Friday, 22 October 2010

All aboard for the Horror Express!

This, again, is an early and disturbing memory for me. I watched tonnes of horror as a kid and even bought those horror cards with that dangerously hard bubblegum in the packet… Shit, what an Earth happened to those?
I had Horror Film compendiums, lexicons, encylopedias, both sets of the Horror Top Trumps, various grisly masks and costumes. Damn! I even went to the Queens Jubilee street party dressed as a ghost. I loved to scare and I loved to be scared. But all the horror I had soaked up as a kid started to desensitise me. The next horror film scared me just a little less than the last. But some, like the one I am about to show you, terrified me like no other before and for months gave me recurring nightmares, which I suppose is the highest accolade one could ever give a horror movie.
Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were the stars, and I remember feeling safe knowing this. They were my friends, from previous adventures in horror. They wouldn’t terrify me. Would they? Cushing had a safe, avuncular air about him and Lee was just the epitome of suave sophistication and cucumber coolness.
The story had everything: Afore mentioned Cushing and Lee, a two million year old monster in a crate, a mad Rasputinesque monk, a trans-siberian train journey, zombie cossaks and Telly Savalas.
One thing I had overlooked, indeed one thing that would have meant little to me at the time. It had a Spanish director. Get ready for bloody gore and eye fixations. Its true! Those bloody Latin horror directors. What is it with them and eyes? Splinters through eyes, shards of glass through eyes, fingers poking out eyes, red eyes, white eyes, bleeding eyes…
Despite the gore, despite Telly Savalas, it was a fantastic film. Ill even go as far as to say it still is a fantastic horror film. It’s full of silly propositions and premises and even a bit of rubber physics, but it is a horror film after all. But time has not dulled its impact. And yes, I should never have watched it at just 9 years old.

Every night at bedtime, after being tucked in, my mum would turn out the light and leave the room... Normal kids would perhaps smile a dreamy smile and close their eyes.
I would gasp in mute terror and slowly and silently scan the room for a pair of red eyes in the darkness. Oh how I miss my childhood. To believe in monsters!

Just a brief nod to nostalgia sage Hurk. Here are the opening credits to Armchair Thriller. No one to step in front of the shadow now is there? Mwuhahahahaha!

Please tune in to my next blog for the last shocking moment in my Halloween countdown.
Big D out.


  1. Ha Ha! I don't know why my mum thought THAT bit was so scary?!

  2. The whole intro is scary, especially when the shadows fingers grip the armchair...

  3. I'd agree - it's the fingers on the arms that's scary.