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The Castle of Dr. FettersteinShocking 80's
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, August 18, 2012    Share

Growing up in the 80ís three movies came out that changed me forever. All contributed to my nightmares and all continue to inspire me today.

First up was the power of cable TV and HBO. I hadnít seen my father for years and suddenly I was invited to spend time with him in Kansas City, Mo. It was awkward for me because this meant my first trip by airplane. I arrived at Kansas City International Airport in the Summer of 1983. After reuniting with a long lost father, I was allowed to stay up late, drink Coke, and watch The Thing. I canít begin to explain in words how terrified I was. I didnít sleep well for an entire week. John Carpenter created one of the most eerie and atmospheric horror movies of all time. Set in a lonely isolated scientific research station in Antarctic, a helicopter is flying low and trying to kill a running dog. Antarctic is the perfect location because the snowstorms are terrible and if you should need help, you are too far away for anyone to come out. Anyway, an alien creature has the ability to live inside a host organism and assume certain aspects of the host. When the time is right, the alien comes violently out of the host, resulting in a mutated version.

I remember being so scared and I almost ran out of the room when Wilford Brimley, the beloved Quaker Oatmeal spokesman who told everyone to eat up because ďItís the right thing to do,Ē was trying to resuscitated Norris, his hands go into his chest cavity as sharp teeth inside slam shot, cutting off both his arms at once. I still wince in horror whenever I re-watch The Thing on DVD when I know that scene is coming up. Rob Bottin crafted some of the most remarkable mutated humans that ever hit the screen. One of the reasons that The Thing works so well is the same reason that Lovecraftís fiction works, Cosmic Horror. The alien presence in The Thing doesnít care about your reality, your concept of right or wrong, or anything you hold dear. It just wants to take over your body and rip you to pieces. There is no easy way to fight it either and when even fire canít stop it; you know all hope is gone. A couple of years later I was staying at John Hollandís house on South Cortez and late one night around 2am we both heard a dog cry out and that dog reminded us both of the dog from The Thing. We didnít sleep that much at all.

Moving away from aliens because you just never know when they will attack you is another movie that I stumbled on at a young age. I was in middle school in Kansas City and I was unpopular and changing from a child to a young adult and all the pressures that go on and I just wanted to go to the movies to get away from school, life, and the fact that I didnít enjoy living in Kansas City. Wes Craven had a new movie out so I went to the local mall to see it. Nothing could prepare me for A Nightmare on Elm Street. Long before Freddy became a cheesy cartoonish Horror icon, he was actually scary. Here was a true monster that crept into your dreams and cut you down with no place to run.

I remember seeing Freddy inside a creepy boiler room, cutting open his side with pus and yellow green glop leaking out. I will also never forget a young Johnny Depp lying in bed, trying not to fall asleep, as his body sinks into the bed and all that awful blood that sprayed out and hit the ceiling. I would hate to be the maid for that household.

After watching Nightmare on Elm Street I went home and I didnít want to sleep. The next day was Monday and I told my dad I was sick. I just stayed home; too afraid to venture out, not wanting to face something that could kill me in my dreams. Eventually I got over it but I was never the same. I always believed that no one could die in their dreams and A Nightmare on Elm Dream ruined that idea. Then something came in the mail that brought me to my third shocking moment.

During the 80ís I lived sometimes in Kansas City with my father and sometimes with my mother in Tampa. I fought with my mother often so I spent my middle school years in Kansas City. At that time I was in the 8th grade and I had a subscription to Fangoria. In one of the issues I remember reading an article that mentioned Stephen King giving a good review to a little known horror movie by Sam Raimi. I asked for some money and went to Blockbusters to pick it up on videotape, then I went to see my best friend Daran Holt and together we experienced Evil Dead.

Long before the comedy of Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness there was this cult movie you could rent that had the entire horror community talking.

Inside Daranís house we sat in front of the TV and watched the original Evil Dead. From the beginning of the movie I knew I was seeing something good. With the wild camera movements of some deranged Tasmanian Devil flying past trees, to the isolated cabin that had seen better days, to the physical genius of Bruce Campbell, this movie had it all. In Evil Dead, college friends take a road trip out to a cabin, in the middle of nowhere, during Spring Break. Ash (Campbell) finds an ancient book that contains passages that has the power to conjure up demons. He plays a tape recorder that spews out an incantation that unleashes Hell on Earth.

The moment that bothered me the most was seeing a girl being raped by a tree branch. I couldnít believe what I was seeing at first. Then she is taken over by a demon. Soon the others must band together to fight the demons. It wonít be easy because the others are turned into demons, one by one. Five people stuck in a cabin with a haunting demon outside created the ultimate in Survival Horror.

Some of the scariest moments in The Evil Dead for me is when Ash goes into the cellar, alone, and faces all kinds of chaotic horrors. The ending with the Claymation segment also disturbed me and caused me to have nightmares. It wasnít the shock of the rape or the gore but the weirdness of the Claymation that got into your mind and freaked you out. Afterwards, we went out bike riding. We had to get out of the house. We had to escape.

Thatís it for now. Join me soon for me horrors.

"The Castle of Dr. Fetterstein" is ©2012 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2012 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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