Monday, October 4, 2021

31 Nights of Horror - First Update!

What's the best thing to do during October, other than having a convenient way to get rid of the bodies? Horror movies of course! As I talked about before, watching a crap ton of horror movies during October is one of our very favorite things to do here, and this year is no exception to that. 

One of the things I love most is to introduce people to horror films that they've never gotten to experience, or even heard of, or wish they never had. It's something that I grew up with, and love 'em or hate 'em, there's something magical about doing such for me. Lately, I've gotten to do it a lot and that would warm my gay little goth heart...if I had one. 

You'll also likely notice that the numbering may seem off. This is because of the strange schedule we have here, being nocturnal and all, so we tend to count "after midnight" as the next day. Which doesn't count for Halloween night, as that night lasts until dawn. It's weird, try not to question it too much or you could lose what little sanity you have left.

So, while it's still very early on in the month I figured that a small update was in order so you could see just what's been watched here over the first full weekend of this marathon of horror!

First up...

#1 - Hocus Pocus 

Okay, I know what you're going to say "Kit, it's not a horror movie!". You're right, it's not a horror movie since it's a kid's movie, but there's something about starting off each season with it that just feels right. There's plenty of blood, guts, and dismemberment to come, so why not just get in the spooky season mood with something a little more chill? At least that's my theory on the matter. 

Unsurprisingly, a few things don't necessarily hold up these days with it, but it manages to pull at nostalgia string just enough that it keeps it's traditional "First of the 31" spot for now, and likely years to come. They're making a sequel too, which should be interesting to see...

#2 - Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

Yes, I know that it was on just a week before as part as Elvira's 40thAnniversary special, but I just had to show this one to my partner this year. Why? She had never seen it and that's just not allowed. Everyone has to experience it in my world, and I'm happy to report that it went over swimmingly! 

It's campy, uneven, sometimes a little forced, and it takes a while to build up, but that's just how Elvira rolls. Definitely falls into the category of you'll either love it, or hate it.

It's not an every year thing during the 31 (I do watch it outside of that, though!), but it's definitely a fun ride to include every once in a while.

#3 - Attack the Block

I know what you're thinking, "what's this movie doing on the list?", and "how is that horror?" If being chased by giant werewolf bear aliens with glowing teeth doesn't qualify as a monster flick, then I dunno what does and there's no way that monster films don't have a place in horror. Zero. 

I've loved this film since it came out. Not only because of the horror element, but the cast is also great throughout and you really do wind up rooting for them as they try and protect their own. That says nothing about the social commentary that's at play, or the comedy either, both of which are stellar. 

If you haven't seen it, definitely should fix that.

#4 - Leprechaun 

After 5 years off the list, it finally makes a return! The terrors of the wee folk are back, and there's just no stopping Warwick Davis' performance. Without him, this one definitely falls into the dumpster bin of forgettable cheeseball horror from the '80s...cept it was made in the '90s. 

It's irreverent, campy,  and full of enough plot holes that you could bury Kansas twice over, but it still manages to stay true to its weird self and sticks to it's guns where it counts. The best parts are when Warwick Davis is on screen, but that's as it should be. 

If you're looking for the absurd, you've found it! 

And there you have it, the first films of this year's list. There's a whole lot of month to go and even some theater going horror movies that I'll be catching this year as well. Yes, that's shocking, horror movies releasing in October again vs January or February. What's come of this world?! 

Stay tuned for the next update later in the week!

Until then, 

Sweet screams and pleasant nightmares!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

No One is Giving Your Kids Edibles On Halloween

It's exactly at the title states, and yes I'm being blunt about it (pun intended). No one in their right mind is going to give your kids edibles, they're not even going to mix it up with the regular candy. It's just not going to happen. Why? That stuff is expensive! 

As more and more states legalize marijuana in the United States these paranoid stories keep popping up, and this year is no exception. There's no shortage of them either. The latest, happening in Bensalem, Pennsylvania where an police found edibles on someone that was intending to sell them. 

How exactly that got turned into "giving away edibles to kids on Halloween" is beyond me, but some folks will do anything for a story out there.

For starters, that story this time has happened in September, a full month away from Halloween. Second of all, who's giving away a bag of $30 edibles when you can get 500 candy bars for that at Wal-mart? Just not reality here. There's also no report from the police department on this at all either. 

Just as there is zero evidence of sewing needles and razors in candy over the years, there's no evidence nor credible suspicion of this happening either. Mostly it's people who wish to overreact to anything based on "drugs are bad" mantras, and most are just looking for ways to bore down on Halloween itself as being a "bad influence". At least, that's the only thing that I can think of for trying to cause hysteria around non-issues like these. 

