Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Horror Hits: Week of October 23

Double your pleasure, double your fun. For this week leading up to October 31, let me suggest a few seasonal pairings (plus one tripling) to help you ward off the evil spirits well into the night. Pull your chair a little closer to the warm glow of your computer screen or 60" plasma TV and stock up on popcorn and "fun size" Snicker bars. Here we go.

The Shining (1980) and The Shinning (1994). One stars Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall, the other stars Bart and Homer Simpson. Nicholson's a nutcase and Shelly needs to wash her hair. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Shivery stuff. Until you watch the Simpsons' version. Memorable line: "Usually the blood gets off at the second floor." My suggestion is to watch the scary one first, then enjoy the parody. Bart and Homer really take the edge off Nicholson.

Halloween (1978) and Carrie (1976). Jamie Lee Curtis in one, Sissy Spacek in the other, P.J. Soles in both. Do not mess with high school girls. Trouble seems to follows these little darlin's wherever they go. The teenage boys don't stand a chance - they are all doomed from the start. Pumpkins, predators, periods, and proms - terrifying stuff. Totally.

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Gods and Monsters (1998). And if you want a real film-fest, toss in Young Frankenstein (1974). If you can only watch one James Whale Frankenstein movie, go for Bride. It's got everything you need to get the gist of Gods and Monsters, Young Frankenstein, and any good Carol Burnett sketch. Elsa Lanchester's coif alone is worthy of timeless honor and praise, but Bride is loaded with iconic images and quotes that ripple through the other two films. "To a new world of gods and monsters!"

Now go make friends - or do I mean, "fiends"? - with crazy cabin-fevered writers, knife-wielding teenage girls, and monsters with fabulous hair.

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