightmares and ended up in my parent’s bed around 3am. “WE TOLD YOU SO! No more scary movies until you’re….13”.

Unfortunately for me, before I turned 13 – Friday the 13th Part 3 became a hot topic amongst my 6th grade friends,  to the point where we were passing around the book adaptation on the bus, taking turns staring at the gruesome film stills in the middle and reading the grossest murder descriptions. Yes, middle school kids are sick. I know this.

In any case, even MORE unfortunate for me, 2 years later A Nightmare On Elm Street came out, but since I was only TWELVE, I was not allowed to see it, even though everysinglefrickinotherkid in school was. So I had to endure a year of comments like this:

“Oh man! When his tongue came out of the phone! SO GROSS! I’m your boyfriend now Nancy! I’m your boyfriend now!”

In short, my parents SUCK. Not really, but in my 12-year-old brain they so did. To make it up to me later, my dad rented it for me (VHS baby!) after I turned 13, and my mom set up a viewing party to which I invited my neighborhood friends: 2 girls and 3 guys. Please note: all friends were a few years older than me, and the guys were on the High School Football team.

The above is an important detail, because about 20 minutes into the movie, my dad put on a disguise, plugged a chainsaw into an outlet in the stairwell (we lived in a split-level) and ran up the stairs revving the hell out of it while laughing maniacally – and every single one of those tough football players screamed as loud as us girls and scrambled over each other to run to safety.

True story. I’m not kidding.  My dad tried to scare me & my friends to death using a real chainsaw. And I’m not saying this is “the” reason I started really loving horror films, but I bet it did enhance the thrill-factor of Elm Street, and I sure couldn’t get enough of scares & gore after that.

And before you ask: no, I didn’t have more nightmares that night, and I most definitely did not climb into my parent’s bed when I was 13.

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3 Comments

  1. A Wes Craven Retrospective: The Last House on The Left « I Love Splatter!
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