For every person, every addiction has a starting point. Some place, some where, somebody offered said person that very first toke, that got them started on the long road of addiction.
As is fairly apparant as you glance back through the Cinema Fromage archives, that yes, I love bad movies. Especially bad horror movies. The term I like to use, is cheese, hence the Fromage of Cinema Fromage.
This past Sunday, Father’s Day in fact, I was given my Father’s Day present. 50 Chillling Classics. 50 horror and suspense movies, for the whopping price of $17. That’s proof right there, that this is going to be quality stuff, right? But remember, bad horror flicks is my schtick, so the gift was perfect.
As the Mrs. and I perused the stack of DVD’s contained within, I stumbled across a movie. A movie who’s title at first I overlooked, and as I flipped past, I stopped, and went back to read the plot again. As I read back through the plot summary, gears started to click, and soon, a wave of memories was upon me. Enough to almost make me stagger, and even brought a slight tear to me eye. It was the first horror movie I had ever seen.
No, I didn’t get misty over the movie itself, but over the memory that came along with that first experience, that started me on the long winding (and somewhat depraved) road that brought us to this little spot on the intarweb.
Many moons ago, 22 years ago to be exact, I was on my weekend visit to my dad’s. It was summer out, and not having much to do around dad’s place, it was decided that we’d go and take in a movie. Being 10 years old, I knew then that I liked movies. Liked them quite a bit, but in 1982, VCR’s weren’t a reality for the Gooch family yet, so our options were limited to what was playing at either of the local small town theatres. One, being your typical first run classic movie house, the other, being The Tri-Way Drive in.
It was 1982, Drive In’s were on the decline, yet ours was still running strong, but still wasn’t a first run movie house. So, it was always a toss up on what older movie you were going to catch, depending solely on what the owner could get at a budget for that weekend. Thus, the first feature watched by dad and I that night, was Raise the Titanic. Not a scary movie at all really, (hell, at the time, I found it rather boring) but it was movie all the same, and that’s what dad and I were all about. The weather was rainy that night, as we left the truck running, so that the windshield wipers could let us catch a slightly less blurry view of the big screen, as they tried to raise the sunken cruise liner. I can remember my dad growing excited as he noticed the very ship he was stationed on throughout his stay in Vietnam was used in the movie, as the main search vessel, honking his horn every time the ship showed up on screen.
The second feature of the night, was the movie that started it all. The very first horror film, at the tender age of 10, scared wittless in my dad’s truck, yet thrilled all the same. Feasting on smuggled popcorn in a brown grocery bag, drinking Orange Soda snuck into the theatre, inside the toolbox in the bed of dad’s truck. All memory, that were lost to me until tonight, when I stumbled across the movie you’re about to read.
As I mentioned earlier, I grew a bit misty once I stumbled across said film. The reason being a combination of the recent fathers day, stumbling across this once lost memory, looking back fondly as the waves of it crashed over me, long since forgotten since my dad passed away back in 1993.
I miss my dad a lot, I really do, but it’s memories like these, that catch you off guard, but leaving you feeling so very happy that you had that memory, and loving every minute of the recounting. Any many ways, hell, maybe in every way, my dad is the reason you’re here today reading my wandering opinions on all thing’s supposedly scary and crappy committed to film. If it wasn’t for him, I never would have gone to watch a horror film at 10 years old. I never would have returned the drive in with dad a few years later, to watch the dusk till dawn Friday the 13th marathon. I never would have watched a weekend’s worth of bizarre, low budget films by the stack, at home on his newly purchased VCR. Rather purposefully, or inadvertantly, he shaped my love of crap into what it is today, and for that, I thank him for it. It’s been a fun ride, and honestly, I’ve loved every minute of it.
The second feature of that fateful night 22 years ago?
You see, it’s funny that I rambled on waxing nostalgic, cause in all honestly? Funeral Home really sucks!
A teenage girl (whose name I’ve already forgotten) is moving to the country side, to help dear old granny convert her old family funeral home into a bed and breakfast. The summer starts out fun, but soon tourists begin to vanish, and Grandma grows increasingly adamant to stay out of the cellar!
Yes, I know it was the 80′s, but still, standards folks! Rather slow and unexciting, Funeral Home plods a long, much like Granny in her advanced years. Slow and lurching. Still, there are a few redeeming qualities. Unfortunately, the acting wasn’t one of them.
Wooden and stilted, we’re taking on this long and winding Sunday drive, but a troop of actors, who at the time, and even 26 years hence, weren’t much in the world of Hollywood. The skills show it as many of them are either over the top, under the table, and frankly, pretty boring.
The redeeming quality though, is the idea behind the movie itself, but really, that’s not their fault, because they borrowed heavily from Alfred Hitchcock who did it a few years earlier in Psycho. Still, they tweaked the main plot here and there, and in the end, you find yourself still watching, just to see where they’re going to go with it. Or maybe because you’re lulled into a bit a stupor. Hard to say really .
I’m lucky that with this being my very first horror film ever, that I still love them as much as I do today. But c’mon, to a 10 year old, this is heavy stuff!
2.5 lumbering granny’s out of 5