Taking a break from the curious pseudo-political invective I usually spew on this blog, a recent forum post (on the SciFiNow forums, where we discuss sci-fi, right now) had me thinking about the ideal Halloween film-fest. Probably not for this Halloween, because let’s face it, I’m not going to move from in front of the Xbox for all but the most critical of reasons due to the impending release of Fallout 3, but maybe for next year.
For a night that’s supposed to be a celebration in the old pagan traditions (Samhain, for the uninitiated), we do have a curious fixation on dressing up as monsters whose primary modus operandi is the wholesale slaughter of us poor mortals. Vampires, mummies, zombies, zombie vampires… the list goes on. However, the fact that some of the old traditions remain is reflected by the fact that the ‘holiday’ has become more of an excuse to get tanked, eat rubbish food, forget about that morning run and watch a library of DVDs with your friends, for anyone who happens to be over 18. Or sometimes under, but we won’t go into that.
So, here’s my idea of a film line-up for that most egg-filled of October nights. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go set up the flamethrower by the doorbell, triggered by the words “trick or treat”…
DAWN OF THE DEAD – Look! It’s just like a real mall, isn’t it socially clever? Only it’s not really that alike on any level but the pretentious, because these patrons want to eat your brains. Either way it’s a good old romp through Zombieland.
THE EXORCIST – Because nothing says scary like a young girl vomiting everywhere and doing unspeakable things to a crucifix. Reminds me of Bournemouth on a Saturday night actually, the first bit that is. I’d worry about my social habits, too, if the second one brought back any nostalgic feelings.
EVIL DEAD – Boomsticks! Need I say more? Alright, its clever mix of low-budget scares, horny flora and Bruce Campbell makes this a mainstay of the Halloween DVD rack, but it does tend to be the only time of the year that it comes out of its box.
THE SHINING – Heeeeeere’s Jack Nicholson! As I said in the aforementioned forum post, you do feel sorry for Scatman Crothers, but poor Mr Torrance is a bit hard done by. All the man wanted was a drink, for crying out loud; we’d probably go mad for months at a time without a wet bar as well.
END OF DAYS – If you’re slightly damaged like us, then this is more of a Christmas film, but it can be watched pretty much all year round. Arnie, Satan, guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and Arnie! Winner!
FRIDAY THE 13TH – Oh dear Jason, we have made an awful mess haven’t we? Filled with enough slashing, smashing, and nudity to keep even the most absent of attention spans firmly focused, with just enough Eighties camp thrown in for good measure.
SHAUN OF THE DEAD – When it all gets a bit heavy and you come back from your very own Winchester, start reliving your existence in celluloid form by watching this film. With the added bonus of a zombie apocalypse, and who hasn’t hoped for that now and again?