Good god, what a beautiful man. "I'll split you from your groin to your gullet." Please do!
Welcome back, folks! Picking up where I left off, here's what I've watched in the second half of October:
October 16- Candyman (1992)
Yes, I'm including a second GIF. It's Tony Todd, how could I not?!
Like I said before, there is no greater mind than that of Clive Barker, and Candyman might just be his magnum opus. Well, it's really Bernard Rose's as he wrote the screenplay and directed it, but it's based on Barker's short story "The Forbidden" and that's good enough for me. Coincidentally, October 16th was the 25th anniversary of the film. Set in Cabrini-Green, a housing project in Chicago, Candyman features real gang members and real bees, and a really great cast. This movie is a masterpiece and easily one of my favourite films of the 90's. Bernard Rose perfectly captures the exquisite pain of this story that's sure to be burned on your brain for a very long time. And speaking of exquisite pain...
October 17- Hellraiser (1987)
I actually revisited this classic not long ago, in late spring or early summer, but that Hellraiser documentary made me want to do it all over again. And what other film deserves to follow Candyman? I'm not going to discuss this film at any length, but it was a game changer that still holds up well. One of my personal favourites that I highly recommend, obviously.
October 17- Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Hellbound is the Godfather Part II of horror sequels. It truly is just as good as the first, and many fans actually prefer it. I, for one, do not but I certainly enjoy it equally. Kirsty's back in this installment and unfortunately for her, so are Julia and the cenobites. We are also introduced to a new character, Tiffany, who adds an interesting element to the story. There's something fresh and exciting about about this sequel that is just as stunning, clever and disturbing as the original.
October 18- Creepshow The Series (2019, episode 4)
The Companion/ Lydia Layne's Better Half
This might be the strongest episode yet, with both segments offering up some good old fashioned scares and some great performances. I was especially excited to see Canadian actress Trisha Helfer (Battlestar Gallactica, Walk All Over Me). She's such a badass. This one gave me some serious 80's vibes and was tons of fun.
October 18- Paperhouse (1989)
Another Bernard Rose film, and much like Candyman this one is super unique and disturbing. I cannot believe that I haven't seen this until now. If I watched it as a child when it debuted, it probably would have been my favourite movie. It's super dark and haunting and the young actors do an amazing job. I wouldn't skip this over if I were you. It's not a good time gore fest or anything like that, and likely not lively enough for a gathering on Halloween night, but it might be perfect for a cold November's evening, cozied up with tea and a blanket.
October 19- Thirst (1979)
When a synopsis reads, "The descendant of Elizabeth Bathory is abducted by a cult..." you think you're going to be for a wild ride, but this isn't even like bumper cars. With the exception of a few cool scenes, and the fact that the protagonist looks a lot like my counsellor who I adore, it was pretty much a snooze fest and certainly one I won't be recommending.
October 20- Halloween: Feast of the Dying Sun (2005)
An enjoyable documentary that centers on the origins of Halloween and associated pagan folklore. This would be a good choice for something playing in the background on Halloween day, while putting the finishing touches on decorating and carving. I especially loved the parts about mischievous fairy debauchery. My mind wandered right away to True Blood and I now realize that their writers incorporated many elements of traditional folklore into their story.
October 20- Body Bags (1993)
This anthology got off to a great start. The first segment, "The Gas Station" was my favourite of the three, which isn't exactly so good because it meant that the rest of the film was a step down. Two steps down. The middle segment is the weakest, the third is pretty good, but just a little too mean-spirited for me, at least for Halloween.
October 21- The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015)
This movie scared the pants off of me. I didn't really know anything about it going in, other than the fact that many people seemed to like it. Now I know why. I highly recommend going in blind like I did.
October 22- The Little Rascals Scary Spooktacular! (1938)
Such a cute little film! Four mini films in one, actually, and super fun for the whole family. I recommend checking it out if you haven't seen it.
October 23- Scream (1996)
I hadn't seen this in ages, yet I can still pretty much recite it word-for-word. This movie is so much fun, and that opening scene is iconic. I will never tire of the horror movie references, especially the Elm Street ones. Scream would make a fantastic Halloween party movie. The pacing is perfect and the mix of camp, dark humour and scares is just right. Also, the movie Halloween (1978) plays in the background, so you can't go wrong.
October 24- Creepshow The Series (2019, episode 5)
Night of the Paw/Times is Tough in Musky Holler
This episode was my least favourite so far. The first segment had promise and some cool spooky scenes, but it just fell flat for me. Same goes for the second, actually. The effects were super cool and the concept was fun, but ultimately it just didn't work. While I do enjoy the comic book panels and illustrations in the Creepshow series, this segment had way too much exposition with the voiceover. It was kind of annoying. Too bad because it got off to a great start.
