Horror

The Problem Within: Horror Community Values & Victor Salva

I’ve been part of a number of Facebook groups geared towards horror audiences. In the last year or so, I’ve been added to these giant groups whose members include horror purists, slasher fans and more. With how huge these groups can get, you’re bound to find someone who has questionable values and perspectives on the genre. As of late, the common discussion I’ve seen in these groups surrounds Victor Salva.

In 1988, Jeepers Creepers director Victor Salva was sentenced to 3 years in prison for child molestation, filming the act, and possession of child pornography. Instead, he served 15 months.

Walking down memory lane, I remember having sleepovers with my friends in elementary school. We would pick out horror movies to try and scare ourselves out of our wits. Sure enough, Jeepers Creepers was in that lineup. We loved it, but we were innocent, naive to the events that transpired around Salva’s conviction.

Time went on. I grew up, moved away from military brat life, and had more access to information. That happy memory I had about Jeepers Creepers with friends back in the day was squashed when I learned the truth. I was enraged. So when Jeepers Creepers resurfaced with a third installment, I wasn’t pleased. Victor Salva was listed as director and producer. No, thank you.

I naively assumed everyone else was on the same page and was proven incorrect after having been in discussions and arguments with others in Facebook groups who defended Salva.

“He paid for his mistakes,” people would reply to me.

With 15 months out of 3 years? 3 years was already asinine, to begin with. My friends and colleagues tend to  agree, which is why we’re here. On February 7th, my friend and colleague went head-to-head with a member of the horror film community. Her point? We shouldn’t turn a blind eye to pedophiles just because we used to enjoy a movie of theirs.

Lawrie Brewster of Hex Studios unfortunately engaged in the conversation with the view of separating art from the artist. He became more defensive with each response and overall was aggressive.

I’ve been given permission by my friend to share these screenshots of what went down. To be frank, it’s a shit storm that got nowhere except… well, here. Michelle Nessk of The Blood Shed and Gloomy Sunday Productions took to Facebook explaining, “It was a discussion about Victor Salva, he was saying separate the artist from the art. I said I was always surprised when people chose the hill of the pedophile to defend. He proceeded to tell me I was “playing a dangerous game” with him. He repeated that multiple times. He has a lot of mutual’s with me too. So that’s cool. Who wants receipts?”

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I’ve previously covered Hex Studios press releases, but in light of this, I can no longer give Lawrie Brewster that support. By no means am I against Hex Studios in its entirety. However, there’s no room for Brewster’s aggression and problematic morals on my site. That kind of behavior has no place in the horror community.

If we continue to look away and separate the art from the artist, we’re doing a disservice to the generations to come.

It shouldn’t take me saying what if this was your kid for you to empathize and stand up, but if that’s what it takes, ask yourself: What if this was your kid? How angry would you be to see their offender walk away with a slap on the wrist? How angry would you be seeing their name added to more productions without issue while your child still deals with the aftermath and trauma?

Put your support to the people who need it and are truly deserving of it.

When you’re scrolling through Facebook and see an argument about Salva or another offender, why choose to defend them instead of the affected innocent? Stop making excuses.

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