SPOOK BUSTERS with the BOWERY BOYS-- I never was a fan of their series of films-- too broad for me, but I like this ghost.
Berni Wrightson, who sadly passed away earlier this year, was a true master of the horror genre.
I'm not sure which version of THE EXORCIST this is-- there are a lot of them and I've seen them all. One of the greatest movies of all time not just a great horror movie-- although I'd suggest either turning down the volume or closing the windows when you watch it lest your neighbors start looking at you funny.
It goes too far in places, but it has to. It's a brilliant film done in the days when movies didn't dumb down for the audience. There are a lot of important events that happen OFF SCREEN in this-- imagine that today?? IF they made this movie now it would be four hours long and it would star Hollywood looking actors-- i.e. they just stepped out of a magazine. The original is great because the whole cast look like real people and the music is amazing.
Some other Halloween favorites I've been watching...
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) It holds up.
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) It's not so much a remake as a loose sequel of sorts and it's a rare case of a remake being as good as the original.
THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1954) Love this movie!
JOHN CARPENTER'S THE THING (1980) and so does John Carpenter.
My love of Halloween goes back as far as I can remember. The crisp autumn night-- the amazing costumes, the scary movies on TV all the time-- love all of it.
I'm not quite sure why I was such a fan as a kid-- I was terrified of even the most tame horror film owing no small part to my older sister's friend coming to a Halloween party she was having in a home-made Frankenstein costume which featured a head he made out of wax-- that thing scared the absolute bejesus out of me-- and I never really liked candy all that much. I didn't even like dressing up in a costume, rather I enjoyed seeing other people do it-- so where does my love of the holiday come from?
It might be Batman.
The two are linked for me. As a kid I often bought my Halloween costumes at the five and dime store downtown and that was often a Ben Cooper Batman costume.
Above is the costume and the box I remember. The costume consisted of a pretty uncomfortable jump suit with BATMAN written on the chest emblem, a thin fabric cape and a thin plastic mask with an opening in the mouth which was just the perfect size to cut your tongue on six or seven times during the evening.
The inside of the mask used to fill up with some serious condensation and I remember sweat or drool dripping down off the inside of the mask (gross!) yet I loved it.
I dressed as Batman at least 3-4 years in a row and I got a new costume every year because I'd play in the suit during the year and it would be destroyed by the time Halloween rolled around. I remember my mom asking me at the store to why not choose a different costume that particular year and it was like I didn't have a choice. It would be like asking why not skip wearing pants to school one day.
Batman the TV Series was on every Fall afternoon at 430 and I would try and get my homework done and I'd sit and watch the show after school. The Ben Cooper costume was a virtual reflection of Adam West's suit in my youthful eyes and once a week, usually on Fridays after school my mom would pick me up from the brick school house on Oxford Street and walk across the street to the little Mom and Pop market that sold comic books and I remember picking this one up off the rack...
I remember being struck at how scary this cover was-- even as a kid I knew Robin was hanging here in this crypt Batman had walked into and I was blown away.
On the show, as much as I loved Batman, I really disliked Robin. I found his Holy this and Holy that really annoying. The original creators had assigned Batman a kid sidekick in the hopes that young readers would identify with him and I know I was not alone in my dislike of the character.
So seeing an issue where Robin turns up dead over and over again appealed to my darker sensibility. There's a bit of irony that as I write this I just replied to an email sent to me by Burt Ward, Robin himself, who is a very nice man. No fault of Burt's that he was playing an annoying character.
Another cover I remember very well-- Batman as a sniper! Wow look at that cape! I don't know how he's possibly hitting anything from three miles up on a smokestack unless the target is leaning out the window but I didn't care then and I don't care now-- this is a great cover by Mike Kaluta.
And how about this one from the late great Bernie Wrightson? Wowie wow zow! And this is cover dated JULY-- this isn't even a Halloween issue! Tell me Batman is not linked to Halloween! I dare ya!
Clowns don't scare me-- done right I think they can be amazing-- done wrong and they're Jack Black.