In the first chapter of For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher I describe my pre-teen Friday nights with my dear ol’ Mom. She’d set aside these evenings as “Family Movie Time.” Each week she and I would trek to the local video rental store to find the latest offerings of horror movies.
Why did she let her ten-year-old boy watch movies such as The Exorcist and The Howling? My best guess is she wanted the company, as my dad worked in the coal mines 60 to 70 hours a week. Whether or not this was the case, movie time with Mom greatly shaped my entertainment tastes, even to this very day. Thinking back on those movie nights with Mom, there are two movies that still stand out for me, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and John Carpenter’s The Thing. Both are outstanding films. Both are relentlessly dark with denouements that will punch you in the gut with despair. The visceral emotions I felt as a kid still affect me as an adult.