This all comes about as I was able to briefly meet Larry at Monster-Mania this past March. I was excited to meet the man who gave Jason Voorhees his mask, in a sense. I had heard nothing but wonderful things but realized that for a time I was unhappy with his character Shelly. He seemed weak to me where he could have out done all of the other smoothies in Friday the 13th Part 3. I suppose I admired him in a way. He liked to scare the girlies. He was unabashedly himself. He almost ran down a hoodlum with his car and stood up for himself (even though he often did not). After writing up my Monster-Mania experience and actually hearing from Larry himself (consider this my retraction, Larry), I went back and reviewed what I had written. It was somewhat adolescent (most of my writing is), but I failed to realize that I am Shelly. We are Shelly. I mean… I WAS Shelly before I started writing this blog and getting invited to all the parties with the dancing girls making all the money. Bling bling goes my tri-cycle bell.
What Larry Zerner conveyed as Shelly was a character who was every horror nerd. He was shy, but knew how to be outgoing, just not in a socially acceptable manner. He would come up with pranks, wear masks, create scenes of terror for unsuspecting friends to fall into. He was one of us. A monster kid. A horror nerd. A compatriot. I’m still unsure as to why I didn’t see it before, but it could have something to do with comparing him to Franklin from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a wholly different character. We can learn something form Shelly, and it isn’t that he needs to stop being himself. Shelly doesn’t need to stop scaring the girlies. He just needs to stop apologizing for scaring the girlies. He’s got a great sense of humor; not everyone understands that but if they’d just give him the time of day, they might.