Someone's taken their love of Scream and scrapbooking one step too far...
It's me. I'm the someone. Now go on and jump into one of the corniest things you will ever witness!
I may not always discuss the topic of horror movies on this blog, but that love is there and is certainly woven in my toy discussions and toy stories from time to time. (There was that whole Swans Crossing and Scream mashup that concluded in 2021!) With the release of the brand new Scream movie, the fifth one, it only makes sense for me to finally open a vault from the past and explore the impact that the original Scream had on me.
My aunt introduced me to horror. At a young age. Like, my family had the mindset of, "We're adults, we watch what we wanna watch, and if it is too much, just cover your eyes with your hands." At 3 and 4 I was watching all kinds of R rated movies practicing the honor system of hand over eyes while always managing to peek through a sliver of empty space between my fingers. I never missed a thing. These viewing experiences cemented the joys and thrills of pop culture for me.
Back to my aunt. She has always been a thrill seeker. She loves to be scared. Back in the day she'd ride on the dangerous looking roller coasters and never look back. Horror movies were her favorite. She'd come over to babysit and we'd watch old episodes of the Twilight Zone. Some Hitchcock. And of course John Carpenter's Halloween. It was her favorite and as a kid I thought it was a bit slow at times, but whenever Michael Myers would show up, I was terrified. The movie still creeps me out in the best way.
Fast forward to November 1996. I was 14 and approaching the end of my first semester of freshman year and trying to figure out so much of who I was. I had started to make some friends, which was nice, because as I have written before, a lot of people did not like me. Being the trans fem delight that I was, well, I pissed a lot of small-minded people off in a big way.
If I wasn't at school I was at home. I longed for the days of socializing with friends outside of school hours. I wanted to watch movies with them. Go to the mall. Something. Anything. Those dreams weren't ready to unfold yet though. As such, much of my time was spent engaged in my interests. Any Final Fantasy game. Some music. Toys. Books. And tv. Oh glroious tv. The place where I received all my news for what I wanted to see in the theater thanks to commercials during my favorite shows.
The Scream commercials had me highly intrigued. A scary movie with Drew Barrymore? And Neve Campbell from Party of Five? And Courteney Cox who had dated Michael Keaton for the first half of the '90s? I was no fan of Friends but I loved their love and was so sad when they split. I learned much about celebrity life via A Current Affair. Regardless, I was all about watching a scary suspense movie with some familiar faces.
My aunt wanted to see it as well. We did not see it opening night, but we would see it a few days later. I felt so cool and chic to be seeing a horror movie with my aunt in a movie theater. Like, you couldn't tell me anything because for that moment I was it, living my best life. Scream was largely a mystery to me, I knew virtually nothing going into that theater that night. From the newspaper review I knew that it had a lot of references to other horror movies and had what was described as, "A truly terrifying opening to a horror movie in quite some time."
The theater was large but not many people were there. Lights dimmed and as I sat there with my aunt, the theater felt even more dark than previous movie going experiences. That descending sound of the Dimension logo was ominous and once the title of the movie found its way across the screen with a symphony of horrific sounds and that damn ringing... My heart was beating a mile a minute. I felt my body shaking a little. I didn't even know why.
And then there she was. More than an it girl. More than a moment. Drew Barrymore was rebellion in human form for me. I loved her. I wanted to be wild and free like her. And there she was, answering that damn phone with that creepy voice.
"Because I want to know who I'm looking at."
Holy shit my heart stopped with that line. My aunt and I looked at each other as if to say, "Oh this is too much."
What happened next is of course the memorable start to what would become an iconic movie. I wasn't quite sure what to think. I had gone into the film believing that Drew was one of the main characters. I certainly didn't expect her to die in the beginning. This was Drew Barrymore! And that's to say nothing of how she died. It was brutal for the time. I mean y'all, her parents were right freakin' there! "Casey, baby?" I was gutted in that theater seat, just like Casey and Steve. I was not prepared.
