Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Halloween 2012: Preamble

Halloween came early this year. Is it just me or has the rest of the world launched into autumn fever a lot sooner? All the stores have candy and decorations stocked by the middle of September. Seems like everyone was ready for the holiest of horrordays except for me. Well, better late then never.

Before getting to my own plans, what’s going on in the horror scene this October? There’s actually a pretty decent amount of horror in theaters right now. The real question is wither or not it’s any of it is good. You can probably still find mall horror like “The Apparition,” “The Possession,” “The House at the End of the Street,” or “Resident Evil: Can You Believe They’ve Made Five of These Things?” at your local megaplexes. The indie scene has thus far yielded “The Awakening,” Pascal Laugier’s bewildering “The Tall Man,” “The Revenant,” and “[REC] 3.” Kid-friendly horror is hot this year with the charming “ParaNorman” all ready out and Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” Halloween-themed comedy “Fun Size,” and the wretched “Hotel Transylvania” still to come. October’s offerings are a little stronger. “V/H/S,” the most buzzed about indie horror film of the year, invades theaters and VOD next Friday. Further in the month, “Insidious”-copycat “Sinister” marches out, along with turgid sequels “Paranormal Activity 4” and “Silent Hill 3-D: Generic Subtitle.” The festivities even continue into November, with fun-looking horror anthology “The ABCs of Death.”

As for me? Well, I’ll probably be heading to Monster-Mania in Baltimore for at least a day next weekend. In the latter half of the month, JD and I will once again defy sanity and good taste by experiencing the “Rocky Horror” experience at Apolloween, which will hopefully go better then last year’s attempt. The Alamo Dratfhouse in Winchester will probably have something worth checking out and, no joke, I actually will check out some local haunted attractions this year.

As for my viewing plans for 2012’s Halloween Horror-fest Blog-a-thon, my fourth year in a row? They are legion. This year, I’m doing the Universal Monsters. Okay, I know what you must be thinking, Hypothetical Readers. “But, Zack, you do the Universal Monsters every year!” Why that’s not strictly true, I have covered the films over and over again. What’s the big difference? This year, I’m doing all of them. All of them. Or, at least, all that I can get my hands on. Drawling from this exhaustively comprehensive list, I’m taking my obsession with the studio’s classic horror to its furthest reach.

Aside from that, I’m going to be exploring the films of Jean Rollin, a name you hear every so often as a horror fan.  He’s definitely got defenders, fans saying he’s an underappreciated auteur, others dismissing his films as exploitive, pretentious nonsense. (Another Euro-horror filmmaker that I’m unfamiliar with that gets the same reaction is Jess Franco.) I’ve never seen any and, this season, decided to correct that oversight.

There’s more too! I plan on watching anime zombie series “High School of the Dead” in its entirety, while also exploring some horror shorts, many of them from the glory days of USA’s Saturday Nightmares. There are also some old favorites, new acquisitions, and recent discoveries to watch and talk about. So what’s with the stalling? There are a lot of spooky things to get to! Halloween 2012 has begun!


Kernunrex said...

Woo, Halloweentime!

Yeah, no kidding: if I were going by when the stores put out their Halloween merchandise, I'd be celebrating something like 10 Weeks of Halloween. Eventually, the mega-holiday ThanksHallowMas will emerge, in which we eat turkey stuffed with M&Ms under a pine tree.

Man, good luck with the Universal megathon. I think a lot of those Universals might be a bit hard to find, though. Did all of them make it to VHS back in the day? I'm going to guess, too, that the more obscure ones are obscure for a reason...

Jean Rollin, I need to check out as well. As for Jess Franco... yeah, he's not so good. Put it this way: even a movie awesomely titled "Vampyros Lesbos" turns to crap under his direction.

(jealous you live near an Alamo Drafthouse)

Bonehead XL said...

Well, considering the Christmas decorations tend to go about halfway through October, yeah, ThanksHallowMas is upon us.

A lot of them are hard to find and, yeah, some weren't even released on VHS. So that's a project that will probably be on-going for a while. I was able to find a couple rare ones on Youtube, which was neat.

That seems to be the general opinion on Jess Franco, that he has maybe two good movies out of the ninety or so he's directed. I might dive in his work someday, anyway.

And I never would have guessed that our little backwoods town would ever get an Alamo near-by. I think they might have just thrown a dart at a map.