Though I’m not putting this list in a special order, for me George still had to be first. I like to believe that I was hardcore into the zombie movies decades before zombies became posh.
As a kid my brothers and I spent a lot of time watching Night of Living/ Day/Dawn of the Dead then run over all the things we would do if… I mean WHEN zombies start to take over the world. I was even inspired to put baby powder on my face and pretend to be a zombie just to freak out my little brother. The end result was, my brother was so terrified that he slapped me in the face then locked himself in his room for several hours.
That’s right, I got slapped in the face for George Romero! How many fans can say that?!
George Romero defined the zombie genre. He developed the template of what a zombie film should be and all the rules to follow and that makes this man my hero.
I’m a gore whore. I’ve mentioned it on my blog several times and I”m mentioning it now in honor of Tom Savini. As George was my introduction to the zombie world, Tom was my introduction to gore.
Herschell Gordon Lewis
Another gore segue, I can’t exclude the “Godfather of Gore” from this list.
I’ve only recently caught on to the glory that is Mr. Lewis’ films. A few years ago I saw Blood Feast at a film fest. It was silly with a side of corny, but then…there was the gore *happy sigh*
After that I went on to see Gore, Gore Girls, one of my favorites then The Wizard of Gore. H.G. has a masterful way of taking a gruesome act and making it into a fun mess.
Blood Feast is considered the first “gore/splatter film” so without H.G.’s disturbing desire to paint the screens red, I would not be the gore loving whore I am today.
I spent a lot of time going to conventions and even traveling to L.A. a few times to partake in them. One of those years, I was introduced to Adam Green.
Adam radiated horror fan boy and it wasn’t until he presented Hatchet at a panel did I find out that he was a filmmaker.
What I love about Adam is that he’s devoted to horror. He’s not out to please the audience, he wants to relate to them. He grew up watching and loving the same horror movies as us hardcore fans and they’ve influenced his career.
It’s not just Adam’s love for horror that I respect, but it’s his drive and passion to make horror movies. Sometimes I don’t even have the drive to make a sandwich.
I’ve met Adam a few times over the years and all of those times, no matter what he’s promoting, he does it wholehearted and I admire that about him as a filmmaker and a person.
Morgus the Magnificent
Before TNT had Joe Bob Briggs hosting MonsterVision, I had my own tv host to pave the way of late night horror movies.
In New Orleans, where I grew up, my Saturday nights were spent watching Morgus the Magnificent.
Morgus was a mad scientist whom did weekly experiments with his assistant Chopsley, a faceless man and Eric, a talking skull. Every week they would do somethi, new while hosting a horror movie that surrounded their experiment.
Every episode was the same, the experiment would start off well, then fail miserably in the end. My 8 year-old self loved his stupid antics and the movies that were played.
While kids my age spent their Saturday mornings watching Transformers and Ninja Turtles, I waited till night so I could get my Morgus fix.
Morgus was a huge part of my young and helped influence my love for horror.
My first exposure to Elvira was seeing Mistress of the Dark. I didn’t learn until later in life that she was a horror host (I guess her show didn’t play in my area) but even as an actress in Mistress of the Dark, I still found her to be iconic.
I loved her dark but cheery presences, corny sense of humor, morbid personality and well I can’t leave out her bodacious…hairstyle.
Elvira was someone I wanted to be when I grew up. Not only because I inspired to have a rockin’ rack but she was a female that loved horror. I’m a female who loves horror! She was someone I could relate to.
Takashi Miike has such a strange range in different film genres but when he takes on horror, he brings to life an extreme world of violence and perversion. Which sounds exactly like my breakfast every morning.
I can’t explain why I’m so drawn to Miike’s work. The man can shit on a dvd and I’d rush to pop it in my player just to watch something he made. He’s an amazing storyteller yet throws “weird” into the mix and I like that.
He’s not afraid to indulge in things that are taboo or controversial nor does he care to hold back on what makes his films outrageous and bold.
To me Miike is like the David Lynch of foreign horror. His work is so bizarre yet it’s beautiful in it’s own unique way.
Poppy Z. Brite
Again another New Orleans influence on the list.
Poppy’s work is the first literature that ever had an emotional hold on me. At the time Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire broke out and every local person raved about how it was the best thing ever yet I was glued to Poppy’s Lost Souls.
No offense to Anne Rice but Poppy explored a more darker side of the streets of New Orleans. The vampires in her books indulged in gay sex, drugs and killing for fun. All the things we people from New Orleans love to do on an average day of the week.
Poppy’s books centered around Gothic horror and some of the stuff she written was better than most horror movies I have ever seen.
Poppy’s grasp on horror themes heavily influence me to want to be a writer.
While trying to come up with the last name on this list, I was going between a couple of other names then *ding* I remembered Hitchcock. There was just no way I could leave off the “Master of Suspense” from this list.
Again this wasn’t an easy list to make. There are so many people I wanted to add but then this list would be endless. These ten people have impacted my life and harmonized what horror means to me and that is why they are truly my horror heroes.