A Halloween Night

Editted: After Hobgoblin’s much welcomed addition below, I needed to edit this one for accuracy.

I have an unwritten rule about Halloween viewing. Okay, now that I’m writing it down for you, I guess that makes it a written rule. In any case, here it is: Halloween viewing should be Halloween-oriented. You shouldn’t just watch any scary movie or show, like Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street. Those movies and shows can be watched at any time of the year. In fact, I think they’re better in the summer (or in the case of Friday the 13th, better on Friday the 13th). No, at Halloween you should watch movies and shows that specifically reference Halloween or have Halloween elements in them, movies and shows like Trick R Treat, A Disney Halloween, and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Oddly enough, the most Halloween-oriented movie there, John Carpenter’s Halloween, breaks this rule. As the movie progresses, we see that the folks in Haddonfield are watching three movies that fateful 1978 Halloween night (note: Annie mentions that there would be a “six hour” horror movie marathon, which in TV time with commercials would be three movieso). Those movies are The Thing From Another World and Forbidden Planet (as we see in the original) and Night of the Living Dead (as we see in Halloween 2, which takes place on the same night).

As you probably noticed, none of these movies are Halloween-oriented. The first two aren’t even horror films but rather sci-fi, and Forbidden Planet is more thrilling than scary.

Now on one hand, this fills me with disgust as it violates my Halloween viewing rule. I can almost understand NOTLD, but why would you waste Halloween watching sci-fi movies? However, it also gives us an interesting opportunity. If we owned these three movies (as I do), and if we wanted to do something unusual this October 31st, we could have a “Halloween” night. On this night we would watch not Halloween movies nor even Halloween movies but the movies the folks from Haddonfield watched on Halloween. We could start with The Thing From Another World, then move to Forbidden Planet, and close with Night of the Living Dead. In that way, we’d be replicating the night Michael came home. At least we’d be replicating the TV part of it anyway. And if you threw in a jack o’latern, some popcorn, and two kids who keep seeing something outside, it might be the scariest Halloween night of all.

The Thing Prequel Trailer!

Okay. I’m kind of being won over by this trailer for the upcoming prequel of John Carpenter’s masterpiece, The Thing, which was itself a remake of Christian Nyby and Howard Hawk’s the Thing From Another World. Though I do hope they keep the same spirit of Carpenter’s remake with their new film…the loss of trust, the mounting dread, and in some ways…hopelessness in the face of something “greater” than the human race. I’m worried though that this film might have taken a page from 30 Days of Night (Which I quite enjoyed but I don’t think it fits a Thing story) in regards to the pacing of the movie.

<a href='http://movies.msn.com/movies/movie-trailers/#/video/f749b83d-e1d0-4983-a918-a9c3914b03c0' target='_new' title='&#39;The Thing&#39; Movie Trailer' >Video: &#39;The Thing&#39; Movie Trailer</a>

I’m probably in the minority on this but I really dig this poster for the movie as well. A huge thanks to Film School Rejects for the image below!

James Arness 1923-2011

Friends, dim the lights a little in your living room because we’ve learned that TV Legend, James Arness, passed away yesterday.

How awesome must it have been to have your very first episode be introduced by John Wayne? A huge thanks to the Gunsmoke channel over on YouTube for this treat!

Now the first time I ever saw James Arness was as the titular alien ‘carrot’ being, the Thing From Another World!

James Arness was 88 years old, surviving his brother Peter Graves by 15 months. Arness played the role of Marshal Matt Dillion from 1955 to 1975 and even though his friend, John Wayne, suggested him for the part he almost didn’t take it. As his career in motion pictures was gaining steam he was worried that the only TV westerns to crack the top market were the Lone Ranger and the Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, it didn’t seem like a path he wanted to travel, buy Wayne convinced him to change his mind and agreed to introduce the first episode.