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.”
Any horror fan who grew their first pubic hairs during the golden age of the genre in the ’80s has a special place in their cold, dead hearts for slasher movies. How could we not? We were surrounded by game changing flicks like Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (a VHS darling in my neck of the woods), and A Nightmare on Elm Street. And then there were the likes of Maniac, The Burning, Madman, My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night and so many others, good and very, very bad. It seemed like every month there was a new villain hacking his way through scores of pot smoking, beer swilling, hormone raging teens and twenty-somethings. Continue Reading
I readily admit that I spend much of my horror ruminations on days gone by. Many consider the 1980s to be the Golden Age of Horror. It was an unparalleled time of creativity and fun in the genre. Horror fiction was going crazy, with many old masters still crafting great stories, and brash newcomers were shaking the foundations of traditional horror storytelling.Continue Reading
About six years ago, as my partner Jack and I were waxing poetic about the Halloween season on our Monster Men podcast, I started calling the 31 days of spookiness Terrortober. For some reason, midway through the month, I changed it to Horrortober and it stuck. Now I’m not saying I was the first, but I don’t remember anyone else calling it that back then. Okay, maybe I am saying I was the first.Continue Reading
I was ten years old when Halloween hit theaters. My friends and I trudged the three blocks to the Kent Theater on an October Saturday afternoon and had our tiny minds blown. The good thing about 1978 was no one cared who went in to see a movie, even if it was four ten-year old boys. Continue Reading
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
Paper (n): material manufactured in thin sheets from the pulp of wood or other fibrous substances, used for writing, drawing, or printing on
Cut (v): make (a movie) into a coherent whole by removing parts or placing them in a different order.
Guys and gals, we’re less than a week away from Halloween.
I don’t make the news. I just report it. A week! And while I see that all my horror-loving buddies challenging themselves to watch a horror movie a day, or creating lists for All Hallow’s Read, I myself… I’m…
This is hard for me to admit, but: I’m not feeling it this year. At least not yet.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