free flying soul

"this world has nothing for me and this world has everything...all that I could want and nothing that I need"

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Location: Macclesfield, North Carolina, United States

Born: 1970; Graduated High School: 1988; Married: 1991; Children: 1996, 2000, 2005; Graduated College: 2008; Figured Out This Faith Thing: In Progress

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Watching Movies, Writing Stories

When I was a teenager, especially during junior high school, my favorite kinds of movies were those slasher flicks that seemed to pop up overnight. You all remember those don’t you? Half-naked girls, boozed-up dudes and a psycho killer running around in the woods at night; that was what I considered top notch entertainment.

Some folks are movie snobs. They like to sit down and watch critically acclaimed films and analyze them for socio-political undertones and that kind of crap. Or they like to watch the classics and savor the lost art of film-making. Me? I enjoy the classics too. Friday The 13th, Halloween, A Nightmare On Elm Street and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are some of my favorite films of all time.

These are the movies that I watched during my formidable years. In fact, a bunch of us guys would get together nearly every weekend and watch these things over and over again. We just couldn’t get enough of them. One of my best friends was this guys named JP. His folks bought the first VCR that I had ever seen. The thing was the size of a suitcase and must’ve weighed about thirty pounds. It also cost right at a thousand dollars. It was humongous and ugly, but it was the coolest thing any of us had ever seen.

J’s parents, L and S, actually bought a lifetime membership at the very first video rental store in [small town where I'm from]. The pace was called Beasley’s and I think they had to pay a hundred dollars to join. Needless to say, we all thought that J’s house was the place to be on a Friday night. Keep in mind, this was in eighth grade and most of us had yet to acquire our first girlfriend. In fact, the only boobies we were seeing were the ones in these crappy horror movies.

We rented these movies by the dozens and watched them so many times that we had the majority of the scenes memorized. We knew where each and every breast was going to pop out and where each throat was going to be slit. That was pretty amazing considering that most of them didn’t even have a solid storyline or anything that remotely resembled a plot. In fact, most of these films, and I use that term loosely, were filmed with cheap equipment and released direct to video. The average budget for one of these things couldn’t have been more than a couple thousand dollars and I think that was all spent on finding three girls that were willing to take their clothes off in front of a camera.

But, for some sick and twisted reason, we loved them. They all had the two ingredients that were absolutely necessary to make a successful slasher flick; gory, violent death, and boobies. That was all it took to make us happy. We didn’t need Oscar-worthy performances or high caliber acting, we wanted to see blood and nipples. These movies were so bad, in fact, that they tended to make the more mainstream films like Friday The 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street look like cinematic masterpieces. I do want to interject that both of those films actually had REAL actors in them, Kevin Bacon and Johnny Depp to be more precise, but that’s really not important.

The movies we watched had names like Slayer, Scalps, The Mutilator, you know, real catchy monikers that promised carnage. A typical story might involve a group of teenagers, all played be struggling thirty-something actors trying to escape soap opera hell, piling into a rusty old Dodge sedan and heading off to the beach for a weekend of fun in the sun.

But we knew what was waiting for them when they got there. After partying the night away with a six-pack of Schlitz and some really bad dance music, the crazy kids would pair off and go their separate ways. The pissed off killer was always seen sneaking around in the shadows, awaiting the baring of the breasts, before he actually killed anyone. In fact, he usually waited until a really lame shower scene, thank you Mr. Hitchcock, before the blood started to splatter. Before you knew it, the crazy kids began to vanish one by one.

It seemed like one girl always managed to survive, and she was the one who wasn’t sleeping with her boyfriend, so let that be a lesson to you. She remained a virgin and managed to kill off the psycho by the end of the movie. But we all knew that psychos didn’t really die in the movies, Jason and Michael Myers had already taught us that. Evil never died in the movies, at least until a couple of sequels got made.

And that was the fuel that fed my overactive imagination. That was the catalyst for my writing experiments, well, that and the unhealthy dose of Stephen King that I consumed constantly. He made a crap load of money and all he did was write freaky little books. That made my dream of becoming a great horror novelist all the more appealing. So I wrote.

My first attempt at a story was called Fangs and was about this weird werewolf-like creature that snuck around killing people. I actually made it though three pages before I quit. I soon followed that with Asylum. It was the story of a really pissed-off fellow that wanted to kill his parents. I think it may have actually hit page four.

But my first big breakthrough was a story called Death-night. Where I got such original titles I’ll never know. Death-night was about this guy named Billy who went around slaughtering folks. I never came up with a very good reason why he was doing so, but I did come up with some very inventive deaths. I remember one scene where Billy killed this old guy in a country store with a garden hoe. He then went next door and knocked off the fellow’s wife with a spade.

Death-night reached page forty or so before I finally lost the vision and quit. I don’t know what ever happened to the manuscript. My guess is that it ended up in the trash when I finally moved away from home.

I really caught the writing bug in ninth grade. That’s when I began to write stories and insert me and my friends into them. I rode the bus to school and it was an eighteen mile trip one way, so I had plenty of time in the morning and afternoon to concoct these horrid little tales. Most of my friends from the bus ended up in them one way or the other. I typically survived the massacre and in a few special instances, I was the actual killer. It was a lot of fun to kill off all those people around me and it really made a long bus ride seem much shorter.

One of these so-called bus stories ended up being the thing that defined me to a large number of people. It was called Camping Out and it spawned not one, but two sequels. The original story was basically a Friday The 13th rip-off with me and my friends inserted.

to be continued....


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