Ideally, I’d be hyping up my new “Nevermore and the Ravens” novel and providing links and enthusiasm. But life didn’t cooperate with my self-imposed deadlines, so alas I have nothing to shill for you. But unlike last year I do have a costume party to go to, which is a nice change of pace. No, I’m not a superhero, but I really wanted to be.
But anyway, social interaction aside, here are a few more of my favorite Halloween-themed pieces of media. Remember, I’m squeamish, so these are in a more light-hearted vein than horror movies.
Ghostbusters – there are so many great one-liners in this movie you can almost forget Peter Venkman is a borderline sexual predator and that the EPA guy was probably exactly right. Ah, the ’80s, when petty bureaucrats were indeed the greatest of villains. The special effects hold up decently well, all things considered, but really it’s the writing and characters that make this movie work. Also, as a kid I completely missed the symbolism of the “Gatekeeper” and the “Keymaster.” As far as a reboot goes, I thought the original was fine. I don’t see why there can’t be a reboot (it’s been tried through cartoons before) but I don’t see why one is called for either. Some things are best left alone.
The Addams Family – based on a TV show based on a series of cartoons by Charles Addams featured an insanely rich, rather macabre and off-kilter family. The TV show was rather daring for the time, actually, especially since the Addams were all about non-conformity. And the romance between Gomez and Morticia is one of the most genuine portrayals of a couple in love I have ever seen depicted in media. Now, I’ve heard Charles Addams wasn’t too thrilled with the TV show because a lot of the depravity was played down (hey, it was still in black and white; what do you want). But the movie put all that depravity right back in and kept true to the characters. Much of the humor was, appropriately, deadpan. The sequel, Addams Family Values, isn’t quite as good but highly watchable if you want to make a marathon of it.
Young Frankenstein – originally this was Gene Wilder’s idea, and Mel Brooks was the only person to see the genius in the premise. They were so dedicated to authenticity that they dug up the props used in the original Frankenstein movie and fought to make sure this movie was also in black-and-white. I can’t recommend this one enough.
The Addams Family – what? The TV show was enjoyable, and while not depraved there was still a good deal of deadpan humor. And through it all, it’s so clear the family deeply cares about each other.
The Munsters – is it something of an Addams Family knock-off? Yes, but it’s not too bad. This show was also the first to feature a married couple in the same bed together. I guess that’s okay when the couple in question is a vampire and a Frankenstein monster.
The Twilight Zone – the best ones are the originals that only ran 30 minutes. The show wasn’t really meant to be stretched into a full hour, and it shows.
The Outer Limits – they control the vertical, they control the horizontal. The general idea is similar to the Twilight Zone, and again the original series is the best one.
The Muppet Show, guest starring Alice Cooper – this was is definitely a Halloween-themed episode and for obvious reasons. Wow was Alice young, and still managed to look fairly strung out. He really played up the show with good humor.
Keep in mind I have exactly zero taste in music – “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band (if you like a little twang in your festivities), “Black Magic Woman” by Santana, “Ghost Riders in the Sky” by Johnny Cash (for a bit more twang), “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, and “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.
Jane Eyre: An Autobiography – there is some crazy, messed up stuff going on the Rochester place.
Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus – the book is really more about the arrogance of humanity than the soulless monster, but the soulless monster is a vital counterpoint to the titular doctor.
“Nevermore and the Ravens” – just because I haven’t finished my fourth novel in the series doesn’t mean I can’t shill for Necromancy for the Greater Good, Paranormal is Relative, and Saturday Night Séance. The more you read of this blog, the more you’ll figure out where I’ve drawn my inspiration from. The thirteen short stories are an easy read. Some are silly, some are spooky, and some are between.
Plants vs Zombies (1 or 2) – I love bad puns, and I love taking out zombies. Go little peashooter, go.
Munchkin Zombies and/or Apocalypse and/or Cthlulu and/or Bites– Fight the zombies or be the zombies. Or, since this is Munchkin, why not do both? Dress in black and read from the book. Enjoy the bad puns and try not to end the world! Unless, of course, you’re a Cultist, and then go ahead and end the world!
Marvel Legendary – I have all the hero sets, so I put together a “Defenders” scenario starring Dr. Strange, the Hulk, Silver Surfer, Namor (who are the standard comic bunch), and Magik to round out the group (if there is a fifth, this can vary greatly). Obviously the Hulk and Namor work well together (since both are might and instinct), but Namor and Magik also work very well together (Namor also has a card to gain Sidekicks). The Surfer is useful in the later game to turn recruiting into attacking. Other heroes to trade in and out – Moon Knight, Blade, Ghost Rider, and Deadpool.
And remember, no matter how you celebrate tonight, if you live in the USA, you get to set your clock back and sleep an extra hour tomorrow (hey, we really are doing a Time Warp). Happy All Hallows Eve!