It was almost two years ago that we launched TrueHorror.net and had the honor of being featured on a website that would soon become one of our favorites. That site was uncletnuc.com headed up by non other than the man himself, UNCLE TNUC. Since then we have gone on to become avid supporters of each others work and I count him as one of the good friends that I’ve made throughout this TrueHorror venture.
His website, if you haven’t been to it yet (and please change that immediately) is a paradise of nostalgic euphoria. A place where lost legends return, forgotten memories are jogged and amazing sounds echo throughout. A gifted writer, his posts are always thoroughly entertaining and full of heart. He has definitely been an inspiration for me when it comes to putting together new content for the site. He covers a wide variety of subjects, all of them awesome. Ever wonder what happened to American Gladiator’s star Malibu? Tnuc has you covered! Want to read a tale about his recurring dream of being stranded on a tropical island, inhabited solely by brain eating zombie babes, complete with soundtrack selections? He has that too. His fantastic music mixes ranging from Thanksgiving themed to Horror inspired are in fact the direct inspiration for our Halloween mixes I we release every October. From analyzing the score’s of classic yet under appreciated 80’s films to naming a ” Deadbeat of the Month“, the quality reads and listens are endless, and I cannot recommend them to you in any better way, other than saying if you don’t go check them out, you should reevaluate your own personal level of cool, because it is surely not what you think it is.
I can’t thank TNUC enough for the helpful input on projects he has given me over the years. With him being so well versed in nostalgia, I was excited to get him involved in this interview and hear what he would bring to the table. So lets get down to business.
1. As a child what horror film and/or horror character scared you the most and why do you feel they had this effect on you?
I have to agree with everyone else that has said Michael Myers. Halloween was the first ‘slasher/killer’ type film I had seen and watching this emotionless, robotic figure tear apart a perfectly nice community really shook me to my core. To me Michael Myers was just as effectively scary during the daytime scenes as he was at night, which was really unsettling to me. Another film that really got to me was Pet Sematary. The movie just gradually gets so devastating until there are really no happy endings for anyone. I have a real thing those Stephen King “Maine” films. I grew up in New England so they kind of hit home in a weird way.
Do you have an example telling of an instance where this fear really manifested itself and had an impact on you and your behavior?
Not particularly relating to those movies, but I remember the first time being truly terrified was after watching an episode of Rescue 911, the show hosted by William Shatner. The episode was about a burglar who breaks into a family’s home during the night while they’re sleeping. For some reason they really nailed it with the home invasion reenactment. They never showed the intruder’s face but there was a bunch of eerie blue lighting and this family was just losing their shit while this manbeast barged through the bedroom door. I was probably 7 or 8 and the thought of some drooly guy breaking into my house was definitely my worst nightmare. I didn’t sleep all night.
What VHS covers or movie posters scared you as a kid and why do you feel the poster or cover had this effect on you?
Roaming the VHS horror aisles was nothing but a treat except when I came across the box for Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1973). Most artwork in the horror section was incredible looking and vivid, but this particular cover was super low budget and just had this dead girl ripping apart human flesh. It was grainy looking and for all I knew it was a polaroid taken in the video store parking lot during a recent slaying.
Do you have a specific example of a time you may remember that you have come across one of these and it had that effect on you when you were younger?
Not that I can remember. I just loved gazing at artwork for the Friday the 13th movies, weirdo European horror and all the the rubber puppet flicks like Ghoulies, Critters and Troll!
What is your definition of “scary”? When it comes to modern horror films these days so many people are quick to say a film isn’t scary, but each person has a different definition of what scary is.
Tough question. I’d say a steady build of dread to the point where you’re looking all over the screen in anticipation for what’s going to happen. Movies that take their time to show you the killer, monster, beast…instead of throwing it at you every 5 minutes. Also anything that can pull off being scary at night AND during the day. These don’t come around very often!
What modern horror film would you say actually scared you?
The Strangers really got to me. The abandonment and silence in that movie made it feel like you were with that couple, in their neighborhood and home. It was super dark but not so dark that you can’t make out what was going on (hate that). I went in knowing completely nothing about the film which I know played a heavy part in this as well.
What do you Not consider scary or dislike in your horror films?
Cell phone! I get why they show up in horror movies these days but when they’re part of the potential “scare” part I can’t help but roll my eyes. Text messages just aren’t giving me the willies. Also anything too clean or hi-def. To me horror should be at least a bit grainy and uneasy looking, that includes the characters too! I have a hard time watching super clean-cut actors that look like Abercrombie models in these sorts of films.
What do you look for or to get out of horror films these days?
Something that I walk away from and can’t stop thinking about for a few days.
What is your favorite recent horror film and why?
I know its been out for a few years but whenever anyone asks what “newish” horror movie they should watch I always recommend Adam Wingard’s YOU’RE NEXT. It’s a top notch horror film and just great in general. I’ve watched it with fans of the genre but also with people completely uninterested in anything-horror. My mom probably hadn’t watched a single horror movie since the 1970’s but one time I brought it home and she watched it and was really into it. I also love what Ti West is doing these days and really hope he returns to horror.
Lastly, do you feel there is a certain way or mindset to have it be effectively frightening?
As much as I love watching movies at home, something about seeing horror on the big screen with a packed albeit respectful crowd really just elevates the overall experience. I’ve sat through certain films at home thinking they’re dead boring but caught the same movie years later at the theater and have a blast. It’s hard to be distracted in the dark with a massive screen in front of you.
Thanks as always for participating!