Friday, October 22, 2010

Frightful Flicks

It's Halloween Time. You can feel it in the air. All those displays of Halloween candy that have been on sale in stores since early August no longer seem out of place. The Christmas merchandise now on sale does, though. (By the way, if you actually bought a bag of  candy in August, with the intention of saving it to distribute on Halloween, would you be able to do so? In our house that sucker would be eaten long before the first day of school, let alone Halloween! We have to buy candy about an hour before the kids come knocking, and even then it's not a certainty there will be any left for the trick and/or treaters!)

Every year at this time, we try to find a spooky film that will fill us with the "Halloween Spirit". We have our traditional favorites, like, "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein",  and the original "Halloween". This year we also added "Hocus Pocus" to the mix. Not a great film, but it's entertaining, and  Bette Midler is always creepy, of course. A personal favorite of mine is, "Killer Klowns from Outer Space", but that film addresses my own pathologies and isn't everyone's cup o' tea. Perfect Wifey pretty much refuses to watch it again. This is understandable, as she has had to sit through it more times than the director of the film probably did.

Every year,  we try to find a new film to fill us with a fun dose of fear. I thought I had found a winner when I heard about a straight-to-video film called, "Trick 'R Treat". This film received raves from various online wags, so PW and I rented it last week. The film is a comedy/horror anthology set in a small town on Halloween Night. On the surface, it seemed like a winner. It had all  the elements of a perfect creepy movie: A great atmosphere that really captured the feel of a small town on All Hallow's Eve and warnings from the film's  characters  about the perils of not respecting Halloween traditions. Best of all, it featured a creepy little character tying all the stories together: The mysterious, pint-size Trick or Treater, Sam.

Unfortunately, the film was a disappointment. Not a complete failure, but not something I'd rush out to see again, either. The various stories attempted to emulate the tone of the old E.C. Comics, but the stories just weren't interesting, and the payoffs were weak. The character of Sam was a real winner at first, creepy and mysterious with his dirty little  footie pajamas and burlap mask over his big round head. Sam lost all effectiveness though,  when his head was revealed to be a lame ghoulie head. (Oops! I should have preceded that sentence with a SPOILER ALERT! warning. Sorry.) He would have been scarier if the filmmakers kept his appearance a mystery.
PW didn't care for vampires and werewolves being randomly tossed into the mix (Oops, again! SPOILER ALERT!). I think that was the point of that story, though, so I didn't mind. In the end, the film failed to deliver the fun,  scary experience we wanted. We'll have to look for our Halloween scares someplace else.

Maybe Wal-Mart™ is open late.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

what? you're telling us that you and yours won't be spending halloween watching "it's the great pumpkin, charlie brown" while munching on zingers?

and haven't seen the killer clown movie in years, but do remember loving it.


October 22, 2010 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

Of course, as regular readers of this blog know, we WILL be watching Chuck & Company's Halloween outing. It wouldn't be Halloween without it! The whole Zingers™ thing is subject to availability.

So glad to hear from someone who appreciates Killer Klowns! I may have more on that in a day or two.

October 22, 2010 at 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Newton said...

Bill, didn't you pay attention when I reviewed that movie this time of year, last year? I basically said the same thing you did.

October 22, 2010 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...


Obviously, no, I wasn't paying attention. I just went back and read your review. I should say "re-read" as I have been following your blog for awhile now, and must have read it. For the record, Newton sums up the movie at his own excellent blogspot, here:

His review echoes my and PW's own sentiments, but really, I don't remember reading it. If I had, I may have avoided the film.

Newton, have you seen "Killer Klowns from Outer Space"?

October 22, 2010 at 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

howza 'bout mad monster party and munster go home for halloween eve movie watching?


October 23, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

Excellent suggestions, eeteed!

"Mad Monster Party" is a must-see for all classic monster fans. Less impressive is "Munsters Go Home". When I was a kid, it was weird to see the Munsters in color. Still any Munsters is better than NO Munsters...

October 23, 2010 at 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you have any dvd's from these guys?


October 24, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

No, but it looks fascinating, and I can't wait to explore it more!

One final note to this post: "Casper" is another fun Halloween movie. More on it later. Maybe.

October 25, 2010 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Mark Heng said...


October 26, 2010 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger MikeH said...

I've been taking in some of my horror faves for weeks now - I guess the whole month of Oct puts me in the mood. What Halloween-type films could you come up with that are NOT horror movies? Comedy flicks like Killer Klowns that attempt to spoof horror movies might qualify, but which ones seem to fit the season that have nothing to do with being scary? The Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to mind.

October 26, 2010 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ mike h.

how ,bout the elvira movie?


October 26, 2010 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

Mark- I WILL check that out.

Mike H.- Killer Klowns is NOT a spoof! True, it DOES have its tongue firmly in its cheek, but it is definitely a horror movie, and a creepy one at that. If you haven't seen it, don't let the title fool you.

Again, more on this film shortly.

For those looking for a "safe" family-friendly Halloween movie, take a look at "Casper". I was prepared to hate it before I saw it, but I love it. For the record, Warren Kremer hated it.

October 26, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

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