As I sit here in my own home and type this, Living Dead at Manchester Morgue playing on the TV, walls adorning various paintings and framed, vintage movie posters, surrounded by all things weird, it’s painfully obvious that horror is an eternal part of my existence. My name is Wes and I’m the schmuck who founded this website. I’m a husband and a father and also a musician (www.thehighgears.com). I live in the midwest where everyone doesn’t quite get all they wanted and spend life fighting uphill. It makes you stronger, I guess.
My obsession with horror stems back to about the first or second grade. I grew up fat, weird and sensitive-which, is not a good combination. I got picked on as much as any other kid in public schools did, but survived. As much as I did enjoy the same stuff others kids did, it was rock and roll and film that were most intriguing to me. I grew up with parents who exposed us to great music: Aerosmith, The Beatles, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, ZZ Top, etc. Even to this day I prefer bands like this over what’s currently available. When it came to films, I saw a lot of the usuals (Star Wars) but was soon to be exposed to a genre that would greatly alter the course of my life.
It’s hard to really peg which film was the first I saw, but I’m almost certain it was Nightmare on Elm St 3. An older cousin was watching it and since no one was stopping me, I took it in. It certainly messed with my sense of reality and I’m almost positive I probably had nightmares. Still, there was something that was really fascinating about the feeling it gave me to watch that film. Fortunately, weekends spent with my grandmother would allow me to not only revisit that emotion but to harness and channel it into what would be the creative process for me.
My grandma and I would go to this video store just a town over, to rent our requisite entertainment for the weekend. Equipped with a can of Planter’s Cheeseballs and orange pop, we’d picked up our flicks to accompany the fun. Up to this point I hadn’t really rented any horror films because, frankly, I didn’t have an interest. But after seeing NMES 3, I knew there had to be more out there that I would love-and there was. Texas Chainsaw Massacre was one of my first rentals and the first film to really effect me. To this day, it remains my single favorite film of all time. It terrified, excited, repulsed, and enthralled me all in one setting. I would venture as far as to say that it’s the perfect horror film. Yes, it scared the shit out of me, and no, I didn’t sleep well that night (my grandma lived on a dead end street that lead into pitch-black woods and she had a giant picture window!), but I still loved that feeling of being frightened. As hokey as this will sound, film became an escape mechanism for me. Taking in all the slashers, zombies, and monsters I could get my hands on, was now a mandatory. I had/have an affinity for the supremely trashy stuff: I Spit on Your Grave, Ilsa, The Beyond, Street Trash, Basket Case, Grizzly, anything Troma, Blood Feast-the endless list of shit that I would ingest. Nothing was too good or bad for my taste. I wanted to see it all and as I garnered a bit of a tolerance, I found myself seeking out the truly messed up stuff (John Waters and all those crazy Italians are a few that come to mind). There was something about being shocked that I simply couldn’t get over. It was wonderful…and it never ended.
As I grew, my tastes did too. Puberty did to me what it did to everyone. Girls were very real now and so was my newly eternal boner. My teen years were spent defying my parents, masturbating, trying to discover new bands so that I could be the “first” to hear them, and being an all around jackass. I would venture as far as to say that the reason I hate teenagers is because of how big of an idiot I was.
A lot of cool stuff was happening in my teen years. Seattle was bringing true, heart felt grit back to rock and roll, there was a new resurgence in punk rock pockets throughout the country-yet, horror was quietly dying. Barring a few great things (Cemetery Man, and Dust Devil to name a few), it’d seemed as if the genre was slowly going the way of the buffalo. But it never really left my conscious. With HBO and Cinemax, I was getting my mandatory fixes whether it was viewing old classics or stumbling upon something new I hadn’t heard of.
Cut to my college years where I fell back in love with the genre. DVD had hit globally, opening the floodgates for the rebirth of some long lost classics. First thing I did? Bought DVD’s of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead, of course.
And so it began, the repurchasing of tons of films I already had. But there still wasn’t anything new really grabbing me. This was until I got hip to Takashi Miike. He made my heart sing. Audition remains in my top 10 films of all time. It awakened my love for the genre and it’s millions of nuances. But now that I was an adult, I had to be really pushed to get into a film…and that puts me where I am today. The eternal search for extremity. It’s kind of messed up and I’m aware of that. But more importantly, it’s what excites me about film. Genre films have a way of giving you a slanted, but realistic view on the world. And while the mass years consuming filth have taken their toll on my psyche, it does give me perspective. I still adore this genre and I don’t think it’s going anywhere, anytime soon. Over the past few years, I’ve seen so many promising things that I can’t help but still be in love. Where Gaspar Noe set a very high bar with Irreversible, Pascal Laugier answered with Martyrs. Let the Right One In broke my heart. Paul Solet’s Grace makes me smile every time I tell someone about it. Toe Tag Pictures have picked up the torch lit by the Ruggero Deodato’s and Roger Watkin’s of the world, only to trump them. Low Budget Pictures from Rochester, NY keep alive the pervert spirit of early John Waters and H.G. Lewis films. Eli Roth has become a rock star in America and only made 3 films. Two of our time’s most highly respected film makers teamed up to pay homage to the sleaze of 42nd street, by releasing a double fucking bill!!!! This, along with many other things, are irrefutable evidence that the world of horror is very much alive, and very much thriving.
That hope created this website. I’ve collected some folks who’s opinions and writing I really trust, to bring you as the reader, some truly entertaining reading, and this is very important-content! When I hit up Kristy, Dave, and Justin about writing for this site, the point I tried to convey was that I didn’t want to be a gossip blog. I wanna give fans something to read, something to laugh at, or get pissed off about. This is the ultimate plan for The Blood Sprayer-it’s not just going to be new films and what’s hot. There’s gonna be plenty of us waxing nostalgic on here. Are hope is to not only entertain you, but maybe expose you to films and directors who are directly affecting our beloved genre. What is horror? Well, we’d love to give you the option to define/redefine it in any manner which you see fit. So, you’ll find interviews and reviews of new films all in the same time you’ll hear about Kenneth Anger, Andy Milligan, or Alejandro Jodorowsky. We’re not just horror fans but fans of film. The thing is, horror has bitten all of us and it excites and aggravates us all at once.
This site is here for the fan. Let us know what you want to see and hear about, and we’ll do our damndest to deliver. We’re going to tell you about authors, filmmakers, and musicians that we care about and hope you will too. Enjoy the site, and stay filthy…