For Entertainment Purposes Only
Your guide to my tastes! This is how I like to get in the mood for Halloween. These are not best-of lists, these are just some of my personal favorites, so don’t yell at me if you favorite movie sucks and didn’t make the cut. Also, I don’t claim to be well read (or listened), so if you think me to be a simpleton, don’t worry, I agree, just keep it to yourself.
Any of you who are semi-regular readers know that I like movies, lots and lots of movies. Horror films hold a very special place in my heart, so I try to watch a healthy does of them around this time (even more than usual). Among the favorites that get screened almost every year:
- The Evil Dead Trilogy - Made up of Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness. So classic it hurts, watchable over and over, Bruce Campbell makes me giggle like a little school girl.
- Romero’s Dead Trilogy - Made up of Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead. All three are great (at least the first time through) but most years it seems I just watch Dawn, and sometimes Night. Day is becoming more and more incidental.
- Re-animator - Hell yes. Hilarious and gory. Must be watched unedited.
- Dead Alive - Peter Jackson (yes, that Peter Jackson) at his best. One of the bloodiest movies around.
- 28 Days Later - This one became an instant favorite for me, a beautifully shot, new take on the zombie genre.
- Halloween - The original is still damn creepy.
- AMC Monsterfest - An annual celebration of screams, some good, some bad. It’s good to see a channel really dedicate themselves though.
- Nightmare Before Christmas - Oh yes, it’s an AMAZING film, even if I prefer it a bit more for Christmas… you know that other holiday. Not that I mind watching it twice.
- Boogeymen II: Masters of Horror - Bruce Campbell hosts a spotlight on cinematic horror icons.
- Classics - Frankenstein, and the many, MANY, Dracula films, especially ones with Christopher Lee or Bela Lugosi. Just turn on your TV during the last week in October and you are bound to catch some old black and white action. There’s also some cheesy “historical/educational” programming on the History Channel, and some indie thrillers on IFC and Sundance.
Sometimes reading scary stories can be more terrifying than watching them. Turn off the lights, flare up some candles, lock the doors:
- Edgar Allan Poe - So beautiful and eerie. Perfect reading with a flashlight under your covers on a rainy night (at least when I was younger… now I have to keep the lights on). You just can’t argue with stuff like The Pit and the Pendulum.
- H. P. Lovecraft - Wordy, thesaurus prose, and some scary shit. Creator of magnificent worlds of dark, old, and sinister evil.
- Edward Gorey - Macabre incarnate. I love his style so much. There are few people who can set such an exquisite and deep mood with just pen and ink. Oh yeah, the writing is damn clever too.
- Harlan Ellison - I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream still gives me the chills. Not Horror per se, but some twisted Science Fiction.
- Weird NJ - Cheesy, but fun, with loads of great stories to read. A travel guide to places you won’t find on state-funded maps.
Though most of my time is spent watching gory movies around this time, I do like to listen to some music to give my eyes a break:
- Misfits - Old stuff, not the shitty new stuff. You can pretty much stop there, but if you decide to keep going…
- Fantomas Director’s Cut - Fantomas covers classic movie themes (mostly from horror and thrillers). I love hearing Mike Patton scream.
- Dawn of the Dead - Yeah, the soundtrack to the film by Goblin is pretty damn great too.
- The Cramps - Bizarre and perverted as hell, but still alive and kickin’.
A few random stabs and screams to make your holiday extra eerie:
- Halloween in Laurel Hill Cemetery - Some spooky photos I took last year on Halloween Night among many corpses.
- Exhumed Films - If you happen to live in Philadelphia, New Jersey, or the surrounding area, Exhumed Films rents out theaters for the night and runs original prints of horror movies, usually 3-4 back-to-back.
- The Horror Channel - Sadly, my cable provider doesn’t carry this channel yet… damn them.
- Tom Savini - The man behind some of the best movie makeup work around.
- Haunted Houses - Find a haunted house anywhere in the US.
- Devil’s Tramping Ground - Ghost stories, animations and more.
- Revenge of the Zombie Pumpkins - All you ever wanted to know about pumpkin carving.
- Coffee - Most holy of holies, you may even catch me sipping some pumpkin spice coffee. I usually hate flavored beans.
*Phew* that’s a lot to pick through. Have a Happy Halloween! Got any favorites of your own?