Yo Gabba Gabba!: "Halloween" (2007) directed by Christian Jacobs
This was the only show on the Nick Jr Halloween DVD I bought Lil K that I really wanted to watch myself. I'd heard this show was trippy/cool and that adults would dig it. Yep, I'd heard right: what a big ball of fun. A cheery dude in an orange bodysuit and fuzzy hat brings some weird toys to life so they can all dance and sing and learn. Interspersed throughout are cartoons, snippets of retro-'80s-style goofiness and a real band playing a song. I had a big grin on my face the whole show. I also learned that eating too much candy can make you sick. Words of wisdom.
The coolest cartoon/song from the episode:
kluncklick | MySpace Video
Dread (2009) directed by Anthony DiBlasi
I guess I really should re-read Clive Barker's Books of Blood series again, seeing's how they're methodically getting transformed into movies lately (this one follows the recent The Midnight Meat Train and Book of Blood). Like those other films, Dread a serviceable horror flick, though not particularly astounding in any way. It's about some college students working on a film project exploring fear. They begin by merely interviewing other students about their worst fears, but, as is often the case in this genre, one character is driven to take the project further.
Fortunately that character, Quaid, is allowed to grow into his mad scientist destiny instead of entering the film already obsessive (like West in Re-Animator or Channard in Hellraiser II). Start with childhood trauma, add in going cold turkey on the meds, mix with nightmares and watch the psychosis grow. I thought Shaun Evans was great in this role (except when his liverpudlian accent escaped accidentally) and does some neat things with his facial expressions throughout the film in order to reveal his character's thought processes.
Not a bad start to the Horrorfest 4 films. (7/10)
Note: the trailer below is horrendously filled with spoilers.
How Can I Celebrate Halloween: A Young Christian's Guide for the Secular Holiday (2004) produced by David Mead
Damn. I was hoping for some foaming-at-the-mouth fire and brimstone, explaining why Halloween is satanic and evil and not for good Christians. What this is, instead, is rather reasonable (though tremendously boring). It's just a pair of puppets against a plain, black background discussing how Halloween is OK to celebrate and that all of that stuff about evil spirits no longer applies these days. I can't really complain about that. It's hard to imagine kids actually sitting through this entire thing, though. The puppet conversations seem endless, the production values are abysmal and the songs are cheese-grater-on-ears bad. I suspect this is the type of thing forced on captive audiences at Sunday schools. On the other hand, I bet this video really pissed off the fire-and-brimstone crowd who hate the holiday. Good on that.
Note: this clip I made below makes the video look way more WTF than it really is: