30 September 2007

SWH07: Week 2 (second)

Six Weeks of HalloweenSix Weeks of Halloween 2007
Week 2 (second)

Night of the Living Dead (1960, colorized) (trailer)
Night of the Living Dead (1990) (trailer)
Night of the Living Bread

Masters of Horror: "Family" (2006)
Very little happens until the last few minutes, but at least Landis' trademarked smarminess was largely absent. (6/10)

d. John Landis

The Omega Man (trailer)
I Am Legend (trailer)
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror VIII: The Homega Man"

Cabin Fever (2002)
I wanted to like this as a serious horror movie, but it kept making faint stabs in goofy directions that just didn't fit. (7/10)

d. Eli Roth

The Adult Version of Jekyll & Hide (trailer)
Man with the Screaming Brain (trailer)
Looney Tunes: "Hyde and Hare"

Masters of Horror: "Right to Die" (2006)
Abby's burned up ghost crawling around was pretty cool in a Julia Cotton sort of way. (7/10)

d. Rob Schmidt

C came over this weekend to enjoy the above, as well as our traditional Pizza House. And, Mrs. K stuck around for both the first Masters of Horror episode and Cabin Fever before retiring for the night. Both of them enjoyed the shows more than me, but that's not unusual.

I also tried my first Jones Soda Halloween flavor of the season. I picked Candy Corn, as it's the one flavor that's been duplicated from the past two years and it's the one I've always liked the least. In fact, I've always found it undrinkable. Last year, I poured my remaining cans into the sink after a few sips of just one. Adding candy corn flavoring to what is already essentially just a can full of corn syrup is beyond overkill. This year, though, Jones has switched to pure cane sugar in all of their drinks. Huge difference. No longer is the candy corn flavoring amplifying the corn syrup sweetness. Instead, the cane sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness to the candy corn flavor. It's still not the greatest soft drink in the world, but I easily finished this can for the first time and I kinda liked it.

We also employed my new popcorn maker during the movies. Chef gave this to me last week. He found it in disrepair, ready to be thrown out. Using his engineering background, he fixed it and got it working and looking great. It's pretty nifty, just like a for-real movie theater. I did learn one lesson: close the lids on the kettle! Butter-flavored sunflower oil is now spattered all over the inside of the thing. That ain't gonna be fun to clean. The popcorn was good, though.

23 September 2007

SWH07: Week 1 (first)

Six Weeks of HalloweenSix Weeks of Halloween 2007
Week 1 (first)

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (trailer)
Sexy Adventures of Van Helsing (trailer)
SNL: "Consumer Probe: Unsafe Halloween Costumes"

The Monster Squad (1987)
Best remembered as teaching us all a valuable lesson on werewolf anatomy, this is also a damned fun kid adventure. (8/10)

d. Fred Dekker

[Why don't they make movies like this anymore? The closest modern kid films I can think of are the Spy Kids movies. Those lack the cusp-of-puberty edge that films like The Monster Squad, The Goonies and Explorers have, however. There doesn't seem to be anyone making movies with realistic kids going on fantastic adventures anymore. Or I'm just too old to notice?]

Trick 'r Treat (trailer)
Two Thousand Maniacs! (trailer)
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror V: The Shinning"

Masters of Horror: "The Fair-Haired Child" (2005)
A classically-constructed horror tale containing Crowley-esque demonology, excellent photography and a touch of extreme gore, among other pleasures. (9/10)

d. William Malone

Frailty (trailer)
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (trailer)
Merrie Melodies: "Pigs is Pigs"

Near Dark (1987)
Still my favorite vampire movie of all time; I'm a complete sucker for a horror-romance movie. (9/10)

d. Kathryn Bigelow

The Company of Wolves (1984)
A big stew of sexually-charged symbolism masquerading as a werewolf take on "Little Red Riding Hood" that my brain will be chewing on for a while. (8/10)

d. Neil Jordan

Capping off a weekend of old-schooling hanging out -- probably the last before my baby is born -- Chef Gregory and I enjoyed the above. It had been twenty years since my dad popped in a tape of The Monster Squad for us to watch during a sleepover. I remember the ten-year-old Chef being nervous at the time as the loud, introductory flashback played. "I don't usually watch movies like this," he explained. I was sure to bring this up two decades later. "You all right? Not too scary, is it?" I ribbed. He replied with a curse. We both were surprised at how well the movie held up. It has all of the elements necessary for a cool kid movie: a secret club, an absolutely bad-ass tree house, BMX bike transportation, a vague interest in the opposite sex, an adventure only the kids -- definitely not the adults -- can go on. Good stuff.

Grolschenstein Approves

20 September 2007

Six Weeks of Halloween: 2007

Six Weeks of Halloween

  1. 20 Sep - 26 Sep | first
  2. 27 Sep - 03 Oct | second
  3. 04 Oct - 10 Oct | third - fourth
  4. 11 Oct - 17 Oct | fifth
  5. 18 Oct - 24 Oct | sixth
  6. 25 Oct - 31 Oct | seventh - eighth - ninth - tenth - eleventh - twelfth - thirteenth

My halloweenish goals for the season:

I should drag myself to the theater to see Rob Zombie's Halloween. I only venture into cinemas about once a year; other than the giant screen, there's not a lot to like about the experience these days. I like Rob Zombie -- both as a musician and as a director -- and John Carpenter's Halloween is my favorite horror movie, but I'm not looking forward to seeing this. It seems unlikely this movie falls into the tiny minority of remakes that are actually worth the effort.

I need to play through Silent Hill 4: The Room. I've only owned it for 3 years... it's time to get around to finishing it. From what little I've played, I can already tell it's the worst of the series and it's clear that it started life as something other than a Silent Hill game. Still, it needs to be completed before I can pick up the upcoming Origins and part 5.

I'm going to start my chronological H.P. Lovecraft read. Having finished the works of Poe, HPL is next on my list of the giants of horror literature. Cthulhu fhtagn.

I've gotta try the official Jones Soda Halloween 2007 flavors, as I do every year. I'll be interested to see if I can taste the difference in the repeat flavors, now that they've switched to cane sugar from HFCS. I can't say the concept of a black licorice pop sounds appealing, though.

A trip to the Dexter Cider Mill is in order. I'll acquire my seasonal supply of apple cider there, and maybe a resupply of cider spice mix.

Horror movies and TV shows, the anchor of any good Six Weeks of Halloween, will abound. I expect discs containing episodes of Masters of Horror, Tales from the Crypt, The Munsters, and The Simpsons to spin often. I see movies containing killer babies, Japanese torturers and young monster hunters -- among others -- appearing on my TV in the near future.

And, as always, I will watch John Carpenter's Halloween on Halloween. This would've been the 9th year in a row I've done this, except an unexpected death interrupted my streak. I'll count this as 9, anyway, as I did watch Halloween with the commentary track turned on at the start of last year's six weeks.

Six Weeks of Halloween is Go!

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