October 24, 2017
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Halloween is coming, Oh, the horrors!

Ghosts and goblins cavorting outdoors

Scary creatures uttering eerie sounds

Skeletons, spiders, and witches abound

Never have we witnessed such frightful sights

Tricksters and treaters afoot tonight!

—Adron Krekeler

Well, maybe not so much. Of late, our costumed extortionists have been clad in superhero and princess regalia rather than creatures that own the night. How can you look at a princess and take the TRICK part serious? Not very “princessly” if you ask me, and a superhero would never egg or TP your house. They are for truth, justice, and the American way. At least they used to be.

What ever happened to the spirit (really?) of Halloween? The days when I and my pals roamed the streets running and screaming from house to house. We did not have flashlights and chaperones! We were wild beasties howling at the moon. Well, that is how I remember it anyway.

History break: All Hallows Eve is actually an ancient harvesting festival, ritual, or celebration, depending on the culture. Christians shortened it to “Halloween” in 1749, according to Wikipedia. Carving out squashes and gourds and sticking candles in them just came naturally.

I do not want to be a Halloween scrooge but something is missing. Maybe the current crop of horror flicks has let us down. Maybe with all the cinematic magic in the world today we cannot get excited about costumed children knocking on our door in the twilight while parents watch from the street.

I admit there have been a few scary movies in the past 30 years but a lot of them rely on CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) to get a real horror affect. Back in my day—

“Hey, kid, get off my lawn!”

The moviemakers did not have the advantage of making monsters with software. They could not create impossible beings with otherworldly attributes. They had to create monsters with makeup on actual humans (The Creature from the Black Lagoon) or with stop-motion (Ray Harryhausen and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad) or just with expression and intonation. I’m thinking of Vincent Price (The House on Haunted Hill, 1959), Peter Cushing (The Curse of Frankenstein or Frankensteen, if you prefer), Lon Chaney Jr. (The Wolf Man), and Bela Lugosi (Dracula—“I vant to drink your blood”). There were many more but if you watch this you will see what I mean.

In 1983, a video combining the king of pop and a voice over from the scariest man I ever saw in a movie came to MTV. (Yes, MTV was once about music.) Indulge me this memory. The song and video come from the world’s best-selling album, “Thriller.”

If you’re choosing not to spend a ton of money on candy to be devoured by the monsters in your ‘hood, that sounds like a wise decision. Kids need more cavities like a hole in the head. Call me if you want to talk about even more wise decisions, like maybe retirement….