FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Mar 10, 2010

Bloggenaire: Nate Yapp, Classic Horror

Man, Classic Horror has been around since before I was born (not true)! Over there, Mr. Yapp and Company- yes, there's "and Company"- celebrates the history of style. Seriously, it's one of those prettified sites that makes me want to punch a kitten in a rage- such is my design envy. Lucky for them (and kittens everywhere) that their content, from reviews to interviews and everything in between, is so good I can't not read it. Still...jerks.

1) What's the key moment that led you to click that "Start Your Blog" button?

Gather roun', children. Let me tell you about the days before the blog. A long time ago but sometime after lunch, I was a 16-year-old boy at a critical nexus in my life. I wrote a research paper on horror films for my sophomore writing class which awoke my hibernating passion for the horror film. At the same time, I learned this magic computer writing called HTML and I needed a project with which to develop the skill. The first iteration of the site that would become was coded by hand in Textpad and then uploaded to an Angelfire free hosting account. I didn't have a button for starting a so-called blog for another seven or eight years. Now get off my porch.

2) Please describe your blog in no more than 3 sentences. You must include the words / phrases "morbid", "aesthetic", and "electromagnetic". concerns itself largely with scary movie entertainment of yesteryear, when it was actually put on celluloid and not susceptible to being wiped out by an electromagnetic pulse from space. We are especially appreciative of films that hold to a macabre or morbid aesthetic, rather than one of sadism.

3) Bearing in mind that opinions are subjective (except mine because I'm always right), do you enjoy movies that are generally considered "bad"? Why or why not?

I love a bad movie that had good intentions behind it – filmmakers like Edward D. Wood Jr. and whatnot who were really trying to add something to the landscape of cinema. Yes, I'll mock and make jokes, but I feel it's in the spirit of the production. They attempted to make a contribution, so I will give them my full attention and respond to their work as comes naturally to me.

On the flipside, there are those calculating direct-to-video sequels and rip-offs, the cynical corporate projects where its clear that nobody involved gives a damn. I'm thinking of horsedung like The Cell 2, which has a random car chase stuck in the middle simply to have an action sequence. I hate those things and I usually won't review them.

4) Did you know that there exists one variety of carnivorous parrot? It's true. They live in the mountains of New Zealand, and they eat the fat surrounding the kidneys of sheep- WHILE THE SHEEP ARE ALIVE. It's horrible.

Horrible... or awesome?

5) What's the one- ONE- horror movie you love so much you want to stick it down your pants?

That's between me and James Whale's Frankenstein.

6) Adrienne Barbeau. Discuss.

Every time I think of Adrienne Barbeau, I think of this moment in The Fog where she sort of grips a cigarette between her teeth as she lights it. I don't know why, but I find it incredibly sexy, even though smoking is gross.

7) Why should people bother to read your blog?

Because I MADE IT for YOU! *ahem* Sorry about that. Seriously, though, I've put ten years of my life into this website because I firmly believe that horror is an important part of our cultural landscape and that it deserves to be treated with critical respect. All of the reviews I post go through a strenuous editorial process because when I read a critical piece on a film I love (or even one I hate), I want it to be organized, coherent, and to make a larger point beyond simple opinion.

8) Where does Jigsaw get all the money he needs to build all those traps and buy all that warehouse space? Better yet, does he have some sort of engineering background? He must, right, if he designs all that crap?

Jigsaw is secretly one-quarter Gallifreyan, which is why his warehouses are all bigger on the inside, feature complex machinery outside the realm of human reason, and also why he keeps showing up in the Saw films despite having died.

9) Several theories regarding the reasons why people would subject themselves to watching horror films (when they're so, you know, traumatic) exist. Which is closest in line with your feelings on and reactions to the genre? Feel free to elaborate. Or don't, see if I care.

a) RELIEF THEORY: The unpleasant feelings of distress cause more stimulating feelings of relief when the unpleasantness passes- the stressed arousal caused by fear becomes pleasurable arousal later on.
b) CONTINUOUS REWARD: The excitement felt during the film is the appeal in and of itself.
1) Stereotypical gender roles are reinforced: men act as protectors, women need protection.
2) Violating social norms- watching "deviant" entertainment- is exciting.
3) Experiencing heightened emotions with others makes us feel like we "belong" and we're truly part of a group.

