A Month of Horror: Day 31

31 October

Movie: The Creature From The Black Lagoon
Night Shift

We are rounding out the month with some of tales I enjoyed in my formative years. I grew up watching the Universal movie monsters, but was never particularly frightened of them.
1 The Creature2 was always my favorite3 because unlike Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, and the Wolfman, he was totally alien. While humanoid, there was something totally foreign about him which I found very appealing. Plus, who among us hasn't pined for a girl we can't have?

While I always like scary stories,
Night Shift was my introduction into horror in general and Stephen King specifically. My parents had the paperback copy of this collection of King's works. You know the one, the partially bandaged hand with all of the eyeballs on it? Creepiest frakin' cover of all time. It bugged the Hell out of me. I would always move it to the middle of the shelf, but somehow it would end up on the far side with the creepy cover out. I decided that the only way that the image wouldn't bother me was if I read the book, so I did.


Just look at this ToC:

Jerusalem's Lot
Graveyard Shift
Night Surf
I Am the Doorway
The Mangler
The Boogeyman
Gray Matter
Sometimes They Come Back
Strawberry Spring
The Ledge
The Lawnmower Man
Quitters, Inc.
I Know What You Need
Children of the Corn
The Last Rung on the Ladder
The Man Who Loved Flowers
One for the Road
The Woman in the Room

While not all horror, the stories in this collection are terribly moving. "I Am The Doorway" (which is the basis for the cover art) still bothers me to this day. I can't think about "The Last Rung On The Ladder" without getting all teary-eyed. This was my introduction into my favorite genre. It's also a great starting place for those who have only read King's novels.

And the cover art? Still bugs me.

1. With the exception of that time that the Frankenstein monster chased me down the hallway to my bedroom.

2. Or Gillman (Gill Man? Gil Man?) if you prefer.

3. And the one I would be when we play monsters. Yeah, we did that.