MONSTER KIDS 2016 (A Halloween Tradition)

taraco
Burgomaster
taraco
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Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 5:37 am

October 31st, 2016, 4:13 am #1

Many wonder where the term, 'Monster Kids,' originated. Well, it originated right here at the Classic Horror Film Board.

The essay below, titled 'Monster Kids', was posted at the first Universal Horrors folder on AOL more than two decades ago in the earliest days of what would become the CHFB.  Reposting it here every Halloween has become a happy Halloween tradition.

This essay may be familiar to some, but to any newcomers we hope it captures what these boards are all about. The term 'Monster Kid' has since become widely accepted by fandom, and each time we see it used in a letter, a promotion, in a book or magazine -- or even a DVD -- it makes us smile like Ygor seeing the monster get strong again.

So here it is, as it originally appeared in 1995. Read it in black-and-white, please. And Happy Halloween, one and all:

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These fragile remembrances of monsters past evoke a feeling that all of us here are somehow refugees from different corners of the same theater.

How many of us in the last few years have shared similar tales of discovering our first childhood chillers -- the neighborhoods or names changed, but the evocative messages of autumn and late summer nights so much the same.

We share in purest essence a collective and sweet memory of something very special. Whether it's Chiller Theater flickering to life, or a younger brother refusing to turn the channel to watch KING KONG, or a stationery store with only one remaining copy of Famous Monsters, or the sheer excitement of the MYSTERIANS ads on Channel 9 when Godzilla was still only a movie old, or the laugh of Zacherley interrupting Atwill's crazed one-armed lecture, somehow we were all at the same place at the same time, with the same ability to call it all up like THAT! As if yesterday really was the day before today, not tens and twenties of years now gone.

Baseball fans at the same game or cheering for the same hero can all recall the same home run. The smells and the colors of the 60s and 70s run through many of us still. I imagine the grim urgency of big bands and World War II hold the same power over our parents, and that MTV, the Muppets and Nintendo will rustle the same collective tugs in our children.

But the monster kids -- that's us, the monster kids, young and old -- seem somehow special. Take a walk through these boards and hear what we've all said about why we're here and why we stay and why, decades now later, the sight of John Carradine still means something incredibly special, something that makes people wonder what we're talking about when, on AMC during a showing of STAGECOACH, we point and say knowingly, "That's John Carradine."

We understand somehow because we are all parts of the same shared visual. We all hail from the same place, sitting cross-legged on the same sofa with the same Sylvania or Emerson or RCA black-and-white TV flickering with the Universal Globe or the RKO Radio tower or even the Twilight Zone signposts there up ahead. Somehow we're all from the same family, all rushing home from the same school down the same cracked sidewalks, kicking the same leaves
on the same November afternoon to catch the same Shock Theater movie on the same night. And with Bela Lugosi, too!

It's always chiller night for us -- for us the monster kids. The older the films get, the more distant the players and the more obscure the sources, somehow the younger we become. Edward van Sloan is old. Not us. Not the monster kids. Lon Chaney is gone. Not us. Not the monster kids. 

  Even decades gone by, we're still kicking leaves in a swirl, waiting for the commercial to end, the parents to go to sleep and the castle to loom through the fog. The same fog we've been trying to see through for all these years, before digital magic made everything too easy to believe. 

  Because the best horror movies are the hardest to see, after all. It's what keeps the monster kids squinting through the mist, somehow in this world of death and awkward and weird, sharing together what it was like to be...young. 

When we were the monster kids.

david


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Last edited by taraco on October 31st, 2016, 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Rick
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Joined: December 22nd, 2004, 2:22 pm

October 31st, 2016, 4:31 am #2

Great as always. It never gets old. Thanks, David.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
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Bluesman Mark
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Joined: November 14th, 2010, 3:59 am

October 31st, 2016, 5:01 am #3

Never read this before. Simply wonderful.

This entire month I've watched many of my favorites from days gone by. Tonight it was HOUSE OF DRACULA & A&C MEET FRANKENSTEIN.
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: August 21st, 2008, 1:43 am

October 31st, 2016, 7:12 am #4

Greetings,

Away from the U.S. for the first time in my sixty Halloweens, I am please to report that Italians, of all nationalities, embrace the traditions.

In an outdoor bistro, on a warm and soft Roman evening, servers dressed as foxy witches, and jack o' lanterns with real candles gleamed from every table.

Ghosts, skeletons, and simulated spider webs are everywhere.

We will be home later this week, just in time for the real Horror Story on November 8th.

Ciao,

Andy on the road in Rome.
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Joined: November 10th, 2004, 5:32 am

October 31st, 2016, 9:51 am #5



- GJS
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Rakshasa
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Joined: March 14th, 2005, 9:48 am

October 31st, 2016, 10:22 am #6

Happy Halloween, monster kids...
Hey, how much for the Buick?
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HalLane
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Joined: October 16th, 2005, 5:18 am

October 31st, 2016, 10:55 am #7

So nice to read again. And particularly poignant to see the Zach reference this year.

Happy Halloween.
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willmize
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Joined: August 1st, 2014, 2:31 pm

October 31st, 2016, 11:04 am #8

Always love reading this David, and remembering the old days on AOL.
Good times, good times.

