So it’s Halloween and usually it’s around this time that I start waxing nostalgic about my childhood when being scary was not mutually exclusive with being silly. There was also the funness factor, too–of dressing up and collecting candy. The last time I really had much fun on Halloween was my freshman year of college when I was part of a group costume and got into a contest for which group could get the most candy of all. It seemed like we scoured ever single house in Pasadena–except for the first year chemistry prof’s house. We were sure he was going to criticize us on our costume. No one wants to listen to a lecture on bond lengths on Halloween.
Back to being scary and silly. I would not consider myself a true horror fan. I really dislike the splatterpunk genre as I think it is to horror as Britney Spears or the Jonas Brothers is to pop. Instead, I like stories with horror elements. It could be Lovecraftian or psychological or things dealing with the occult. Far more subtle things. And then there is the mixture of comedy and horror where things weren’t exactly subtle but the fear was still complex–not something so blunt and unidimensional that it is only used to cause shock. I think there’s something to be said about laughing at things that frighten you because it makes one realize that a lot of fears are silly and irrational. And if you really want to do anything about them, one should take action rather than running about uselessly wasting your breath screaming.
When I was around five or six years old, I watched Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy. The first movie didn’t make so much an impression on me, but I absolutely loved the sequel. My dad had recorded Bride of Boogedy one Halloween and I ended up watching it all the time, wearing out that VHS tape until it was on its last legs. One thing I loved about it was that it was so ridiculous. There were gypsies, gags, ghosts, and people blowing up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float.
But as a kid, I never really analyzed why I loved the movie. But now I realize that the silly stuff alone would not have made it stick in my head this long. There was a more serious side of Bride of Boogedy, one of obsessed and unrequited love. There’s something sad about the monstrous Mr. Boogedy who would never get the girl–even in the afterlife. It’s something that anyone can empathize with–because at one time or another, everyone feels like an unloved misfit. The true horror of the film was not about some crazy ghost terrorizing modern townspeople. It was the fact that Mr. Boogedy represented the consequences of going too far just so he wouldn’t be alone anymore. Maybe this is one reason why paranormal romances are so popular now. Because in those romances, the monsters and misfits do get the girl (or guy) and live happily ever after without the dire consequences that Mr. Boogedy reaped.
Anyways, thanks to YouTube, we can all watch Bride of Boogedy. Which pretty much means I don’t have to fiddle with the horror of VHS tapes anymore.
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