About 30 minutes later, with the blood drained from my face I left the room in shambles. I didn’t sleep the next night in fears that the sentient robotic amalgamation of flesh was going to come through my bedroom door wearing my father’s head as its own. It was the second dip into horror world that I remember, and having since grown up and watched the film as an adult it shouldn’t freak me out but it still did. Much alike you never forget your first love, I will never forget my first horror film experience. It wasn’t only a movie anymore, for better or worse I had felt something change within me.
A couple of years later I begged my mother to record Robocop for me on TV one night. I didn’t know about the film just the presence, An R-Rated movie about a robot cop. What more does a young boy want? Watching Murphy have his arm forcibly amputated via shotgun was shocking enough, but I’d grown up by this stage so it was all just a movie. Watching Emil crash into a tank of toxic waste before emerging as personified puddle, that was freaky. Not enough to terrify, but my attention was caught. I wanted to see more like this, I wanted to find out what the scary stuff really was in movies.
I was about 11 when I started the horror movie kick. I saw Freddy Vs. Jason for my birthday on DVD and everything spiraled out from there. I had fallen in love with Freddy, and to a slightly lesser extent the malevolent towering terror that is Jason Voorhees. So with no older siblings to help upon my journey I started with a Friday night fright series on Foxtel. Friday The 13th followed immediately by the original A Nightmare On Elm Street I made it through Friday before bitching out in the opening sequence of Nightmare. But I vowed to finish that film, so the next weekend I made the trip to Video-Ezy and rented the first three Nightmare on Elm Street films. Hooked. That night I became an addict. Be it the adrenaline or once again that morbid curiosity I had finally jumped head first into the world of horror movies.
Between the ages of 12 and 15 not a fortnight went by where I wasn’t at the video store renting something from the horror section. I must’ve seen near on everything they had. I started with the classics where I could, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, The Exorcist, I wanted to devour it all. In the height of my early teens the Torture porn craze was at its peak. Saw, Hostel, Teeth, The Ruins - it was all going off like a frog in a sock. I became that kid at school. You know the one, watches all the weird shit, the fucked up movies. They came to me wanting to know what was and wasn’t worth checking out for dates, or movie nights, or just what to show their friends to scare them half to death.
I was one of the first to see The Human Centipede at my school. Everyone else thought it was terrifying, I thought it was schlocky gory fun. By this stage I’d sat through High Tension and Martyrs, I considered myself a bonafide gore whore. Then in 2010, my second last year of high school, it happened. The horror film to shock and disturbed all generations. A Serbian Film. This is what I had been waiting for, I’d grown bored of all the American torture stuff, the French weren’t hitting a nerve anymore, this was the messiah. I got hold of it and wound up watching half the film in one of my IT classes. It only occurred to me to stop when a fellow classmate caught a glimpse of what I was watching and asked in a mortified tone “Dude! What the fuck are you watching!?” Luckily it wasn’t the now infamous "New Born Porn" sequence or I probably would’ve been expelled.
I continued this love of horror throughout my teens side by side with my cousin as we bounced what we had and hadn’t seen off of each other trying to one up where we could. Then in 2012 a once in a lifetime event came by that I couldn’t pass up. “Shock Horror: The Nightmare Returns” A small convention focused on my favorite franchise A Nightmare On Elm Street. Alongside Ken Sagoes (Kincaid from Dream Warriors), Lisa Wilcox (Alice from Dream Master and Dream Child), and a surprise visit from John Jarratt and Greg McLean, the man himself was there. Robert Englund. FREDDY FUCKING KRUEGER HIMSELF. I got my copy of Nightmare signed, and of course a picture with the legend. However possibly the biggest thing I gained from that convention was meeting David from the Melbourne Horror Film Society.