The leaves are changing, the air is getting colder and houses are slowly receiving creepy makeovers. Yes, the Halloween season is just about in full swing, but if you’re like me, it can never get here fast enough. So today, since I’m tired and lazy and didn’t write anything else, I present you with 3 things to get you in the Halloween spirit.
1. Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
This, for me, is an essential read during the Halloween season. Set in an undisclosed midwestern town in 1963, it tells the story of the town’s terrifying and bloody Halloween tradition. Each year on Halloween night, The October Boy, a pumpkin-headed monster rises from the cornfield and makes his way into town. It’s up to the town’s teenage boys to stop him before he reaches the center of town. The boy who slays the monster gets a one way ticket out to town, to start a new life. Dark Harvest is only 176 pages, it’s a quick and easy read, but it packs a punch. There’s mystery, mayhem and of course, candy. I’m hoping one day to see it made into a film, because it truly deserves to be seen by a wider audience. It’s my favorite book to read for the Halloween season, and I can’t recommend it enough.
2. Trick ‘r Treat
Forget Rob Zombie’s Halloween, hell, forget John Carpenter’s Halloween, this is the definitive, must watch movie of the Halloween season. It’s not a movie simply set on Halloween, it’s a movie about Halloween. 3 interlocking stories of murder and mischief, all steeped in Halloween legend and lore. It’s an absolutely wonderful film, and it’s crime that it never saw a nationwide release. Warner Brothers were too scared of the Saw franchise to run a new film against it and instead set Trick ‘r Treat on the shelf for two years. They finally released it onto home video, and now you can watch and enjoy one of the most fresh, original horror films in years. It’s just a shame the film never got a chance to be seen by large audiences, and poor little Sam, the mischievous Trick ‘r Treater who runs through all 3 stories, never got a chance to become a Halloween icon.
3. The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror
I’m probably not telling you anything new, but The Simpsons’ Halloween specials are amazing. Well, the first 10 or so anyways. That link is to season 5’s episode, which features Homer going to trial with the Devil over ownership of his soul, a standout segment. Homer’s trip to hell has been making me laugh for the last 15 years. The trial itself, featuring a jury of the damned and the Simpson’s bumbling attorney Lionel Hutz, is also a riot. The second segment is a parody of my favorite Twilight Zone episode ever, Nightmare at 20,000 feet. Bart’s tormented by a gremlin on the side of his school bus, that only he can see. It’s one of the best Halloween parodies they’ve ever done. The final segment is a mash up of several vampire movies, it’s my least favorite out of the bunch, but it’s still solid comedy. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of the early Treehouse of Horror episodes. I’d recommend Season 6’s episode, purely for it’s lampooning of The Shining, which may be the best bit of parody The Simpsons has ever done.
Sorry for the short article today folks, I’m feeling a bit out of sorts and under the weather. I’ll be back tomorrow with a longer review, and then hopefully we’ll ride out the rest of the spectacular without any bumps in the road.