In Memory of Juan “Gory” Reyes


The horror community has lost a lot of proponents and big names in 2015, but perhaps the passing that’s hurt me the most has been the passing of Juan Reyes. To others he was known as Juan, but to his friends and colleagues he was known simply as “Gory.” I was very fortunate enough to know Juan for a few years. We’d talk about horror movies, joke about pop culture, and he was always enthusiastic about them. Juan was also a consummate musician who scoredindependent horror films like “Horno,” and was a humongous advocate of indie film.

He knew as well as many others do that indie film is where you can find real horror gems. Juan was funny, energetic, and very friendly, and I was able to cultivate a friendship with him in a few years, and was lucky to see the type of guy he really was. It’s heartbreaking Juan won’t be able to contribute to horror as he used to, but he’ll live on forever in the memories he created, the friends he made, and the good times he shared with so many people.

We were lucky enough to garner a written contribution from Gory years ago and though it was the only article he ever contributed to Cinema Crazed, we were happy to have him lend his ideas and thoughts to our readers.

We dedicate the rest of Halloween Horror Month 2015 to the memory of Gory. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Gory’s family during this terrible time. Thanks for the friendship and laughs, Gory. We’ll never forget you.

Taking the Fun out of Dysfunction
By Juan Reyes

I remember when I was a kid and going to the movies was an amazing event. My dad would call and tell my sister and I to be ready by a certain hour and we’d wait with such anticipation. I also remember waiting for the weekends as a child. Friday was always rental night and I always aspired to be scared so I would of course pick Horror films to do the trick. My teen years left less much to desired.

Films like “Scream” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” filled the theaters with people that thought they knew and understand Horror due to the “rules.” The big screen event turned from fun to lame, especially since none of these films appealed to my friends and I. So our “popcorn nights” were filled with video rentals and further exploration of the B kind. Years later I reflect on those days and think about all the films now and wonder where did all the fun in big screen Horror go?

I suppose I can rant on about the multitudinous flaws Hollywood is making with their never ending slew of remakes and bastardization of films we all hold sacred and dear to our hearts, but that would be repetitive and redundant. Ranting on about a plague with no cure can prove to be a waste of time especially since there is such a vast area of media procreated zombies that live on the notion of remakes making the films “better.” Instead I’d rather focus on the heart of it all, the fact that there is no fun in mainstream horror and that’s why there are so many failed attempts in trying to win over cult audiences. Let’s take a quick second to over view cinema. The past had Drive-in’s, stink-o-vision, and 3-D. We’ve had movie events of classics where fans would dress up as their favorite character in the film and would re-enact the film in the theater. People would enjoy the show.

There were films with great plots and films with no plots that were still great. Now a trip to the movies is just a cognizant memoir of the hard earned money we’re spending on something that we’re rather sure is going to be a disappointment. There’s an over abundance of 3-D flops being force fed to the mainstream and the majority will eat the wretched maggot feedings and like it. At most we’ll get a premiere that’s semi fun but can lead to disappointment once the film does not meet it’s over hyped expectations. Finally, the biggest thing all must remember so some fun can return to Horror is it’s not meant to be realistic.

Sure films that can hit a certain closeness to home will shock and appall the masses, but how is anyone supposed to enjoy the fun of anything in the genre if every dick behind a camera is focusing too hard on the realism of the film rather than the entertainment factor of the film? Look at some of the greatest directors of all time that fed us blood and guts, great story lines and cheesy acting. That’s what made the films of yesteryear so great. Now we get flat actors/actresses in over glorified video music style remakes for the bubble gum pop generation of tech whore’s. If I’m watching a film I don’t care for the emphasis on the phone or computer the person is using or any other form of short changed advertisement they’re forced to throw in to look “cool.”

I know all the cliché babble I’m going to get for those that gladly swallow loads of conglomerate man juice for breakfast and buy what they say is right for them, then two years down the road forget the existence of the film only to have something of the similar ilk released and fed to them as something “new” and “fresh.” Listen to your fat pocket Hollywood critics and your pseudo anti Hollywood horror movie websites that glorify the imminent destruction of such classic masterpieces, or sell you the idea of this remake or re-imagination as being an original film. Go to your local multiplex and get a short changed experience for your $12.50 or whatever the damn ticket cost now. Be happy; be satisfied that your movie experience was worth what Hollywood thinks you’re worth: Nothing.

Once in a while you’ll get a free cup, or poster or something of the like. If you make the premiere then, oh man, you’re golden. Sad that it’s only at a premiere that the film is an experience where as in my childhood every weekend at the theater felt like a premiere. Lines stretched around corners, people discussed the anticipation of the film and got exactly what they paid for.

Are people so blind that they do not see anything wrong with this? These days you have to have parents that have spoken about memories like this. My rant isn’t to you the fans at all, it’s not for all of us to up and protest Hollywood and scream out against remakes and so on. It’s towards Hollywood for being the hooker we pay to sleep with and she slips us a roofie and runs off with our money. Hollywood is like a strip club you pay to see something good at. But are you completely satisfied when you leave the strip club? We can’t make light out of something disappointing,

Horror was never meant to be “sophisticated” or “realistic.” Horror was meant to desensitize and shock people, scare them, and make them laugh. Horror was meant to be like the drunk girl at a college frat party: wild, outrageous, out of control and fun to watch. While certain hints of realism are a plus, I want my weird monsters or killers that run amuck with no reasoning what so ever just like they did in the good old days.

Since I know that’s very unlikely at least I know my standards are met with the independent horror circuit. If Hollywood isn’t going to wise up, the nice fat pocketed people should at least offer a few more Indie theaters for the true fans that want great horror and great cinema in general. Not trying to completely bad mouth Hollywood films because there are a few excellent films put out yearly, but nothing beats the fans of the cult whom come out line up in complete unity discuss their favorite movies, recite their favorite lines and have fun watching a good film.