In the early 1980s, my mum and dad were invited to one of those mandatory dinners that employers occasionally inflict upon you, on the same evening that Manchester United were in the European Cup Final [or similarly important footbally thing]. So dad bought our first VCR. It was, at least, VHS; the remote control was actually attached by a long thin lead; and it had a distinctive whirring load/eject mechanism.
The first film we ever taped was An American Werewolf in London; and we watched it over and over again. It terrified me from start to finish, but we kept on watching it. I was so scared, that I screamed when our dog [a big, shaggy, werewolf-shaped mongrel] walked past my bedroom door; and I certainly couldn’t venture out of my room at night.
Now, the VCR may have been an antique, but it lasted a good fifteen years, and I formed a write-protected association between the whir of the tape being loaded, and various nightmare-inducing images from the film. Thank goodness, it has finally gone to the great big házi-mozi* in the sky, and I never again have to close my eyes and see that yellow-fanged face snarling on my retinas… oh… I just did.
I already had a good history of being frightened by films and TV programmes: some of the baddies in Monkey, daleks, triffids, Tusken Raiders, and a black and white film about giant killer bees that I caught mum and dad watching one night when I came downstairs because I couldn’t sleep. I have not yet got over the giant killer bees.
*házi-mozi: home cinema [Hungarian]