This Time It’s Personal: A Monster Kid’s History of Horror Memories and Experiences (paperback)
Nominated for the 2023 Rondo Award
I was a "Monster Kid" and "The Weird Kid, The Horror Movie Kid." I found out early...horror is always personal.
Now I make horror for a living. It shouldn't just be WATCHED.
Horror should be ENJOYED.
This isn't some stuffy analysis telling you what's good or bad. Instead, it's a tour of the 1930s through the 1980s--a personal account of how the best and worst of this era gave us so many memories and experiences that impacted our own lives. It's fun...just how horror should always be.
Whether it's crowds screaming in terror at Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Alien, Dawn of the Dead, Sleepaway Camp and so many more; or audiences laughing out loud at The Amityville Horror, Prophecy or Jaws The Revenge--my goal is to show how movies on the big screen or late night cable and home video brought us together. I also examine historical context and its importance to a film's success and why so many reboots and remakes seem to fail.
IF YOU LOVE BEING SCARED IT WILL BE THE READ OF YOUR LIFE!
"Monster Magic Memories! Harrison shares his personal recollections as to how he became a Monster Kid and WHY horror brought him to his filmmaking career. Horror fans will enjoy and even FEEL a personal connection to his journey through both schlock and genuine cinematic horror. Revealing, oftentimes funny and thoroughly entertaining--this book is a highly recommended gem!"
- Stone Wallace ("The Stephen King of Manitoba")
“Indie horror maker Smith (whose films includes Camp Dread and Death House) documents his love for the genre in his first book, which combines memoir and horror cinema history. Smith's introduction to horror came courtesy of his grandmother and her devotion to late night monster movies. As a child, Smith stayed with his grandparents to escape an abusive home life, and he writes that onscreen terrors provided a catharsis from the domestic terrors he faced as a child. This section of Smith's book is the strongest, especially after the peace at his grandparent's farm is broken by an event that later becomes the basis for his first horror movie. He goes on to relate other childhood stories, interweaving them with discussion of the horror movies he saw, where he saw them, and who he was with. Movie posters, stills, newspaper articles, and personal photos lend the book a scrapbook-like effect. Smith describes this book as taking readers with him on a walk, and his extended diatribes and detailed accounts of high school jobs and his dating history make this walk more of lend a ramble”.
“VERDICT: Smith exhibits his expertise on the topic of horror films but occasionally writes like an overly enthusiastic fan, resulting in sometimes-unfocused prose, all tinged with childhood nostalgia”.
- Library Journal