31 Days of Halloween – WEEK 1

Hey kids!  Well, we’re one week into the best month of the year, October!  Which means we’re getting closer and closer to Halloween.  Last week I posted a blog about all the movies I had set aside to watch this month in honor of the best holiday of the year.  I wanted to watch at least one thing from this Halloween box of videos each day.   You can see the list here: https://wowmonstershow.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/31-days-of-halloween-the-list/

So far I’ve done pretty good.  I’m saving many of the real Halloween titles (that take place around the holiday) until I get closer to the actual date.  But it’s been a good start so far.  Here’s what I’ve watched so far.  How about you guys?  What are you watching this month?

OCTOBER 1:

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E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY: SCREAM QUEENS

Yep, kicked off with an E! special from about 10 years ago.  This 2 hour special, hosted by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, was a nice way to kick off the season.  I couldn’t pick just one film, so why not watch something that covers them all.  While called “Scream Queens,” the special actually tracks portrayals of women in horror films from the 30’s to the present (albeit not too in depth…this is E! after all.)   But it was cool to see some of my favorite actresses like Dee Wallace and Angela Bettis get interviewed and was fun to see so many clips from so many great movies.

 

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SCOOBY DOO AND THE VAMPIRE STRIKES BACK

And of course, some Scooby Doo.  This episode from “What’s New, Scooby Doo” features the Hex Girls so of course it’s awesome.  And I always love that Jane Wiedlin is one of the Hex Girls.

 

OCTOBER 2:

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THE FRIGHTENERS

So I kicked off movie watching proper with The Frighteners, a movie I always love seeing.  Peter Jackson, Michael J Fox, Jeffrey Combs, Dee Wallace….how can you lose?   I’m always bummed Universal released this in the middle of summer rather than waiting for an October release.  It could have been a much bigger hit.   Yeah, the CGI effects have lost some of their luster (and I wasn’t a huge fan of them to begin with) but it’s still a very cool, fun flick.  And Jeffrey Combs as an FBI agent who’s been forced to work undercover in various cults and sects for decades is just amazing.   

 

OCTOBER 3:

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HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS

“Come see how the Vampires do it!”  Gotta love that.  I’m a big fan of the old TV series Dark Shadows.  Once my car broke down outside of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.  Transmission shot.  I had to spend 5 days there in a hotel.  My hotel got the Sci-Fi Channel (you know, back when it was called the Sci-Fi channel for Science Fiction….not SyFy for…well, who knows.)  Dark Shadows was on each morning for a couple of episodes.  I dug it.  When the first DVD set of 40 episodes came out I bought it.  I believe it was only $20 or so.  I figured, hey, for 40 episodes that’s not a bad deal, I’ll give it a shot.  The DVDs started at the point in the show where Barnabas the vampire shows up and I was hooked.  Bought the next 7-8 DVD sets.  Just a great fun gothic horror show.  And since it was a daytime soap it could really take its time.    Now this movie is only 90 minutes long, and is kind of an alternative universe story of the same characters, but I love it.  It’s cool to see everyone in a movie where they can actually do more than one take if necessary.  And they all look great.  Add to that the late 60’s clothes and it’s just awesome.  Especially love Carolyn in this (one of my favorites in the show) and how she goes all vamp!   Also, I love it when a movie or show has the entire police force as believers of paranormal activity early on.  RIght off the bat the entire force is armed with crosses and stakes and that’s awesome.   Have never seen Night of Dark Shadows.  Should check it out soon.

 

OCTOBER 4:

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MYSTERY, INCORPORATED: “The Shrieking Madness”

So this was one of the nights where I worked late and had to get up early so I had to resort to a short entry for this day and so I went to one of the best cartoons ever, Mystery, Incorporated.  This episode from the first season, “The Shrieking Madness” features Harlan Ellison as himself and has Jeffrey Combs as HP Hatecraft.  So obviously, it’s all about HP Lovecraft and it’s awesome.

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Seriously, just check it out.

 

OCTOBER 5:

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NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990)

I dig this movie, I really do.  Directed by Tom Savini and written by George A Romero himself I consider it to be one of Romero’s zombie movies.  It’s just a cool film.

Plus Barbara is a bad ass:

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And Bill Mosely is a great Johnny

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But Romero (and Savini also in staging some gags) takes everything you know about the original and slowly subverts it as the movie goes on.  Ben (the awesome Tony Todd) and the others almost seem like characters trapped in the original B&W film while Barbara watches on.  Everything the people represent slowly changes from the original and it definitely makes it a film that can stand on its own (quite a few things towards the end George used in his own LAND OF THE DEAD as well.)  But the way George subverts the original and changes it around gives me chills when the iconic final line is said “that’s another one for the fire.”  If you never gave it a chance because it was a “remake” then do yourself a favor and give it a shot.

 

OCTOBER 6:

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SCOOBY DOO MEETS BATMAN AND ROBIN

Another night where I had no time due to work.  So again, went back to Scooby Doo.  Hey, it’s not the great show Mystery, Inc is, but this still has the Mystery, Inc gang talking about the Joker and Gotham City and if that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.  Also, the Mystery Machine and the Batmobile share the frame which is like a dream

 

OCTOBER 7:

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MICROWAVE MASSACRE

Okay, so I try to normally stick to more spooky/Halloween type movies in October.  Haunted Houses, monsters, etc.  For example, DAWN OF THE DEAD is one of my favorite movies, but it’s not what I consider a good Halloween movie (NOTLD fits because it has got that creepy one night trapped in a house thing going for it…cemeteries, etc.)  MICROWAVE MASSACRE isn’t really a spooky movie either, but I picked it up last year at Days of the Dead and have been looking forward to watching it.

How is it?  I think the title screen sums up the type of film it is well.

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That’s the kind of movie this is.  Actually, its way more a black comedy (with a few good laughs) than a horror movie.  And at just over an hour it has a pretty good run time.  But there’s really no Microwave Massacre per se.  Actually, not even much of a microwave.  But it was good 80’s VHS fun.

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Also, according to one review I read, this is supposedly Paul Reubens in an uncredited cameo. 

 

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MAKING MONSTERS (Travel Channel)

I also watched an episode of MAKING MONSTERS.  Now while I do plan on watching some TV in my 31 Days of Halloween (Scooby Doo obviously, maybe a Friday the 13th the Tv Series episode) I don’t really plan on counting stuff currently airing.  (example: I plan on watching American Horror Story cause it’s about a coven of witches, but I won’t count that.)  But Making Monsters is only ever aired during the month of October every year.  They make 8 two hour episodes and air 2 of them back to back every Sunday in October.  And that’s it.  No reruns during the year, just around Halloween.  The show follows the gang at Distortions Unlimited as they create various gags and props for the haunt and halloween community.  It’s a great, fun show and it’s become a Halloween tradition (Like Halloween Wars on the Food Network.)

 

Well, that’s it for week one.  So far, so good.  And I’ve got some great flicks coming up in the next couple of weeks.  Happy Halloween, everyone!  Chime in with some must sees on your list.

 

 

 

 

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