Born at the very end of the Baby Boomers and the very beginning of Generation X, it’s always been hard for me to identify completely with either generation. While I’m fond of many eras, my formative years were the late 1960s through the early 1980s as I moved up through grade school, Junior High and High School.

I became a new person when I entered college in 1981 and graduated in 1985, losing focus on the pop culture that obsessed me when I was younger, and expanding my horizons with  music and socializing. Then, I was married and having a baby, playing my role as a working adult, husband and father.

I became yet another new person when, in 1993, I realized I was gay, devoting the better part of a decade to becoming comfortable with everything that meant (and having a fabulous time doing it). Then, I was in essence a married man again, struggling through the failure of my own business and starting over professionally.

Today I find myself in a wonderful place. I feel like I know who I am, what I like, and what I want to do when I grow up. Better late than never! I appreciate my relationship(s) with my partner and family, enjoy the entertainment from my formative years, and want to write about and share these topics.

I was Senior Movie Critic and Managing Editor of Downright Creepy.com before it expanded its content to include more than just the horror genre as Boom Howdy.com. I continue my role under the new banner, which provided enough of a publishing history for me to gain membership in the Kansas City Film Critics Circle.

Why Classic Horrors?

Nothing makes you feel older than when the music you loved growing up is referred to as “Oldies.” When people talk about the 80s and 90s like they were the “good old days,” I simply shake my head. Oh, yeah, the 80s were great, but I find myself longing more and more for the late 60s and 70s. Popular “retro” today isn’t retro at all for me.

Above all, I am a “Monster Kid.” I was one of the children who literally ran home after school to watch Dark Shadows, even though when I saw House of Dark Shadows in the movie theater, I was so scared I had to ask my aunt if we could leave. I stayed up late (or tried) watching Count Gregore on Friday nights.

I saw Taste the Blood of Dracula and Trog at the drive-in and begged my parents so incessantly to see Escape from the Planet of the Apes that they dropped me off at the movie theater by myself. I built the Aurora models, carried A Pictorial History of Horror Movies to school with me, and loved Kolchak: The Night Stalker on TV.

While I now find camaraderie with others through today’s technology (Kitley’s Krypt, Monster Kid Radio, Monster Movie KidHorrorHound magazine, the Hammer Lovers Facebook group, and more), none of these wonderful resources reflects exactly who I am as a Monster Kid who arrived on Earth somewhere in between two generations.

Therefore, my goal with Classic Horrors is to express love for what I consider the truly “classic” era of horror-related genres and subgenres. The tagline is, “From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between,” which is meant to represent from the dawn of horror to its high noon with Halloween in 1978.

What can you expect?

Over the years, I’ve been distracted by other interests. In 1977, Star Wars altered the Monster Kid landscape forever and the phenomenon sucked me in along with everyone else. Then, Friday the 13th altered the nature of horror films. Fangoria rose as Famous Monsters of Filmland fell.

I still love Star Wars. I enjoy a good slasher movie. I hunt for back issues of Fangoria. I eagerly await the next new horror film that I can review. I go to comic and pop culture conventions. I adore Bates Motel and American Horror Story. But I always return to my original interests, which include (in no particular order):

  • Universal Monsters
  • Hammer Films
  • Christopher Lee
  • Peter Cushing
  • Godzilla
  • Amicus Films
  • Psycho
  • Dark Shadows
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Vincent Price

These are only some of the topics you’ll read about on Classic Horrors. There are plenty of other resources for post-Halloween thrills and chills in the 80s, 90s and beyond. There are even other resources for individual items on my list. However, I hope their combination here will be something fresh and exciting.

One thing’s for sure: I’m going to have the time of my life working on it!

Jeffrey Owens