Countdown to Halloween review #1: Halloween (1978)

One from the re watch pile… And day one of our ’13 Days of Halloween’ celebration…
Halloween (1978)

Film: One thing every serious horror fan must agree on is that Halloween is our Christmas. The further away it goes from what it actually stands for, the more it becomes the day that all horror fans come together as one and raise our machetes/ finger-knife gloves/ kitchen knives to the heavens and hail a holler to horror.

Now if the holiday Halloween is ‘ours’, surely the film Halloween by director John Carpenter must be ubiquitous in all our collections. It must be the beginning and end of every collection, whether it is a favourite or not.

As if I need to remind anyone, I’ll quickly run through the synopsis of Halloween.

The film opens with a young Haddonfield, Illinois resident, Michael Myers (Will Sandin), in a POV shot that in the 80s became synonymous with horror, wander through his house on Halloween, until he finds his sister, post coitus, and stabs her to death.
He is committed to a mental institution where his doctor, Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) claims that he is the very epitome of evil and should never be released. 

Unfortunately, 15 years later, a now adult Michael (Nick Castle) manages to escape with the intent of returning to Haddonfield and seeking out his younger sister Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), and he has no remorse as to who gets in his way, including a bunch of her school friends… But will he catch her? Will he be able to complete whatever his mission seems to be?

Well, horror fans should know by now.

With this film, John Carpenter completely nailed down the formula of what became the slasher film. Borrowing liberally from the film Black Christmas, and with elements of Italian giallo films thrown in for good measure. I can clearly remember as a youngster my step-father telling me when he and my mother went and saw this at the local drive-in theatre that it was the scariest film he’d ever seen.

Whilst I think that may be not completely true now, it certainly took the horror world by storm. The story is fairly generic slasher by today’s standards but at the time it would have been pretty scary.

The fear level came from a couple of things. The first was the fact that the villain was a driving force that was seemingly unstoppable, almost super-human, and his tenacity for destruction is truly a trait inspired to cause shudders. The second was that the hero, in Dr Loomis, seems even MORE deranged in his unwavering need to stop Myers. His madness seems to increase and his sanity collapse over the course of the sequels, but the seeds of that future insanity are firmly planted in the soil of his mind in this film. Thirdly, John Carpenter’s score for the film is this slow building, tension drenched piece that is just so awesome… Well, it’s my ringtone on my iPhone…

Well, for everyone except my wife who has her own ringtone: the Imperial March from Star Wars. 

Don’t tell her.

This and Friday the 13th are the Beatles and the Rolling Stones of horror. You can like both, but you’ll only truly love one of them. For me, it’s Friday the 13th that’s my love, but Halloween is right up there… Riiiiiiiight up there. It’s an example, like Psycho and Alien, of a horror film that gets every beat perfect. If you don’t have it, get on to eBay, Amazon or your local DVD/ Bluray retailer and get it. NOW!

Score: ****

Format: The review copy of Halloween was the Australian Beyond Home Entertainment bluray, 30th Anniversary release. This region B disc runs for 93 min and is presented with a decent and fairly clean 16×9 widescreen with a great Dolby digital 5.1 soundtrack.

Score: ****


A Cut Above The Rest explores the creation of the film and the influence it’s had since with interviews with Executive Producer Irwin Yablans, writer/ director John Carpenter, co-writer/ producer Debra Hill, actors Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles and others involved.

Halloween 2000…. Though the title card of the documentary calls it Halloween Unmasked… Is more of the same as above, retelling the same stories.

Then there are several trailers, including the original trailer, the rerelease trailer, and some TV and Radio adverts.

There is also a still gallery. I hate stills galleries.

This disc also has an audio commentary with John Carpenter, Debra Hill and Jamie Lee Curtis, which is interesting, but does tell a few of the same stories as the two documentaries. 

Score: ****

WISIA: It’s Halloween: at the very least you should be watching it once a year, you know, at Halloween!

Countdown to Halloween Review #2: Halloween II (1981)

One from the re watch pile…
Halloween 2 (1981)

Film: I have a special love for Halloween 2. My days of being a voracious film collector started with two films that I grabbed in the days of VHS: Halloween 2 and Dawn of the Dead, so excuse me whilst I zip up my 80s pants, so you can’t see the size of my nostalgia.

