Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Young Fears 20: The Company of Wolves

Each October I like to run a series of Halloween-themed posts on this blog. All this month, I'll be telling anecdotes about things which frightened me while growing up.

In many ways it is a pity that future generations will not have the experience of browsing for movies in a video rental store. There is something about the childhood experience of wandering through the racks and suddenly finding yourself staring at the covers of films in the horror section and being utterly transfixed in horror. Sure, today's kids will probably turn up some trauma from a Google image search but to encounter something in the real world, to turn the corner from child-safe material to the nightmarish world of horror-seekers is quite something when you're an impressionable youth.

There are many video box covers which gave me pause, but none moreso than The Company of Wolves, seen above. I already had a fear of werewolves from my encounter with Lon Chaney, Jr.'s the Wolf Man, but here was a different type of werewolf transformation, one where the wolf seems to shed its human nature as a separate skin. Two mouths in one body - now that's creepy. I have, to this day, not seen the film. I did have to read some of Angela Carter's fiction in college (she being the author of the material adapted in this film) and am thus pretty sure I wouldn't care for the movie, but that's okay - the video box cover did its job of scaring me; no matter how good the creature effects in the movie might be, I kinda don't want to see them - I'd rather let my childhood imagination run wild.

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