Victor Salva Was Disowned When He Came Out as Gay to His Mother and Stepdad
Victor Salva has made enough headlines for being a convicted child molester.
Although he's since served his time for the crime and taken a career blow because of it, whether or not he should still be allowed a position of influence in a movie set has been argued to exhaustion.
As with most public debates, both camps have enough arguments, but no single authority can call a verdict; we won't attempt to either.
Even Salva's attempts as an artist haven't been spared from public scrutiny.
People have found a dark parallel between Salva's signature youth-in-jeopardy tone of the horror genre and his own crimes.
After seeing Jeepers Creepers in 2003, New York Daily News film critic Jami Bernard told the San Jose Mercury News, "It's a naked exploitation of Salva's own inner disturbances. He's just rubbing our noses in the very crime he committed."
Others have posted similar concerns.
Victor Salva's mug shot with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Victor Salva's Specialization — Youth-in-Jeopardy
However, Salva defended his specialization in the subset horror genre by telling the Los Angeles Times that the inspiration for those stories came from his own dark childhood days.
Salva grew up with his younger brother, mother, and stepfather in Martinez, California.
His biological father had walked out on him early on after his mom became pregnant as a teenager.
As the director described, this stepfather "rescued us from utter poverty, although there was a huge price to pay."
The stepfather came from an abusive family and simply couldn't break the cycle. He'd been drinking since he was 14, and not surprisingly, liquor made him aggressive.
"He was physical with us. He'd hit me or sometimes slam me or throw me across the room," Salva recalled. "It was like living with a landmine. You never knew when it was going to go off."
Salva found solace in his monster toys as a kid, and in his teens, he found expression in movies. That's where the roots of his youth-in-jeopardy tone of the horror genre lie.
Victor Salva on Coming out as Gay
Delving into his younger years further, he recalled coming out as a gay man to his parents.
I was thrown out of the house at 18 -- they told me to stop being gay or get out.
He also confessed that he always had a difficult time being overweight and gay.
Even the movie he was convicted after — Powder — was a reflection of his early years.
The movie narrated the tale of a person with albinism who is disowned by his father and harassed by school bullies, the role of an albino outcast being a pretty clear metaphor for a tormented gay kid.
While for most famed names, this coming out as gay story would have put together a mill of headlines, Salva's case was unique.
There were other things that simply overwhelmed those with their ears to the ground.
Needless to say, there is no excuse for what he did, but is he done repenting?