I am not even quite sure if I had even seen the first Halloween when I first saw this, and realistically, I am not sure it mattered. All I do remember is being stunned by how awesome horror movies didn’t have to have either Godzilla or Abbott and Costello in them, which is what I had mostly been exposed to before that, either on a Saturday afternoon when they played those sorts of things on Channel 7, or something like Octaman on a late night creature feature.

I mean I knew other horrors existed as I had been getting Famous Monsters of Filmland for several years, but this was something else!

From what my young mind could tell, obviously something bad had happened before, then a whole pile of more bad stuff happened, then boobs… Pause…. Then more bad stuff happens and then the bad guy gets his come uppence.

… or to put it in a slightly different way…

Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) Halloween night has so far been pretty terrible, as all her high school friends have been slaughtered by a madman named Michael Myers, who then pursued her, but she fought him off, and he was shot 6 times by Professor Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) before falling out of a second story window… And disappearing!

Our story takes us to Laurie’s journey to the hospital, and how her night of being terrorised by Myers is not over. Her recovery is not without event, as Myers survived the fall, and has tracked her to the hospital, carving a bloody path all the way there, and through the hospital staff… But why is he so intent on Laurie’s death? The revelation that she is the younger sister of Myers, adopted by the Strode family, would perhaps suggest that he has a job to finish…

As I previously suggested, I believe this may have been the first slasher that I ever saw, and I’ve loved them, and by extension, giallo films as well. I’ve definitely rewatched this more than any other slasher, even my beloved Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (!), and I still enjoy it today… Even though it contains the two most ridiculously luckiest shots from a handgun by an amateur in the history of cinema!

Basically I just love this film, and I am well aware it’s not the greatest film in the world, but I love the cast, the look of the film, the soundtrack and it’s higher body count, and even though the revelation if Laurie’s relationship seems to come from left field, it does create the basis for the franchise that the film’s became… Whether that’s a good thing or not is a different story. Is it nostalgia that makes me so fond of this film? Maybe, but that’s not SO bad, is it?

Score: ****1/2

Format: The review copy was the Australian region B bluray, which goes for 93 minutes and is presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 image no a Dolby DTS-HD 5.1 both of which look just fine.

Score: ****

Extras: There is a few extras on this disc. The first is a series of deleted scenes which show more of the personalities of the hospital staff, and throw a few unnecessary story elements in. There is also an alternate ending which shows the survival of a character previously assumed to be dead. There is also a theatrical trailer.

Score: ***

WISIA: This is one of my favourite movies for story, body count, boobs and nostalgia, so it is a regular respinner at the To Watch Pile Cinema.

Countdown to Halloween Review #3: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

One from the re watch pile…
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Film: Over the years, Halloween III: Season of the Witch copped a lot of crap. I can still remember a conversation I had with the receptionist at a company I worked for in 1988, Lisa (a fellow horror fan) where she said that when she saw it, the only part that excited her was the image of Michael Myers walking down the stairs on the TV Tom Atkins watches as the Buccaneer Lounge.

I disagreed with her. Irwin Yablans claims that removing Myers from the series was a misstep after having part one and two starring him, but as far as we were concerned, he was dead, and it was time to perhaps take the series in a new direction. The concept at the time was to release a ‘Halloween’ film every Halloween, but each film could potentially be the beginning of a brand new franchise, or a stand alone film.

I think that was a great idea, and let’s face it, Friday the 13th did not an entirely dissimilar thing with its horror subgenre gear changes from giallo to slasher to giallo to zombie to supernatural to science fiction switches throughout its first ten films.

Would this film have been a success if it didn’t have the ‘Halloween’ label on it? Perhaps, but it shouldn’t be punished for it either as I think it’s a pretty good horror film in its own right!

Halloween III: Season of the Witch tells of Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) who teams up with the daughter of a deceased patient, Ellie Grimbridge (Stacy Nelkin) to travel to the town of Santa Mira, home of the Silver Shamrock, run by Conan Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy) in an attempt to find out what happened to her father, but what they find in the small berg is death and horror!

An evil plot is uncovered which may result in the death of hundreds of thousands of children, and does it have something to do with the missing piece of Stonehenge?

Of course it does!

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a fun horror romp that is creepy and clever and well worth a watch, though the Silver Shamrock song is an insidious jingle, like the very best/ worst of advertising you’ll see at any time on your TV, and it will get stuck in your head for days.

It’s not a perfect film though, and the bad guy’s overall plan is a little murky in its intention, like the worst of James Bond baddies, and the combination of science and supernatural require a small leap of faith at times.

