I’ve always been into horror movies even when I was a young child.
Since I was a late sleeper, I never woke up to watch cartoons. Instead, I would catch a horror movie at noon on a show called Commander USA’s Groovie Movies on the USA network. If that show wasn’t on, I would rent a VHS at the country video store. I was so young then, I would wear a lego mask to keep from being scared as I watched those movies.
Around the same time, the movie “The Howling” came out. I think about it often because of the effect that it had on me. Yes, the werewolfs were scary, but that’s not what got to me. There was a scene where Dee Wallace was hiding under a piece of plywood at the base of a deck with a werewolf coming after her. But when it reached in, she chopped off its hand.
That image has stuck with me since. It wasn’t until I started studying horror movies that I understood why. Seeing the image of the severed hand can elicit what Freud called the castration anxiety. No wonder it freaked me out!
But this showed the power of the genre and started to explain why I was drawn to it.