So it was only natural that Halloween would become a special time for Cannella, and that when he got a home of his home, he would decorate it for the season.
"I watched those films all of my life," said Cannella, whose home has become something of a local legend.
Kids and adults line up for almost a month before Halloween to see what he will come up with next.
"I started out small and just added something every year," Cannella said.
Most of the additions have some interactive component, such as a moving arm or characters that suddenly come alive whenever someone comes near.
"I don't let anybody into the house," he said. "But we put up barricades and let people walk by the house."
People do, often lining up to wait their turn, especially on Halloween.
The interactive elements are only part of the fun. Over the years, family members and friends have joined in what amounts to a large Halloween party by dressing up. This year, their pet dog, Odie, dressed up as a lobster, and Cannella's grandson, Brandon, dressed up as Nemo.
This year, Cannella added a mad scientist to the collection that features over 50 separate interactive items. Some of the life-sized figures are from manufacturer's catalogues, but some are Cannella's own creations, with family members supplying him with clothing and other items.
His wife, Jeanette, and his children, Matthew and Michele, have become as deeply involved in the project as he has.
"My wife made a lot of costumes," Canella said.
The house, near the southeast corner of West 16th Street and Kennedy Boulevard, of course, is unmistakable, even though Cannella takes many of the street side displays inside overnight. Both porches, the front yard as well as the walk up to the front stairs, are flowing with icons of horror, witches and other creatures of the dark that glare at people and traffic that passes by.
Some of the interactive items are Cannella's invention. As a mechanic with the city's motor pool in the Central Garage, Cannella has a knack for making things work, such as the arm that rises and falls.
As a kid, he created whole scenes out of webbing and old clothing, influenced by the Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney and Bella Lugosi films he saw on TV.
His first year, Cannella put out a dummy with a mask and a pumpkin, but the next year added more dummies, and then added more and more each year.
Some of the items he purchases off the Internet or from magic shops. Other items on display, such as the Area 47 alien, were created by purchased elements and his own creations.
"Someone gave me an old wheel chair and I sat a headless dummy in it," he said.
Cannella has lived at the current location since 1972. But he has lived in Bayonne all his life.
"I grew up on 30th Street and went to St. Henry's School, then Bayonne High School," he said.
While he also decorates for Christmas each year, Halloween seems to hold a special place in his heart.
His operates his display from about 7:30 to 10 p.m. each year. Halloween night is always a full blowout, when his family members and friends dress up and add to the night's frights.
"People come here from all over, from Kearny, North Bergen, Staten Island, Rutherford, and other places," he said.
On Halloween, he, his family and his friends give small gifts to the trick-or-treaters.
"We don't give candy. We give small prizes like spider rings or a Halloween puzzle," he said.