Part Two of the Characters I Felt Sorry For article has been temporarily postponed to bring you this Special Thanksgiving Program!
Disclaimer: Indeed, I am aware that a lot of people, items and innovations are missing from this list. Most notably absent are directors and actors. The list would be impossibly long if I got into that. Additionally, though a few people on this list have appeared in films, there is only one true “actor” listed, and for good reason.
Behold and be thankful, you freaky beasts!
Some days, I stare at my horror section and can’t decide what movie I wanna watch. Too many good ones, and waaay too many deliciously bad ones. Same problem arises when I’m in the mood to just watch behind-the-scenes features. I usually wind up grabbing a handful of discs, and make an afternoon out of a Bonus Features Marathon. It’s a good life.
Lon Chaney Sr.
Literally a tortured artist, the man endured true physical pain to bring his contorted creatures to life. For us. Thank you, Lon – your discomfort changed everything.
Brought us the first filmed adaptation of Frankenstein, introducing audiences to an animated version of a reanimated character that pop culture will never, ever let die.
We’re indebted to many fine makeup artists for bringing cinema’s finest nightmares to life. The Great Savini, however, is a rare genre icon: a mustachioed mad magician of the macabre, whose name alone brings to mind many of horror’s finest moments.
Big Box VHS
My generation’s introduction to the world of horror. How many filmmakers do we love today that grew up ingesting depraved VHS cover art, retaining it, then using those twisted memories to contribute to our beloved genre?
From the Aurora models of yesteryear to the Neca figures of today, even non-collectors adore horror toys. Admit it: if you can’t bring yourself to buy these things and prop them up in your office, you can’t deny the heartwarming sensation of realizing that someone, somewhere is putting in a ton of effort to make a Blair Monster action figure look as accurate as possible.
Turkish horror posters
The Turks dished out some extraordinarily wild promo art back in the day. Yes, that is a poster for Pumpkinhead you’re looking at. Though there aren’t a ton of examples online to enjoy, a worthwhile search will reveal some astonishing takes on films. Whether the art is accurate or not (check out some of their Friday the 13th sequel posters) doesn’t matter – it’s fuckin’ FUN.
He’s our buddy. Loves horror. Loves that we love horror. We love him. He’s creepy. He’s Uncle Creepy.
Gone are the days of yelping “how’d they DO that?!” We know how. We know everything now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t revisit good, bad and ugly moments in FX history and still gasp, marvel and laugh at past innovations.
Prosthetics are a beautiful thing, and I miss them dearly. But when a film grasps proper use of today’s technology, I’m appreciative that I’m here to see it.
There’s nothing like heading back to your hotel room, unloading all the stuff you bought on your bed, and rolling around in your awesome purchases while thinking about how cool it was to talk to Leatherface at the bar.
Other Horror Fans
Just look in the mirror and hug yourself, kiddo. “We accept you, we accept you! One of us, one of us!”
For those who may have been hesitant to reveal their love of the genre, this lady made it perfectly clear that it’s perfectly cool to dig horror flicks.
All Hallow’s Eve
Trick or treating when you’re young. Trick or treating when you’re a teenager and shouldn’t. Your first wild Halloween party. This year’s wild Halloween party. AMC’s heavy rotation of horror flicks. Halloween outlet stores. Figuring out your jack o’ lantern design. Handing out candy to the young ‘uns. It’s beautiful.
My wife alternately hates and loves my iPod, depending on what soundtrack pops up. And 97% of my iPod library consists of soundtracks. Any given moment, John Harrison’s theme from “The Crate” may come on. Or maybe it’ll be a synth-y selection from Maniac. Who knows? All I know is that I love listening to movies in the car.
Fright Flicks trading cards
I may lose some of you with this one, but if you’ve never seen these things, I’m tickled to introduce you. Produced by Topps in the 80’s, each pack came with cards featuring several films (with weird stories on the back!), a sticker (whose back was a piece of a jigsaw puzzle!) and a hard stick of delicious, powdered gum. These things were the reason I went to the grocery store with my mom, and are still the reason I look closely at the checkout aisle’s candy section, in the hopes that they’ll someday return to where they belong. In the meantime, I often fondle the packs my wife found for me on eBay and kiss the sky.
Though he was known to friends and fans as Uncle Forry, this gentleman was really the Granddaddy of Horror Journalism. Thanks for breaking that barrier and ushering us in, Forry – you are truly missed.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Be thankful in the comments section below!