Well the world’s in it’s sear and yellow leaf, the pumpkins are smiling, and tooth decay is on the rise! Must be Halloween, kiddies!
Some say print is dead, but this is the time when the dead walk. Shambling off the shelves come tentacular monstrosities by HP Lovecraft. A little further from the north are slews of nameless unutterable nightmares courtesy of Stephen King. Maybe Clive Barker’s got his hooks in you, or Poppy Z. Brite. Maybe you’re a Twilight fan (and if you are, my condolences at the untimely passing of your taste – haha). Can I recommend some Richard Matheson, or some old fashioned terror tales by Poe or my personal favorite, Ambrose Bierce? I’m currently reading some genuinely creepy stories recorded in the 1600’s by Pu Songling in his classic ‘Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio.’ Yours truly has a couple scary books out. I’m the only ‘Erdelac’ on Amazon right now, so go and take a look.
But enough with the shameless plugging.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to curl up with a book (or have a book curl up with you), there’s a list of movies I like to pop into the player around this time of year. I posted much of this on Starwars.com last year, but here it is again with updates (in no particular order).
My favorite ghost stories – The Haunting (original), The Others, The Sixth Sense, Kwaidan, Poltergeist 1 and 2, The Shining, Stir Of Echoes, The Changeling, The Crow, The Screaming Skull, The Entity, Dark Night Of The Scarecrow, The Ring.
Devils/demons and diabolical witches can be found in – Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, The Exorcist III, The Sentinel, Angel Heart, Night Of The Demon, The Devil Rides Out, Hellraiser, Black Sabbath, The Craft, The Believers, Cast A Deadly Spell, The Omen 1 and 2, Suspiria, The Skeleton Key, Masque Of The Red Death, Pumpkinhead, Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch, The Evil Dead, Constantine, The Pit And The Pendulum, The Gate, Child’s Play.
Vampires get your blood racing?
Let me suggest – Near Dark, The Lost Boys, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Todd Browning’s Dracula, The Hunger, Blacula (yes Blacula – it’s awesome), Kolchak The Night Stalker, Vampire’s Kiss, The Brides Of Dracula.
If the homicidally deranged are your bag, you can’t top – The Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bad Seed, Audition (Odishon), Psycho (original), Misery, Halloween 1 and 2 (I also liked the remake of 1), Friday The 13th Part III, Silent Rage, Pin, Magic, Frailty, Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, House Of Wax (original), Se7en, Peeping Tom, Silence Of The Lambs.
Werewolves are a sadly under-represented pack of beasties. I like – Wolf, The Wolfman (both Lon Chaney Jr and the remake), Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, An American Werewolf In London, Ginger Snaps, The Curse Of The Werewolf, I Was A Teenage Werewolf, Silver Bullet, Dog Soldiers and for a switch, Wolfen.
If you like your yucks with yuks, these horror/comedies are a good bet – Shaun Of The Dead, Zombieland, Fright Night Parts 1 and 2, Student Bodies, Saturday The 14th, Dead Alive, Tremors, Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Love At First Bite, Evil Dead 2, The Ghost And Mr. Chicken.
Zombies anyone? I likes ’em slow, bitey, and numerous. – Dawn Of The Dead (original), Night Of The Living Dead, Land Of The Dead, Survival Of The Dead, Zombie, White Zombie, The Serpent And The Rainbow, Sugar Hill.
If you like your terror from beyond the stars – Village Of The Damned (original), Body Snatchers, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (70’s), Alien, Aliens, Phantasm, Predator, Event Horizon, The Thing, The Call Of Cthulhu, Horror Express, Lifeforce.
If, like Chunk, you hate nature, these will get your fur up – The Killer Shrews, Alligator, Pirahna, Night Of The Lepus, Arachnophobia, Kingdom of the Spiders.
Halloween For The Kids – It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, Monster House, The Halloween Tree, Monster Squad, Mad Monster Party, The Garfield Halloween Special, Disney’s Ichabod And Mr. Toad, Eloise’s Rawther Unusual Halloween, any of the recent Scooby Doo Movies.
Some gems that just don’t fit anywhere else – Creature From The Black Lagoon, Trick R Treat, Christine, Pan’s Labrynth, Creepshow, Nightbreed, Fiend Without A Face, The Fly (both the original and the remake), The Fly II, Carrie, The Other, Trilogy Of Terror, Monkey Shines, Todd Browning’s Freaks, The Descent, The Mummy (Original), The Manitou, 28 Weeks Later, Grimm Prairie Tales, Ravenous.
In the words of my biggest junior high crush, “Unpleasent Dreams!”