Face it, the drug war is over (the drugs won), your kids aren't being corrupted by video games, The Satanic Temple isn't evil, and your neighbors aren't trying to drug your children for laughs or kidnap them. The most dangerous thing you can find in your kid's candy bags is religious propaganda. Seriously, those things are creepy. 

It's sad I even have to say this stuff, sheesh!

Until next time,

Sweet Screams and Pleasant Nightmares!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Cinema of Horrors: Drive-In Returns for 2021!

Love scary movies and want an all new way to experience them? Well, look no further than Ridgefield, Washington's Cinema of Horrors: Drive-In! Not only do you get to experience classic horror films drive-in style, but they've decided to amp up the event with live actors to bring a little extra slice of nightmare fuel to the party. 

Not a fan of the super scary? They've got that covered as well with a few family friendly nights where they'll be showing either Beetlejuice, HalloweenTown, and Hocus Pocus. Yes, the monsters will still be present but not in your face scaring, which is definitely nice. I would imagine they tone down some of the make-up as well, but don't quote me on that.

Located at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, this truly unique haunted attraction and entertainment mix will be running on the following dates: October 8-10th, 14-17th, 21-24th, 28-31st of 2021. Gates open at 5pm and movies start at 7pm so don't be late!

Ticket's for this run $49-$69 per carload, so that means you can load up the car and head on out with a few friends to make things a little easier. You can also bring outside food and drink in as well. Don't wait too long to buy tickets, though, they are selling out fast.

So, what movies are they showing? Here's the schedule:

Friday, October 1, 2021

New Thrills and Chills as Eastern State Penitentiary Unveils "Halloween Nights" for 2021

This year, for Eastern State Penitentiary's 30th year of fear, they've decided to change the game up. Yep, no more Terror Behind the Walls this Halloween and while that makes me a little sad, they have a pretty unique event that may appeal to even more people lined up from the looks of it. 

Doing away with the wall to wall scares and monsters around every bend, they've decided to go with a mix of historical entertainment, a couple of mazes from the past years, and some unique experiences that you can only find within the walls of Eastern State. 

Halloween Nights is running a total of 32 nights from September 24th thru November 14th, so that should give you plenty of time go check it out if you're looking for a unique event to spice up spooky season with. Just what do they have in store? Let's dig in and find out! 

Only two of the haunted houses from previous years are returning, and while that's sad, they definitely kept a couple of their best for us.

First Stop, The Machine Shop

This was one of the more high intensity portions of past events, so it's nice to see it's return as it definitely made an impression on pretty much everyone that went through from start to finish.

If you're going to keep one haunted house from the more high impact days, this is definitely the one to do that with, no questions at all on that one.

It's also really nice that it's in the same location as  years past as well. Though, I'm not exactly sure you can really move it either. 

The second haunt on the list is, The Crypt. 

The creatures of The Crypt request your presence. Wade through the mist and into the lair of an ancient clan of vampires. They've set the table, but watch your step. If you're not careful, you might end up on their next menu.

Sadly, I don't have anything to go off of for this one as it wasn't an offering when I was last at Eastern State. 

Okay, I can get down with that! Vampires using an abandoned prison? That actually sounds like a pretty awesome idea and honestly, I'm surprised they didn't find any actual vampires in the place from when Eastern was fully abandoned years ago. 

And that wraps it up for the more intense haunted houses, which is extremely weird to say. However, there's plenty more to do.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

31 Nights of Horror - A Look Back to 2020

Well, hello out there demons and miscreants. I hope that Fall is finding you well and that all your spooky plans are coming together. One our my favorite things to do around here during this time of year is watch horror movies! Sure, we all watch them all year long, but every October we take on the challenge to watch 31 different horror movies in 31 nights. 

Seems simple enough, but it's not. No, we don't watch all new ones every year, and there's ones that are always on the list but the effort is there to watch as good of a mix as we can. What movies always make it? Hocus Pocus, Trick 'r Treat and the original Halloween. It's just the way we like to do things, they even have specific dates! 

This year, I'll be posting small little snippets of each movie that we watch every day so that you can find out a little about them and what we here and the den of debauchery thought of them. What could possibly go wrong with that? 

So, while there's no way of knowing exactly what this year's list will bring, I can show you last year's so that maybe you can attempt your own 31 Nights of Horror Challenge with some of them. There's a lot of classics on here as I've been trying to do some horror movie education over the past couple of years with my partner, and some friends as well!

