Category Archives: Editorials

Every Horror Movie Referenced In “SCREAM” 1996

It was December 20th, 1996, and a couple of friends and I carpooled to our local movie theater. You know, the kind of theater you don’t see anymore these days with the brick wall lining on the interior and movie titles proudly displayed on a marquee. Excitement was abound in our group as we were headed for a double feature of two highly anticipated movies of the holiday season: Beavis and Butthead Do America, and Wes Craven’s SCREAM, as they were simultaneously released on the same day. So we figured a little brainless comedy paired with a new horror movie was the best way to kick off our Christmas break.

As a matter of fact, this is the exact theater, thanks to cinematreasures.org for posting these pics that are making me ooze nostalgia from every orifice in my body.

After almost puking from laughing with Beavis and Butthead, it was horror’s turn as we shuffled into the theater room next door for SCREAM; and it was an experience much different than the aforementioned. One that only a horror fan would understand. It was goddamn glorious.

Spanning over 25 years, Wes Craven’s Scream has slashed its way into the hearts of horror fans becoming a beloved franchise entry into the Kingdom of Horror Legends. Spawning now four sequels, with SCREAM 5 being released this week, I figured what better time to go back to the original that was heavily influenced by the prior 20 years of phenomenal horror films; of which many are referenced in Scream themselves.

Obviously, I had to go back and rewatch the original so as not to miss any references here, but it’s possible I did anyway- and if so, make sure to comment down below what my dumb-ass didn’t catch the first few 100 times.

HALLOWEEN

It goes without saying John Carpenter’s Halloween is pretty much the gold standard for slasher films, and here is no exception as not only is the movie used as a set-up for one of horror hero Randy’s rants but mentioned several times throughout the film as well.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

Is that the one where the guy had knives for fingers? I liked that movie. It was scary– Ghostface
Yeah, the first one was but the rest sucked. – Casey

I would have felt bad for Casey had she not made that statement. Did she not ever see Dream Warriors or The Dream Master? Pfft…

CARRIE

“Corn syrup. Same thing they used for pig’s blood in Carrie.”- Billy

I appreciate that kind of attention to detail when planning the crime scene.

PSYCHO

We all go a little crazy sometimesAnthony Perkins, Psycho.” – Billy

And umm, yeah he certainly did.

WHEN A STRANGER CALLS

1996’s SCREAM did a fantastic recreation of the 1979 horror where the movie’s babysitter is tormented by a mysterious caller until she discovers the calls are coming from inside the house. In all fairness, it’s also an old urban legend, but one that never loses its edge.

FRIDAY THE 13TH

“Name the killer in Friday the 13th?” -Ghostface

I’d say that was a dirty trick, but for anyone that knows better, it really isn’t. Sorry Casey.

THE EXORCIST

“I was home watching television. The Exorcist was on. It got me thinking of you.” – Billy

Now if that ain’t a red flag that your boyfriend ain’t right in the head, I don’t know what is.

THE HOWLING

“What’s that werewolf movie with E.T.’s mom in it?”– Random Video Store Customer

Even though Randy gave the wrong title, it’s still a fun little Easter egg.

PROM NIGHT

“If they’d watch ‘Prom Night,’ they’d save time!” – Randy

Seriously, always listen to the horror movie nerd in a real-life murder scenario, OK?

Added Jamie Lee Splendor; THE FOG/ TERROR TRAIN

“‘The Fog,’ ‘Terror Train,’ ‘Prom Night’… How come Jamie Lee Curtis is in all of these movies?”– Sydney

Because like Randy answers, “She’s the Scream Queen.” The end.

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

“What’s Leatherface doing here?” – Randy

Once again, Randy wasn’t too far off on this one.

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE

“Cute. What movie is this from, ‘I Spit on Your Garage’?” – Tatum

You wish, Tatum. Unfortunately, you won’t get revenge like in the referenced film.

THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN

“Look at this place. It’s the town that dreaded sundown.” -Sydney

I really love that reference more than almost anything on this list. Perfect placement.

