Buffalo Grove Author Shares His Love of Horror Films Showbiz: Horror Movie World Is Different These Days, Author Says Showbiz: Horror Movie World Different These Days, Author Says Showbiz: Horror Movie World Is Different These Days, Author Says

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 19, 2015 | Go to article overview

Buffalo Grove Author Shares His Love of Horror Films Showbiz: Horror Movie World Is Different These Days, Author Says Showbiz: Horror Movie World Different These Days, Author Says Showbiz: Horror Movie World Is Different These Days, Author Says


Adam Rockoff wants to correct what he says is the No. 1 misconception people hold about fans of gruesome horror films.

"The general public thinks that people who like the really extreme horror films are brutal people, cruel people who get off on seeing suffering in real life," he said.

"That's so far from the truth. I would say 100 percent of my friends and partners aren't like that at all."

Rockoff, a Buffalo Grove resident for 14 years, should know something about this.

He wrote his first book, "Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986," in 2002. Four years later, it became a STARZ documentary with the same title.

He wrote the screenplay for "Wicked Lake," a 2008 horror tale that infamous porn star Ron Jeremy stormed out of while shouting, "This is the worst movie ever made!"

Rockoff doesn't disagree. In fact, he deliberately leaves that one off his resume.

Under a pseudonym, Rockoff wrote the screenplay to the 2010 remake of the shocking exploitation film "I Spit on Your Grave," a tale Roger Ebert called "a vile bag of garbage."

Rockoff doesn't dabble in horror all the time. He serves as president and executive producer of FlashRock Films, a TV and documentary production company in Chicago.

Still, just to play it safe, your Suburbs to Showbiz news team interviewed Rockoff at a restaurant in

Arlington Heights. Lots of windows. Lots of witnesses. Uh, patrons.

"I'm a conservative family guy," he told us. "What do I have in my basement? Just a TV, Legos and Barbie dolls. I have a real job, eat dinner with the family. Most horror fans are wonderful people. We don't look like guys who love horror movies."

And he does love them.

Rockoff has written a book being released today, published by Scribner, titled, "The Horror of It All: One Moviegoer's Love Affair With Masked Maniacs, Frightened Virgins, and the Living Dead."

It's a doozy of a memoir with an encyclopedic knowledge of horror films from around the world and the author's observations about the movies he's unapologetically adored since adolescence.

"They were my first love," Rockoff said. "I grew up on horror films. I watched everything that came out. I grew up in the VHS era, so I had a smorgasbord of great and wonderful and awful horror films at my fingertips."

Rockoff was born and grew up in New Jersey. He wound up at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

A college pal tipped Rockoff to a job in Chicago. He moved there in 1998, then to Buffalo Grove in 2001 where he now lives with his wife, Lori (a Highland Park native), and kids Noah, 10, and Hailey, 9.

Society, the movies and technology have changed how today's young fans digest horror tales, he said.

"This stuff is out there everywhere these days," he said. "There's not the same level of illicit discovery as there was when I was a kid in regards to dirty movies, dirty magazines and horror films.

"You lose that thrill. I think in some ways that's a real shame. That's what childhood is -- finding out things for yourself, making mistakes and pushing the envelope whenever you can, especially in the arts, at least in terms of what you're allowed to see versus what you want to see."

So, what does a horror movie have to do to be called a "classic"?

"I think all classic films to some degree touch on the human condition, which is not only universal, but timeless," he answered.

"Look at 'Rosemary's Baby,' all about the anxiety of pregnancy. 'The Exorcist' is not only about fear of losing your faith and your identity, but losing a person who you're supposed to protect."

The good news for hard-core horror fans: Rockoff said we live on the cusp of a new golden age for the genre.

"Look at 'The Babadook.' 'It Follows.' 'Don't Blink.' These are great works of horror. …

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Buffalo Grove Author Shares His Love of Horror Films Showbiz: Horror Movie World Is Different These Days, Author Says Showbiz: Horror Movie World Different These Days, Author Says Showbiz: Horror Movie World Is Different These Days, Author Says
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