Horror and Impairment


One line that I use myself quite often and also hear all the times in the forums is something along the lines of this film is good “with a pizza and a six pack”.  This sentiment of course is usually followed by the inclusion of friends or loved ones.  This is kind of an unspoken saying that is in reference to a film that isn’t necessarily the best movie in the world, but at the very least is a ton of fun to watch while having a good time and shutting off your brain for a few hours.  This isn’t a bad thing; in fact it’s far from it because we all look at these films as a fun experience and in most cases that is exactly the same perception that the filmmakers intended us to have (hopefully).  Of course since I read way too much into everything, this is the part where I deconstruct the idea a little bit more and start a discussion topic about the addition of substances (drugs, alcohol, poppers….etc) to the horror viewing experience.

 I am admittedly, not in any position to hop on the back of any kind of moral high horse on this one.  Also I don’t in any way plan to point fingers or look down on any person for what they chose to do in their personal time.  I want to focus more on the associative aspect of a trend that is a pretty common practice for horror film lovers to participate in.  Like any other genre, the horror genre has some stinkers, let’s not kid ourselves about that.  But I feel that a lot of fans, even if the horror film in question isn’t good in any respect, they will find something about it that they like whether it be an interesting kill or some actor they have never seen before.  Even if that doesn’t hold up, and the movie is beyond the point of saving, we will laugh at the filmmaking attempt and sometimes, that terrible movie will become so bad that it is actually good.  And what helps when viewing a film that you are pretty sure is going to be terrible?  Well the introduction of illicit substances.

Movies like Evil Bong should have been a tip off for this sort of behavior, but for the purposes of this article, no matter what your vices are, I’m going to stick with some of grandpa’s old cough medicine (alcohol).  I think the best way to exemplify my point would be to provide an example from my own life.  When I was young and naïve, I was still at least smart enough to look at a VHS box on the rental wall, read the synopsis, and notice that the movie was probably going to be bad.  Of course I’d rent it anyway which led me to discovering a horror film that I still have “the fits” about called Ice Cream Man (Dir: Paul Norman – 1995).  Fast forward to a few months ago and I found myself in a group with three of my friends who had watched that movie with me almost 15 years prior.  It had always been a running joke throughout our whole lives (it can’t be worse than Ice Cream Man?!, we would always shout with misconstrued bravad0), and we decided to give it another go, strictly for research and nostalgia purposes.  It was of course agreed that in order for such a filmic atrocity to be viewed by us again, after years of trying to forget the film entirely, we were going to have to be completely wasted.  A few beers and a couple of pizzas later, and we were actually able to enjoy the movie on some kind of different level than before. 

The movie does pull you into some sort of a time warp where as an hour and forty five minutes actually lasts somewhere around three days, but since we were imbibing, the whole experience was much easier to swallow.  It was actually fun to see the movie drunk and I would actually recommend the entire experience to others, but only if they were intoxicated (or well on their way) at the time of viewing.  Now that I think about it, there are a few movies in the horror genre I would do this for, but not too many in other genres.  I wouldn’t suggest someone get tanked before Schindler’s List, and I definitely would suggest someone boot up before Requiem for a Dream but in horror, the game changes a little bit.

Most of the time, when viewing films it’s after a long day of work or on a weekend night when I finally have time to unwind.  I don’t drink and watch movies often, as I like to save the experience for more of a party atmosphere, but hey, that’s just me.  Alcohol and drug abuse are very serious matters that I in no way condone, however there is nothing wrong with hanging out with a few friends and enjoying a movie as adults with adult beverages.  In some cases, it could cause people to talk through the movie, effectively ruining the experience for everyone so you shouldn’t be doing this with movies like Frailty, Let the Right One In, or Session 9.  Save these fun drunken movie nights for Halloween or Friday the 13th which are both excellent and fun movies that you and all your horror friends have all seen about a billion times.  Maybe you want to take the dark horse and pull out something like Zombie Strippers to get your party started.  Well whatever gets you going, be safe and be responsible!

So what do you think?  Do you often get hammered and watch horror movies?  Do you like to stay sober in order to concentrate on the movie more effectively?  Do you hate booze?  Well whatever your stance, lets hear about it in the comments!

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