With Halloween fast approaching, I'm doing something else today. It's still Old School Evil, but instead of 80s cartoon evil, we're looking at 80s slasher flick evil. The Banzai Retro Club (formally the 80s League) is posting on the first horror movie they saw that really scared them.
Make sure to check out the rest of the Banzai Retro Club's posts to find even more scary movies. More will be posted as they become available.
And for me, the first film that really scared me is absolutely 1980's Maniac.
I'm starting off with a story. When I was 9 years old, my parents dropped me off at our aunt and uncle's house for the weekend. I remember it was the same weekend that I saw the first trailer for the Transformers movie, but that's besides the point. Now those two were the coolest family because even at our young ages, they let us get away with anything. We told dirty jokes, watched filth, and generally never wanted to go home. One night while we were there, she took us three kids to the video store and we each were allowed to rent a movie. Any movie. That is a lot of power to give to someone that hasn't even reached double digits.
My older brother picked out some adult practical joke show, my young brother picked out House, a pretty cool horror film, and picked out Maniac. How someone could allow a 9-year-old kid to rent a movie with that picture on the cover is beyond me. We went back to their house and I won the coin toss to watch my movie first. I loaded it in the VCR and sat back to watch this train wreck of traumatization on a little kid's psyche. I mean watch the trailer and tell me if you think my aunt and uncle were lousy guardians (they really weren't!).
I'll be honest with you. I made it through about 10 minutes before sobbing and begging my uncle to turn it off. I think we watched House later that night and I was fine with it and I loved a lot of the other slasher films I saw as a teen, like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th, but I don't think I'll ever watch this movie, even 30-some years later.