THE BAD SEED

I’m afraid I’ll turn out just like her—the Bad Seed or something.” – Sydney

A fear we all have as teenagers Syd.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

It’s like Jodie Foster in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ when she keeps having flashbacks of her dead father.”– Billy

Ironically, a sociopath manipulating his female counterpart is something Billy and Hannibal have in common.

CANDYMAN

Oh, you mean after you branded him the Candyman? No, his heart’s broken.” -Stu

Good. Fuck you, Billy.

FRANKENSTEIN

One of the oldest horror films in the genre, and respectively, the one that paved the way for so many on this list, Frankenstein can be seen playing at Randy’s video rental workplace in the background.

Welp, I think that about covers it. And in case you need a refresher on how to survive a horror movie, listen to wise Randy here. No one else did and all this bullshit could have been avoided had they done so. We salute you, Randy.

“LITERAL BESTIES”: HOW ONLINE HORROR GAVE ME ONE OF MY MOST CHERISHED FRIENDSHIPS

When I woke this morning, I happened upon a tweet from @lindseylouwho that spoke to me:

It opened a floodgate of thoughts and inspired this post, so please, come with me for a minute.

In another life, I was Sports Director of a local television station by day, and hosted a late night, B-movie homage to Joe Bob Briggs by night. We were having a hard time getting the show sponsored when the idea occurred to me that I had interviewed 17 Hall of Famers for the baseball website I’d been writing for, so why not try to do the same with horror personalities? With Halloween and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) looming, I gave it a shot. Soon after, Kane Hodder was booked for a phone interview, Halloween Express backed it and from that moment on, the issue of sponsorship was permanently in the rear view.

Less than twelve months later I decided to take a crack at horror writing and Googled “horror website writers needed.” I submitted to one site and one site only, and thankfully they opened their doors to me.

For most of my life to that point I was a freak. No one understood my “odd” fascination with horror or could wrap their heads around the idea that Halloween could be anyone’s favorite holiday. Then one site invited me in and I quickly discovered that I was anything but alone in my sensibilities. I was overwhelmed and overjoyed to find fellow “freaks” for whom Halloween was not a single day, but a lifestyle.

Then it happened. On a random night nearly eight years ago I got home from work and sat down to write my first article. What should I write about? What could I write about? My mind landed on SILVER BULLET and I started punching the keys.

Shortly after posting I received a message from another writer in the site’s administration group gleefully declaring that they didn’t think anyone loved Stephen King’s werewolf adaptation as much as they did.

One message turned to several, and almost a decade later, it hasn’t stopped.

That fellow writer was the owner of this website, Patti Pauley.

We partook in group conversations, yes, but it always returned to direct messages because as she once pointed out, “we share the same brain.” A fact that makes me laugh and proud in equal measure.

Before long I was looking for a new show to binge and asked if she had any suggestions, which led to “have you ever seen Twin Peaks?” It didn’t take long for my “thanks, now I’m obsessed with Audrey Horne” to be met with laughter and “welcome to the club!”

In fact, just as I was landing on the final episodes of the original series, Showtime announced that we’d be returning to a place wonderful and strange. So, when Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) declared “I’ll see you again in 25 years” I nearly exploded my laptop hitting pause. It was all new to me, but my David Lynch baptism made it clear that it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility that Season 3 was predetermined, the fruition of one of the greatest long cons in history. There was only one person I had to message to share that my mind had just been blown–Patti–and by the point, it wasn’t a DM, but rather a text.

Hell, we had talked about how much her son loved Bruce Campbell, and I told her that if I ever landed him for an interview, I’d ask him to say something to her boy. So, when I finally landed a Q&A with The King, I kept my word, and the look on his face was worth the price of gold. Still one of my proudest moments that I could do that for a friend.

For reasons I’m not going to get into now, we both grew disenchanted with that site and went our own way, but the connection never ceased. We talked, we sent shit to crack one another up, shared cool new shirts or collectibles we knew the other would flip over, but we also had serious conversations about life. We discussed triumphs and tragedies, we vented to one another, offered support and encouragement, and of course, we laughed. A lot.

The number of horror aficionados who want to write about the genre they love are legion, and there are times when those waters prove shark-infested and alliances one thought strong were actually feeble. But not with Patti.

