As a lifelong horror fan, sometimes I like to go down the YouTube rabbit hole in search of old video clips that bring me back to the glory days of mom & pop VHS rental stores and the era in which my insatiable, dark little mind was first discovering all these genre classics. Hey, I turned out just fine! I write about those horror movies all day long now! But it’s always fascinating to take a look at how horror was perceived in different time periods.
Case in point, my friend Jarret Blinkhorn forwarded me over this Barbara Walters special that focuses on “VCR Horrors.” There are a lot of things worth noting in this 15 minute clip, which is totally worth your time.
It’s fun to see how kids of the mid-80’s viewed and discussed horror movies when held up against their parents. I think it’s hilarious that these reporters screen MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY (aka CANNIBAL FEROX) to the parents groups as an example of the movies their kids are watching. The debate (as it continues to rage on to this day) regarding the influence of these films on criminal behavior is explored. Did FACES OF DEATH drive David Metcalf to murder a classmate?
Famed 80’s scream queen, Linnea Quigley, chimes in with her long list of on-screen deaths. It’s also great to see and hear from the late, great author Chas Balun, talking about what contemporary audiences of the time were craving when it came to horror. It’s an amazing snapshot of what debates the horror genre caused in the mid-’80s. Have a peek!
*Header photo courtesy of Jeff Hayes. Special thanks again to Jarret Blinkhorn.