|Horror Nerds Unite!
||[Oct. 20th, 2011|09:41 am]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
CNN has a fun, interesting article up about horror fandom: Taboo of the Horror Nerd.
It's a good read, but I disagree with the article's central thesis that horror nerds prefer their fandom to stay out of the mainstream. I think if horror were celebrated all year 'round rather than confined to the month of October like a prisoner who's let out only once a year, a lot of fans would embrace it, not turn their backs on it. (Leave that to the hipsters who hate when their under-the-radar fandoms finally get discovered by everyone else.)
I also disagree with Brad Miska's contention in the article that people don't watch "torture porn" and only want to have fun at horror movies. Not only do the box office numbers contradict this (the Hostel and Saw movies did extremely well, and pretty much everyone watched The Human Centipede, even if they don't admit it), but the gritty, grueling, documentary-style realism of 1970s horror cinema is considered by many to be its creative heyday. Films Last House on the Left and Cannibal Holocaust didn't become classics because they're fun--they're not fun at all, in my opinion--they became classics because they successfully captured the social issues of the time in metaphorical form (I highly recommend Jason Zinoman's amazing book Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror for more on this subject).
These admittedly large quibbles aside, the article remains a very enjoyable read for horror nerds and non-fans alike. It's also remarkably astute. Two choice quotes, for instance, had me vehemently nodding:
Basically, there is no “The Big Bang Theory” chronicling the lovable foibles of a dedicated nerd who can list his top five cannibal movies, and is steeped in a fandom of dismembered bodies and buckets of blood.
So true, and yet I would watch the hell out of this show if they ever made it!
“The guy who can recite every ‘Halloween’ line and is so into it or has seen the movies 500 times – like the Adam Greens and the Rob Zombies of the world” are the nerds, [actress Danielle Harris] said. “Then you’ve got the guy who comes to a convention dressed as Michael Myers and stands in the corner with the mask on and breathes heavy and stares at me for an hour; there’s a difference.”
Mmm-hmmm. Anyone who's ever been to a horror convention knows exactly what she's talking about.