Essentially, the film is a decent watch that didn’t deserve the criticism it received at the time it came out.

Score: ***1/2

Format: The reviewed copy of this disc was the Australian region B bluray release. The film runs for approximately 99 minutes and it presented in a clear and decent 2.35:1 image and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 audio.

Score: ****

Extras: Not a bad amount of extras on this disc:

Stand Alone: The Making of Halloween III: Season of the Witch explores the reasons behind the dumping of Michael Myers from the franchise, and in general, the actual making of the film. There’s interviews with director Tommy Lee Wallace, producer Irwin Yablans, DoP Dean Cundey, actor Tom Atkins, stunt coordinator Dick Warlock and actress Stacy Nelkin.

Horror’s Hallowed Grounds revisits the various locations from Halloween III today. It’s cool to see what all those 80s locations look like now, and it’s pretty funny too.

Stills Gallery, I bloody hate stills galleries, and this is no exception.

There is also a series of TV spots and a trailer.

In addition to all that, there are 2 commentaries, one by Tom Atkins and one by Tommy Lee Wallace. Both are interesting in their own rights, and are thankfully led by interviewers to fill any quiet spots.

Score: ****

WISIA: Even though the Silver Shamrock song gets stuck in my head for weeks after, I can’t resist rewatching this film. I’ve always liked it and never understood the detractors from it.

Countdown to Halloween Review #4: Night of the Demons (1988)

One from the re-watch pile…
Night of the Demons (1988)

Film: I find it hard to criticise films from the 80s as this was when I really became a super horror fan. I’d liked monster movies before this decade, but early 80s still really distilled my love and made me the horror fan I am today.

It’s with a slight bit of embarrassment that I admit to this being not just because of stories of murder and mayhem, but also due to the ‘scream queen’ culture, and the names associated, like Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Debbie Rochon and the legendary Linnea Quigley. It was not always necessary due to Academy Award (r) acting performances that I admired these women, but more due to a more physical aspect of their performances.

Ok, because they were nude quite regularly, and I’m a fan of boobies.

So what is this film about?

Weirdo Angela (Amelia Kinkade) and her friend, the facile Suzanne (Linnea Quigley) have decided to hold a Halloween party for their friends, but what they don’t realise is, is that she is holding the party at the notorious Hill House, an old mortuary that has several legends of awful things happening associated with its history.

Of course, the moronic groups of sex-crazed teens decided to hold a seance, which of course causes one of them to become possessed, who then passes the ‘infection’ on, slowly turning all the group into demonic distorted images of themselves, but who will survive, and what sort of condition will they be left in?

Badly acted and a stupid story with bloodshed and bodacious boobies: it’s all the great things about 80s horror condensed into 90 odd minutes of fun.

Score: ****

Format: The reviewed copy of Night of the Demons was the 2004 release, region 1 DVD from Anchor Bay, and it hasn’t really aged to well, especially with our fancy new equipment that we have now, 12 years later, that’s not to say it’s unwatchable, but it could do with a touch up here and there. This edition is the unrated version with additional gore and violence (the cover slick’s words, not mine) and is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen with a Dolby Digital ‘Ultra Stereo’ soundtrack.

Score: ***

Extras: There’s a couple of extras on this DVD, of which the video quality on them all is lacking.

My Demon Nights is an interview with Linnea Quigley looking back at her career at her experiences on Night of the Demons. It’s interesting but ultimately superficial.

There is also a commentary with director Tenney, executive producer Walter Josten and Producer Jeff Geoffray.

There are two trailers, one the theatrical and the other the video, and three TV spots for the film.

Promo Reel seems to be a promotional piece for video store owners to tempt them into taking Night of the Demons into their shops for rental. It’s actually quite an interesting piece of propaganda!

Score: ***1/2

WISIA: It’s one of my true loves from the 80s, and it gets a regular spin at my place.

Countdown to Halloween Review #5: Hocus Pocus (1993)

One from the re watch pile…
Hocus Pocus (1993)

Film: As much as us horror fans keep Halloween as ‘our’ holiday, we do have another group that we have to share it with… kids!!

My daughter, now an adult, was brought up on horror films. Now I don’t mean I started her on Last House on the Left: no, we started with things like Casper, Addams Family, The Witches, various Scooby Doo movies, and this film, Hocus Pocus, before moving into not-quite age appropriate things like Dawn of the Dead at age ten.

