Vampires & Zombies 1 – Me and My Childhood Trauma

As this review site is exclusively limited to vampire films, maybe I should let you know more about my tastes – or my genre limitations……

Funny enough, I do not like the horror film genre in general. I like neither jump scares, nor “torture porn”, nor any kind of gore. So, whatever horror film is out there, I have probably never seen it. Be it The Blair Witch Project, or any of the big franchises, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw, etc. – I’ve never seen any of them. I have seen the occassional horror comedy. For example, I have seen The Cabin in the Woods, because I knew it would deconstruct the genre.

Yet, while I am not a horror fan, for some reason I do make an exception for vampires. And I have watched a lot of vampire stuff over the years -even things that are clearly not meant for my age group. I cannot claim that I enjoy all of it (some stuff just sucks all life energy out of you), but generally speaking I give most things vampire-related a chance.

Zombies, on the other hand, freak me out. I just cannot watch them. I don’t like to see them on screen, I do not even want to hear them, and even the mere thought of them creeps me out. That includes comedies/satires like Warm Bodies; and to this day I haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead, even though I watch most things Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do. The only exception I can think of is Fido, which I more or less watched completely, although not in one go.

I never really understood why I react so differently to vampires and zombies. But one day, Dave Anthony said something on an episode of the Comedy Film Nerds Podcast about films or TV sometimes being unexpectedly traumatising for children. And as I thought about that, I started to remember something…..

As a child, I had a record player and a number of children’s vinyl records (yes, I am that old….). One of those records was the audio version of the 1959 comic book story The Black Smurfs. I don’t want to spoiler this 55-year-old story for you, but it is basically and undeniably the story of a zombie apocalypse. I must have been something between 5 and 8 years old when I listened to this record for the first time, and it creeped me out like hell, especially the sound effects.

Most other records I listened to over and over again, but this one I hated – I don’t think I listened to it more than 3 or 4 times during my entire childhood.

So it may be entirely possible that this is the reason why to this day I cannot watch Zombie films….


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