I watch horror films, I think, because I have always watched horror films and I could not imagine being a person who does not watch horror films. I guess there's usually a new “current” reason for watching. Right now it's my fascination with genre theory. In a way, I guess you could say I'm in it now because this question exists. I'm keen to understand what we consider a horror film, where those definitions come from, what exceptions exist to the rules we create and where the boundaries are pliable.

10) Which year produced better horror movies: 1977 or 1981? Why?

This is impossible for me. 1977 definitely gave us greater films than 1981 (Eraserhead, The Hills Have Eyes, Martin, and Suspiria versus An American Werewolf in London, The Beyond, Dead & Buried, and The Howling). However, I have more emotional investment tied into The Howling and An American Werewolf in London – each contains a scene that was part of my development as a horror fan. I just can't make this call.

11) What the eff is up with those French and their crazy horror flicks?

Have you seen Don't Deliver Us from Evil? That is some messed up stuff there. Think Heavenly Creatures but French and Satanic (it was based on the same true crime case). I'm still not sure what I think of the damn movie.

12) What's your favorite Animals Run Amok movie?

If we're talking animal apocalypse, you cannot go wrong with Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. I'll bat at my hair randomly after watching that. For nature's ongoing vengeance against man, I have a special place in my heart for Grizzly, the gorier woodland cousin of Jaws. You know the one – your dad's sister's kid who keeps trying to be just like you, but is more adorable for the effort rather than the effect?

13) If Jason Voorhees is on a train heading east at 80mph and Leatherface is on a train heading west at 65mph…why the hell would anyone ever watch Rob Zombie's Halloween?

Because God hates you, that's why.

14) What are your funereal wishes?

I want “This Monkey's Gone to Heaven” to play and I want it to be open casket and open bar. Maybe an open casket bar. You have to fetch the little umbrellas from my dead lips.

15) Why do I have such a fondness for Shelley Hack? It's not like she's really done much to deserve it, but there it is.

I have no idea who that is.

16) You're on a sinking ghost ship that's being piloted by a witch. What are your last words?


17) Asking about your funereal wishes and your last words means nothing, I swear.

Uh-huh. I'm watchin' you, Ponder. But not like Sting. That would be creepy.

18) Do you know where I can get some lye?

Why, do I look like a lye guy, small fry?

19) Weren't you glad when THAT JERK in THAT HORROR MOVIE got what was coming to him?

You mean every single person in the Friday the 13th reboot? No. It meant watching the movie.

20) Overall, what’s your favorite era of horror films?

I will always be a Universal fanboy.

21) Would you rather be:

1) a vampire
2) a witch/warlock
3) a werewolf
4) a Frankenstein (and yes, I know technically it’s “Frankenstein’s monster” but “a Frankenstein” sounds better)
5) a Jaws

I would be a werewolf if I could be a Howling werewolf and not, say, An American Werewolf in London werewolf. Otherwise, I've always wanted vast cosmic power. Warlock me.

22) If you could turn back time- if you could find a way- would you take back those words that hurt me, so I’d stay?

That would create a causality loop and I'm so not insured for that.

23) What's something you want people to know about you or your blog that I didn't ask?

Yes, no, possibly, only on Mondays, Howard Vernon, get the hell away from me, only if you ask nicely, and “Have a potato.”

Big thanks to Nate Yapp! Stay tuned for another exciting episode of...THE BLOGGENAIRES!


Arbogast said...

I like this Nate Yapp!

Unknown said...

I had a lot of fun doing this, Stacie, thanks!

B-Sol said...

Nate's site is terrific!

Missy Y. (formerly A Case of You) said...

Hey, I know you, Nate Yapp. I'm cyberstalking you. Can you guess?

Unknown said...

Hm. I'm seeing... a monthly schedule and Leatherface. Otherwise, I got nothin', missy. *G*

Missy Y. (formerly A Case of You) said...

even as a pair of socks, i fail at anonymity.

Carrie said...

Those were some great answers! And now I don't feel so bad that I didn't know who Shelley Hack is. :) Thanks Nate!

Stacie Ponder said...

Shun! Shun the unknowers!


Carrie said...

Shame...I feel shame