Hocus Pocus tells the tale of three witches from Salem, the Sanderson Sisters: Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) who way back when used to draw the life-force out of kids to restore their youth. Of course they are caught and executed, but not before casting a spell…

Hocus Pocus: the Sanderson Sisters, Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker

Several centuries later, Max (Omri Katz), his little sister, Dani (Thora Birch) and their parents move to Salem from California to find the town, at Halloween, have reduced the story of the Sanderson Sisters to little more than a myth. On Halloween night, Max manages to convince local hottie Alison (Vinessa Shaw) to take him and his sister up to the abandoned Sanderson museum, but he accidentally brings the sisters back to life by casting their long dormant spell.

As one would expect from a Disney film, the rest is spent in an attempt to defeat the witches, and many shenanigans take place, and maybe a song as well…

… and that song is to be expected. This film is directed by Kenny Ortega, who is probably best known for the Grease remake series of High School Musical films, and it’s a beautiful and fun set of visuals with some great performances, especially from Midler, Najimy and Parker (as a side note, Parker never looked better than in this film!)

Hocus Pocus: Omri Katz and Thora Birch

The screenplay is also brilliant. Written by long-time Stephen King collaborator Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert, who wrote Return of the Swamp Thing, from a story by Garris and David Kirschner, who created the American Tale series of animated films. Like any good PG film, it has heaps of funny stuff for the kids, but there is a lot of sly innuendos aimed directly in the laps of the adults as well.

If I have to fault this film at all, it is in the casting of the school bullies, Ice (Larry Bagby) and Jay (Tobias Jelinek). Yes, I appreciate that this is a Disney film, but these two overact to the point of distraction. They are more cartoon characters than anything else, and their performances stand out as a low point of the film.

Hocus Pocus: Vinessa Shaw as Allison

Is it possible I have affection for this film from the aforementioned daddy/ daughter days? Possibly, but the film is still fun and funny and a better example of Disney’s live-action stuff. It also has a great deal of fun with horror tropes like zombies and witches without actually poking fun AT them. Of course it does end up getting a little schmaltzy at the end, but that’s what The House of the Mouse wants, isn’t it?

Score: ****

Hocus Pocus DVD Menu Screen

Format: The reviewed copy of this film was the Disney DVD release from several years ago. The feature runs for approximately 92 minutes and is presented in a slightly grainy and artefact-y 16:9 video with a 2.0 audio.

Score: ***

Extras: Nothing.

Score: 0

WISIA: It’s a fun and easy to watch family film that my adult daughter and I STILL like to watch together, even though we both possibly should have grown out of it.

Hocus Pocus: Doug Jones as Billy

Countdown to Halloween #6: Tales of Halloween (2015)

One from the re watch pile…
Tales of Halloween (2015)

The Australian Bluray of Tales of Halloween

Film: Anthology films are a staple of horror, and pretty much well every horror fan can name one in their favourite horror films, be it one of the Creepshows, or Tales of the Darkside, or Trick R Treat. There have even been great classic TV series anthologies like Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits and many horror anthology books, like the  H. P. Lovecraft collections, or hundreds of mixed author collections, like one of my favourites, edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector, The Book of the Dead.

This anthology has a total of ten directors giving us the thrills, including Saw II, III and IV’s Darren Lynn Bouseman, The Decent’s Neil Marshall, May’s Lucky McKee, The Halloween Kid’s Axelle Carolyn and Autopsy’s Adam Gierasch amongst others, and tells of all the horrors that take place on Halloween in one small town, with several of the characters from some stories popping up in others.

Tales of Halloween: Caroline Williams and Robert Rusler’s son has a Sweet Tooth

From its cartoony, pop up book styled beginning (hosted by Adrienne Barbeau playing the voice on the radio…again!), this film entertains with ten Halloween shorts, including a bunch of serial killers who get their just deserts, the legend of a candy loving killer, a woman who can’t fall pregnant who is possessed by a demon, a war between neighbours over their Halloween displays, a kidnapping gone horribly wrong and five more.

Heaps of tributes to classic horror films with many stars and directors showing up, including Lin Shaye (A Nightmare On Elm Street), Lisa Marie (Mars Attacks), Barbara Crampton (Re-animator), Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Robert Rusler (A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), Barry Bostick (Rocky Horror Picture Show), James Duval (Donnie Darko), Stuart Gordon (director of Re-animator), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Greg McLean (director of Wolf Creek), Mick Garris (writer of Critters 2), Drew Struzan (artist of more film posters than I care to list)… the list goes on and on! 

