10 Treats from the House for Halloween Part 2
As the air has become chillier, leaves wither and fall to the ground but most importantly all the ghosts and ghouls come out of hiding to give a scare. Recently Darth Gandalf and I opened the door to the House of Geekery to hand out Halloween treats to all you great readers. If you have not already head over to Part 1 to see what Darth has for you before checking out the second part here.
House of Frankenstein: Of course with the Halloween season people want to see monsters and what more iconic monsters are there than the Universal Monsters? At first I wondered what classic from this franchise to pick: Frankenstein or Dracula or maybe the Wolf Man. Then I decided on a combination of all three in House of Frankenstein. Starring horror icons Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. the movie is about a mad scientist and his hunchbacked assistant who escape from a dungeon and seek to restart Dr. Frankenstein’s mad experiments. Along the way the two find themselves allied with Count Dracula to get revenge on those who imprisoned them to begin with, then head straight to Castle Frankenstein where they discover the Wolf Man and the infamous Frankenstein monster. These three famous monsters naturally run amok and all the tropes of classic horror are hit along the way. House of Frankenstein may not be a masterpiece of the genre but it is a load of fun and a real treat for fans of classic horror.
The Gates by John Connolly: This Halloween, Samuel Johnson and his dog Boswell enact a plan to get a headstart on the Trick ‘r Treating competition in this delightful novel from John Connolly. Johnson and Boswell hit the streets three days before Halloween to catch the neighborhood candy-givers off guard. This plan backfires when they discover inside the house on 666 Crowley Street, an occult ceremony has brought Satan himself, to this sleepy Irish village. The devil plans on opening the gates of hell to his unleash his fury on Halloween night and only Samuel, Boswell, and a weak demon flunky can stop him. Connolly’s book is an absolute joy to read for those of all ages who love the Halloween season as it perfectly blends humor in horror in this tale of a boy and his dog saving their town.
The Fog: I would naturally assume you are all planning to watch John Carpenter’s classic ode to the holiday already. Instead I will look at the Master of Horror’s spin on a classic seaside ghost story with 1980’s the Fog. On the night that the seaside town Antonio Bay is set to celebrate its centennial, an ominous fog rolls in from the ocean and steadily moves in. Within this billowy fog are the wronged spirits of the ship the Elizabeth Dane which sank 100 years ago. The ensemble cast of characters in this film learn of the great sin their town was built on and why these ghostly sailors are here for vengeance. The Fog is a beautifully atmospheric horror film with all the trappings of a spooky ghost story which is reinforced by an intro of the tale literally being told by a campfire. Of all of the films in Carpenter’s filmography this one arguably features the best cast he has ever assembled as well with talents like; Jamie Leigh Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook, and Tom Atkins delivering tremendous performances.
“Treehouse of Horror VI” the Simpsons: When this show was in its prime, the annual “Treehouse of Horror” episodes were always a highlight of the season, making it sadder that this tradition has just become a platform for bland pop culture parodies. Originally airing during the show’s Golden Age in 1995, “Treehouse of Horror VI” features great parodies of some of horrordom’s most famous properties. Homer earns the wrath of the Lard Lad statue when the giant ad statues of Springfield come to life in “Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores” (don’t worry Paul Anka saves the day). Following that the children of Springfield are tormented in their dreams by a burned man in a striped sweater and fedora…..Groundskeeper Willie. This segment, entitled “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” hilariously and respectfully parodies Wes Craven’s horror classic. The part of this “Treehouse of Horror” everyone remembers however, involves Homer getting sucked into another dimension through the wall al a’ the Twilight Zone episode “Little Girl Lost”. The doofus patriarch is rendered in 3D animation for the very first time as he wanders through a strange realm while his friends and neighbors figure out how to rescue him. Ultimately they fail and Homer brings his donut-munching ways to the real world.
Jim Harold’s Campfire:In all my years investigating and researching the paranormal, I have found that just about everybody, even skeptics, have had experiences which they can not explain logically. This is the concept which fuels Jim Harold’s Campfire. Harold has been a mainstay in paranormal podcasting and in this show he turns it over to the listeners to tell of their own experiences with the supernatural and explained. Average people call in with their own encounters with; ghosts, cryptids, UFOs, demons, and what are sometimes dubbed “headscratchers”. Harold gives his listeners a platform around the digital campfire to share spooky true life events.