Tuesday, October 03, 2006

128. Screen and Scream Again (with any luck)


In the spirit (heh-heh-heh) of this post I will provide a grisly explanation for my dearth of postings: Lately, I had been wearing so many hats--father sending daughter off to college, website builder, New Student Orientation assistant, weekend visitor host (but of course, love and kisses to Mimi and the Monkeys Three), teacher (X3), writing instructor, workshop leader, film series presenter, film festival committee member (more on this later this month), plus all that Modern Equal Partner housekeeping (and through it all one car short, the "old and busted" '93 Suburban's dead battery--the relative size and cost of a Ford Fiesta--leaving us to bounce around town with one car, like a gas-powered boomerang); with an equally busy wife--grammar school music teacher, church organist (my own personal Carnival of Souls), assistant tennis coach, band leader and performer, and also keeper of the house; and with two additional back-to-school children--it seemed the only cure to this plague of hats would have been to cut off my head. But a kinder, albiet potentially as gruesome, cure has arrived--and as the ultimate appositive to said cure, allow me to quote those dear little Shaggs:

It's Halloween
It's Halloween
It's time for scares
It's time for screams
It's Halloween
It's Halloween

The ghosts will spook
The spooks will scare
Why, even Dracula will be there

It's time for games
It's time for fun
Not for just one
But for everyone

The jack-o-lanterns are all lit up
All the dummies are made and stuffed
By just looking you will see
It's this time of year again

It's Halloween
It's Halloween

All the kids are happy and gay
There doesn't seem to be a cloud in their way
But when it's over and they've had all their fun
They'll wish that Halloween had just begun

Oh, there are witches, goblins, Frankensteins and zombies
And there are tramps, Cinderallas, pirates, angels and gypsies
So let's have lots of fun and give many cheers
For Halloween comes but once a year

It's time for games
It's time for fun
Not for just one
But for everyone

It's Halloween
It's Halloween
It's Halloween
It's Halloween

It's Halloween!

(Thank you, girls)

I was suddenly struck with the fact that this is it, the Bradbury month, the Dark Ride into October Country; and that means once again the Cavalcade of Terror, the Carnival of Creeps, the Carpe Diem of the Dead that is our annual Halloween Roundup. I ran to Netflix, and cobbled together the first, tentative lineup:

The Wolf Man
Frankenstein vs. the Wolf Man
Carnival of Souls
Masters of Horror: Jenifer
In Dreams
The Outer Limits: Season 2: Disc 1
Masters of Horror: Cigarette Burns
Masters of Horror: Homecoming
Blood and Black Lace
Masters of Horror: Dreams in the Witch House
Masters of Horror: Chocolate
Population 436
The X-Files: Season 7: Disc 3
Masters of Horror: Deer Woman
Frailty
Murder in the Rue Morgue
The Black Cat
The Raven
Masters of Horror: Incident On and Off a Mountain Road


The Roundup at this point is Showtime's-Masters-of-Horror-heavy (thank you, Milwaukee Paul); things may change, but for now I'm a bit more at (un)ease, ready to be ready, as it were, for my second-favorite Holiday--oh, OK: Horror-day--Season. Oh, what fun, to play Crypt-Keeper and not only indulge in excruciatingly forced puns but wallow in the black lagoon of my Guiltiest Film Pleasures. And simply looking at this list, I'm getting that lively buzz, good enough for a Frankenstein, and wondering: Do I dare to screen Re-Animator, From Beyond, the original Hills Have Eyes and Texas Chainsaw in the same home as a thirteen-year-old? (Then again, boys and ghouls, I'm betting some of those Showtime movies are going to be fairly gore-riffic). Oh, what the literal hell: It's Halloween, and "Not for just one / But for everyone." So hold on to your heads, kiddies, because it's going to be a bumpy ride--you know, what with all those corpses underfoot. So welcome to El Mes de Muertos, and all the sugar-skulls you can eat.



Below: A partial view of my favorite Aurora Model Kit, one I built twice. (The first one somehow was broken, and I jammed the witch herself in the crook of a fir tree in our front yard. The years went by and the tree grew around her; eventually, the lower branches were trimmed so that I could see her once more. I even pointed her out to one of my children, back in the early '90s. The tree is gone, but plastic lasts, somewhere, forever.) I wish you could see the cauldron she's standing over. Then again, we do get a pretty good view of that rat about to nest in her hair. (Choke!)

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