No. No it decidedly does not.
No, horror movies did not really play into my childhood. My love of horror movies would come in my teen years with a viewing of Aliens and those Friday nights in Clifton. Although, I do remember a television commercial for the Fog that scared the crap out of me.
Between summer of 1978 and summer of 1981 we lived in a small town called Rochester, New Hampshire. Not the famous Rochester, New York. This was different. Rochester, New Hampshire. It was small. And being a small town in the seventies, the streets were alive with kids who knew each other, rode bikes together, and visited each other's house with no formal permission. Therefore, it's under this setting that we'll find an elementary school-aged Chuck at the next door neighbor's house one Saturday afternoon.
I didn't especially like the kid next door. He was kind of a bully, and a year or so older. But I was bored and wanted to play cars and he was next door, so there I was. In his house. But he wouldn't get up off the couch. He lay there watching TV, and the afternoon horror matinee was about to come on. So I plopped down on the floor near him, half-heartedly pulled a few of my cars out of the carrying case, and planted in front of the TV.
The movie was called Matango. And it was strange. A foreign movie, although I really had no concept of what that meant back then. It was a Japanese movie, in color, and a quick IMDB search turns up the fact that it was released in 1963.
The movie followed the plight of a Japanese pleasure boat crew who get shipwrecked on a deserted island. They find an old ship, also shipwrecked, that seems to be in an advanced state of decay. The only thing to eat on the island is mushrooms. And as they try to survive, they slowly start to turn into mushrooms themselves.
Yes. You read that right. The crew of the boat begins to turn into mushrooms.
This TERRIFIED me. I was shaken. I watched the entire movie in silence. I collected my cars into the box, nodded at my neighbor, and went back to my house. I still to this day think that neighbor boy knew that movie would scare the crap out of me. I went home, did NOT tell my mom what I had seen for fear of disapproval, and kept the frightening thought of MATANGO to myself for years.
Then... a few years later... I became a father. And as my son grew and grew, I bided my time. Collected the movie on DVD, watched Ashton carefully for the proper developmental cues, and then one day decided the time was ripe. I plunked his diapered butt down in front of the TV and we got our Matango on.
I don't actually remember how old Ashton was when I showed him the movie. I asked him recently if he remembered. His eyes went vacant, saw past me, and his face went cold. He just sat there whispering "Matango. Matango. Matango."
I might be exaggerating slightly.
At any rate, he's never really liked eating mushrooms. I share some blame there.
Y'know, it occurs to me that my youngest boy, Alex, and my daughter have never seen the movie. I think it might be time. Want to join us for movie night?