We Need A New Iconic Horror Villain!


ImageGrowing up in the 1980’s was awesome. We had great movies genre movies coming out constantly like The Thing and Aliens. But one thing that really made genre movies so special in the 80’s was the glut of iconic horror villains we had to fear. From the 1970’s on through the hayday of the 80’s we had the likes of Leatherface, Freddy, Jason, Michael, Chucky, Pinhead and so many more. To a lesser extent you can include the Predator and the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise. These were characters we rooted for, feared and hated all at once. They were wiping out the sinners. They were sparing the pure while making them strong. This was something I still feel that churches should get behind. 

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In most horror films from the 80’s you had a bunch of immoral types likes druggies, drinkers, fornicators and just all around undesirables, Then you had the heroine of the film – a girl filled with chastity and virtue. Who lived and who died? It’s pretty simple, really. The chaste girl always won out in the end. Why? Because she was pure of heart, mind and soul. This should be something the church recognizes and backs. They should want these films made and should show them in Sunday school. After all, most churches try to instill fear into their children to keep them on the straight and narrow. Catholics, I’m talking to you!

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But I got away from my original point. We don’t have iconic villains being created anymore. At best we get inferior remakes of A Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween. But where are the new guys? Ghostface Killer from Scream? He doesn’t quite fit the bill but he’s close. Jigsaw from Saw? He’s been dead since the third movie. But he’s also a little closer in theme. He did go after sinners, people not living life to their full potential and attempted to purify them. What about the invisible demon from Paranormal Activity? Nope. Although there is the family connection there as there was with so many horror films in the 80’s. Death in Final Destination? Again we never see him. And I always felt they should refer to him as Rube for the elaborate Rube Goldberg style traps we see in each kill. 

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The closest thing we have to 70’s and 80’s style icon is Victor Crawley from Hatchet. He’s one bad mammajamma. But, sadly, the Hatchet films barely get a theatrical release. It’s as if Hollywood doesn’t think we want a new crop of evil baddies…unless they’re remake versions of the originals.

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But here’s my question – is it Hollywood or is it us? What do we want to see? More of the same watered down PG-13 ghost stories, torture porn, or do we want a return to old school horror? I vote for old school. I hope I’m not the only one. I also hope it’s not because I was raised on them.   

That’s all I have to say on the subject until Wednesday when the next edition of The Gorram Nerd Hour hits. You can follow me on Twitter here, here and here. Or find us on Facebook.

Writing Experiment #1


A few years ago I had talked a friend into writing a short story based on the first line of the first paragraph I gave him. He could write about anything he chose based on that line. I used the same line and wrote a story of my own. Then we compared. It was a fun experiment.

Next I suggested we write short stories based on two completely random ideas. He would choose one, I would choose the other. Then we would go off and write our stories based on that idea. The two ideas were as follows – “a man fights his way out of a maximum security prison in space” and “a man is in search of pirate treasure off the coast of Florida”. It was fun trying to find a way to marry a real world idea with one of science fiction.

The next concept was that we each wrote the first paragraph of a short story and the other person had to come up with a story to fit it. My friend never wrote his. It was a shame that he didn’t because I wanted to see what he would have done with a paragraph about a man who believed bird poop was good luck and was trying to get hit. Oh well.

I decided to dust off the idea of doing a writing exercise with my screenwriting partner. I suggested we each come up with a crazy idea five words or less, tell each other the ideas and write a short film about them together. I’m interested what will happen given that without the exercise we have come up with a short film about Jesus Vs. The Easter Bunny and another one about a man who believes he has an alien living in his closet.

I’ll keep you posted with the results. We are gonna brainstorm it tonight.

Another Short Film Written


My writing partner will be the first to admit that he has trouble getting motivated to write. It can be frustrating at times. Last night I wanted to work on Unhinged, our slasher movie, and he just wanted to watch Psych on television. During the commercial breaks I took the time to work out an idea and would pitch pieces every break.

Originally the story was going to be about a man who may or may not have an alien living in his closet. I wanted to it to be like an adult version of E.T. if Elliot just couldn’t let go and went crazy from it. The idea shifted a bit between the talks last night and putting it on paper tonight. The one idea that remained was that a man believes he has an alien living in his closet. The other thing that stuck was the title I pitched to him – Terrestrial. We both agreed it was a nice allusion to E.T. as an extra terrestrial.

The story goes to some pretty dark places, like how the “alien” forces our main character to order hookers, sleep with while playing Milli Vanilli music, and the “alien” watches from the closet.

What’s funny is that my writing partner didn’t realize that I was aiming for this to be a comedy, albeit a dark comedy, but a comedy nonetheless. We’re going to have someone else read it in the next couple days and see what they think. Even if the script sucks I got my partner to sit down and push through for 12 straight pages. That’s something.