Well, kids, it's that time again. Autumn is on it's way, October is just around the corner, and, along with brown leaves on the ground and evening rains, comes Halloween, the spookiest, most exciting time of the year.
Despite the increasingly sporadic updates of this blog (Two whole months since an update? Get it together, Zack), watching films for my annual Halloween Horror-a-thon and then writing about them here have become just as much a part of my yearly tradition as handing out candy to trick r' treaters or decorating with spiders and bats. And considering the toils of the past summer (Unemployment, unemployment again, end of relationship, numerous traffic accidents), the warmly nostalgic fog of October are gladly welcomed, even more so then usual.
As always, I'm hoping to improve my blog entries this season, by seeing more films of as many different styles as possible, upgrading from measly "mini-reviews" to proper reviews, and updating daily. Since the Universal Monsters are well-trodden ground with me, I've decided this year I'm going to focus on two other classic horror studios: Hammer of the UK and AIP of America. In addition, I also plan on rewatching as many episodes of "Tales from the Crypt" as possible, since I haven't seen it in many years and decided to go ahead and buy the rest of the show after owning seasons one and two for a long time. I know I promised it last year, but the Mario Bava Director's Report Card is complete and ready to post. Those updates should commence on Monday.
Why Monday? Because over the weekend, I am attending my first horror convention, Monster-Mania 20 in Baltimore. Originally, ever-present movie watching partner JD was to accompany me to HorrorFind in Gettysberg over Labor Day weekend, but complications arose and we didn't make it out there. Since it appears to be my last shot at getting to a horror con this season, I decided Monster-Mania is the one. I'm looking forward to meeting Tom Atkins, PJ Soles, Tony Todd and (hopefully) John Carpenter. I'm looking forward to sweeping the dealer's floor, meeting other freaks like me, and catching a flick or two. More then anything else, I'm just looking forward to experiencing the convention atmosphere for the first time. Con reports will appear here Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Expect lots of pictures and swearing.
Beyond that, I don't have a lot in the way of Halloween plans this year, since there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on. My local Apollo Civic Theater will be continuing its Midnight Movie series this year, though no films have been announced yet. JD and I will once again brave the midnight "Rocky Horror" experience, in defiance of sanity and good taste. I'm sure the Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester will have some cool stuff, though there's no signs yet. And it will be hard to top meeting Count Gore de Vol from last year. I also plan on getting out to one of the local Haunted attractions this season, wither it be a trail, a theater, a mall, or a fire house, since that's a big part of the seasonal festivities that I missed out on last year.
Sadly, the movie studios don't seem as interested in releasing horror this October as they were last year. The fifth entry in the increasingly stale and routine "Final Destination" franchise has all ready come and gone. Despite potential guilty pleasure status, both "Shark Night 3-D" and "Apollo 18" have nary a good review between the two of them. "Creature" seemed like a potentially fun, old-fashion monster movie, but, considering its astoundingly awful opening weekend, I'm not placing bets on catching it in the theaters. "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" is pretty much the sole interesting fright flick in theaters right now. I plan on catching that tomorrow, along with the original 1973 TV flick it's a remake off, that I just recently got a copy of.
And what does October hold? A prequel to "The Thing" that I am increasingly ambivalent about and "Paranormal Activity 3," which has inherited not only the annual release dates of the "Saw" franchise, but also it's frustratingly insular story lines, convoluted continuity, and refusal to neatly wrap up the plot points the audience actually wants to see resolved. Even the indie front is slim pickings. "The Skin I Live In" could be an interesting update on "Eyes Without a Face," but Almodovar is a divisive filmmaker and the rave TIFF reviews have me weary. "Texas Killing Fields" has a crackerjack cast but seems more middling true crime story then horror. Washed-up, has-been thriller "Trespass" barely registers. Kevin Smith's obnoxious, self-serving release campaign for "Red State" has deadened any interest I had in what was all ready basically "Hostel" with some thuddingly obvious social commentary awkwardly stapled on. (Criticizing Fred Phelps is like criticizing pedophilia. Nobody's going to disagree with you.) Even more depressing is that not a single horror film is coming out Halloween weekend. What a damn shame.
Proper reviews will start tomorrow. Until then, I suggest you check out my Halloween Megamix play-list over on Youtube. It's full of wacky, goodness, I swear.