Yes, boyfiends and ghoulfriends, it’s Halloween! My fave holiday of the year! Nothing wrong with spending X-Mas with your family or getting hammered on Midsummer, but All Hallows Eve is dedicated to horror fer chrissakes – how can you not love that? An age-old tradition it dates back to the 9th century, and unlike what some party poopers claim it is far from satanic and actually a mix of the Old religion and early Christian faith marking the Fall equinox. The Celts called it Samhain and the night was spent lighting huge bonfires to chase evil away while beggars went door-to-door offering prayers for dead relatives souls in return for “soul cakes.” This of course mutated into the “trick or treat” tradition.
Being on a worknight I’m making bigger plans for the weekend but tonight I am definitely getting cozy on the couch with some old faves like George Romero‘s brilliant Night of the Living Dead, the super-chiller Carnival of Souls or Vincent Price‘s Last Man on Earth. And John Carpenter‘s Halloween is mandatory viewing of course (it’s pretty much a no-brainer), but I think I’m saving that for the weekend.
So how about lighting some Jack o’ Lanterns (actually an Irish tradition) to keep the darkness away and pop in a couple of old faves in the DVD player? I’ve got some soothing music to get you in the mood baby!
Well, after mentioning Vincent Price in my previous post the choice of what song to add during my Misfits Week was pretty much a given: Return of the Fly (he’s even mentioned in the lyrics!) Again taken from the Beware 12″ EP (and again originally recorded during the Static Age sessions) it’s a tribute to Edward Bernds 1958 horror classic starring Vincent. Have you seen it? Check out the trailer:
Yes! As the exploitation film genre slowly gathers more and more fans (as it always has despite the efforts of stronger forces) it’s nice to see the producers and directors finally getting their due. Granted, I cringe every time I hear/read the news of yet another old fave becoming a remake but find solace in the sheer amount of material being re-released on DVD – with tons of bonus goodies to boot – on account of it reaching a wider audience. Censors tried their damndest but The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Toolbox Murders and I Spit on Your Grave are still here. And the censors? Well, they’re left with eggs on their face. If anyone even remembers their names that is. Some snobs call it “low-brow” or “b-culture”, but the only culture I’d ever be so brash to call “low” is the one that obviously needs government grants in order to stay alive.
Anyway, Alex Stapleton’s documentary Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel is a tribute to the man that personified exploitation – Roger Corman. Director and producer of 400+ movies the man is a legend that gave the world a multitude of drive-in classics as well as starting whole genres on his own (like the w.i.p.), and – to quote the title of his 1990 self-biography – never lost a dime doing it. Lots of interviews with actors and directors and filled to the brim of high-octane fun. It probably won’t be released domestically on the Swedish circuit but I am definitely getting a copy of the DVD from Amazon. Read more about it here.
Speaking of Corman’s ouvre, one of my all-time faves is his 1961 The Pit and The Pendulum starring Vincent Price. Based on E.A. Poe‘s short story it’s a beautiful piece of Amercian Gothic. Check out the trailer and try to see it – it’s great!