When it comes to Halloween and horror icons Michael Myers readily (and rightly so) comes to mind. The impact Myers holds over both the genre and the holiday as a whole now spans the gulf of generations, and, if his 2018 successful return to the silver screen is any indication, will go on to do so way after you and I are finally laid to rest. Michael Myers is as timeless as Halloween itself.
It’s safe to say he is the Halloween Slasher.
There is the expectation for me though. Not to downcast the legacy of Michael Myers but I was introduced to another slasher icon on Halloween and it left an enormous imprint on my (back then) young mind.
It was the night of Halloween and trick-or-treating was in full effect. We ran door to door to glean the sweet goodies friendly neighbors had to give us greedy monsters. We wound up at a friend of my parents’ house and during my boredom of waiting for the adults to shut up so we could rush back out in the twilight to fill my bag with more (so much more) candy my wandering eyes stole a glance at the TV.
It was a forbidden thing and out of the warm guilt of taboo a face rose prominently to forever fascinate the darkest regions of my imagination.
Given the title of this, you’re sure to have guessed who I saw on the glowing screen. Jason’s rampage across the TV held me rooted in place, absolutely transfixed on the crimson spectacle before me. I had not seen a single Jason film up to that point, and always managed to admire the covers whenever I was at a video store, but in those brief little moments of viewing, I was enthralled. Given the chance to stay and finish the movie or got forth to trick-or-treat more I probably would have stayed behind. I wanted to see it end! I wanted to see Jason slaughter more!
To me sequels meant nothing. I wasn’t even sure which part I was watching. Plot wasn’t important. To me, there was only Jason and his wrath. That mask was burned into my memory.
Back then there was still a whole world of horror movies left in the wild for me to go and discover. Some I saw overseas while living in Russia, some over here, and a few I saw in Finland. It’s been an international adventure for me.
Thanks to VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray I’ve collected most of these series along the way. Like everyone else I have my favorites to watch every Halloween. And still, after all these years later and no matter where I’ve found myself in the world the haunting mask of Jason will be seen in my home come Halloween.
Jason is by far my favorite slasher icon. Maybe because I saw him in such a secret way because I damn well knew my folks wouldn’t want me to watch a Friday the 13th picture, believe me, every time I went to the movie store I tried to rent them!
Or maybe I just connect with the character in some scary way. But we all have that one evil monster out there that we love and root for.
From all of us at Nightmare Nostalgia to you who help keep horror alive, have a Happy Halloween! And please share with us your Halloween memories and favorite horror icons to watch this time of year.