The League of Tana Tea Drinkers

LOTTD Our mission is to acknowledge, foster, and support thoughtful, articulate, and creative blogs built on an appreciation of the horror and sci-horror genres.

Horror bloggers are a unique group of devoted fans and professionals, from all walks of life, who keep the genre, in all its permutations and media outlets, alive and kicking. Often spending long hours to keep their blogs informative and fun, horror bloggers share their unique mix of personality, culture and knowledge freely to fans of a genre difficult to describe, and fun to fear.

We honor exemplary horror blogs with our own special insignia: one that signifies the heights to which we aspire, and the code of excellence we follow to promote horror in all its wonderfully frightening forms, from classic to contemporary, from philosophical to schlockical.

The League of Tana Tea Drinkers are bloggers who toil away the extra midnight hour to present the best in horror blogging to reach the heights of horrifying excellence. We know what rapture it is to sip tana tea in the full moon light, and feel the thrill of walking the dark passageways in cinema and literature, searching for the unusual, the terrifying, and the monstrous. For the fun of it.

Keep watching the skies, and reading the horror. LOTT D is coming for you!

--jmcozzoli, Zombos' Closet of Horror

September 7, 2009

Meet the Horror Bloggers: Classic Horror

Nate Yapp Many fans of horror, amateur and professional alike, have devoted themselves to blogging about the thrills, chills, and no-frills side of the genre as seen in cinema and print. In this ongoing series that highlights the writers behind the blogs, we meet the unique personalities and talents that make the online horror scene so engaging. Up close and personal.

In this installment, Nate Yapp of Classic Horror hits the wall, and climbs over it in classic style to continue his quest for horror.



Even without horror, I would still be a movie blogger of some kind. When I was seven, I read Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide from cover to cover, imagining each film in my head. Cinema is part of my basic identity. Horror came to give that identity a focus, not once but twice in my life.


While I was still seven (or possibly eight), I wandered into the living room just as the infamous sewer grate scene from Stephen King's It began. I was terrified. I did not like it. My mother, who grew up watching a local late-night horror program, decided that the best way to handle my almost crippling fear was to show me her horror films -- Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Pit & the Pendulum and the like. I was hooked. For whatever reason, these resonated with me. I would search bookstores and libraries for tomes on my favorite monsters.


At age eight, I was proud owner of William K. Everson's Classics of the Horror Film and Alan Frank's Horror Movies (although many of the full-color pictures in the latter volume disturbed me). I even bought a copy of Lotte Eisner's The Haunted Screen, because Count Orlok loomed on the cover. A friend's parents were kind enough to tape AMC's Monsterfest for me and I pored over all of those movies. I could not get enough.

Until I eventually did.


I hit a wall. I couldn't stomach blood (my first viewing of Curse of Frankenstein ended when the monster was shot in the eye) or anything made past Roger Corman's Poe cycle. I was too young to purchase my own videos and television was stingy about showing my kind of horror. Without a lot of new material to satisfy my macabre hunger, I moved onto different entertainment diets. I became a Trekkie for a while. I collected comic books. I obsessively cataloged how many different characters each member of Monty Python played over the course of Monty Python's Flying Circus (I wish I still had the figures for that, but I believe that Terry Jones or Eric Idle "won"). These were all fine, but they were fleeting, one melting into the other as I became distracted by a new bit of weird.


Fast-forward to my sophomore year of high school. I was stuck writing a research paper on any subject I wanted. I chose horror because I knew it and I'd be able to finish quickly. Roughly around the same time, a friend, shocked that my education in horror hadn't traveled past the 1960s, bought me The Evil Dead. Well, the process of researching the paper reminded me why I loved classic horror films and The Evil Dead showed me that there was a lot I had missed in shunning all new horror. The obsession began anew. My after-school and summer jobs gave me the disposable income to buy the tapes necessary to fan the flames of my rekindled love. I even paid $50 (by check!) for Phil Hardy's Overlook Encyclopedia: Horror. I was learning HTML at the time, so why not create a website as well?


Let me tell you something I've learned in the last ten years. At age sixteen, you have no idea what the hell you want. I began Classic-Horror with what seemed like a simple idea -- to provide a haven for the kind of horror movies I loved. The Internet was glutted with poorly coded websites talking about the "classic horror" of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, so I would create a site that stood in opposition to them. I thought I was king of the clever people, the only person on the Internet who had the gumption to create a website about Karloff and Lugosi and Real Horror Movies. Clearly I was useless with a search engine back then or I would've realized that I was dead wrong on that count. In any case, it was a shallow website with a fairly undefined point and almost none of that content remains on today's version of Classic-Horror.


Thankfully, at some point, the whole thing clicked. The more reviews I wrote and the more research I did, the more I realized that I didn't just love horror. I believed in it. I thought and still think today that horror is an important part of the sociological fabric of civilization. As an expression of fears both conscious and unconscious, it can tap into the cultural zeitgeist in ways that other genres cannot. Our first response to change is fear and the first response of great horror filmmakers to that fear is to send it back out into the world as a vehicle of entertainment.


Horror matters, pure and simple. I believe that with all of my heart and I use Classic-Horror as my vehicle to explore and expand this belief. I hope you'll join me.


Classic Horror

2 comments:

TbsYnw said...

"Hi:

Two things

1) I’d like your permission to (re)print your article on The new adventures of old Christine
for our website

2) I was hoping we could use your ‘scribing’ talent for our website.

The Best Shows Youre Not Watching (dot) com [all one word]

The new adventures of old Christine is one of our featured shows. We’re hoping to round up a few people who can occasionally contribute perspective (via an article/blog) on the shows – maybe a recent episode, future direction, plot shortcomings etc.

What’s in it for you?
Primarily a larger audience back channeled to your blog. We don’t pay but the site has a lot of promise and we're pretty excited about getting it off the ground. Let me know what you think.
http://www.thebestshowsyourenotwatching.com/

Thanks

Nate Y. said...

*blinkblink* I've never even SEEN that show, let alone written about it. I can tell you all about the Old Adventures of Car Christine, however.