Okay, so Halloween is over, the pumpkins are rotting, the good candy has been cherry-picked from the trick r'’ treat bag, and the Great Pumpkin has once again not appeared to take us all to Heaven in the Rapture, or whatever it is he's supposed to do.
But here we are again. October's gone, damn it, and it seems like it just got here. Horror fans everywhere are suffering from postpartum depression as we now face another year before we get to celebrate this gloriously glum holiday, the one holiday that is truly our own.
But you know what? Just because everyone else has given up the ghost, as it were, doesn’t mean we have to. As far as I'm concerned, Halloween is a year round thing. If you saw my office, you'd agree, and I bet you have a space that's just like it.
I think Tim Burton had the right idea with The Nightmare Before Christmas, because, let's face it, Christmas is a lot better when it’s goth-ed out a little bit. Plus it stretches out our favorite season into everyone else’s season and hey, nothing wrong with that.
I have a few tips here that will help you keep the Halloween spirit alive all year round.
For me, horror films are most definitely NOT just for October, although there's something extra cool about them this time of year. But that said, my Netflix queue is chock full of horror films, and always has been.
One of my favorite things to do is find an actor/actress or director that I like, and go through all of their movies chronologically. It's an amazing way to follow their career and see how they developed and changed. A few really cool ones to do this with are Peter Cushing, Robert Englund and Boris Karloff. Hell, with Karloff, some of his best films are his lesser known later movies and I never would have known about them if I hadn't done the chronology thing - don’t miss Die Monster Die, arguably the best filmic adaptation of Lovecraft (better than Re-Animator, IMHO), as well as Peter Bogdonovich's first film Targets, in which Karloff essentially plays himself as an aging horror icon in a time (1968) when the world was far more horrific than any of his films.
The other thing I do that keeps that Halloween spirit alive through the other 11 months of the year is to graduate the year with horror, comic, gaming and film conventions and festivals that celebrate all things dark and monstrous. They’re kind of like little mini Halloweens - the methadone to the heroin that is our horror addiction. This particular hobby depends on your geography and how far you’re willing or able to travel to get your scare-on, but step one is only as far away as Googling "horror convention" and planning your year.
As for me, I'm off to start preproduction on my new short horror film - it's a Christmas themed horror, so I can stretch the Halloween season out even in my work, and involves horror luminary R. A. Mihailoff (Leatherface, Pumpkinhead) playing a deranged version of Santa Claus in a little short I like to call My Name Is Chris Kringle.
Now all I need is a blood stained Santa costume and some fake severed kids' heads...
Gaudium Per Atrox.
Some Halloween fun I cooked up that you may have missed:
THE BAD COOKIE