Tales of Halloween: Nick Principe as the killer in Friday the 31st

As one would expect, stories directed by a variety of writers and directors can be a little uneven, but all of them entertain. Some of them finish with a quick resolution which is occasionally unsatisfying, but as a complete package the film delivers. This film is a gory-as-Hell, roller coaster ride with a bunch of amusing horror shorts most of which have a fun twist to cap them off: some obvious, some not, but all entertaining.

The soundtrack is heaps of fun too, ranging from the metalest of metal, to 80s-inspired synth which suits each tale as it unfolds.

This is truly made for horror fans though, as you, like I, will spend most of your time laughing at genre references, or crying out ‘hey isn’t that (insert name here)?’

Score: *****

Tales of Halloween bluray menu screen. Not present; any extras.

Format: The reviewed copy of Tales of Halloween was the Australian region B bluray, which runs for approximately 97 minutes. The film is presented in a 2.35:1 video with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio and both are, as one would expect from a modern film, perfect.

Score: *****

Extras: A modern film with NO extras made by multiple directors with NO extras? Poo on you, sirs!

Score: 0

WISIA: Anthology films are ALWAYS a rewatch if just for how much there is to take in! With the quality and variety of directors in this one, it certainly includes it in that ideal!

Caveat: This ‘anthology’ suggestion of being perpetual rewatchers does not include the miserable Creepshow 3. Just sayin’!

Tales of Halloween: a traditional Halloween decoration from This Means War

Countdown to Halloween #7: Slugs (1988)

One from the re-watch pile…
Slugs (1988)

Arrow Films’ Slugs: awesome art by Wes Benscoter

Film: I am an unabashed total fan of director Juan Piquer (J. P.) Simon, even though, to my knowledge I have only seen three of his films: Satan’s Blood, Pieces and this film, Slugs.

Slugs was something I first discovered as a book by Shaun Hutson when I was going through my ‘read everything by Shaun Hutson’ phase as a teenager. Still today I have no problem, on a sleepless night, sitting in a comfortable chair, a warm milk, a tray of biscuits and a well molested copy of Slugs in my hands.

Somewhere along the line I stopped reading Hutson’s books, but the appearance of Simon’s Slugs film excited me more that a grown man would care to admit, and finding it was directed by the guy who gave me my beloved slasher/ giallo Pieces? Well, hook me up to an IV of THAT!

Slugs: Michael Garfield and Kim Terry as Mike and Kim Brady

Slugs has us follow the events in a small town that is being invaded by a plague of flesh-eating slugs, and the only people who can save it are health inspector Mike Brady… yep, ‘Mike Brady’ (Mike Garfield), his friend, sanitation engineer, Don Palmer (Philip MacHale), and a local high school science teacher/ scientist, John Foley (Santiago Álvarez), who was introduced by Mike’s wife, Kim (Kim Terry). 

Can they save the town before the inhabitants are completely consumed? Well, let’s hope now before at least a bunch are chewed up in all sorts of gory ways!

There are two horror fans that live inside me, one who likes slow burn horror films like The Wicker Man and early Hammer films, and another who loves balls-to-the-wall, blood-drenched splatters films, and it’s that latter fan who digs this particular film.

The fact that is is an American/ Spanish production means that there are some of the cast speaking English, and other dubbed, sometimes quite hilariously. The film has some continuity inconsistencies and some totally weird cast choices… Don’s wife looks old enough to be his mother (!) and there’s just some flat out bad acting, but the joy from this film comes from both the gore, and the fact that slugs are just so damned disgusting!!

It’s amazing to think in a world of CGI in even low-budget films that all the flesh and blood in this film is practical effects. Even though I am not a detractor from CGI effects, I do miss films that do everything with good ol’ buckets of red paint and pig skin.

Slugs: Juan Maján needs a hand as Harold Morris

I have to give a word to the soundtrack as well. The title score is classic moody horror stuff, but then as scene changes happen, it’s like music that an 80s cop TV show might have when it comes back from an ad break.

It’s one of my favourite films of all time, even though it’s hokey and perhaps a little bit stupid, but it’s for those reasons that I love Pieces too, so why the Hell not?

Score: *****

Arrow Films’ Slugs bluray menu screen

Format: This UK Arrow Films, region B bluray release runs for approximately 89 minutes and is presented in a really nice, which is expectedly slightly grainy due to its age, 1.85:1 presentation, with a very rare artefact, with an excellent mono audio track.

