Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Halloween 2016: Preamble


I spent a lot of time thinking about Halloween, through practically every single month of the year. Yes, the Halloween bug doesn’t really bite me until mid-July – when I’ve had enough of summer and instead turn my watchful eyes towards more joyous times – but not a month passes without thoughts of bright orange pumpkins and black cats. The amount of time I spend throughout the year thinking about Halloween easily overshadows even the considerable amount of time I actually spend celebrating the holiday. Well, now the waiting is over. The Halloween season is upon us!

I love you, Halloween. Let me count the ways. I love the pumpkins and even the pumpkin spice. I love the cooler weather and the orange and brown leaves lining the sidewalks. I love the bed sheet ghosts and cardboard skeletons. I love the barren trees with their outstretched corpse finger branches. I love the spooky feeling that infects everything and anything these next forty-two days. I love that the memories of seasons passed well up inside me constantly. I love that, for a brief six weeks, the entire world decides it loves spooky things as much as I do. I love the candy corn and pails full of colorful wrappers and every single tradition I do that makes me look forward to this season so much.

And no tradition is more important to me then the Six Weeks of Halloween, alternatively known as the Halloween Horror-fest Blog-a-thon. This is my eighth year celebrating the season by watching as many damn horror movies and TV shows as possible. It all started with a man with a vision. His internet handle is Kernunrex and he’s been at this even longer then I have. Aside from myself, others have joined the dance. These days, marathoning a metric shit ton of horror movies isn’t just an ambitious blogging project. Instead, it has become my very favorite way to mark the changing of the seasons and the passing of the year. It’s how I show my love for – let’s face it – the only objectively good holiday.

It's okay. Kong just wants some of his candy.

So you know I have to go over the top. Halloween is the one time of year when everything worth doing is worth overdoing. My watch list for 2016’s Six Weeks easily exceeds 100 things. Naturally, themes begin to emerge. Tying into upcoming podcast episodes, I’ll be looking at movies adapted from the horror genre’s most popular author. The redneck horror subgenre will be touched upon. I’ve set my eyes on a cult favorite horror series I’ve never watched before. Monster movies from the fifties and beyond will also come up. As I wrap up my coverage of “Tales from the Crypt,” I’ll be including some other spooky TV shows as well. It’s going to be a very busy six weeks, the best kind.

I spoke of other Halloween traditions. As much as I would like that, one’s Halloween can not subsist on movie watching alone. So what else is in the cards? For five years now, I’ve kicked off October by heading to Monster-Mania, a local horror convention. Naturally, my hotel room is already booked. Some of this year’s notable guests?: David Arquette, Kristy Swanson, Chris Sarandon, William Katt. Aside from my yearly convention pilgrimage, I’m also looking forward to visiting a haunted attraction, a corn maze, some spooky Halloween stores, and who knows what else. What a time to be alive.

Every year, I also take a look at how the rest of the world will be celebrating Halloween. Horror movies provided some clever counter-programming to the big blockbusters this past summer. The likes of “The Conjuring 2,” “The Shallows,” “Lights Out,” and “Don’t Breathe” all did solid business. The mainstream studios continued to roll out similarly themed flicks. “Morgan” or “The Disappointments Room” disappeared with little attention. The late weekends of October are held down by dispiriting fare like the long shelved “Rings” and the shitty sequel to that shitty “Ouija” movie. The only bright spot in the land of wide releases is “Blair Witch,” the stealth sequel from Adam Wingard, which has already come out to mixed reviews and poor box offices.


As always, the arthouse holds my attention more closely. This season sees several prominent returns. The king of white trash horror, Rob Zombie, encores with his killer clown epic “31.” The long awaited conclusion to the “Phantasm” series, “Ravager,” will be unleashed soon. Bryan Bertino, director of “The Strangers,” makes his overdue next feature with “The Monster.” Oddball and arty movies like “Antibirth,” “Demon,” “Under the Shadow,” and “The Greasy Strangler” all sound promising to me. Odds are I won’t see most of these. However, I always like to keep an eye on the horror films filling theaters and TV screens throughout the six weeks. Feels good, you know?

Do you sense that? You can breathe again. The morbid heart comes to life. The demon dogs howl. The witches fly through the night skies. The patches are filled with grinning gourdes. The youthful soul is born anew, in a quest for tricks or treats. September and October are the only months that give back more then they take. All hail. Eat candy, watch horror movies, drink cider. Be spooky. 2016’s Halloween Horror-fest Blog-a-thon starts… Now.



Mark said...

Happy Six Weeks! Lots of fun in store this year, looking forward to it!

whitsbrain said...

I'll be reading and watching as much as I can along with you.