Thanks to everyone for being here and sharing.

- Bill
http://williammize.com
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Joined: April 29th, 2009, 1:39 pm

October 31st, 2016, 1:19 pm #9

This year, partly because of the nice "Which was your first" thread on the Uni sub-board's first page right now, I have been mentally revisiting what the 31 FRANKENSTEIN meant to me before, during, and after watching it. I'm reminded of the natural affinity for Monster Kidness it amplified in me and am grooving on the MK vibe that is as pleasurable as the vibe some feel for, say, their Cubs winning the pennant and maybe (maybe maybe) the Series.

Although I've read this essay several times and always feel a little come-to-jesus from it this year I'm searching around the mental stockpile of remembered (or imagined--who cares either way?) emotions a bit more.

Thanks again, taraco. Long may we wave, even if it is not us personally but our descendants.
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Joined: October 1st, 2010, 5:02 am

October 31st, 2016, 1:53 pm #10

Somebody tell Burgomaster that the term "Monster Kid" goes at least as far back as 1981. A very short-lived successor to KTXL's beloved Bob Wilkins called himself the Monster Kid.
Last edited by Robert Laughlin on October 31st, 2016, 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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taraco
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taraco
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Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 5:37 am

October 31st, 2016, 2:40 pm #11

Robert, no doubt. But the term didn't explode into the monster lexicon until the Good Ol CHFB.

 
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thehorrorboy
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Joined: November 23rd, 2005, 5:12 am

October 31st, 2016, 9:08 pm #12

As the years go by, as I hear every one or two years about a childhood friend who left this earth before his or her time, this essay becomes more and more important to me.  The Halloweens seem to come around faster and faster.  Sometimes I wonder when my last Halloween will be.  But, in the meantime, I intend to enjoy all that the CHFB has to offer!
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countplastica
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Joined: April 13th, 2008, 11:05 pm

October 31st, 2016, 10:17 pm #13

About to take my 8 and 6 year-olds out. Torch was passed years ago but part of me still resonates.
Glow-eyed gourds grin and mock
on
the porch where paper witches soar
behind, the shusshle of monster'd feet
but
a cat-gloved hand clings tight to yours
as up th
ose steps you coax her, “Knock!”


 
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Wich2
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Joined: September 12th, 2007, 10:09 pm

November 1st, 2016, 2:09 am #14

"A Good Essay Is Worth Repeating."
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crissrudd4554
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Joined: June 16th, 2012, 1:34 am

November 1st, 2016, 2:14 am #15

Good or bad, for better or worse, I think of this community as almost a second family. Ive only been on this site for a few years but Im always glad to contribute when I can and see what everyone else has in store. Happy Halloween everyone and have a spooky night monster kids!
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sthorntn
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Joined: January 19th, 2005, 1:57 am

November 1st, 2016, 10:56 am #16

In my mind's eye, I imagine all of us gathered together in a darkened living room while David recites the Legend of the Monster Kids and the Halloween festivities officially commence.
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Chesterbelloc
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Joined: November 23rd, 2004, 5:12 am

November 1st, 2016, 4:21 pm #17

It just ain't Halloween without David's essay. Happy All Hallows Day!
Larry Sutliff
"Boris Karloff looks like a nice guy dancing on the Red Skeleton
Show. Did you ever see FRANKENSTEIN? That's the real Karloff!"


Check out my movie collection:
http://www.blu-ray.com/community/hybrid.php?u=367151
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PerfectPawn
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Joined: October 28th, 2009, 8:51 pm

November 1st, 2016, 6:01 pm #18

taraco wrote:
Robert, no doubt. But the term didn't explode into the monster lexicon until the Good Ol CHFB.

 
The phrase "monster kid" also appeared in the Misfits song "All Hell Breaks Loose," written by Glenn Danzig in 1980 and appearing on the 1981 Misfits LP "Walk Among Us."  I love the board, but I bet a lot more people the world over are familiar with the Misfits!  

I send my murdergram
To all these monster kids
It comes right back to me and it's
Signed in their parents' blood


http://www.metrolyrics.com/all-hell-bre ... sfits.html  
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Rick
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Joined: December 22nd, 2004, 2:22 pm

November 1st, 2016, 9:32 pm #19

sthorntn wrote:
In my mind's eye, I imagine all of us gathered together in a darkened living room while David recites the Legend of the Monster Kids and the Halloween festivities officially commence.
... with the ceremonial sacrifice to Ramboona.  
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
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Elisabeth
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Joined: December 5th, 2009, 7:25 am

November 3rd, 2016, 8:15 pm #20

My "Torch" has been safely passed to my Lon Chaney loving Nephew... He has PoTO, along with a Chaney biography and portraits of Chaney as Chaney, and Chaney in "Phantom" makeup. If we can give ANYTHING to the next generation, it is CRITICAL THINKING. When a Millennial can watch a film with a knowledge of its time, as well as its Source Material, a new MONSTERKID is being born.

He may always enjoy a 2017 Reboot, but he can also "connect the dots"......all the way back to Gaston Leroux!

"E"

"Thank G-D, for Film"
Your Signature ... "....I do hope he won't upset Henry..."
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