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ABOUT CLASSIC HORRORS CLUB

August 20, 2018

 

Dedicated to the best father a monster kid could ever have:

Gene W. Owens
Jan. 23, 1940 - Aug. 20, 2018

When I told my father I wanted to set my alarm to wake up at midnight so I could watch The Ghost of Frankenstein on Sleepwalker’s Matinee with Count Gregor, he asked, “Why?  They speak pig Latin.”  At that age, I didn’t know if he was being serious or not, and when I groggily began watching the movie despite his warning, I half-expected to find English subtitles.

This is one of the first Monster Kid experiences that I remember, and I’m so grateful today that I have a memory of Dad associated with it. I’ll never forget you, Dad.  I love you.

May 25, 2016

Nothing makes you feel older than when the music you loved as a kid is referred to as “oldies.” When people talk about the 80s and 90s like they were the “good old days,” I simply shake my head. Yeah, the 80s were great, but I find myself longing more and more for the late 60s and 70s. Popular “retro” today isn’t retro at all for me.

Born at the very end of the Baby Boomers and the very beginning of Generation X, it’s always been hard for me to identify completely with either generation. While I’m fond of many eras, my formative years were the late 1960s through the early 1980s as I moved up through grade school, junior high and high school.

 

I was, and am, a “Monster Kid,” one of the children who literally ran home after school to watch Dark Shadows, even though when I saw House of Dark Shadows in the movie theater, I was so scared I had to ask my aunt if we could leave. I stayed up late (or tried) watching Sleepwalker's Matinee with Count Gregore on Friday nights.

I saw Taste the Blood of Dracula and Trog at the drive-in and begged my parents so incessantly to see Escape from the Planet of the Apes that they dropped me off at the movie theater by myself. I built the Aurora models, carried "A Pictorial History of Horror Movies" to school with me, and loved Kolchak: The Night Stalker on TV.

​My goal with Classic Horrors Club is to express love for what I consider the truly “classic” era of horror-related genres and sub-genres. The tagline is, “From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between,” which is meant to represent popular media from the dawn of horror to its high noon with Halloween in 1978.

Join me on this journey as I navigate what I call "The 5 Ages of Classic Horror:" The Silent Age, The Golden Age, The Atomic Age, The Psychological Age, and The Occult Age." We can all do research and I probably don't have anything new to discover, but I have one thing absolutely unique: my opinion. I hope you enjoy reading it...

Jeff Owens

December 22, 2019

It's evolve or die, really. You have to evolve. You have to move on; otherwise, it just becomes stagnant.

Craig Charles, British actor (1964- )

 

This quote helps explain why I am reversing something I wrote nearly four years ago when I launched Classic Horrors (see below.) I basically claimed that 80s “retro” was not retro for me because my formative years were during the 1960s and 70s. Looking back, that’s a ridiculous statement. If moving away from home for the first time to go to college, then graduating, getting a full time job and getting married, are not formative events, I don’t know what are.

 

It seems I was trying to make a distinction between the style of horror film that accompanied these various eras and then took a drastic turn with the success of Halloween in 1978. Although horror movies had become increasingly gritty up to then, they were still relatively innocent. After Halloween, though, popular horror movies became more extreme and were driven by violence and gore. In 2016, I didn’t want to write about violence and gore. I wanted to write about childhood nostalgia.

 

I still want to do that; however, 2018 was an incredibly hard year in which I experienced an unprecedented amount of loss and change. As I spent 2019 “starting over” and now seem to have emerged from that at the beginning of a new decade, I no longer want to overlook the 1980s. All the things I wrote about growing-up as a Monster Kid in the 60’s and 70s are still true; however, it’s also true that horror movies remained a big part of my life in the 80s (as they do today.)

 

In college, I celebrated the return of Michael Myers in Halloween II (1981) and attended one of my last drive-in movies (The Beast Within, 1982.) During my first year out of school, I raced after work to see late afternoon shows (Lifeforce, 1985) and went to advance screenings of new releases (Maximum Overdrive, 1986.) Newly married, I dragged my wife to some horror films (The Lost Boys, 1987) and had to go by myself to some (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, 1987.)

 

Adding a new “age” to Classic Horrors isn’t a beginning; it’s a continuation. I’m satisfying personal needs by expanding it, but I’m also keeping the site fresh and fostering its growth. The range of horror I’m covering now ends in 1991, for an arbitrary, yet purposeful reason: in 1991, Dark Shadows was reborn as a prime time television series. From running home after school to watch a daytime soap opera to recording episodes on VHS because I wasn’t home in front of the television on a Friday night, Dark Shadows was there.

 

This change necessitates a new tagline. At the moment, I don’t know what it’s going to be. As you read this, though, I trust that you’ll see it in all the right places. Thank you for accompanying me through the evolution of Classic Horrors and all the encouragement and feedback you’ve given me since its inception. I’ve always said I’d do it even if no one were reading it. But I have to be honest; it’s really rewarding knowing that someone does.