Do I really need to write an intro for my own piece? Seriously? Who wants to talk about me when all these other fantastic people have submitted all these marvelous entries to help get us all a little more in the Halloween spirit?
Ugh. Fine. I wrote this. I knew that I wanted to do something different with my piece for Halloween Horrors. Then….. well, then this came to me.
Kismet: noun: A power that is believed to control what happens in the future.
Last Night A Mansquito Saved My Life
Mansquito, also known as Mosquito Man, is a SyFy Channel original movie that debuted on March 5th 2005, back when the channel was still called “Sci Fi”. To briefly summarize the plot, a dangerous convict (the only kind of cinematic convict) agrees to become a volunteer in a classified scientific experiment (the only kind of cinematic scientific experiment) involving irradiated virus-carrying mosquitoes in exchange for avoiding the death sentence. During a failed escape attempt, the inmate is caught in an explosion that covers him in volatile chemicals, as well as the genetically altered mosquitoes. This begins a mutation that results in a man-sized mosquito with a shitty attitude.
Corin Nemec stars as the detective boyfriend of the lead scientist on the experiment. You may remember Corin from his starring role on the early-90’s Fox sitcom Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. Seeing as that show didn’t last more than a few seasons, there is solid evidence to back the claim that Parker Lewis can, in fact, lose.
Honestly, this post has nothing to do with the movie. Then again, maybe it has everything to do with it.
On July 29th 2006, I had my 1st conversation with the woman who would later become my wife. I had made a comment about enjoying the cheesy CGI-laden horror and sci-fi films that Sci Fi was known for airing. This led her to ask if I had watched Mansquito when it had re-aired just a few weeks prior. Indeed, I had. This led to hours spent discussing what movies we had seen and which ones we loved or hated. We had our first date the following night.
A few weeks later, we made a trip out of town. It wasn’t any special occasion, other than meeting some of her extended family members for the first time. While on that trip, we decided to venture out for something to eat. We found a Mexican restaurant in which to have our dinner, but before entering we had noticed a MovieStop in the same plaza. We had never heard of MovieStop at this time, but as we were only in the infant stages of buying films and growing our new collection, it seemed like a fairly magical place at the time. It would take a year or two of collecting and price comparisons before I learned that it wasn’t magical… just over-priced.
We went in and proceeded to buy a small stack of horror films on DVD. Most of the films purchased were among the more popular titles, some even legitimate classics of the genre. The customer service rep noticed what we were buying and proceeded to hand us a small flyer. The words on it read, “Screamfest”. It was a flyer for an upcoming Florida horror convention. Now, I knew about horror conventions, but I had never actually been to one. I hadn’t even thought about doing so, but then again, I was also unaware that there were ones happening in the state in which I lived. We were immediately intrigued and spent the rest of the evening watching our films and making plans to attend.
We did attend in October of that year. We met a few actors and actresses whose films we enjoyed, picked up a few autographs, bought even more movies, and had a great weekend. We made the decision before leaving for home that we would be back the following year. We had both grown up as horror fans, but I didn’t really talk much about my fascination with the genre. This, I now realize, was just because I had no one with whom to talk about such things. I finally understood that I wasn’t alone in my fandom. I just had no clue how many other fans were out there.
In early 2007, we decided to get married. Neither of us wanted the clichéd traditional church ceremony, so we made the decision to have a small Halloween-themed wedding at a family member’s house on October 13th, 2007 (Do the math.), with a return trip to Orlando for Screamfest as our honeymoon.
To help fuel our excitement for the upcoming show, as well as our wedding, we both joined the convention’s fan forum in the hopes of maybe meeting a cool new person or two for us to hang out with at the show. We met quite a few wonderful people (as well as some not so wonderful people), but, either way, the excitement for both of our upcoming events was at its peak. The one thing that did catch me off-guard was that after just a few conversations with most of these people, I learned that my years of being a fan of the genre (minus those years that I forgot to be myself) had not given me a fraction of the knowledge about these films and their legacies that the new friends and associates I was making held in their heads, ready to throw out like 20-sided dice when called upon. Simply put, I had a lot to learn.
