December’s MONSTROUS QUESTION – Answer # 1
THE MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH – DECEMBER 2010
(This month’s question comes courtesy of Dan Keohane)
Has any horror film actually given you nightmares? Name the movie, and if you remember any of the dream, describe the nightmare.
Which is scarier, the film or the dream?
And leading off first with his answer is none other than, DAN KEOHANE:
OK, for me, the biggest nightmare-inducer has to be ALIENS (1986). This non-stop sequel to ALIEN (1979) was just so good and so intense that for years (and even now, 24 years later), I’d have the occasional nightmare of being somewhere – usually an office building, or a town, never a spaceship though — infested with these monstrous buggers. I hardly ever see them in the dreams, only suffer from the terrible knowledge that they’re close, and getting closer. I invariably wake up freaked-out.
When summer approaches and I begin to have my usual Back-To-Necon dreams (Necon is a writers conference), now and then the Aliens invade that haven of dreamland, and poor Craig Gardner invariably gets eaten… Still, Cameron’s film is far scarier.
As a kid, two specific bits of media-fear induced the strongest nightmares. First, the TV commercial for the movie MAGIC (1978). I’d actually forgotten this bit of memory until I read somewhere on Facebook recently how someone else used to be terrorized by the image of the creepy ventriloquist doll, staring out of the television, coming to get me. Ah!!!! Friggin scary for a kid (OK, I was fifteen, but easily frightened). The nightmare was vague, just doll-monster-thing staring at me, talking… man, I hate ventriloquist dolls almost as much as clowns.
One last morsel is the OUTER LIMITS episode with William Shatner (No, not what you’re thinking - THAT one was Twilight Zone) called “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” (1964) – in which he plays an astronaut returned from a Venus expedition who suffers nightmares about encountering an alien outside his space ship. That Venusian creature with its waving arms and big head was SCARY!!! I would have so many friggin’ nightmares about that thing. In the dreams I’d close my eyes and could still see it. Crap… I’m still scared of that thing. In this case, the dream was far scarier.