“There’s a legend ’round here. A killer buried, but not dead. A curse on Crystal Lake. A death curse. Jason Voorhees’s curse. They say he died as a boy, but he keeps coming back. Few have seen him and lived. Some have even tried to stop him. No one can. People forget he’s down there… waiting.”
-Walt Gorney, Friday the 13th Part VII
It was Christmas morning 1990 in snowy St. Paul Minnesota, and I received a gift that forever changed my life. Just like Ralphie in “The Christmas Story”, I ran to our Christmas tree, shaking boxes, when I heard that familiar sound of a VHS tape, clacking in a box. At the tender age of 8, my foray into the horror film genre was about to truly began. Like most kids, from a young age I had always been interested in the classic Universal Monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf man, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon), but I was fortunate enough to grow up in the roaring 80’s, the golden age of the serial slasher genre in horror films. In the pre-internet age, the only access a kid like myself had to this genre was the upper number pay-per view preview channels. Back in the late 80’s early 90’s, pay per view was the way to catch the newest movies, after they left the theaters, but right before they would be released to video. The stations would show extended previews for the movies and provide a 1-800 number to call so you could order the movie. I remember staying up at night, watching the preview for A Nightmare on Elm Street part 5: The Dream Child. I loved the dark, macabre environment of the genre, so I would watch what I could to see the most of it. If only I could own one of these movies, I could watch them as much as I wanted. Back to Christmas morning, 1990, and I unwrapped the VHS tape that changed all of that, and truly started my foray into the horror genre. I peeled back the wrapping to reveal the iconic hockey mask that graces the cover of Friday the 13th, part VII. Triumphantly, like at the end of a teenage underdog film, I raised my fist, movie in hand, in victory. The montage music played, and I owned my own piece of the horror genre.
*Let it be known, I do understand the repercussions of an 8 year old watching a rated R slasher film, and I am not advocating anyone having their children do this, but it was the 1980’s. We children of the 1980’s were exposed to probably some of the most offensive, violent movies that have existed. Movies and television shows made for kids at that time were probably worse than late night cable movies today. Anyone remember “Monster Squad”? We all remember it as a hilarious Halloween romp, but rewatch it, you will see what I’m talking about. Single handedly one of the more offensive hours I have had in a long time. I am definitely not advocating a child watching Friday the 13th Part VII, or any movie in a similar genre, and I am completely aware of the effects of violence on kids, somehow I turned out somewhat sane, at least my wife claims so.*
Little did I know, living in St. Paul Minnesota as an 8 year old, that particular movie was filmed in the area I would be spending a majority of my life at, where I would discover the magic and meaning of tattooing, where I would meet my beautiful wife, and where we would raise our amazing daughter. I could have never imagined, while watching Jason Voorhees battle a psychic girl on a rickety pier, that one day my life would revolve around the same body of water they were fighting in…(continued here)
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