There’s nothing like a divisive horror film to shake up our happy community. Don’t believe me? Just hop on any Facebook horror movie page and post, “I’m thinking of watching ‘Hereditary.’ Is it any good?” or “Is the ‘Suspiria’ remake better than the original?” Then log back on in an hour and peruse the comments. Recently, Netflix ignited some discord of their own with Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022), the long unanticipated retcon sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). I like some of the Texas Chainsaw movies but this flick was never on my radar and I tuned out any and all news leading up to it. That is until the trailer dropped and my apathy gave way to disgust. This was thanks in large part to the cringe-worthy ripoff of Sally Hardesty returning like Laurie Strode in Halloween 2018 and a scene showing a group of young people telling Leatherface he’s going to get “canceled.” The latter would trigger a cavalcade of angry YouTubers who’d quickly decry the new film as ‘woke’ a.k.a. fan poison for any established franchise. Then I sat down and actually watched the movie. And you know what? It changed everything. Before I explain, be advised this post does contain a few SPOILERS.
(Continued from the last post) The next morning, I headed downstairs to pick up breakfast from the hotel. Due to Covid, the Crowne Plaza restaurant was closed for dining. Instead, you’d pay for breakfast at the check-in desk (or have it charged to your room) and bring the ticket to the cooks. The food would be given in a to-go box and actually wasn’t bad. Jason naturally opted to take my car to his beloved McDonald’s but made it back in time for the Days of the Dead convention doors to open. I was armed and ready with my Friday 13th poster from Scream Factory’s Rondo Award-winning box set. Despite physical media sales “in decline,” 2020 was a banner year for boutique labels such as Scream Factory, providing some of the most amazing releases to date; with this one arguably the best. Most bonus Scream Factory posters take up a corner of my bedroom closet while this 24×36 gem gets a frame. Aside from the gorgeous artwork (the same featured on the box), it provides plenty of negative space for autographs. In other words, it’s practically begging to be signed and displayed!
So far as personality traits are concerned, there’s little doubt that C.J. Graham’s an Alpha. With a level of confidence that could give Gene Simmons a run for the money, he’d prove his formidability at the 2020 Days of the Dead convention in Indianapolis. It was there Graham, like Alex Vincent from Child’s Play, would find himself the lone participant in a would-be reunion. Covid-19 would turn the event’s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives panel into a one-man show. But despite portraying the mute character of Jason Voorhees on-screen, ‘the man behind the mask’ had plenty to talk about with his audience.
Horrorhound Weekend boasted a cavalcade of celebrities as well as excellent panels and vendors. We literally left one aisle of MASK-FEST before seamlessly finding ourselves in the middle of it; a transition putting us in immediate temptation. Everything looked so incredible, you could easily blow a hundred bucks without walking more than five feet! Fan conventions have gotten a lot pricier since this site began nearly ten years ago. The biggest increases are from guest celebrities. They charge top dollar for their autographs and you should count yourself lucky if they don’t tack on an additional fee for a selfie. I had brought along a couple of Blu-ray covers I’d hoped to have signed but when I saw those prices…well let’s just say those covers remained untouched throughout the weekend. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the money but rather my being haunted by all the things I could do with that cash instead. And it wasn’t as if Horrorhound didn’t offer plenty of alternatives.
In 2015, I was at a small costume store and saw a mother point out a Michael Myers mask to her young son and say, “Look! It’s Freddy from Friday the 13th!” I semi-subtly pointed it out to my dad about a minute later, saying, “Look! It’s Michael Myers from Halloween!” to clear up the confusion amongst the surrounding patrons.
Perhaps it was inevitable, given my name, that I would not only work toward “carving out” (pun intended) a career in film (and TV, and theatre, and… pretty much anything entertainment-related) as an actor (and writer, and director…), but also love horror movies. I first got into horror by watching Svengoolie on Saturday nights… which you can read about here!
Perhaps you’re wondering, as countless others have asked me during my lifetime, “Do you like Jamie Lee Curtis?” As a matter of fact… yes! I first saw her in Freaky Friday, so my first impression of the “scream queen” was actually via comedy. I was a little more inclined to pay attention to her work due to the similarities in our names, but I still respect her skills just as much as if my name were “Holly” or “Christy” (both of which almost were). I’ve heard every Activia joke under the sun. I roll my eyes at them… not because I’m embarrassed, but because there are much more interesting things about Jamie Lee Curtis that these people could reference. If you’re going to make a joke about someone’s name, remember that we’ve been hearing these our whole lives. So step up your game and make good humor choices.
Having graduated Class of ’89, the early ‘90s heralded my transition into adulthood. Although I had a job and was attending community college, those hedonistic days were also spent partying and having drunken horror movie marathons with friends. Although we may not have had any trouble staying dry, the same couldn’t be said for our entertainment. The golden age of slashers seemed to disappear as fast as our teens with trips to the video store yielding fewer and fewer results. Needless to say, any ‘80s-style horror stragglers were a welcome sight and today’s SteelBook Spotlight is a prime example. Whether the film’s charismatic masked killer or its “movie within a movie” homage to ‘50s sci-fi films, Popcorn made for an unexpectedly fun night back in 1991. And now, nearly three decades later, it’s been given an upgrade.