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MORGAN STEWART'S RETURN FROM THE GRAVE (Sept. 05) by Chris Huziak

Growing up a horror fan in the middle ‘80s, many films were released that will remain classics in the eyes of horror fans. Re-Animator, Day Of The Dead, Return Of The Living Dead, Fright Night, Morgan Stewart's Coming Home, Nightmare On Elm Street...

Wait a minute. Back up. Morgan Stewart's Coming Home? ...

Why does an entertainingly cheesy comedy from the eighties deserve a mention on a horror website?

Read on...

Jon Cryer (fresh off Ducky in Pretty In Pink) stars as Morgan Stewart, a happy go lucky son of a senator. As the rest of his school gets to go home for Thanksgiving, Morgan stays at school. Not by choice, but because of the fact that his parents don’t want him.

But one day, Morgan’s mother gets him out of school to return home to be part of his fathers’ new “Family First” campaign. He returns home, only to get caught up in his father’s campaign manager’s sleazy plans with the campaign funds.

But of course, this is a eighties comedy, so Morgan gets in a whole bunch of wacky adventures, turmoils and gets the girl (more on her later). Things turn out fine, right?

So the big question. Why?

MORGAN STEWART'S COMING HOME presented for the first time (to my knowledge), horror movie fans as normal every day people.

Morgan has a giant collection of posters, stills, masks, mags, horror shirts, everything!

And he is never presented as a weird, crazy, potential serial killer kid.

Morgan’s girlfriend is also cut from the same cloth. Any girl that cuts in line just to get George Romero’s autograph is okay in my book. Her and her family are shown as normal, loving people that happen to love horror.

Aside from Chainsaw and Dave from Summer School, I can’t really think of any mainstream film that presented horror fans as normal, positive people.

I don’t know, my life was more like this. A normal kid with a group of friends that just happened to love horror.

If you can see Morgan Stewart (it’s hard, but not impossible), go for it. Someone in the eighties thought we were normal.

-Chris Huziak

Editor's Afterwards:

I had actually read the above article as a journal entry in Chris's on-line blog a few weeks back and immediately asked him if he'd be willing to expand upon it for an Icons Of Fright article. Most of you whom know me, know that the only other genre I am obsessed with besides horror... is the 80's teen comedy. Ya know, I have such fond memories of THIS particular 80's comedy cult classic - Morgan Stewart's Coming Home.
I could never quite put my finger on it, until I read what Chris wrote. It was the fact that Morgan was probably the most normal horror fan represented on film. He wasn't gothy or weird. (Well, maybe a little weird.) But he was for the most part, very much like myself and my friends. In fact, considering his parents were political figures, he was probably more rational then most of the other characters in this movie.

Let me count the reasons to love this movie:

- The opening shot of a poster of Lucio Fulci's Zombie. (The first time I'd actually SEEN this image as a kid).
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre chainsaw with Tobe Hooper's autograph!
- The Russian butler Ivan... he was just cool.
- The annoying little brother Billy. ("GREAT! I can bunk with Billy!") And of course...
- The Girl! Every horror fanatic's DREAM girl! Em! ("You know, like in Dial M For Murder?")

(Sub-section devoted just to Em:)
- What other girl would cut in line with you to get George Romero's autograph? (I've oftened dreamed that THIS would be the way I'd meet my dream girl.)
- What other girl would pick a date to see 'Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes?!
- What other girl would shower with you while you're both wearing Halloween masks?

Emily was the coolest girl in 80's cinematic history! That's a fact!!!

It's a shame that in the film's actual credits, it says Alan Smithee, meaning that no real writer or director wanted to take credit for this movie. They SHOULD step up, because a lot of us loved Morgan Stewart's Coming Home. And I'd personally like to thank them for representing a horror fan like Morgan as a normal kid. If you hunt, you should be able to find this cult classic on VHS. Someone's GOTTA put out a DVD sooner or later, right? Hmm.... maybe I should look into the rights....

-robg.

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