The rest of the movie continued to be an experience that changed every fiber of my being. It was a horror movie that delivered more than just horror. There was mystery. Humor. Catty soap style bickering. "Bam, bitch went down." There were horror references galore. Some I knew, some I didn't. Those references that I had no idea about I would eventually go on a hunt to learn more. And unlike many of the horror movies that I had seen before, Scream had me really caring about the entire cast. I knew characters were going to die, horror being horror and all, but I was hoping and rooting for survival. Don't even get me started on Tatum and that cursed garage door. She was my favorite, I identified with her the most and I just was sick when she died.
When the movie was over, it's all my aunt and I could talk about. We had never seen anything like Scream. It was the highlight of my winter school break. When I got home I immediately pulled out my She-Ra dolls and just dived into recreations of my favorite Scream scenes while adding my own spin to keep the story going.
Scream sliced its way into my brain and just stayed there. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Back at school I was asking all of my friends if they had seen it over the break. Some had and some had not. Over the next few months I would see it again at the movies. When summer started, Scream was still playing at a dollar cinema and I dragged my friends who had yet to see it. I even made my family go because they just had to see what I had been in love with since that first viewing.
Watching it wasn't enough. I needed more. And as my collector tendencies began to ring ring, I realized that there was only one thing I could do: make a freakin' scrapbook.
And that is just what I did. Granted my scrapbooking skills were as dull as an old knife, but any clippings or fan art I did found their way into a bright yellow folder from one of my classes in high school.
Just look at this mess. I'd add to it whenever I came across anything that was Scream related.
Here's an article with Matthew Lillard that came out before Scream 2. I'll totally admit that I had a crush on Stu, he reminded me of this senior I once knew who wanted to make out with me in the school elevator after school. It never happened. I was too scared to ever do something like that, no matter how much I tried to channel my inner Drew Barrymore.
Here we have some inserts that came with a boxed set of Scream. At least I believe that is where these flyers came from.
I even kept this other phamplet because of the Scream image. I'll be holding onto this forever.
While at Suncoast, I saw the most beautiful Scream display shelf with copies for sale. At the top of the blue cardboard shelf was a cut-out of the Scream poster. "What do y'all do with that display when you're done with it?"
"We throw it away."
"Is there anyway that you could reserve it for me? I would be more than happy to take it when you are done."
The guy at Suncoast took my name and called me when it was time to pick the display shelf up. It might be one of my most favorite pieces of furniture I have ever owned. I looked like an obsessed madwoman walking through the mall with this giant Scream shelf display, but I proudly displayed all my movies on those shelves for many years. I thought I was highfalutin, no one could tell me anything different.
Eventually in my late twenties I moved into a house with my ex-husband and we had very different ideas on home decorating, so I made the dumbest choice ever and got rid of the display shelf. It was such a sad day and I have always regretted being so foolish.
I eventually reached a place of wanting to draw my own fan art. I used to draw a lot, and wish I had stayed with it as I got older, but it certainly provided endless hours of fun.
I loved the floating head design for the movie poster. It was a theme that would get overused by a lot of other movies, but I was completely hooked with that entire design. Floating heads for the win!
This Scream phone card was part of that deluxe VHS set I mentioned earlier. I don't think I ever used it because I wasn't sure who I would have called, but I always would dream that I had a boyfriend in another state and the phone card would come in handy for a long distance call to geek out over the phone about Scream and when this imaginary guy would be taking me out on a first date. Sidney may have been unlucky in love, but that was not going to be me! (Editor's note: She too would be unlucky in love)
They even made Ghostface candle holders with red candles that would "bleed" red wax down the holders. OMG, I loved these so much, though I have no idea what happened to them. I was ready to become an interior designer with these candle holders thinking I had all the answers on how to stage a fabulous house that would be the envy of everyone! Ghostface candle holders: check! Scream VHS display: check! Rag tag scrapbooks: check!
