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Never enough of the gory stuff
Posted April 28, 2006

It’s no secret: I love blood and guts. I love campy thrills and over-the-top gore. I love staring at the big screen while watching some angst-ridden teen or distraught babysitter lose her head thanks to a creepy mental ward escapee in a hockey mask.

Yep, we all know it: I love horror movies. But it’s not your average run of the mill scare fest that gets me fired up. I love real horror movies. My theory is: the bloodier, the better.

When most little girls were probably watching movies like “The Sound of Music,” I was watching Tobe Hoopers’s 1974 classic, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

I remember staying up late on more than one occasion watching Stephen King’s story of an Indian burial ground gone awry in the 1989 film “Pet Semetary.” One of my favorite movie scenes of all time, which also happens to be one of the grossest, involves the ankles of a decrepit Fred Gwynne, a zombie version of Miko Hughes and a very sharp scalpel.

When my stepsister (who happens to be three months older than me) would cry for my dad to turn the television off after the bloodthirsty zombies just got their first taste of human flesh in George Romero’s cult classic “Night of the Living Dead,” I would scream for more.

I’m proud to say that although a lot of people grow out of the zany thrills they found as a child, I have not. My love for horror movies has stood the trials of young adulthood. Instead of succumbing to a plethora of romantic and slapstick comedies, I have stayed loyal to the horror genre. Sure, plenty of terrible horror movies have been unleashed in the last few years. Most of the classic films that I grew up loving have been recreated and re-released, a few tarnishing the names of the originals in the process. But nevertheless, my love for horror continues. Whether it’s going to the drive-in to watch the latest attempt at new horror, or digging up some tacky 70s B-movie to watch at home, I just can’t get enough of the gory stuff.

I know, I know. I probably sound a little deranged. But trust me, I’m actually a pretty normal person.

I’ve never owned a pickaxe or a hatchet. I don’t have access to an underground lair or abandoned mineshaft. And in actuality, I probably don’t have the stamina to be a psycho killer. I’m a little too lazy for all that running and plotting and such. But even if I weren’t, I get really woozy whenever I’m around real blood and we all know that maniacs can’t pass out in the middle of their plans.

Unlike a number of squeamish who may have never built up a tolerance for this deranged form of cinema, these movies do not frighten me. I’ll admit it: I may jump a little or gasp now and again. I usually get goose bumps on my arms and chills down my spine. But that is what makes these movies fun. And I’m not the only movie fan who thinks so.

According to a recent article in Newsweek, plenty of decent movie watchers lap up the same cheap thrills that I crave on a regular basis and many of them share my theory that extra gore makes these movies all the better.

Because of the high demand for the grotesque, many movie makers are releasing films that have more than their fair share gore and audiences are loving it, yours truly included.

For a while, it seemed that no good horror films were being released. I remember going to theaters and never seeing any previews for decent horror flicks. The one or two scary movies that were being released had one thing in common: a PG-13 rating, which means a lack of the good stuff. But in the last few years, things have changed.

With the “Saw” franchise pulling in $250 million and lesser-known movies like “Hostel” raking in almost $50 million, the shot-callers have caught on. People are paying to see severed fingers and extreme torture devices.

This bloodbath of horror films that I have found myself in is quite refreshing. There have been an awesome amount of new films released recently and lucky for me, there are still a few horror releases on the horizon that I am looking forward to seeing. I’m sure this trend will stop soon and when it does, at least I’ll have the trusty videocassettes of my youth to fall back on.

Valerie Rojas, a senior journalism major, is copy editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at skalivornia@hotmail.com.