Happy Vincent Price Day!

Suave, sophisticated, classy, cruel, and murderous. What more could a girl like me ask for?
Suave, sophisticated, classy, cruel, and murderous. What more could a girl like me ask for?

While other women are extorting jewelry, flowers, and candy out of their men, I’ll be spending today with my favorite Valentine.

There is no disappointment when Vincent Price is involved.

Happy Vincent Price Day!

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Happy Vincent Price Day!

While couples are celebrating love through jewelry extortion and single women are bitterly cursing their lack of a mate and single men are happy to be off the hook for forgetting the date, I am once again dedicating this hearts and flowers day to the one and only Vincent Price.

He's the arsenic in my champagne.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day dates, this man never lets me down.

Like Mother, Like Daughter…Scary!

Whenever someone tells me (or someone else) that I’m acting just like my mother, it’s typically not meant as a compliment. What they mean is that I’m acting in such a way that they don’t approve of and attribute my behavior to something genetically inherited from my mother.

However, I am like my mother in some ways, good and bad.

For example (and for Halloween), my mom and I both love horror.

The last time I was at her house, AMC was showing all four of the Alien movies and Mom and I watched the end of Alien and most of Aliens. She loves the SyFy channel on the weekends for movies, no matter how bad they might be. The People Under the Stairs was on Saturday morning and I immediately thought of Mom. She watched that movie a couple of times a week when I was a kid.

She took me and my friend to see Se7en. She rented me Rosemary’s Baby and brought home Dracula from the library for me when I was sick.

Mom is the reason I know who Stephen King is. She read all of his books. I can specifically remember her reading Salem’s Lot. I remember the cover of the book. I remember reading the dusk jacket.

I have yet to read it, though.

When I was finally allowed to check out an adult book at the library at the tender age of 11, Mom didn’t bat an eyelash when I came back with Jaws.

I can’t say that my mom is the reason why I like horror (as I said in my post about why I write horror, I’m not sure exactly WHY I like it or write it), but my mom was definitely a horror enabler. She liked it, realized I liked it, and encouraged me to explore it.

Of course, we don’t always agree on our horror likes. Mom liked Scream enough to make me watch it (during Thanksgiving dinner, naturally). I hated it. I enjoy Vincent Price more than Mom does.

It doesn’t matter, though. The point is that it’s a bonding point for us. Our relationship hasn’t always been the greatest, as happens sometimes with mothers and daughters. Sometimes it’s easier for me to focus on the differences and disagreements. They’re easier to see. It’s easy to forget when we get along or agree. The lack of conflict seems to diminish the recall on the memory.

But even as I picked my brain for more memories of the Mom-horror connection, I was shocked at the warmth that bubbled up behind them. It’s kind of odd that I’d get sentimental and gooey watching a guy run around in a gimp suit while he shoots through the walls because one of his cellar children escaped into them because it reminds me of my mom, but there you go.

My mother and I have an interesting, if not unique, relationship.

You can tell by the ways I take after her.

Five Favorite Horror Movies

Tis the season of spooky! As a horror film lover, you had to have seen this list coming. Keep in mind that these aren’t the best made horror films or the greatest horror films of all time. They’re my five favorites, ones that I’ll watch again and again and again (and again).

Also note that of the five listed here, three have remakes. I’m talking about the originals, guys. Also, none of the movies were made recently. I’m talking the “newest” one on  the list came out the year I was born. Not that I don’t like some recent horror flicks. It’s just that I’m old school like that.

My five favorite horror movies (in no particular order):

1. Halloween (1978). It’s simple, low-budget, and effective. The killer wears a white-painted William Shatner mask. The idea of that being scary is ridiculous, but the reality of it is terrifying. The slow reveal of that mask after Laurie finds her friends dead is always chilling. To this day, if I see someone wearing the now classic Michael Myers mask, it gives me pause. And the urge to run.

2. House on Haunted Hill (1959). Vincent Price is an angel in my world and I love his work. This movie was a William Castle special and when it was released, featured a skeleton on wires to appear during a key part of the movie.  But, even without the live skeleton, the low key creeps the movie provides are effective, particularly when you realize exactly what’s going on. The “ghosts” in this house have nothing on the humans.

3. Friday the 13th (1980). A young Kevin Bacon getting an arrow shoved through his throat? Who doesn’t like that? To me, this is the movie that really solidified the teen slasher flick, with the isolated location, the gorier deaths, the GOTCHA ending. The killer’s point of view was also a fun touch that kept the real killer’s identity a secret until the end.

4. Alien (1979). The isolation of space. The claustrophobia of the ship. The threat of sabotage from within. A monster that you only saw in glimpses. The classic chestbursting scene that’s scarred more than one kid for life. The tension build over the course of the movie is enough to have your palms sweating so that when the alien is finally revealed in full, screaming isn’t hard to do.

5. Jaws (1975). “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Indeed. This is one of those movies that I’ve seen so much that if don’t feel like sitting through the whole thing, I’ve got it timed so I can tune in to my favorite scenes. From the opening attack to the shark blowing up, the mechanical shark not working is the best thing that happened to this movie. Keeping the shark in the shadows just heightened the threat and the fear. Sure, there are several shark inaccuracies in the movie, but by the time the shark eats Quinn, you’ve pretty much forgiven them all.

Happy Vincent Price Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s a day filled with hearts and flowers and pink and bitter single people. The one time I had a boyfriend during Valentine’s Day, he thought it was stupid to give me anything and so he didn’t. After being told for years about how great the holiday is when you have a signficant other, I have to say that I wasn’t too impressed.

I fully admit to being one of the bitter single people for a while until I decided to give the finger to making myself miserable and make this holiday my own.

For everyone else, it’s Valentine’s Day. For me, it’s Vincent Price Day.

I wear my Vincent Price shirt (yes, I have one; made it myself), get comfy in bed with some treats, and watch House on Haunted Hill. It’s one of my favorite Vincent Price flicks.

This holiday was a work in progress for several years. I’m not much of a romantic comedies girl. I like horror films. Back in high school, we had a sleep over for the girls who weren’t going to the Sweethearts Dance at school and we watched horror movies to counter the squishy love theme going on at the high school. That ritual kind of stuck. I liked to watch horror films on Valentine’s Day.

A few years ago my horror film of choice to celebrate Valentine’s Day was House on Haunted Hill. It was that viewing that made me realize that Vincent Price was my perfect valentine.

Suave, sophisticated, classy, cruel, and murderous. What more could a girl like me ask for?

Happy Vincent Price Day! I hope yours is a scream.