Somewhere in the family photo archives is a genuine artifact of boundless joy. Two of my sisters and two of my brothers sitting on the living room sofa with pillows covering the lower portions of their faces, eyes piercing whatever may have been in front of them.
Which was the divide between the sofa and the television.
They were terrified. A moment of high tension where the only thing missing was someone jumping in the room and screaming at the top of their lungs, resulting in much noise and defecated garments. My mother took this snapshot, circa 1982, as the family for some reason was enthralled by a horrible slasher film from that glorified era, He Knows You're Alone.
This little known gem features the big screen (for better or worse) debut of one Tom Hanks, which he pontificates about here:
Spectrum, who as I've stated could bring the highest of quality films into your home, also could swing the crap stick. This was one of those incidents, but the whole family (and assorted friends who were there on this hilarious Saturday evening) remembers it quite well. My mom loves to tell the tale of the fear running rampant on the sofa that night.
He Knows You're Alone was another Halloween rip-off, but apparently had enough juice to scare the shit out of four young adults, and who knows who else was present in our humble abode. Shot in 1980 on a low budget, it came and went in the cascading wave of movies that were either made as homages or direct attempts to profit off others' art in the horror genre. It was lucky enough to feature a young Tom Hanks, who unlike many stars who had their starts in slasher or teen sex romps (Renee Zellwegger and Johnny Depp, I'm talking to you) loves to tell the story of the movie and apparently isn't ashamed of it in the least.
See the video above for proof: "KNIFE RACK!!"
A search and rescue mission for the legendary snapshot my mom lensed is underway, and if unearthed, shall be posted here for posterity's sake.