Her friendship and loyalty has never waned, and in this life, that is not only a rare commodity, it’s borderline unicorn.

And make no mistake, Ms. Pauley is absolutely a unicorn. A horror-loving, demon unicorn, but a unicorn nonetheless.

Look, anyone who writes–for a living or as a hobby–carries hints of self-doubt. They wonder if it’s any good, if they’re any good? It takes courage to expose oneself to the piranhas, to lay bear the most personal of thoughts and feelings. And sadly, quite often if anyone has something to say, it isn’t complimentary. Truth be told, it’s more akin to offensive commentary than biting criticism.

That’s never stopped her, though. Patti has always maintained that she does it for herself and for those who grew up loving all things spooky as she did, drawing from a well of horror memories shared with her father.

Joe Bob Briggs once said, “the only sin a movie can commit is to be boring,” and the same sentiment applies to Patti’s writing. Boring is not a word that could ever apply to her style. The passion and knowledge drips off the page (in today’s world, the screen) in a voice that is unique, energetic, and often times hilarious. Need evidence? Let’s wind the clocks back to SILVER BULLET. Patti describes Uncle Red’s showdown with the beast at the conclusion of the film as “Gary Busey doesn’t just fight, he wrestles with a goddamn werewolf!” I laughed out loud, and have never seen it the same since. Her thoughts and words stay with you.

When she told me that she’d scored a gig with a prominent horror magazine I was elated, but when she posted for one of the elite websites I immediately read it and teared up pouring over the paragraphs because with each passing sentence her growth as a writer leapt off the screen. I was a brother proud of my sister.

So, when she told me that she was venturing out on her own, that Nightmare Nostalgia would be a thing, I was thrilled, and did not hesitate to offer my help in any way that I could. Sadly, life gets in the way and I don’t write nearly as often as I used to or would like, but she has never so much as hinted at disappointment, she merely continues to encourage and says “whenever you have something, I want it.”

I interviewed Joe Bob, my lifelong hero because of her website. In fact, his rep shared what I’d written following his original (believed at the time to be his farewell) Shudder marathon on Facebook with a single word, “This.”

When I discovered it, I was shopping with a friend and stopped dead in my tracks, tearing up. If John fucking Bloom thought what I wrote was good, it was the only validation I’d ever need. And when I asked if he’d be generous enough to sign that piece when I met him after his How Rednecks Saved Hollywood show in Minneapolis later that year he asked if’d he read it. I responded that it had been shared on his Facebook, to which he replied “if it made it to Facebook, I definitely read it” and started to jot a message. I was floating.

Patti gave me those moments.

She also provided a platform for me to share my most personal pieces–from suicidal ideation to JASON LIVES guiding me through difficult times–Patti not only welcomed my most delicate thoughts and feelings, but applauded that I shared them and helped me exorcise demons.

So, once I got the idea in my head to start making Halloween cards, she was at the top of the recipient list. Always personalized, she has opened orange envelopes revealing laughs from some of her favorite flicks — THE FLY (1986), SILVER BULLET, ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK, and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974).

In fact, when I penned what amounted to a love letter to Teri McMinn for the TCM hook scene, she texted “you are my favorite kind of freak.”

These might seem small or insignificant moments, but I assure you that they are anything but. The support and encouragement contained an unspoken maxim: be who you are. And believe me when I say that Patti has played a large role in my personal acceptance of who I am.

Cards turned into a six-foot, Coors Light cardboard Halloween stander I found at a thrift store (which still stands in the lobby of she and her husband’s business), and this past year, I added a Twin Peaks tee to the fray.

Not to be outdone, she shipped an 11 x 17 Jason Lives poster for my birthday. I just stared and smiled. One of the best gifts of my life was accompanied by a note. It was only three words, but they resonated.

Remember that we share an affinity for SILVER BULLET? It’s long since been a running joke that Patti is Jane (Megan Follows) and I’m Marty (Corey Haim), because of course we are.

The letter said “Happy birthday booger!”

That is who Patti Pauley is.

Funny that SILVER BULLET has so much to do with the moon, because something that Archibald “Moonlight” Graham (Burt Lancaster) said in FIELD OF DREAMS applies to our friendship: “We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening.”

