Happy Easter, everybody — or, given the likelihood that many of you are viewing this post after the day in question (seriously, go spend time with your families), I hope you had a happy Easter. Those of you who don’t celebrate, well, I hope it’s a good day anyway.
Easter is kind of a strange holiday when it comes to Hollywood movies. It’s a major holiday in the U.S. — though not an official “U.S. holiday”, it’s celebrated by a large portion of the population. But unlike other major holidays, Hollywood tends to ignore it. It’s a trait that it shares with Thanksgiving, but not with Christmas, Independence Day, or Valentine’s Day. Consider this year’s Good Friday releases: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Host and Tyler Perry’s Temptation of a Marriage Counselor. Do any of those sound like “Easter films” to you?
It may sound strange to think it’s strange for Hollywood to overlook a holiday, but Hollywood has a history of piggybacking on holidays to give their movies a boost. Continue reading →
Halloween on Morgan on Media may have run on into All Saints Day and All Souls Day, but it’s finally time for it to come to a close. After all, we need to have some sort of return to normalcy before things get all snowy and wintery in here. Sometime tomorrow the Halloween decor will go away; the pumpkins will go back to the pumpkin patch, and the orange-and-black color scheme will revert to its normal blue-and-white. The Halloween Haunters posts, and other seasonal posts, will retain the Halloween 2012 banner, but the site will return to its normal header — or rather, it won’t. I’ve created a slightly different version of the banner, which will make its debut tomorrow.
But here and now, it’s time for the roundup of this year’s Halloween Haunters. Continue reading →
In 2011, I watched the original Halloween for the first time, and it was one of the highlights of the season. This year, feeling that it wouldn’t be right to let October go by without at least one entry in the series, I decided to watch the immediate follow-up, Halloween II, from 1981. (This was a rare case of me renting a film, as nobody had the good grace to air the film this month.) Halloween II is a direct continuation of the first film, with the same actors reprising their roles as the night of Michael Myers’ return continues. Interestingly, John Carpenter moves to a producer role for this film, with Rick Rosenthal taking over as director, in what would be his feature film directorial debut.
Halloween II has a lot of the same strengths as the original film, but unfortunately it also has some weaknesses not present in the original. Further, since it’s very literally a case of “more of the same”, it winds up feeling rather superfluous — the main thing it adds to the story is the reason why Michael Myers is so fixated on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) to begin with. Continue reading →
Whether you’re planning a Halloween party, just a friendly get together, or simply staying at home by yourself, it helps to have some tunes to set the mood for the season. Now, you might think that it’s a little early to be in full-on Halloween mode all the time, but personally I find that having some spooky songs playing in the background helps me stay in the Halloween spirit, which is essential when writing all these reviews.
It’s not too hard to find some appropriate Halloween songs. Lots of artists have put out music that is appropriate to the season. Some of it’s spooky and some of it’s silly. Some of it’s explicitly meant for Halloween and some of it just happens to fit in comfortably. But a lot of dedicated Halloween songs are one-hit wonders, singles released and never expanded to an album, or given a follow-up. So here, with video accompaniment (sort of), is a top ten list of artists who provide at least a couple different options for your Halloween mix tape. (Those still exist, right? My musical tastes expired in 1989.) Continue reading →
Leaves are turning colors and falling, kids are picking out costumes, and stores are putting up their Christmas decorations. It must be October, and there are two things I can look forward to during this month: walls of fog and spooky movies. It’s time again to break out some Halloween Haunters, those horror flicks, monster movies, and generally Halloween-themed films. The blog will be ditching its usual blue and white in favor of some orange and black, and an all-new Halloween banner has been put in place, with some classic monsters created by yours truly. And, as usual, all Halloween posts will keep the banner even after the season has passed. Continue reading →
It’s time once again for the Weekly Weblinks. It’s the last Friday in September, and that means we’re almost to that time of year when half the movie blogs, this site included, start filling their rosters with a bunch of horror films and monster movies. But even though we’ve had a few early arrivals, this week is (almost) free from frights, at least in the blog posts, though certain classics make appearances in the news post.
On the blogging front, a couple classic films get reviewed, as well as one of 2012′s, and a combination review and interview about an under-the-radar film from last year. In the news, a franchise relaunches, another gets a sequel, and a couple unexpected movie-to-TV adaptations. Read on for the details! Continue reading →
I’ve been trying to find a good horror movie all month. Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a winner here! I was beginning to lose hope there for a while. But it just goes to show that every once in a while, the classics of a genre are indeed classics. Halloween should be a template for how to make a decent horror film; sadly, while there are many films which ape it, most of them seem to take the wrong lessons to heart.
The first of several films under the Halloween franchise introduces us not only to the character of Michael Myers, but to the movie career of Jamie Lee Curtis. On Halloween night, 1963, then-child Michael Myers picked up a kitchen knife and stabbed his sister to death. 15 years later, he is still a local bogeyman to the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, where his house is abandoned and rumored by children to be haunted. Myers himself is in an institute for the criminally insane, and hasn’t spoken a word since the murder.
Just a quick “admin” post here. It’s one week before Halloween, so it’s time for the Halloween blog banner that’s been gracing all my spookier-themed posts to take over the main blog page as well, along with a nice pumpkin background. After October 31st, it’ll revert to normal, but the Halloween banner will remain in place on all of the horror movie and Halloween posts.
Speaking of which, I’ve shuffled the Halloween horror movie reviews into their own category, Halloween Haunters. While it’s still certainly possible I’ll review horror movies the rest of the year (it’s not as though most of them are specifically tied to the season, after all), October’s really the only time I go looking for them. Since my Halloween horror spree is a deliberate thing, I figured it made sense to categorize them separately. Plus, this frees up the Halloween tag for those items that are specifically related to Halloween, such as a certain 1978 movie that I expect to be getting to in the next day or so.
“Patience… that it had, in abundance. Watching. Wanting. Waiting for the time. Then it would feed. Then they would know suffering. The thought made it smile. Nothing else could.” So begins the 2003 Halloween concept album Oculus Infernum, the first and so far only album from the group Van Helsing’s Curse.
Van Helsing’s Curse is a project group founded by Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider. Inspired by the heavy metal classical Christmas music produced by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (itself a group made by members of the heavy metal band Savatage), Snider wondered why no metal group had done an entire album dedicated to Halloween, and set out to do just that. Van Helsing’s Curse is made up of a five-person rock band, a six-person string orchestra, and a six-member Latin choir. With Oculus Infernum, the group sets out to turn classical music into a Halloween tale with rocking music, haunting overtones, and all the subtlety one expects from the lead singer of Twisted Sister.
With the 23rd of September having come and gone, it is officially autumn in the United States. Though it’s not yet October, I feel now is as good a time as any to declare it the start of the Halloween season. Hey, if department stores can start surreptitiously slipping in Christmas stock in August, I can talk about Halloween and horror movies in September. I’ve always enjoyed Halloween, ever since I was a kid. It’s easily a close second to Christmas as far as my favorite holidays. I like the fact that we have a day every year dedicated to the macabre, the eldritch, the mysterious, and the spooky.