FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Oct 31, 2007

boo, and all that

Halloween is upon us once more kiddies, and as usual I have that weird sort of "I want to do something totally kick ass and amazing but I know I'll just end up watching scary movies with my friends which seems like a disappointment but really it isn't because that's all I want to do anyway" feeling that I get every year. I always want to devise some kind of spectacular costume that no one would ever think of, or would even think possible- I never want to settle for throwing on some mask and being...uh, you know, whatever. Of course, this means that I never dress up as anything. The same goes with the yard: I imagine creating this veritable house of horrors with fog and tombstones and bodies everywhere, you know, like they always did on Roseanne. But then I never want to spend the money on anything, and my "house of horrors" ends up being my regular house with maybe one of those "Halloween sound effects" CDs playing, which is...so lame I shouldn't have even mentioned it.

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.

"I was born a poor black child..."

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?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

18 comments:

Bill Walsh said...

Happy Halloween, Stace!

Know what you mean: my scary atmosphere is usually putting on whatever ancient monster movie is on AMC or TCM in the background while I hand out candy.

That said, boo.

So what's on the schedule in the Final Girl Televisitorium?

Stacie Ponder said...

I have noooooo idea what to watch tonight. It'll be a committee decision, so I need to see what everyone's up for. Hopefully someone else will have a swell suggestion!

Joseph Emmerth said...

Happy Halloween Stacy!

My favorite Halloween memory is watching The Crow on a huge Plasma television with some friends. After several bottles of wine, we climbed on top of our building and jammed out on an electric guitar like in the movie. Awesome.

Pierce said...

I'm watching "Evil Dead 2" right now, after that I'm not sure what I'm up for either.

lancifer said...

Happy Halloween!
I too did nothing tonight and it took my months to plan. If you actually get around to watching a movie you'll be ahead of me. I had ONE trick or treater! If i had known I would have given him the whole bag of gummy body parts!

ARBOGAST said...

Happy Halloween! I carved a jack-o-lantern, we put the kids to bed, and the wife and I watched part of the GHOST HUNTERS live marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel. How scary is that?!

Joanna said...

Well, I was stuck at work, but everyone liked my costume, though they didn't know who I was...

I was Mitothin/The Rider from "The Seeker: The Dark is Rising" aka Christopher "Shallow Grave" Eccleston.

Me- http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/AnnaValerious/DSCN2623.jpg

Him- http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/fox_walden/the_seeker__the_dark_is_rising/christopher_eccleston/seeker1.jpg

No one really knew who I was, but that's ok. They still liked my costume. (Although I didn't like being called "Gothic Big Bird"...)

And I see Bob is Tracy the Gorilla from "The Ghost Busters" in that one pic...

Joanna said...

Whoops, here's a better link to mine-
[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v132/AnnaValerious/DSCN2623.jpg[/IMG]

And His- [img]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/fox_walden/the_seeker__the_dark_is_rising/christopher_eccleston/seeker1.jpg[/img]
Where the hell is my Tardis?

Joanna said...

-sigh- Screw it, give me your e-mail address and I'll send them to you.

cattleworks said...

Ha ha ha!
Computer fubar antics!
I'm not alone!

Belated Happy Halloween wishes!

Things were kind of low-key here since I had a slight cold.
I did watch a bunch of SANTO AND BLUE DEMON VERSUS DRACULA AND THE WOLFMAN on DVD as I handed out candy.
The title of that movie is perhaps more exciting than the actual film.

Later, I had the good fortune to catch an entire film on TCM: they had a Karloff fest going on and I saw THE BODY SNATCHER.
He's pretty good in it, and I kept thinking that Jeremy Irons actually has a passing resemblance to Karloff, kinda-sorta.
What they need to do is produce a remake of a Karloff/Lugosi film, perhaps THE BLACK CAT, which I've never seen but has a Satan-worshipping priest, I guess.
Anyways, cast Irons and Martin Landau in it, and update that sucker into an offbeat horror entry. Maybe even Michael Bay's clumsy producing hands won't destroy this too much because it's such an odd combination of elements to start off with.
Just daydreaming here.

Go Casper!

Stacie Ponder said...

Yaaay! Man, I can't believe how lame my neighborhood is. We got maaayyyybe 8 groups of kids- by "groups" I mean, like, 2 kids at a time- and I'd say that out of those, not even half were in costume! What the eff? It feels like Halloween is dead. Do kids not trick or Treat anymore? Sheesh.

We watched...what did we watch? I don't really remember. Halloween III, then part of The Pit, then part of Halloween 6 (ugh), then part of Halloween. Oh well. I had fun.

Next year's gonna rule, I swear!

Bonnie said...

I also agree that Halloween is dying. I got 2 groups of trick-or-treaters, probably eight kids in each group. The I actually went out with a group of people (I haven't been trick-or-treating in years and REALLY wanted candy) and we got yelled at by some old man for being out too late. It was like 8 o'clock! I don't know, but when I was a kid I remember trick-or-treaters coming by well after ten. Maybe the rules have changed. Then I watched Hostel 2 and Day Of The Dead. Happy Halloween, I guess. Good thing it's always Halloween here at Final Girl.

Bill Walsh said...

Halloween's just fine up here. Probably 110–120 kids came by.

My little Viking was sick. He helped me answer the door, though, while his little brother the tiger went around with their mother...

Theron said...

We actually had kids this year - we even ran outta candy. We drank beer with the neighbors in the front yard, gave out candy, and retired with "Wrong Turn 2," which was not as good as "Wrong Turn" but had some gory kills...

Jason Meek said...

Is there nothing better than Final Girl on Halloween? Viva la Final Girl! Now, I have some leftover candy to make myself sick on.

Jason said...

cattleworks, there was once a film in development about the rivalry between Karloff and Lugosi, and Jeremy Irons was in fact the top contender for the Karloff part. If I recall correctly, Gabriel Byrne was possibly going to be Bela. Nothing came of it, though.

My Halloween was lame. I fell asleep at about 10:30 watching Ed Wood's Night of the Ghouls. Sad.

ARBOGAST said...

We got dozens of kids in our lonely, dark neighborhood where only one other house had welcoming pumpkins on the stoop. I think it's more than last year, which would contradict the sense that Halloween is dead. Maybe in white neighborhoods it is, but in the barrio Viva Halloween!

Next year Halloween is on a Friday. I'm psyched! A whole year to plan!

Mike said...

Happy belated Halloween Stacie!

Our area had a Showcase that did double features of some bad public domain movies for the last couple of months. My favorite was Last Man On Earth ("Are you there Morgan?") and Devil Girl From Mars (featuring Vader's long-lost sister Nyah and her laser-firing robot Cheney, I mean Chaney).

For Halloween, they showed 4 movies in a row, and mainly decent ones at that: White Zombie, The Door With Seven Locks, The Satanic Rites of Dracula and the original Night of the Living Dead.

I think they meant to show Seven Doors of Death for the second feature, because The Door With Seven Locks was a mystery movie instead of a horror film. It was a good movie with strong female leads, which is unusual for the time.