Sunday, September 11, 2011

They'll Always Be There: The Trade Center in Horror Films and in Our Hearts

I was at Fromex in the Rockaway Mall, a professional grade photo processing store. A friend called on the phone to let us know that they had been hit. I went down to Sears where they had TV's on display and she was right. We got a second call shortly there after. I was told to dust all the frames, so I dusted them until they closed the mall.

A couple nights later, when the roads had re-opened, a friend and I drove down 287 south, made our way to the BQE and drove past the site. We were listening to the Toxicity by System of Down. We were very upset with more people than we could begin to let on. As we drove, there were bomb threats and scares and the bridges we had previously taken were closed one by one behind us. So we drove fast toward the George Washington Bridge and made it out just before they closed that one.

I've never seen that much smoke before. I'm pretty sure it's the kind of thing that you see in movies when the big monsters attack or when the volcano erupts. The big monsters are dead now, but none of them were Godzilla or King Kong. They never could be, but the best way I remember the towers is in the countless movies that displayed them, vigilant over the city. 70's cannibal movies and just about ever Italian horror flick took a wide sweeping shot of NYC... and there they are like new. Just yesterday, accidentally, I watched Q, The Winged Serpent and there they were; not the focal point of the movie as the Chrysler building was, but prominent. I'm posting a few pics below so you can see how I remember these movies. These are just a few, but I assure you go watch your favorite exploitation or horror flick taking place in the big city and you'll see 'em, standing there... and they'll always be there.

King Kong (1976)

Escape from New York (1981)

Megalon vs. Godzilla (1973)

Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) - Not Featured in this Shot

Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

Zombie (1979)

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Eaten Alive (1980)

House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

Maniac (1980)

Wolfen (1981)

Basket Case (1982)

Manahattan Baby (1982)

The New York Ripper (1982)

Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)

C.H.U.D. (1984)- Not pictured here

Cat's Eye (1985)

Sorroity House Massacre (1986)

Brain Damage (1988)

Maniac Cop (1988)

Frankenhooker (1990)

Grelins 2: The New Batch (1990)

IT (1990)

and last but not least... Toxie. He's got his watchful eye over New York City people. You better fuckin' believe it.

Toxic Avenger (1985)

I couldn't have compiled these pictures in one spot had it not been for the amazing work of World Trade Center In Movies. I wanted to put together an "at a glance" horror perspective of which I have left out a few or may have even missed some. The list at the World Trade Center In Movies is excellent. Please make them a part of your memory. Also, I accidentally stumpled upon a few images at Go over there and search around for other memories.

-Dr. Jimmy

Final thought: "Look at this thing. We still remember? I don't! You know, I don't even remember what the man looks like!" - Johnny from Night of the Living Dead... well we remember Johnny. We remember what they look like.


  1. Excellent! Thank you so much for posting this. It actually bought a smile and some good memories on this somber day. Never forget.

  2. Gracias Master Gio! I'm pretty sure that if I make films some day they'll all take place in a time prior to the attacks of September 11th. Retro forever... which is to say live in the past as long as your sanity allows. Glad to bring the smiles.

  3. I'm so grateful that I was able to see this tonight! I actually watched Basket Case on 9/11 of this year, not even thinking about it's location. This is a beautiful Tribute! Thanks so much for taking the time to put it together!

  4. I think I plan on doing something each year to commemorate the day in this fashion. I still feel raw about it, but the movies help me remember. Whenever I drive into NYC I always think they'll be there even though I drove by them when the fire was still smoldering. WPIX Channel 11 used to have the best ads when I was a kid involving the towers. It's part of my collected childhood.

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