I didn’t realize that a random message from a fellow writer would materialize into such a deep and meaningful friendship, but as time has marched on, that relationship has only strengthened, and I have never taken it for granted.

Who knew that I was friends with Darcy the Mail Girl before any of us even knew who that was?

The closest we’ve come to a face-to-face was when I was in her town for a bachelor party, but it was a brief stay and our schedules just didn’t jibe, but it only delayed what will inevitably happen.

Patti runs this site, and does so with thoughtfulness, kindness, and above all, passion. The horror community is lucky to have her, so if the opportunity should ever arise, message her through Nightmare Nostalgia’s Facebook page to thank her, or better, tell her how awesome she is.

And if you have a friend whom you met through Twitter of Facebook or Instagram or wherever else, don’t for a moment question the validity of that friendship, because the bond you feel is not imagined, but very real.

Patti Pauley is my friend, my colleague, my boss, my sister; and she has my loyalty for life. To steal one of “her” lines: I love you too, Janie. Good night.

Happy Bloody New Year and Goodbye 2021- A Love Letter To My Nostalgic Nugget Fans

Another year around the sun has come to an end and while many of us are saying good fucking riddance to another monumental hot-mess of a shitastic year, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a voice in the horror/retro community that some appreciate and enjoy what I have to give to a world that’s so entirely messed up right now.

I began horror blogging in 2014, quite by accident actually. A friend had given me the cue that a pretty well-known horror site was looking for writers, and she thought I would be perfect for the position given my ridiculous jeopardy of knowledge on the horror genre. Never done it before, I figured I had nothing to lose so I went for it. And although the experience itself had its ups and downs, I’m very grateful for the ride and the knowledge gained from it. I became Editor for the site, but after a while, it was time for me to move on to focus on my mental health as the tasks at hand became too pressuring. Being a mom and also running a business with my spouse on top of being a top contributor/editor AND running social media accounts while getting yelled at for not being at their disposal at every minute of the day, was more than enough for me to take a break and work at my own pace. I guest spotted at a few other horror websites for a while, (you name it, I wrote for the guys) until the time came where I realized I wasn’t happy writing for all the “Big Boys”. Boys, being the word of the day here. Favoritism, egos, and competitive attitudes sort of took a lot of the joy out of it for me, (I want to add this wasn’t my experience everywhere, but the only ones I didn’t seem to have an egomaniac down my back was the ONE female-led one). You can’t be your best if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing by being cock-blocked.

There aren’t very many retro/ horror blogs run by females. Why not? Well, being in this business, it’s a tough one. It’s always been a man’s world- case in point when certain websites/podcasts found out the person running this one, in particular, was female, I was given the cold shoulder. Not sure why this is. But a girl can love horror movies too. A girl can be knowledgeable. And a female can build and run her own website.

I did it. And some of you seem to keep coming back to hear me talk about retro horror shit. And for that, I’m forever grateful for you giving me a chance to give you some escapism from a pretty crappy world we’re currently living in. That’s why I’m here. Probably why you’re here too. Nightmare Nostalgia was made as a break from reality. To reminisce about the things that make us feel good. To forget the bullshit that can sometimes consume our lives and all the other negative, click-bait crap you’ll see on the social media/internet.

This wasn’t easy for me to be this vulnerable and open, but I felt that those who come here to read my ramblings, deserve the raw honesty. I truly appreciate you guys and I have some exciting new things coming in 2022 for the website- perhaps, a physical location store-front….? It’s an idea in the works- one I’ve had for many years that I feel like it’s time to bring to fruition. Along with moving myself into a new home with my family, this next year will be chaotic. But, I’ll still be here. With my weird fetishes with Ecto-Cooler, McDonald’s Pumpkin Pails, and my undying love for Stephen King’s Silver Bullet. Also, if you have anything you’d love to see more of here, feel free to drop me a line here in the comments or send me an email. There’s a handy contact form here on the blog- so reach out!

Happy New Year nostalgic nuggets. Here’s to another year of me shitting on the Nightmare On Elm Street remake and holding films like Maximum Overdrive in the highest regard.