Happy Halloween everybody! Today marks the end of our 31 day journey, and to celebrate this auspicious occasion, I’m going to join my guest blogger with a movie, special, and jam of my own too. Mark’s words will be highlighted in orange like the previous blogs, while I will be in boring old black. But hey, those ARE Halloween’s colors, are they not? Thank you for reading along with us, and if today’s final installment and DOUBLE-SHOT doesn’t put you in the mood for Halloween, well, I don’t know what to tell you at this point. You suck at Halloweening and I can’t help you. Enjoy!
What’s on the final slab…
The Halloween flick is… Halloween (’78)
I feel like you have to watch the movie Halloween or one of its sequels on actual Halloween. Did it start the slasher movie craze? That’s up to you to decide. I will say that in my opinion the movie Halloween made slasher films a long lasting big deal. So many topics are open for debate with this series. Are any of the sequels better? In my opinion and I’m sure a lot of other people will agree, no way! Don’t get me wrong though, some of them are a lot of fun and add to the story, so check them out. Yes, even check out the third one that has very little to do with the series. What about the remake and its sequel? I actually really enjoy what Rob Zombie did with the first remake. I really like the additions to the backstory, the casting of Malcolm McDowell, and I also feel like he was able to make it darker when John Carpenter couldn’t make it as dark in the 70’s. That being said, something I like about the original is it doesn’t need to be so dark and heavy to be good. As for the sequel to the remake? Had some good elements but as a whole it wasn’t as solid. It’s still better than some of the other sequels in the franchise. Going back to the original, the casting of Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence is perfection. Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, both who were involved in some cinema favorites, bring us a haunting story that gives us something more than a mindless killer and a silly nightmare terror. Carpenter’s tension building direction with some really good scares, create horror royalty and timeless fun. Lets also not forget that Carpenter did the music for the film. Music that everyone knows, music that still gives you the creeps, and music that added so much to the film. The Halloween movie franchise is a good time around Halloween, and the original Halloween movie is a mandatory watch around Halloween.
Cheap: The film was made for $300,000. You don’t need to throw a lot of money at a movie to make it good.
Chris’s flick pick: Shaun of the Dead
Not being a huge fan of the horror genre, there aren’t that many “scary” films that come along that entice me. When one does come along, it’s almost always a horror-comedy, like Ghostbusters, or a movie that isn’t considered horror, like Jurassic Park (which I maintain is quite scary). Then there’s this brilliant movie from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Why does it work? Because it’s a different take on the zombie apocalypse, as seen from a group of ignorant lowlifes, and filled with one of the best types of comedy stylings – British. Not only is the film brilliant satire, but it’s the first of a trilogy (Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) that creates dozens of in-jokes to make it’s own (non-canon) sequels even better. You have to watch all three movies to get the full effect. Hot Fuzz is still my favorite, but Shaun of the Dead is a Halloween tradition. What’s the matter, never taken a shortcut before?
Director Cameo: Edgar Wright can be spotted during the Remembering Z-Day montage, as the zombie in black who trips on himself, and his voice can be heard as the Italian restaurant’s host.
The Halloween episode is… The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror VI
I know a lot of people will have their opinions on which one is the best and their favorite, go ahead Chris, but I’m writing about one that I find to be really fun. In this treehouse giant advertising mascots come to life and Willie dies then haunts the children in their dreams. My favorite part of the episode is when Homer goes into another dimension, and we see a different side of Homer.
Shout out: Check out Chris’ blogs about the Simpsons, really good reads.
Thanks for the plug! III is my favorite, but if you’re reading my blog, you already know that – twice.
Chris’s episode pick is: Doug – “Doug’s Halloween Adventure”
Lots of shows and cartoons do their own Halloween specials, and while the Simpsons are my favorite, there’s an oldie that always stuck out in my mind as great: Doug’s Halloween Adventure. All the Nicktoons did their own Halloween thing (and NONE of them ran in syndication!) but I think Doug’s is the best. When a new ride built in an actual haunted house opens in Funkytown, Doug and Skeeter go to check it out, as Doug tries everything to get out of it. The ride closes right before they get in, but with Roger cutting the line, the venture in anyway. Doug and Skeeter enjoy the ride (which scares Roger) until the park closes, leaving them stranded. As they search for an exit, Roger pulls a prank to scare them by disappearing like a rumored worker had done, until Doug and Skeeter stumble upon the control room (and the creepy guy who runs it) and pull off their own revenge prank. What happens next? You have to watch it find out. They totally sell the whole season on Amazon now!
Disney/Universal: A ride like Bloodstone Manor would be AMAZING if it was real! Disney, you listening? Nah…too scary for you…Universal, head’s up! They always talked about some type of all-year round horror attraction – let this old Nicktoon be your guide!
Disney Note Two: Disney ruined Doug. You are not forgiven.
The Halloween jam is … Thriller by Michael Jackson
How can you talk about Halloween and not talk about this song? The song is about a scary night, it’s really catchy, and it’s a classic. The music video, which clocks in at 14 minutes, is one of the best music videos ever and was even shown in theaters. Look for it to be re-release in 3D soon. Some have issues with MJ, but you have to admit this song has too many good things to deny how awesome it is.
Preserved: In 2009 the music video was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
Star Thriller: Replace the word “thriller” with “starlight”. That was the original version and title of the song. A change that turned it from another song to a musical classic.
Chris’s Halloween jam is: “The Phantom of the Opera” by Nightwish
Finnish metal band performs a brilliant version of the classic play opera ballad, originally written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Tarja Turunen, the beautiful and talented lead singer, sings Christine’s lines from the play, while bassist Marco Hietala sings the lines from the Phantom. The song was released on the 2002 album “Century Child” and went Platinum twice in their native Finland. It’s a beautifully haunting melody, re-written in the rockingist genre, metal. What’s not to love?
Boo America: Nightwish has never charted in the states, which is a royal shame. Come on America!
Chris’s Halloween jam #2 is: “RE: Your Brains” by Johnathan Coulton
Coulton is a brilliant comedy songwriter, most famously writing the theme music to the show “Cody Monkeys,” and writing the insanely popular “Still Alive” and “Want You Gone” from the Portal franchise. In this strangely optimistic sounding tune, he sings about a zombie (named Bob) who is trying to talk to his coworker Tom, after becoming a zombie, and asking politely if he can consume his brain. At least he does it with dignity and manners! Check it out, it’s a fun and overlooked song.
Not Much Glee: Read up on Coulton’s legal battle over use of his “Baby Got Back” cover from the popular show Glee, to which he never got credit over.
From Markie Mark…
I hope you all enjoyed the blog. Thank you Chris so much for this and I hope others go to this guy if they ever need help getting their voice heard. This was fun and I hope you all discovered some new Halloween fun. Till next year, sleep tight…
Thank YOU Mark for a fun journey! We should do something like this again soon…you busy this December…?