March 24, 2011

Geek Weekly: Growing up geek.

Time for a little nostalgia kick. Once again this is going to be an interactive post... leave a comment with some of the geeky things that you loved growing up!

My mother swears that the first movie I ever saw in the theater was The Empire Strikes Back. I would have been three years old at the time. I'm assuming my first movie would have been Star Wars, but I was still in the womb when that one came out. At any rate, I can imagine my tiny toddler brain absorbing the sights and sounds of Lucas' epic and becoming totally hooked.

As a child of the 80's, I was raised on sci-fi and fantasy movies like The Neverending Story, Gremlins, The Goonies, The Explorers, Willow, and of course the aforementioned Star Wars movies; cheesy but fabulous television shows like “The Hulk,” “He-Man,” “Wonder Woman,” “V,” “The Greatest American Hero,” “Star Trek: the Next Generation,” and “Alien Nation;” and spent lots of time playing with my Transformers and my Atari (favorite game? “Joust”). At a young age I also developed a fascination for classic movie monsters, an obsession that would have had me fit right in with the kids in Monster Squad. I prided myself on my expertise in all things ghost, werewolf, vampire, and the pantheon of Universal movie monsters.

My love of Stephen King's books began at the tender age of ten, when I started reading Pet Sematary by skipping the first 100 pages, and moved directly on to The Shining... and have now read and re-read most of his books.

I became a teenager in the 90's, which was when my focus began to shift towards horror movies. There was a dearth of horror then, but there was some great stuff on television: “Friday the 13th” (not to be mistaken for the Jason Voorhees movies), “Tales from the Crypt,” and “The X-Files” are a few that I loved. Most of my horror movie viewing was stuff from the 70's and 80's, such as the various Freddy and Jason movies, Alien and Aliens, all the Hellraisers and Halloweens, plus every cheesy camp-counselor beach-party prom-night movie I could get my hands on. It wasn't until Scream reminded us just how awesome horror flicks are that the genre began to pick up steam again, and I was in heaven.

Unlike the kids today (please do picture me hunched over a cane shaking my fist as I say that), I had to grow up in the internet-less vacuum of the 80's and early 90's, virtually unaware that there were other kids like me who rejected the possibility of having a life on Saturday nights because ST:TNG was on, or haunted their local video store's tiny horror section (usually located in the back corner, by the curtained door leading to the porn), or wrote stories in the world of their favorite show. Had the internet existed, I would likely be as addicted to it as I am now. But I'm glad I didn't have it, because the movies and shows I loved feel more like discoveries I made myself.

It was a great time to grow up geek.

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