this is halloween(2): more movie talk and another survey
Claws down, Halloween is the best holiday there ever could be, except those involving lots of presents. And in my mind, presents are the only reason birthdays and Christmas get billing over the Big Scary.
As long time readers here already know, I love Halloween. It is far and away my favorite holiday, ranking above even Christmas.
Why Halloween? It's all about the atmosphere of October. The cool, crisp weather, the parade of colors taking over the trees, the anticipation of the coming holiday season and, yes, the witches and goblins and ghosties. So I do a lot of Halloween posting each October. This year shall be no different.
I started yesterday with my survey of movies suitable for my kids' party. Now, some of you don't quite understand just how close to the tree these apples fall. When my kids think of horror movies, they don't conjure up images of Jumanji or Addams Family. Like me, they like their movies scary, bloody and freaky.
DJ, at age eleven, has amassed a collection of both zombie movies and zombie knowledge. If we are ever under attack by zombies, you would do well to make your way to my end of the globe and take orders from DJ. He likes physical horror; gore, guts, severed limbs and half eaten brains.
Natalie, on the other hand, likes creepiness. Her collection of horror movies includes titles like The Ring and Godsend. She prefers her scares to of the mental variety.
Between them, they have done both me and their grandmother proud. After all, it was my mother who introduced me to horror movies at a very early age. I grew up on a steady diet of Vincent Price films. One of my earliest movie memories is listening in stunned silence to the "Help me!" cry from The Fly. When I was ten, my mother took me to see Asylum, a trilogy of terror repleat with crawling, severed limbs. My love of gore was born.
I had already formed a love affair with giant monster/animal/insect movies (Mothra was always my favorite), but a 1976 viewing of Food of the Gods solidified my infatuation with that genre.
A year earlier, at the tender age of 13, I saw a Halloween double feature of Last House on the Left and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
So my roots were set down early. Movies that dealt with monsters, creepy crawly things, the supernatural and all other forms of fright were considered family entertainment. Together, mom and I (and sometimes my sisters) would watch Chiller Theater together, waiting in anticipation as the six fingered hand waved to us from the grave. We spent many hours as a family watching The Twilight Zone and Rod Serling's Night Gallery.
Today, I boast my own vast collection of horror movies, from the Sleepaway Camp box set to Dead Alive, possibly the goriest and best horror movie ever made. We have every version of all of the Evil Dead trilogy that hit the market (not to mention the posters, lunchboxes and action figures).
While we do watch horror movies all year long, Halloween is when we go into full viewing mode. Zombies, werewolves, severed heads and alien mind control are a constant background to the days and nights of October.
I've taken all your movie suggestions from yesterday and printed them out to go over with the kids and their friends. The bloodier, the better, was what DJ said. Natalie just wants frights. So we'll find a good mix of those two things and settle in that night to the sights and sounds of another Halloween season.
And what would a Halloween post be without a survey? I did this one last year, but it was so much fun to read your answers, we'll do it again.
Today's Survey: Scariest Screen Moment. That is, the specific scene from a movie (tv movies count) that scared you the most. I mean running from the room scared. Nightmares for three days scared. Visions of the scene still haunt you today; that kind of scared. Difficulty: No Sound of Music. You know who you are.
[I think I went over this list last year, or started to. I might have a go at it later.]