There were lots of things for sale on the Sunset Strip that night, but the hottest commodity was fear! Gothic music by groups like Gallery of Suicide and Christian Death was keeping the locals up at night. Scaremongers like Stephen King and Anne Rice were making millions of bucks selling hundreds of millions of ghoulish books. At a theater in Westwood the college kids were forking over good money to scream. José Diaz-Balart was there to find out why.
José asked moviegoer Jason Nienberg how he felt about horror flicks. As Jason explains, "They can make you scared. They can make you grab onto other people. They can make you scream in public. They can make you wanna go to the bathroom in your seat."
It was time to talk to "Mister Big." Maybe the man who made T. Rexes and terminators could explain our taste for terror a bit more...tastefully. Stan Winston says all humans need to laugh, cry, and quake. As he puts it, "You're gonna do it! You're gonna be afraid! You're going to have fear, so why not get rid of it in a movie? You also know you're gonna be safe. You also know there's a net. You also know if you go into that theater and you're terrified, it's not real, it's a fantasy, you're just allowing yourself to feel, and that's fun."
And what about the people who don't like a good fright?
Stan Winston has an answer to that as well: "I've met a lot of people like that who are afraid to go to a scary movie, and you wanna know something? They're not just afraid to go to a scary movie, they're pretty much afraid of life."
Not José! It was time to pay a visit to a little shop of horrors on Hollywood Boulevard where Mr. Payman Shaffa sells scares for about 40 bucks a pop. Here's a snippet of the conversation as José looks for a truly gruesome mask.
José: Is there a way to do this?
Payman: Yeah, just put it on your head and pop it up.
J: How do I look?
J: Am I scaring you right now?
P: Just a little bit.
J: Now, do I look, do I scare ya?
J: You know what really scares me?
P: What's that?
J: What really scares me is the Spice Girls.
P: Scary Spice?
So what it boils down to is this: when fear is fun, life is good. The frightmeister's words followed José down the strip: "In general, good outweighs the bad, and in general, it's a pretty groovy place to be. This is a good world."