Friday, October 3, 2008

So Old It Feels New

Old time horror radio shows are back from the grave on

I was a bit of an oddity in that there was no television in my house until I was 12 years old. I watched television at friends' houses. My parents bought records (those big black vinyl CD's, for you young whippersnappers) with the old radio programs on them, and there was a station that had the Old Time Radio Hour.
The great thing about these spoken word programs is that your own imagination often conjures the most terrifying images. For instance, while the television production of The Stand was pretty true to the story, and while Jamey Sheridan did a fantastic job as Randall Flagg, nothing conjured more looking around corners and racing to the bathroom than Stephen King's written descriptions of the Walking Dude Without A Face. Likewise, the written description of the undead Gage Creed in Pet Semetary was far more terrifying than the movie version, although the little fellow playing the part did a fine job. There was just no way that the special effects department, however good a job they did, could match my imagination.
One movie that managed to strike terror into my brain on a visual level was the original Alien. I was seeing the alien in the shadows for years! Alien was frightening both visually and psychologically. While Aliens was more ass-kicking than scary, it is still one of my all-time favorite movies. The following two Aliens movies, I'm sorry to say, are from a different universe--one that sucks. I did not care for them at all.
I've had this dream to have a revival movie house that plays the classics on the big screen. I certainly don't know how I'd fund it, but it would be great to be sitting in a dark theatre getting the hell scared out of me by the Alien again, or watching the big battle cruiser in the original Star Wars pass over the screen and feel almost like it was passing through the theatre. Some things just kick way more ass on the big screen!


Tom & Icy said...

They say it all boils down to the story and then how it is told. I saw the original 'Body Snatchers' when I was very young and it scared me for weeks afterward.