Sunday, September 13, 2020

Halloween Countdown 2020

The world is falling apart, but Halloween goes on. We're not the first people in history to have the world fall apart on them. So I'm going to try to keep some track of our Halloween watching and doings again this year.

September 9: Watched Fright Night 2 for the first time. Not terrible! It's certainly not as iconic as the original, and everyone is right, vampire Regine doesn't the charisma of Jerry Dandrige. But it was a fun, light '80s vampire movie, good for when that kind of mood strikes you. Pleasantly surprised. Plus, this vampire attack is truly amazing.

 September 10: The original Cat People, which I hadn't seen in years. So beautiful! Then the ghost episode of Magnum, p.i., "The Woman on the Beach."

September 11: Re-watched the animated ParaNorman. I always forget how good this is: a fairly deep story, but with so many funny details about monster movies!

September 12: Lazy day. Bought squash and honey at the farmer's market, and whiled away the day catching up on Monster Kid Radios I've missed. Oddly, I used to listen them at work on Thursday, when they debut, but that's my busiest day for online meetings, and without the routine, I've gotten messed up. The episode on The Vault of Horror in particular gave me some ideas for seasonal viewing! In the evening: Svengoolie, with Night of the Lepus!

September 13 - 14: Started Scream, the TV series. I've seen some real critical eviscerations of how bad it is, but honestly, I feel like it's a pretty fitting homage to '90s slasher films: a glossy, airbrushed whodunnit, in which actors in their 20s, with fashion-model looks, play small town teenage archetypes, there are various threats and occasional gruesome murders. Maybe it's because we just recently saw and liked AHS: 1984, but I enjoyed this on a similar level. The '80s slasher style tends to get more respect than the '90s one, but it had its own influence, and it's nice to have something scary-ish that isn't too heavy, but not too technically incompetent. And I'm curious to find out who the killer is, so that's success.

September 15: The 2-disc documentary Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America. We checked this out of the library some years ago, and finally got our own copy. Fun, light-hearted horror-host/spookshow travelogue of haunted attractions, interspersed with bits of Halloween lore, and people like Angus Scrimm and Robert Englund reminiscing about their childhood trick or treating. 

September 16: We still have some other things to watch, so this was our night to watch The Karate Kid Part II. (I'd never seen any of them before last month). Then an episode of Cobra Kai. We're trying to space them out, but it's pretty hard! Soooo goooood!

September 17: Finished season one of Scream, the TV series. Maybe I'd be more critical of it in normal times, but I'm not. We correctly guessed part of what was going on with the killings, but the other part was a surprise, so I'll watch the second season!

September 18: Non-Halloweeny night. Finished season 1 of Cobra Kai, followed by a Magnum, p.i.

September 19: Svengoolie night: Doctor Cyclops. I'd never seen this before. There sure were a lot of reclusive mad scientists in old movies. As scientific knowledge grew and became more a part of everyday life, I wonder if there was a paranoia about the mysteriousness of science. You know: who are these people? What are they doing?

September 20: The "Halloween" episode from season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then Beetlejuice. I hadn't seen either of these in years! Alyson Hanigan was really the MVP on Buffy, and Charisma Carpenter, always my fave, is also really funny in this episode too, if not playing as big a part. And I don't need to tell anyone anything about Beetlejuice, other than maybe this is the most likeable I've ever found Alec Baldwin in any capacity. I wouldn't have really thought he could be likeable, but here's some evidence.

September 21: Night off. A few Magnums, an episode of Night Court.

September 22: A retro night, with 1981's Dark Night of the Scarecrow. I'd never seen this, and honestly thought it was from the '70s. You don't see a lot of G-rated slashers!

September 23: The MST3K version of Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster. I fell asleep a little, but not its fault.

September 24: A few episodes of Tales from the Crypt, to supplement the feature, Tales from the Hood. Another new view for me, and it was very good, although it's what trigger warnings were made for (containing real footage of real deaths). Apart from that, surprisingly funny.