I’ve been Sundancing for 7 years now and while this was a particularly strong year for the festival, it was not a strong year for genre films.
It’s never easy moving into a new apartment. Besides the hours of unpacking and settling in, there’s always the question of your neighbors. Will they be nice? Will they play music until four in the morning? Will they be sociopathic killers? Unfortunately, when the protagonist of Gnaw, Jennifer, moves into a new home, she finds that her new neighbors include both the best, and worst, of what you can experience.
My father became quite unnerved by a woman who was extremely friendly and gave me candy at the gift shop. The realization that we were in a town that was populated by over two dozen Tony-Alamo-owned businesses that were staffed by Tony Alamo's followers made Dad uneasy. In what seemed an irrational fear and overreaction to me at the time, Dad was concerned that my younger sister and I would be kidnapped and brainwashed -- we hightailed it out of Alma, putting as much distance between the town as we could that afternoon.
The real cornerstone of my youth was TNT’s MonsterVision, hosted by the brilliant Joe Bob Briggs (as portrayed by John Bloom.) He sat in front of a trailer set in a lawn chair and introduced that night's line up of films, which could be anything from an all-night FRIDAY THE 13TH marathon, to a John Carpenter double feature to a George Romero-themed lineup to even classics accepted by the public at large. He added such a sense of fun to watching these films, and obviously took a great sense of pride in hosting this series.
Childhood can be a wonderful time. It can also be the critical point in life where horrific fear becomes ingrained, which later evolves into adult anxieties. I am of course referring to my excellent dental care, and the extreme care with which I attend my teeth—all because I watched the 2003 film DARKNESS FALLS at far too young an age.
To this day, the visage of Freddy Krueger peers down at me while I sleep. A poster of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street signed by Wes Craven himself adorns the wall space above my bed, a meta-reconstruction of the famous scene from the film in which Freddy presses his face through the back Nancy’s bedroom wall. Yes, if I had to pick one of the many horror personalities and series that I devoured in my youth, Freddy and his nightmares on Elm Street would be hands-down my number one choice.