I was born and raised in the American south, and I have never lived anywhere else. I’m told it’s a horrible place but I wouldn’t know having nothing to compare it with. My earliest memory might be driving to see Every Which Way But Loose with my parents while my mother told me what all the curse words in the movie were and what they meant and why I shouldn’t say them. I also remember going to see Smokey and the Bandit at the drive-in, wearing my pajamas, and falling asleep before the movie. Probably around the same time 1977-78ish I saw my first VCR. It was at my techie geek granddaddy’s house. I couldn’t figure out how he managed to show The Wizard of Oz at his house when it wasn’t playing on the TV that night at our house less than a lime away.
The 80s came and my parents could afford a VCR. My daddy and I went to the first video store in town, paid $25 for a membership, and rented Die Laughing with Robbie Benson and a bunch of monkeys. I was a literate child in a town full of morons, so I rented a lot of movies on the weekends. At some point I discovered the horror aisle, and since it always takes Mama ten years to decide on anything when shopping, I got to read the backs of all the boxes while she decided which Kevin Costner movie to rent. The boxes, as you will remember if you also come from the 80s, were the straight to video equivalent of trailers shown at the drive-in. They were every bit as exciting and intriguing, and as I found out when I was finally old enough to watch them, the movies were just as bad as those made for the drive-in circuit. But by then it was too late for me, because the huge influx of military residents in my town caused the video stores to have more than just the usual mainstream crap. By 9th grade I was watching Troma movies and anything recommended by Joe-Bob Briggs.
Also a voracious reader, I realized around age 17 that every bio at the end of a book told of the author’s seemingly random series of jobs. So I thought the random series of jobs would make me a writer, not that the person had just worked a bunch of crap jobs while writing in their spare time and waiting to be published. So I made a half-assed attempt at college, then spent my 20s following bands around on tour, working random jobs, writing and trying to collect experiences about which to write. I even once worked a few years in an independent video store in a hipster college town; the store required that you needed to be friends with someone who worked there, you had to be pursuing some type of art on the side, and there was a waiting list to get to work there. This is where there was no turning back from me being a movie geek. Most of us hadn’t graduated college, but the profs from the local university would come in and ask OUR opinions about what to show!
I finally finished my English degree when I was 28, but the ink wasn’t dry before I was back in my hometown, married to an idiot and pregnant. I’ve now been a stay-at-home mom for five years and have written volumes of essays and kept various blogs, but I never really tried to market myself. I realized, though, that since about ’07 I’ve been watching at least one horror movie per day. So a month or so ago I decided to start a new blog to try and discover why people watch this crap, why I watch this crap, and analyze the movies as if they were literature. I’m also busting my ass trying to get people to read what I write for the first time ever, so that maybe all the stories I’ve collected will result in something more than me being interesting at parties. Ronnie and Alex have been kind enough to let me join them here at Midnight Showing where I hope to be able to use the opportunity to make fun of these movies with which I’m obsessed as well as once again feel the weird power of influencing what other people watch.