2020 - Overachievers Unite!

As you can see, we went a little overboard and while we didn't watch every single one together here, we got most of them. Overall we watched 48 movies in 31 nights. That's madness, doing that around a medical schedule and other things going on and it was definitely not easy!

Highlights of the year for myself were definitely the new to me; Green Room and Victor Crowley. The latter being a sequel I had been waiting to see from the Hatchet franchise, and the former something totally new that dealt with horror in a different way that resonated with me. Also made me see Patrick Stewart in a light light as well!

The lowest point was House of the Witch. It had a lot of promise, but ultimately just couldn't live up to any of it. Sad, but it happens. Still was interesting, just outclassed by everything else on the list by miles. With some of the all time great classics, it's hard.

Curious of the full list not in image form, below the jump!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Graveside Chat: Theme Park Haunt Bag Ban Policies

With news of even more Cedar Fair parks banning bags over the past week, I felt the need to weigh in more deeply on this matter. Mostly because they're going overboard and not actually addressing the issue at hand.

Safety is important for haunts on every level, it's a topic that's come up recently with the shooting outside of a Pennsylvania haunt, and another incident where a patron was cut by an actor. There have also been some physical fights at other parks. 

None of these situations would've benefited from a ban on bags, at all.

I'm going to be picking on Cedar Fair a lot for this (sorry, not sorry!) but that's only because of their policy specifically and to highlight the issues with it and it's overreach at some parks. In their statements they say that all bags for their Halloween Haunt events at some parks are banned. These parks are Dorney Park, Valley Fair, and Carowinds.

The policies from these parks includes a ban on the following; ALL bags including but not limited to-backpacks, purses, diaper bags, fanny packs, clutches, etc, save for small bags for medical necessities only and that they would be checking those to make sure of such.

Policies of this kind are always trying to limit people bringing in weapons, alcohol, drugs, food, or any number of other things they don't want in the park to help maintain overall safety. That's a great goal, and safety is important, but being too general always causes more inconvenience than not. It also signifies that security isn't doing their job if they are getting in via the checks, patdowns, and other measures. I would understand no backpacks or large bags, but these types of wide bans often go too far for a couple of reasons.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Elvira is Back on the Couch for Her 40th Anniversary!

Yes, you did read that right. Everyone's favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira, is coming back for one hell of a 40th Anniversary show on the Shudder streaming service. 

This has me all kinds of giddy, so much so that I could go a whole day without cutting the fingers off someone. I know, it's super serious. Elvira has been an icon for so long in my own personal life, and I try to introduce not only past episodes of Elvira's Movie Macabre to them, but also the Elvira movies. 

To say she's been an inspiration in my life would be an understatement. So, sitting here and writing this, pretty freakin' awesome! 

The Elvira’s 40th Anniversary, Very Scary, Very Special, Special will start at 8pm ET/6pm PT on Saturday, September 25th and then be available on demand on both Shudder and AMC+ starting on September 27th. The fact that Elvira hasn't been on Shudder before is a little baffling to me, especially since she is the queen of the macabre and has been a part of the horror landscape for so long now. 

The special will show four classic horror films and even one featuring Elvira herself, Elvira Mistress of the Dark. The other films are; House on Haunted Hill (1959), The City of the Dead (1960), and Messiah of Evil (1973). 

You can see it all via Shudder online or devices that support their app. 

Sweet Dreams and Pleasant Nightmares!

SCarowinds Announces No Bag Policy for 2021 Season

In these days, it's all about safety and trying to protect everyone so we call can have a ghoulishly good time while being scared shitless.  As to that, I'm not sure exactly what's prompted this new policy from Carowinds regarding the Scarowinds event, but they surely have a good least one would hope. 

Here's the official rule from the park's FAQ page:

Guests may not bring bags of any kind, including purses, backpacks, or diaper bags, into the park during SCarowinds. NOTE: Guests who require health accommodations may bring a bag no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” containing only medically necessary items into the park. All bags will be searched prior to entry.

As you can see, the policy is a blanket statement that includes all bags and that can be a problem as it will impact groups (women, disabled, etc) disproportionally and doesn't address other areas of ease to bring in contraband (cargo pants, hoodie pockets, jackets, etc). I'm not a fan of that at all and think there's better ways to go about dealing with the safety/contraband issue.

So, unless they change the policy, to all the other women who love all things that scream in the night, prepare to travel as light as possible and get creative with how to bring things that we need. 

Until next time...

Sweet Screams and Pleasant Nightmares!