The ‘clicking’ of the projector, the strobe-like flashing on the parallel walls, a rectangle of pure white in the dark, and presto! there’s monsters in my bedroom…
8mm and Super 8mm Horror – flicks on film
When I was a youngster, we didn’t have VHS, DVDs, or On-demand movies. We had to watch and wait, for the 6 or 7 television channels available, to air our favorite films. They would show up maybe once or twice a year. (Sometimes never.) However, that didn’t stop some of us, especially us monster fans, from wanting to take our favorite monsters home with us.
When I was about 13, I had saved up enough money from shoveling snow and handing out flyers for businesses to send away for a Super 8mm projector. I had seen the ad in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland and got a money order made out to Captain Company. It was about $24 which would probably be like $100 today. The big brown truck delivered the projector and it came with one complimentary film reel.
The films were only 15 minutes in length each, like highlight reels, touching on the main points and action scenes of the movies they were edited from. Some films were even edited into a new simpler story line, rearranged in sequence to support the edited plot. I didn’t care; I was in it for the monster scenes, not the stories.
My neighbor’s house was very close to ours and the side that faced us had only one small bathroom window. The house was all white. I used to aim the projector out the window so it could shine a giant image of Ghidorah onto the house. For some reason that was the only film it would work for, I guess because of the strong contrast of the scene itself. The image was very light, ghost-like, but I thought it was cool and me and my friends would laugh, trying to scare people walking down the street.
Here’s a look at some of the 8mm and Super 8mm films of the time (1960’s – 1970’s). Mine are long gone, but luckily some people had saved these and shared the box covers on the internet. I just collected the images here, so thanks to all you collectors for sharing. Some of these I owned and others I would have eventually purchased if VHS and Cable TV didn’t make their debut in the early 1980’s.