My quest to learn more about this “hobby” that I had long buried was now in full swing. In retrospect, this may have been a deliberate, but maybe not conscious, effort. In other words, I didn’t fall back into horror as an attempt to know more than anyone else. It was nothing more than finally having people to share this passion with, and each new film only led to more conversations. More conversations led to even more mention of films that I had never seen or even heard of. It was if each new movie opened a doorway that led to an even larger room beyond that was filled with even more movies that opened even more doorways. Before I was aware of it happening, my newfound excitement for horror and everything that went with it were changing the way I had been living my life.
In June of 2010, our first son was born. To emphasize my point from earlier about my re-found passion for horror changing things, we named him Bishop Campbell, a deliberate attempt to tie-in to our mutual obsession, as well as a tribute to some of our favorite genre stars. Mostly, we just thought it was a cool name. Let me just clarify something now: coming up with that name was not an easy choice. We bounced a lot of different names around and didn’t care for most. This name came to us right as we were about to settle on a name that we didn’t love. We were obviously so unattached to it that I’ve since forgotten whatever it was that we had first considered.
For the first 3 years of my son’s life, I played stay-at-home Dad. Yes, I did get to spend quite a bit of time with my son, teaching him the things that he needed to live and grow, as well as (hopefully) a few things that Daddy really wanted him to know. Things like who Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees are. Seriously though….. While I still cherish being able to spend those early years molding my child into the little person that he is today, living deep in the thickets of a national forest created more than an exorbitant number of hours with nothing to do and nowhere to go.
Because of this occasionally ludicrous amount of “free time”, I started to watch every horror film that I could get my hands on, and usually in quantity too. There were more than a few quiet weeks where I’d easily watch 3 or 4 movies a day. These were movies that I had purchased from movie stores, department stores, online, at pawn shops and flea markets, and also whatever movies Netflix mailed out to me that week. I watched classics. I watched trash. I watched things that made trash look like classics. The more I fed the hunger, the more the hunger grew.
Years passed. We made some new friends, but lost just as many for whatever reasons. We eventually moved and I made my return to the workforce. My life as I had known it had drastically changed, but not my continuously growing love for all things “horror”. If anything, my being back to work increased my fervor for the genre and all the cool memorabilia and trinkets that went with, if only because my new paycheck enabled me to purchase them without feeling like I was draining the money that my wife was bringing home during our single income days. As lame as it may sound to some, horror was now a large part of who I was. It was the defining factor that a lot of people “knew” me for.
Somewhere along the line, the first seeds of what would become Horror And Sons planted themselves in my brain. Granted, those seeds were never expected to germinate, let alone grow into what they have today. However, for whatever reason, they did. I had made up my mind to start this site. I hadn’t made up my mind just what Horror And Sons would be, and there is solid evidence that states that I didn’t figure that out until the site had existed for over a few months. This site was originally going to be called “Horror and SON”. I even had this neat little Fred Sanford jack-o’lantern picked out as the site’s logo.
A few months before creating the site, my wife discovered that she was pregnant with our 2nd son. While I initially expected his birth to derail my attempt to start this site, I knew that I owed it to myself to at least give it an attempt. On Sept 27th 2014, Horror And Sons was launched. Our first 2 reviews had been posted and the Facebook page was up and running. It was a “thing”. Yeah, it was a “thing” that no one was reading, but still a “thing”.
On Dec 11th, 2014, our 2nd son, Dekker Price, was born. I took a month-long break to spend time with him, as well as to help our family adjust to a new life living under our roof. During that time, Horror And Sons was “dead”. At least, I felt no real desire to continue. I did continue, and the rest is history.
2 years have passed and here we are. Horror And Sons is still very much a “thing”, a thing that people are actually reading. My love for horror continues to grow, mostly because of the interactions that I now get to have on a daily basis with other fans, readers and bloggers alike. I get to embrace what I am and what I love, but more importantly, I get to do so with countless other people who, while they may not necessarily agree, at least understand what I’m talking about and why I feel the way I do about these films.
So, here I am. 10 years have passed. If you would have asked me then if I thought that I’d one day be writing this piece, the answer would be “no”. Hell, if you would have asked me 2 weeks prior to writing this, the answer would have been “no”. Until I actually sat down to write a piece for this event, I really didn’t think of Mansquito as anything more than an anecdote for the last 10 years of my life. It never really occurred to me that a crappy, made-for-cable television “movie of the week” had given me my life.
As I said earlier, Parker Lewis may be able to lose, but Dustin Fallon surely didn’t.