Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Spooky Hallowe'en movies to carve by: Part I

If you somehow didn't know it yet, Hallowe'en is coming.  And now that the big event is over, I'm back to my regularly scheduled carving (stamps and pumpkins ... and bookbinding!), and am pulling out my go-to Hallowe'en-related shows to watch.

I always have something playing in the background while I carve, but usually something I've already seen before.  If I've seen it before, my brain will fill in what I'm not looking at (because I'm looking at the carving instead).  But if I've not seen the show before, one of two things will happen: either the show is better than the carve, in which case I don't focus on the carving and watch the show instead; or the carving is better than the show and I don't remember at all what was just watched.

So, even though I'm a couple days late, here are some of my favourite Hallowe'en shows that you may want to check out, one for each of the 31 days of October, in weekly batches. It should definitely put you in the Hallowe'en spirit. The shows aren't in any particular order, but they're all my favourite shows for the season.

I spoke about this one in a post last year and I just love this movie.  It's literally what you think it is: a movie about the board game Clue/Cluedo, with Tim Curry as the butler (and an amazing cast, including the late great Madeline Khan as Mrs. White).  With dry/absurd humour that gets me every time... and three different endings? What's not to love? Basic plot: someone killed Mr. Boddy, everyone had motive because they were all being blackmailed by Boddy, whodunit?

And I always end up humming Shake, Rattle & Roll for hours after this movie ends...

Ah, Bette Middler, how I love you in this movie.  If you haven't seen this classic Hallowe'en movie, shame on you.  Basic premise: three witches brought back from the dead and they ain't too happy, and they run amok (amok, amok, amok).  They shot this film in Salem, Massachusetts, it's gorgeous, and nothing puts me in the mood more.

Favourite line: Hello, I want my book. Bonjour, je veux mon livre. 

Yes, I know, you should always be loyal to the originals and not remakes.  But I ended up seeing this version before the original and, quite frankly, I liked this one better.  If you don't know the history of this one, this movie as well as the original are based on the book of the same name which is about the (allegedly) true events that befell the Lutz family when they moved into this haunted home in Amityville where a serial killer once lived and committed the gruesome murder of his entire family.  Ryan Reynolds may be a bit of a distraction from carving for this one, but I do quite like this particular horror flick.

Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"! 

Really, very little needs to be said about this classic.  I love it. I love Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.

And this is one of those intensely classic films that makes me think that if you have not shown it to your children, you've actually breached some sort of societal code.  You heard me: if you haven't shown this to your kids, you are a bad parent. Your kids should be taken away and you should be thrown in jail for neglect and failing to provide the necessities of life.  

Vincent Malloy is seven years old
He's always polite and does what he's told.

Okay, this one you can be forgiven for not knowing about.  Vincent is a short film by Tim Burton from 30 years ago, black and white stop motion animation like Nightmare Before Christmas, and narrated by Vincent Price. It's fantastic.  It's sort of a precursor to Burton's later films... And you can watch the entire thing online right from my blog... How cool is that...

I'm always surprised at the number of people who haven't seen this movie, despite how well known it is. If you haven't seen it, the premise of the series is that Fred Kruger is able to kill people in their dreams - so don't fall asleep.  Fred is clearly upset because he has razor-sharp knives for fingers and didn't have a letterboxing hobby available to fulfill his needs way back in '84.  Anyway, worth seeing even just to see Johnny Depp as a young actor and watch him get killed.  Good fun all around.

Also, I can't stand the main protagonist in this movie, Nancy.  Mostly I cheer Freddy on, hoping he'll get her...

You saw one of my skulls, didn't you? Oh yes, I know you did. It belonged to a neighbor of yours. The name was Knapp. We took the house from them. I offered to buy it but you know how old people are, they grow so attached to things. 

Last for this week is the 'Burbs, with Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher.  This is a horror comedy that always kills me to watch. It's a great narrative on the problems with suburbia and how crazy neighbours can get. But just as they saying goes that it's not paranoia if they really are watching you; you're not being crazy if the neighbours really are burying people in the backyard. Nice residential cul-de-sac, weird neighbours move in next door, hilarity ensues.  Are they satanists? Are they burying people in the basement? What's with their weird furnace? Are they normal and we're crazy?

That should keep you over until next week.  Happy carving!

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