Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My First Horror Movie

For 3 months I have been doing the 30 day music challenge on my Tumblr because it's linked to my music page. (Go ahead and laugh. Music Challenge - fail.) I wasn't going to start another challenge until my music challenge was completed, but here we are in the middle of October - how can I pass this one up? The 30 Day Horror Movie Challenge.

I can't.

Lest we forget how CRAZY I am about horror movies anyway. This new challenge will either show you how and why I became such an avid fan of horror or make me look like a total lunatic.

We all have a starting point... here is mine.
Day 1 - My First Horror Movie

TARANTULA (1955)

If you think this movie is about a giant tarantula terrorizing the countryside... Then You Are RIGHT!!! I remember watching this for the first time ever during Sammy Terry's Nightmare Theater when I was no older than the age of 3. I am the oldest of three girls, so basically, I got to live the life of an only child until my sister Mandy was born (when I was 2 1/2). Whenever my mom and dad wanted alone time - whether that be a dinner out, a movie, or going back to the house to be "alone" (and we'll stop the theories there) - they would leave me with my Aunt Gail, who is a horror movie NUT!
I believe it was every Saturday night (possibly Fridays. It's been so long, I can't remember) that Sammy Terry would come on. This was a ghoulish host that spoke in riddles and humor. Think about the name Sammy - Terry. (As in "cemetery", for those of you with low brain power.) He would host the classics, the Hammer films... even the stink-bombs. It was so much fun. Popping popcorn, coke in hand watching a chilling tale (or humorous one, depending on the budget & plot of the film). I'll be honest, I really don't remember the movies he showed much at all; I just remember HIM. His dialogue was clever and never dangerous, BUT his face creeeeeeeeped meeeeeee oooouuuuuuuuut! It reminded me of a clown - which is a whole other fear that I KNOW we will cover in at least one or two more challenges.
I got more rest/down time to relax during the movie, always prepping for Sammy Terry's intense (to me) appearance during breaks.

But the first movie - or actually pieces of a movie - that I was actually old enough to remember being hosted on his show was Tarantula.
The movie is pretty basic. A scientist, with good in his heart, creates some sort of serum to help prevent food shortages. (Yes, I have watched this movie again recently as an adult, so I actually KNOW the plot now.) This serum causes things to grow, much like Alice in Wonderland's cake that says "eat me". One of the  scientists becomes affected by this serum and develops acromegaly. He goes crazy and trashes the laboratory but not before dispensing (accidentally) the serum on a Mexican Red Rumped Tarantula.
So here we have a severely deformed mad scientist (whom I am now calling "Quasimoto") and a gigantic Spider eating animals.... eventually working his way up to total destruction of a countryside



**Spoiler Alert **  (in case you actually plan to WATCH the movie)
The tarantula, if I remember correctly, eventually eats Quasimoto and our esteemed government has the spider annihilated by Robert Duvall's favorite anti-personnel weapon.
"I love the smell of Napalm in the morning." -Robert Duval, Apocalypse Now











I should be ashamed of knowing this movie, and yet I'm sitting here thinking, "I'll bet my son, Aidan, would love this movie!"
Tradition, folks. My Aunt Gail fed me on Horror.

And just for the sake of excitement, here are two videos.

The trailer for "Tarantula"


The opening sequence of Sammy Terry's Nightmare Theater


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