Thoughts on the 2018 Halloween

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I’m a feverish John Carpenter fan, and I’ve spent the last two years going through his filmography at Black Gate. But I am not a Halloween fan—the Halloween franchise, that is. I love Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween, although it wouldn’t make my top five of his films. (Serious competition at the peak of that pyramid.) I don’t have much interest or patience for the many sequels/reboots/remakes done over the past four decades. Except for Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the one sequel without the iconic masked killer. That movie is so weird and baffling, yet also so infused with the spirit of the holiday (more so than the original), that it has a special place in the season for me. It’s by no means good, but Carpenter was still involved and it’s not just another slasher.

Despite my apathy for the Halloween franchise, I was looking forward to Halloween ’18, the third movie to just call itself Halloween and yet another timeline reboot. Like Halloween H20, the twentieth-anniversary installment, this fortieth-anniversary installment is poised as a direct sequel to the earliest films. However, Halloween ’18 goes H20 one better, since it also ignores Halloween II (1981), the movie that started the trend of over-complicating the franchise and its main figure, the masked killer known as “The Shape.” (Or, boringly, Michael Myers. I’m not calling him that. He’s always the Shape to me.)

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Night of the Lepus, The Killer Bunny Flick

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Happy October! I’m resurrecting horror movie articles from my old blog and revamping them. This article is reworked from a 2011 post, and it seemed appropriate since Red Letter Media
recently covered this movie on their “Best of the Worst” program.

I’ll disclose the Star Trek trivia for this movie up-front: Night of the Lepus stars both Paul Fix and DeForest Kelley. Paul Fix played the Enterprise’s Dr. Mark Piper in the second pilot for the original series, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” and DeForest Kelley replaced him as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy for the rest of the run. Two Enterprise doctors in one movie! And they share scenes together! And none of them are interesting!

I should love Night of the Lepus. I should adore it. But it won’t let me. It won’t let me laugh at it. It won’t let me admire it. It won’t entertain me on any level. A Western-set monster flick from the ‘70s about titantic flesh-eating rabbits failing to entertain me. I’m thankful Tremors exists, because it gives me the same movie—but good.

I lay many of the faults of Night of the Lepus, aka “The Giant Killer Bunnies Movie,” to when it was made. The timing for this type of picture was off. The movie falls between two eras when it might have made for a fun creature feature. If produced in the 1950s among the slew of rampaging giant mutant films, it would have had a solid cast of B-actors, handsome lab-coated scientists arguing with gun-happy military types, and perhaps some cool stop-motion animation effects. If produced in the late ‘70s, it would have been a nutty Jaws ripoff with loony hicks carrying too much firepower, a corrupt sheriff, an environmental scientist screaming about how they’ve got to stop these rabbits before they destroy the world, and a bloodthirsty hunter wanting to mount one of those humongous hares over his mantle.

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This Is Not the The Black Cat Movie You’re Looking For

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Happy October! I’m resurrecting horror movie articles from my old blog and revamping them. This article is reworked from a 2013 post.

One of my favorite discoveries in my college library was the volume Universal Horrors: The Studio’s Classic Films, 1931–1946 by Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas, and John Brunas. The 1990 book was one of the first to look at the entire canon of Universal’s horror and mystery pictures from their Golden Age and treat them as something more than the “kiddie TV entertainment” they were once relegated to. I grew up watching these movies on weekend afternoons, but until Weaver et. al I knew little about the behind-the-scenes tales of their making.

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This Local Courtyard Under the Sway of Satan … Or So I’m Told

The real world horrors you discover in October might be lurking right outside your office door. The terrors crawling beneath the stones of your workplace, the cultists scheming just out of sight.

By day I work from the fourteenth floor of a building in Costa Mesa, CA (walking distance from my apartment, which is almost unheard of in Orange County) located near the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. This is the courtyard located behind the building:

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Continue reading “This Local Courtyard Under the Sway of Satan … Or So I’m Told”