Score: ****

Extras: Extras? Extras? Boy, have we got extras! First up, and in Arrow tradition, we have a reversible cover, one side with brand new artwork by Wes Benscoter and the original art on the flip side.

Inside the case there is a booklet featuring an informative article by Michael Gingold, American journalist probably best known to horror fans as 26 year veteran (he finished there this year) of Fangoria magazine, about the film.

On the disc we have:

Here’s Slugs in your Eye: an interview with Emilio Linder, who played David Watson, where he talks about his career and his experiences on the film. He has some great anecdotes, and a pretty cool vinyl collection in the background.

They Slime, They Ooze, They Kill: an interview with special effects artist, Carlo De Marchis, who briefly talks about his career before concentrating on the effects of Slugs, breaking them down by how the effect was done with some amazing behind the scenes photos of giant slugs built to bite fingers and miniature houses to blow up. He also reflects on the 1989 Goya award for special effects that the film won.

Invasion USA : an interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo, who talks about Simon and his work in cinema, and his admiration for his work. He also talks about his own contributions to the film.

The Lyons Den: this is a pretty cool locations tour of Lyons, New York and interview with production manager Larry Ann Evans, who actually grew up in the town. She has some pretty funny recollections of the making of the film, and some more delightful memories of Simon. Actually, one thing all these interviews have in common is the respect for J. P. Simon which makes me dig his work even more! 

We also have a trailer for the film, and then two commentaries:

The first commentary is one I was very excited for, as it is with author Shaun Hutson, with Michael Felsher from Red Shirt Pictures (who produced all the featurettes on this disc). It’s an awesome commentary and hearing Hutson talk about his career and his, quite low, opinions of the film. As a horror fan there’s nothing more disheartening hearing a favourite author coming down on a favourite film, but I’ll get over it, as the commentary is totally engaging!

The second commentary is by Chris Alexander, filmmaker, musician and former editor in chief of Fangoria, and is much more a fan, love letter to both the film and the book. Listening to this commentary after the Hutson/ Felsher one is great as the opinions of the creator compared to the fan are amusing.

Score: *****

WISIA: I’ve watched this film, and read the book on which it’s based, more times than I care to admit. I’ve probably already watched it twice this year already before I watched it the three times to review it (the film and then two commentaries) and it still hasn’t gotten old. I’ll probably watch it again before the end of the year… so the answer is yes, I’ll watch it again.

Slugs: Emilio Linder’s David Watson’s seen better days…

Happy Halloween Week!!!

For those of us who love horror movies, Halloween isn’t one night. For some of us, it’s the whole month, for others: the entire year! I love it when Halloween decorations hit the store as it means I can decorate my house in the fashion that I wish it were decorated for the entire year: zombie decals in the window, grave stones in the front yard, a ‘Caution: Zombies’ sign on the gate and a carved pumpkin grinning it’s candle-illuminated grin on the front step.

It’s truly a wonderful time.

Usually in October, I would watch a horror movie a day and they would always be favourites and the closer to Halloween it got, the more ‘Halloween-y’ the viewing became. 

Almost always the franchises would get a look in, be it the Friday the 13ths, or the Nightmare on Elm Streets, the Saws; one of them would at the very least get a full series view, but always, without fail, I’d endeavour to make my way through all the Halloween movies… I mean the Michael Myers ones, obviously, though Halloween III: The Season of the Witch would make an out-of-order appearance!

This year though I didn’t get to do this as, quite simply, not only have I been working on content for this site, but my alter ego started a new job, which means my life has been in a strange, constantly fluctuating place, so instead, I have managed to make my way through 7 reviews, all which have a Halloween slant in it… or at the very least a suggestion that the film takes place around this wonderful time.

So I hope you all enjoy my week of Halloween tricks and treats, and come back every day for the next 7 days to see what movie is going to pop up next!

R.I.P. Steve Dillon

Truly this year is seeing an absolute glut of creative people being taken from us.

Steven Dillon passed away on the 22nd of October at his home in New York.

Dillon gave comic fans so many amazing pieces of visual entertainment, starting on UK comics Hulk Weekly, before working on many titles such as Doctor Who Monthly (where he created Abslom Daak), to most fans though he was best known for his work on The Punisher, Hellblazer and the astounding Preacher. Along with artist Brett Ewins, he started the comic Deadline, which ran for 7 years.

His passing leaves an unfullable hole in comic art.

Rest in Peace, Mr Dillon.