I don't know who was behind the mask, which makes it that much fun, but Halloween in '97 fell on a school day and we were all able to go to school in costume. I went as Tatum. I had wanted to wear her psychedlic swirl mini skirt and bright green top, but I didn't have anything close to that outfit. I did manage to put together her outfit with the red pants and silver top with the 10 on it. You know the one right? I had these red pants and I got white ribbon that I fastened down the sides. I couldn't find a silver top, but I got this really cute gray crop top that my friend painted a large ten across. My hair was blonde and I put it in pigtails. No one had a clue who I was, but I came across a "Hello, my name is" tag and put Tatum on it. People still had no idea who I was, so I added, "Tatum, from Scream." But I loved that someone dressed up as Ghostface for Halloween. I felt like we were connected by fake blood and posters with floating heads. I wish someone had taken a photo of me, but it was a day that has been a fond memory regardless.
More fan art. I was learning about shading in art class so I was always trying to utilize my shading skills. I am particularly fond of the very simple looking police hat on Dewey. Fine art this is sooo not.
Some more clippings. My goodness that milk campaign was such a big deal.
There was a lot of great music in Scream. The movie soundtrack was fantastic. As was the score soundtrack by Marco Beltrami. You knew if a movie had a score by Marco Beltrami that it was going to be damn good. Lots of great songs though on the music soundtrack, however it was always a glaring shock that Republica's "Drop Dead Gorgeous" was never on the soundtrack. The song was used to promote the movie and they had a music video. Whenever that video would come on, I'd stop what I was doing. I loved that song so much, and the great thing is that the song made me aware of Republica. Love their music. It was the kind of music that just made you so happy to be alone in your room on a Saturday night, dancing without a care in the world. Other standout songs from the soundtrack for me were: Artificial World (Interdimensional Mix) by Julie Cruise, Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, First Cool Hive by Moby and Whisper to a Scream by SoHo.
While I may not have completed a total recall of the movie, I instead moved my Scream artistic endeavors to character profiles. Drawings of who's who of Woodsboro and the actors that played them. Here you'll really see where the spelling inconsistencies come into play. If I had drawn these today and posted them online, other Scream fans would have ripped me to shreds. Like, dead to shreds.
"M, you always do that. Not everyone is meant to be paired up with someone else. Why can't you chill on everything being about romance?"
I was utterly delighted to prove them wrong. If I had been Gale I would have been crushing too. I wasn't Gale, I was me, and I was totally crushing. I mean it's Dewey y'all. David Arquette is just the cutest.
And oh my goodness! I loved Rose McGowan so much. Anything she was in I was always there to watch and support. I even bought a Maxim magazine once because she was on the cover. Like, I will forever and always be a Cosmo girl, I didn't even know what the hell Maxim magazine was, but I bought the damn thing. I flipped through it thinking I would somehow unlock the mind of men and get a boyfriend. Mess. If this hasn't been done yet, someone needs to write about the huge differences between women and men's lifestyle magazines of the '90s and early '00s. The level of madness, I mean, I need to stop before I start rambling.
I'll never meet the creators, actors, and crew of Scream, but what they all accomplished with this film got me through some real life horror. And I'll forever love this franchise because of that.
Finally, we have All-Argon. If you have followed this blog for a very long time, you may remember a post I made where I won a contest from Brian at It's Trash Culture. I'll refresh your memory, take a break and click this blog post to catch up.
If you don't want to read the post, I'll summarize. Around Halloween 1997, two of my friends were needing to do a creative project about elements for their science class. They were given the dangerous element known as Argon, a silent but deadly killer. They had an idea to make a quick movie about the dangers of Argon, to make it like a horror movie, like Scream, and I casually mentioned, "I could die in the beginning like Drew Barrymore." It was a hit. I had my Drew Barrymore moment. They had a wire hanging over a video camera with a cotton ball taped and dangling in front of the lens. My scene was very simple, I turned around and gasped as the cotton ball struck me in the face.
The rest of the film was about two detectives talking to a coroner about my death and learning all about Argon. And if I'm not mistaken the gas ends up killing them too because they couldn't detect it. I drew up "movie posters" on my favorite notebook paper and everything. It was so much fun. I'm the one in the glasses with the blonde hair, totally channeling Drew Barrymore. An absolute mess.
So, that's about it for this screamingly good time. I hope you have all enjoyed looking back at all of this silliness. There will be more though. My next post will be about the scrapbook I made for Scream 2, and my own stab at writing some horror stories of my own. If you think this was all a mess, well, sequels are always bigger and bloodier.