I have never cared for horror movies, and just as video shops began to open in force during the 1990s, the temper of horror movies reached a fever pitch. I didn't own a TV at this time, thank God, so I missed most of it, but when I cruised the "Horror Movie" aisle of the neighborhood Blockbuster Video, I could hardly believe my eyes and wondered, "Who in the hell wants to watch this shit?" I was travelling a lot for work and worried that I had to share the highway with the creeps who got off on horror movies.  

The first really modern horror movie has to be Night of the Living Dead, from 1968. It just rolled over all the norms for a horror movie. For one thing, the entire cast dies a gruesome death at the hands of mindless zombies who eat their flesh. In one scene, a zombie-girl kills her mother and eats her flesh.

No one had ever done anything like that before, although the Parisian theatre, Le Grand-Guignol, typically featured graphic acts of violence on the stage, during the late 19th century.
Horror movies in the 1970s continued to push the envelope--the whole "giallo" movie thing. Giallo movies seem to target pretty female victims, who die piteously of stab wounds by complete strangers. The 1980s continued the horror movie craze--in such films as Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street; but the one that takes the cake for me is The Last House on the Left. I read a little about it, and the extreme savagery of it turned me off.

I can still remember a conversation I had at this time with an old girlfriend who asked me, "What are guys really thinking when they see us girls getting chopped up?" It's something for us guys to think about. Monkey-see, monkey-do. If us guys can't handle the thrill of seeing girls getting slaughtered, maybe we need to rein in the sicko horror movies, for everyone's good.


September 30, 2022

Rolexes and Wealth

I remember the day my eighth-grade teacher arrived at school wearing his new wrist-watch. We saw this guy for the 180 days of the school-year and knew him pretty well--as well as anyone did. We noticed that, among his other mannerisms, he tended to look often at the watch during class. We thought he was keen to know the time on a regular basis. Now, I believe he was just admiring his new watch.

September 28, 2022

Family-life is not a Democracy

I ran into a problem yesterday when I returned to Germany. On my first evening, I wanted to slake my thirst for German beer, big-time! So I ordered a liter-serving right off the bat; but I knew I also wanted some wine and ordered a carafe of it, as well. Shamefully, I have to admit to not finishing either. I slaked my thirst, but had to leave some of it undrunk. I hate wasting anything, but I had work to do and wanted to operate on all my cylinders.

September 24, 2022

Violence in the Real

This article appeared last July in the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, by the newspaper's expert on hip-hop music, Florentin Schuhmacher. He regards gangsta-rap, and its sub-genre Drill, as a legitimate art-form. He can understand the reservations that law enforcement, parents, and teachers have toward music that glorifies gang-life, describes the rush of killing one's enemies, the pleasure of drugs—as a source of wealth—and demeaning women; but Schumacher also says the police cannot simply censor it. They must distinguish between art and criminal acts, shooings, and robberies.

Lloyd Bowers


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