October 25- Night of 1000 Cats (1972)
I actually didn't watch this movie. I turned it off early on, after a disturbing scene involving animal abuse. I then came across an article about cats being tortured and dying during the filming. Don't watch this movie. I thought it might be fun and campy, but it's just dumb and gross. I hope Amazon Prime removes it from their catalog.
October 25- Haunt (2019)
This would be a fun movie to throw on with a group of friends before heading out to a haunted house. It didn't exactly blow me away but it was entertaining. There were some good haunts in there too, one in particular, that was simple yet chilling and I hope to encounter something similar in a future haunted house.
October 26- The Old Dark House (1932)
I threw this on as a background movie while I made treat bags, but it's really cool. For something I was sort of half paying attention to, I must say that it was super entertaining. Plus, it features Boris Karloff in his first starring role.
October 26- The Thing (1982)
Such a classic. You really can't go wrong with this one, although I tend to throw it on during the winter more than Fall. The practical effects in this movie give me life. It's absolutely a game changer, and also the first movie I watched (when I was probably too young) that made me afraid to fall asleep. That's what makes it a great Halloween watch. If you're not at least a little creeped out when you're nuzzled in your bed, is it really Halloween at all?
October 27- Trick 'r Treat (2007)
I watched this with the commentary on, while I did other festive things like tending to costume details and carving a pumpkin. I also watched the special features, which are super cool. I highly recommend you do the same, especially if you've seen this movie pretty much every year since it came out like me. It's always fun learning about behind the scenes stuff in movies. I actually met Mark Freeborn, the production designer for Trick 'r Treat once. He lives on a nearby island and I wound up at his garage sale totally by accident. He and his wife are lovely people who both work in the industry. I'm sure many of you would be familiar with their work on The X-Files, Bates Motel and Breaking Bad. I picked up a few things at that garage sale, including a scratching post for my cat Beans that Mark made himself.
October 28- The Lost Boys (1987) I can't think of any October in recent memory when I didn't watch this movie. An all-time favourite, and one of the best vampire films ever made. I love the cast, I love the characters and the setting is pure magic.
October 29-Phantasm (1979)
Let the Tall Man into your heart this holiday season. I'm sure glad I did. I frickin' love this movie, and I hadn't seen it for many years so it was extra fun to revisit. I recently found out that the film was supposed to be over 3 hours in length, but was trimmed back to a cool 89 minutes. That's crazy! I wish I could see the rest of the footage, but apparently most of it is lost.
October 30- It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The most sincere Halloween film. Sometimes you just feel like switching gears. Also, it occurred to me that I hadn't watched it yet this year. Plus I was tired and wanted to watch something short so I could just make tea, light candles, burn incense, relax and enjoy the final evening before Halloween.
My plans for the big day are to carve my last pumpkin while watching Halloween (1978), roast more pumpkin seeds, put the finishing touches on decorating and costume details, watch Halloween III Season of the Witch (1982 ) and hand out candy. After that I'll be checking out the new episode of Creepshow, which I'm really excited about because it's directed by Tom Savini! I can almost guarantee that there will be another horror movie thrown in there during the day and/or night, but I'm going to let that be a game-time decision. As for what I recommend...I mean, whatever floats your boat, but I feel it's always essential to watch something from the Halloween franchise on Halloween day. I also highly recommend watching Trick 'r Treat if you haven't already. Anything that takes place on or around Halloween is always a good idea too, such as E.T. which is great fun for the whole family. Of course there are so many other options, and I look forward to hearing what everyone picked.
Halloween is a special time. For me, what makes it extra special is that, unlike Christmas where it's traditionally about spending time with family, Halloween is about spending time with strangers. You open your door to people you presumably don't know, give children treats, say hi to their parents, chat about costumes and share in the festive spirit of the season. For someone like me who has social anxiety, that really means a lot. Being able to talk to strangers and share laughs while wearing a spooky costume somehow puts me in my happy place. Here's wishing that, whatever it is you choose to do on Halloween night, you find yourself in your happy place. Be safe, be scary, and remember to keep your pets inside.
For those of you who decided to be my victim by reading these two posts, I thank you very much. Now I will leave you with some festive music from King Diamond. I still can't believe that I'll be seeing him live in Vancouver next month. I'll be sure to tell you guys all about it. Now go forth and be creepy, and have a spooktacular Halloween!
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!