Cemetery Dance reviews editor/columnist Kevin Lucia is writing a Halloween serial novel one day at a time on his blog. We thought it might be something our readers would enjoy as we count down to our favorite holiday! Check out Kevin’s essay on the origins of The Mask, and follow the links at the end to read along.
Two weeks ago, I found the weirdest mask in our school’s dirt cellar.
The dirt cellar—which began life as a fallout shelters in the fifties—is where all sorts of things get stored. Things like old desks, cabinets, bookshelves, toilets, tables…you name it. Boxes of old textbooks, old televisions, all the things a school might store over the years instead of throwing out, just because they “might” be needed sometime in the future.
I’m down there all the time. I’m a scrounger by nature, (I learned it from my Dad, who learned it from his father, who was a teen during the Depression), and I’m always looking for something to add to my classroom. In this case, I was looking for Halloween decorations, because seasonal decorations are also stored in the dirt cellar.
And I found this weird rubber mask. With bulging eyes, stringy black hair, and a gaping black mouth. Inspiration struck, and I decided to take the mask (its rubber felt weird between my fingers) and hang it on my classroom door in the center of Halloween wreath as my own “Marley Knocker.”
In 1996, Michael Dougherty released a short animated film called “Season’s Greetings,” which introduced a creepy, child-like character with a burlap mask and a love for Halloween. That character was named Sam, and you can see his introduction to the world below:Continue Reading
Monsters in the closet….monsters under the bed….I think we all, at some point in life, believed in these things. We also believed that certain things would protect us from such creatures: keeping your feet under the covers…night lights…Continue Reading
If you’re a fan of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, you might be
cursing me right now. That little ditty (from the Halloween countdown
commercials that play a huge part in the movie’s plot) is one of the
hardest-to-ditch earworms in earworm history, and I’ve just infected you.Continue Reading
1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is neither the most beloved nor the most reviled entry in the franchise. It’s a bit on the bland side for me (Michael’s mask, in particular, lacks any personality whatsoever), but man—I do love these opening credits.Continue Reading
Among the top Halloween urban legends that circulate each year is the idea that the candy your child accepts from strangers while trick-or-treating could be poisoned.
It was in wide circulation when I was of trick-or-treating age; I vividly remember my parents inspecting my candy haul piece-by-piece while I stood by impatiently. Of course, this was back in the ’70s, which means we didn’t have the Internet and we didn’t have Snopes.Continue Reading
Hip hop music and horror movies go way back. Sometimes the two came together as a promotional gimmick (see Freddy Krueger’s collaborations with Will Smith and The Fat Boys), sometimes it was a case of an artist paying homage to (or making fun of) the horror icons of their time.Continue Reading
Is it a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie? I know several people who struggle with that distinction, but for me it’s easy: The Nightmare Before Christmas is a straight-up Halloween move, and a very good one at that.Continue Reading
While the Internet has given us many things we could probably have lived without, it delivers plenty of good as well—this site being one of them, of course. But what I’m talking about today is the proliferation of short horror films you can easily find online.Continue Reading
One of the hardest things for those who followed John Carpenter in adding to the Halloween movie franchise to get right has been the mask worn by Michael Myers. Nothing has matched (or even come close to matching) the soul-chilling look of that first mask, the now-famously-modified William Shatner hood that Carpenter used to such great effect.
But, man, if you thought the filmmakers have had a tough time nailing down that iconic look, wait ’till you see some of the misguided attempts from merchandisers.Continue Reading
Art is subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s trash….you get the idea. Different people see things differently, and few things have as big a dividing line as art…except maybe Halloween. Combine the two and you’re likely to draw some severely conflicting opinions about your work.Continue Reading