- Name – Mike
- Hometown – West Jordan Utah
- Age – 38
- Occupation – Software Engineer
- Favorite Horror Films – The Ninth Gate, Friday the 13th Series, Evil Dead Series
- Favorite Music – Type O Negative, Alice in Chains, Megadeth, Ghost B.C., Queensryche, DieMonsterDie, Faith No More
- Favorite Books – Anything from Clive Barker
- Website / Podcast – The Corpse Cast, The Cadaver Lab
It’s actually quite difficult to determine how it all started with me and horror. Some of my first memories are getting the 18″ Xenomorph toy as a 7 year old kid, and feeling the need to draw and color nothing except for Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf Man in early grade school.
I grew up in Farmington Utah, a very conservative and quiet town nestled into the Wasatch Front in Utah. My parents were great folks, but they were very choosy in what kind of entertainment they partook in and allowed me to partake in. Needless to say, horror films were taboo in my household. However, that didn’t stop me from being obsessed with horror from before I can remember.
There a few distinct memories that I have when horror movies really impacted me as a child. The first time I watched Poltergeist was a game changer for me. My parents went out for the evening and left us with a babysitter. I can’t remember if we rented the VHS or if we watched it on TV, but it scared the shit out of me. Later that night, as I was trying to sleep, I laid in bed in paralyzing fear. I couldn’t move except to call out for my Dad whose bedroom was situated directly above mine. I yelled and pleaded for him to come down and comfort me for what seemed like hours. Problem was that I didn’t have my own bedroom. I was on the top bunk and I had a brother on the bottom bunk who could do nothing but call me a baby at my time of need! My dad finally came down to my bedroom, but instead of comforting me, he was all pissed off because I watched a movie he didn’t approve of. He was pretty good about it and I somehow made it through the night alive.
I also had an experience while on a father and sons’ church camp out as a child, I saw Friday the 13th for the first time… and it was another terrifying experience. One of the fathers brought a little black and white TV that had an antenna so we could watch the big game that was going on that night while camping. Well, after the game, the fathers left and one of the older boys changed the channel and Friday the 13th came on the tube. I watched it in awe. It was a thrilling film that I really fired me up… until that last scene… which scared the holy crap out of me. That night I didn’t sleep a wink. I suffered through endless hours in a sleeping bag, in a tent, in the middle of nowhere. I jumped at every noise. My imagination was playing tricks on me to the point that when my dad finally woke up, I felt relief that I’d never experienced.
Finally, I’ll never forget seeing Michael Jackson’s Thriller for the first time. I was blown away! Not only was it a decent tune, but Vincent Price did a voice over! The effects in it were fantastic! I will never forget how the zombie whose arm fell off as he was walking and the zombie that had blood gushing from his mouth affected me. I’d sit at the TV watching MTV for hours just waiting for them to play Thriller again. Then, when it came on, I’d have to change the channel back and forth because it was too much to bear to just sit and watch it… it was just too terrifying!
As a child, I often pondered upon those experiences. Why, though I hated every minute of those long nights, was I so intrigued by the films that I saw. Why didn’t those experiences repel me… but not only that, they seemed to draw me in! Even as a kid, I knew that Horror was going to be something that would be a big part of my life for a very long time.
So time passed, as I got to be a young man and a teenager, I’d scour all the local video rental stores hoping against hope that I would find something that I hadn’t already seen on the Horror rack. When I finally got my drivers license, I’d drive great distances to rent films that weren’t available at the local mom and pop stores. I basically devoured any and all horror movies. I religiously tuned in to Joe Bob Briggs’ Monstervision on TNT and USA Up All Night! with both Gilbert Gottfried and Rhonda Shear. It’s not like I could just watch it… I had to sit right next to the TV with the volume turned WAYYY down. I had a system where I could change the channel, turn off the TV, and hide behind the couch in less than one second… a system that I employed every time I heard any rustling upstairs when I was watching those shows with my ear to the speaker on the TV. That time was a golden age in my life.
As I got older, life took over. I went to school, got married, had some kids. So… I became a “respectable” member of society. However, that didn’t change the fact that my obsession for Horror never diminished. While the stresses of school or family life rose, it never became more necessary to have that catharsis of a horror film to look forward to later in the day. My poor wife had to endure so many of the horror movies of that time, including House of 1000 Corpses, which we saw in the theater… and when we came out one of us had a big beaming smile on his face and the other came out with tears running down hers because of how disturbing it was… Needless to say, I was much more careful with what I took my wife to see from then on out.
After I finished up with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s in Information Technology / Management, horror re-took a larger part of my life. I’d heard of something called “Podcasts” and I figured I’d give that a shot. I started with The Cadaver Lab Podcast and really enjoyed that. I then started writing for HorrorNews.net and did that on and of for a while, and now host The Corpse Cast with Shane Diablo.
Basically that leads us to where I am now. A horror-obsessed 38 year old father of three… Yup… I’ve got the wife, kids, and a mortgage… and on paper, I seem like a pretty normal guy. However, I’m very careful to keep the “normals” out of my office/den that I affectionately refer to as the “No No Room” (since my kids aren’t allowed in there when I’m not around… I say that like they’d even go in there anyway since they are all a bit frightened of the horror posters on the walls and the horror collectibles on the shelves).
Horror is still a huge catharsis for me. It gives me something to really look forward to. I still get excited when I think that I have a new movie to watch after work, or that I’m going to be recording a new episode of the podcast. It’s difficult to explain the feeling I get when I see a great movie, listen to a great horror-related band, or work on Corpse Collective related things. It’s truly something I look forward to and get very excited about.