“When I was a kid, I loved to go to horror movies to release some tension and also to bring attention to myself by screaming a lot,” says Lypsinka, the alter ego of writer-performer, John Epperson. “Looking back now, I see all of that as a release from Southern small town repression.”
Even if it didn’t begin that way, these days Epperson has a more sincere appreciation of pop culture. “When I moved to New York in 1978, irony and camp were definitely on the upswing,” he recalls. “I went to a wacky club in the East Village to see movies — this was before the predominance of cable TV and home video. Tuesday night was Monster Movie Club, and we saw the tacky horror films we’d all seen as kids in a brand new light — Ed Wood movies like Plan 9 From Outer Space. Fifteen years or so later, Disney made a movie about Ed Wood — and now Club 57 is the subject of a documentary I’m working on.”
Epperson’s recent play My Deah — a retelling of the gory Greek Tragedy Medea that’s set in the Deep South — owes its horrific and comic elements to many over-the-top movies. “Hurry Sundown, a tacky Otto Preminger movie about the South, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, which is now regarded as a campy horror film, Reflections in a Golden Eye starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando, and To Kill a Mockingbird, to name a few.” As for his favorite horror movies, it’s a ten-way-tie.
John Epperson’s Top 10 Horror Movies
“The Fury is Carrie with a bigger budget,” says Epperson. “It doesn’t bring up the same deep emotional response as Carrie,
but it’s a very good example of style over substance. It’s also very
glamorous. De Palma really gets it right sometimes, like in Sisters and Femme Fatale.”