Horror movies have always been stigmatized by the powers that be. Pre-1980 it was really easy to make a horror movie and get away with anything. Post-1980, however, proved to be an entirely different experience all over, most notably in America and the UK.
On the American side of the pond, there was a lot of struggle between filmmakers and the strict guidelines enforced by Reagan-era film boards. In the UK, many films were banned and put on the “Video Nasty List” which, for many fans, held the most coveted of all horror movies. Why? Because movies make kids do crazy things! At least that’s what many believed.
Now in 2015, we’ve moved past that way of thinking – for the most part. Unfortunately, there have been crimes committed in the name of certain films and it’s always disappointing to see art (good or bad) get dragged through the mud. In reality, movies don’t cause sane people to become insane, rather the problem is when troubled people get fact and fiction mixed up. These are their stories.
January of 1998 Lynwood, California, Gina Castillo is violently attacked by two teenagers. She was stabbed 45 times by her 16-year-old son and his 14-year-old cousin. The family warned Gina of the cousin’s odd behavior and she didn’t like her son associating with him. Unfortunately, she could not prevent the two from cohorting, and the result was deadly.
When questioned about the murder, the boys said they had killed Gina Castillo for money so they could buy ghost-faced masks to reenact the first two Scream movies on a murderous rampage. Both boys were convicted of first-degree murder.
In Scotland, Allan Menzies killed his best friend and drank his blood. He claimed the vampire queen Akasha from the 2002 film, Queen of the Damned, came to him and promised to make him a vampire if he killed someone. Menzies already suspected that Thomas McKendrick and another friend were plotting to kill him, so he decided to beat them to it.
After stabbing his friend, he drank McKendrick’s blood and ate part of his head. Menzies was arrested shortly after dumping the body in a shallow grave. Menzies was institutionalized and expressed sadness when he was disappointed to find no other vampires at the hospital. He later committed suicide while incarcerated.
Daniel Gonzalez killed four people and injured several others in London and Sussex in September of 2004. He previously had psychological issues that concerned his mother. She attempted to get him help but was unsuccessful because a serious incident had not yet occurred. Gonzalez wanted to emulate his favorite movie killers like Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th and Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Instead of targeting children like Freddy Kreuger, Gonzalez instead attacked the elderly and infirm. One victim was killed with four knives he had stolen from a store, presumably to recreate Freddy Kreueger’s iconic knife glove. His pleas of insanity were rejected and he was given six life sentences. He, like Allan Menzie, committed suicide in jail.