Likewise, I feel as if I should have some grand, important post in mind for you; one where somehow as you're reading this candy shoots out of your harddrive or something, and you start hearing rattling chains and ghostly moans coming from somewhere. But again, if I can't have it all, then I just have nothing, and what we have here today is a regular old post- which, in a way, might make sense as Halloween is a year-long event as far as I'm concerned. Or maybe that's just some excuse.
Anyway. Last night I checked out Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America, a lite-n-breezy little documentary about haunted house attractions across the country...but mostly in Ohio. This 10th Anniversary edition, hosted by Daniel "That Guy You've Seen A Million Times, But You Can't Name A Single Thing He's Done" Roebuck and Bob "That Guy Who Owns A Bunch Of Stuff" Burns, isn't quite as in-depth as I'd like it to be, but then that's not terribly surprising since the project originally began as a segment for Entertainment Tonight.
There's a brief segment on Don Post, the man behind all those rubber masks I drooled over in the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland; for me, this was the highlight of the show- but again, it's a brief segment. Angus Scrimm, Robert Englund, Tom Savini, Alice Cooper, and a few other industry types appear as talking heads throughout, sharing their memories of Halloween and all it entails. As a fan, it's great to hear what Savini's costumes were like, but I have to admit that Angus Scrimm always made me a little sad...apparently he grew up poor and treats were always, you know, withered apples or something, and costumes were rarely more than a sheet- and that's if he was lucky.
The haunted house segments, ranging from Universal City's pre-Horror Nights efforts to the amazing displays put on by Bob Burns (seriously- they're the type of thing I dream of having in my yard), are fun but not overly informative. Personally, I love seeing all of 'em, from the extravagant recreations of horror films to the cheapo cotton-batting spider-web variety. This is a great documentary for the haunted house aficionado, however, so I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for some sort of travel guide or what have you.
There's a second disc featuring a new doc hosted again by Roebuck...honestly, it's a bit of a disappointment. It basically amounts to "Hey, let's visit Dr Horror's Scary Time Castle!" and then there's five minutes of footage from Dr Horror's Scary Time Castle accompanied by music; there are no interviews, no discussions, nothing. Ah well, at least it's only the bonus material.
All in all, I'd say this is worth a look if you're a big-time Halloween nut; even then, however, don't expect anything too substantial. It's a bit like going to someone's house hungry because they say they're going to feed you, but then all they bust out is a veggie plate. I mean, cucumber is yummy and all, but I'm still hungry, you know?