For those horror host naysayers out there who think that the time honored art is reserved solely for the G-Rated crowd, allow me to give you a fresh perspective. Tucked in the Nevada desert, lurking in the shadows of Las Vegas’ shimmering lights, is a host who could strike fear into the hearts of even the most hardcore horror fan!
Anyone that knows me knows that I love horror, sci-fi and monster movies and pretty much watch them all year-long. When it comes to October though there are a handful of movies that I feel I must watch to get me in the Halloween spirit. This list is not in any way meant to be a list of my top 13 horror movies of all time but a list of top 13 Halloween movies. These are movies that may not necessarily be scary as hell…some are just charming and fun! Even if these films do not fall into your top 13 list, perhaps there are some titles here you haven’t seen and may be tempted to watch!
While many horror fans site 1978 HALLOWEEN as their favorite John Carpenter film, I would not be one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that movie and would quickly name Michael Myers as my all time favorite slasher. The way I see it, however, Carpenter has three masterpieces; HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, and THE THING. If forced to choose a favorite among these gems, I would easily pick THE FOG.
While George Romero and Danny Trejo were “Rock & Shock’s” top draw, the two guests I most wanted to meet were Dee Wallace and Adrienne Barbeau. Both of these women have substantive careers as actresses that span over 30 years with no sign of letting up.
The Rob Zombie HALLOWEEN remakes are a divisive subject amongst horror fans. You either love or hate them - with very few in-between. Remaking a classic such as HALLOWEEN was, from the very beginning, a fool’s errand. Therefore, I give Zombie a lot of credit for not so much “remaking” these films as re-imagining them.
On Saturday morning we descended upon the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts approximately a half hour before the “Rock & Shock” convention was to begin. While observing the rather interesting looking attendees, the doors soon opened and we anxiously entered the main hall. It took some time for our eyes to adjust to the kaleidoscope of sights before us, so that we could determine which direction we should head. As mentioned during my coverage of Horrorhound, it is always a good idea to pre-plan your convention experience to ensure that you get the very most out of it. David had wisely printed out an itinerary that listed all the celebrities we wanted to meet by order of priority.
A little over a month ago, I was having an email exchange with my co-blogger and friend, David Albaugh. He was disappointed that his plans for this October’s annual “Rock & Shock” horror convention in Massachusetts had fallen apart. Attending a fan convention alone is never as much fun as sharing the experience with a fellow enthusiast, especially if you’re looking for a reliable photographer to capture those rare moments of you interacting with your favorite celebs. I genuinely felt bad for him because I knew that, while fan conventions are abundant here in my centralized Midwest location of Chicago, this was much less the case in his native Rhode Island.
“Back in the day,” classic horror hosts not only thrived on commercial television but also retained a powerful connection to their local communities. Whether attending a parade, shaking hands at a mall, or giving a birthday message “shout out” on their programs – these men & women endeared themselves to viewers in ways national celebrities could not.
I have always been a fan of not only monsters but of Halloween. It was only natural for me that in 1985 I combined both loves into a small yard haunt. Each year the display got larger and it eventually got to a point where I had more than 30 people volunteering their time to make sure my haunted yard (known as FRIGHT NIGHT since it was only open on Halloween night) went off without a hitch. It was at this time, in 1989, that I met James Lurgio, another resident of Jamestown, Rhode Island. Unbeknownst to me he was also a fan of monsters and Halloween and after one of my shows he called me and I invited him over to see my collection of masks, props and costumes. We have been friends ever since.
As Mac attended to his grateful fans, he would occasionally stop what he was doing to make announcements. This not only fired up the guests but also made it abundantly clear who “The Chiller Drive-In’s” top dog really was.
Throughout the course of the evening, I was fortunate to inspire two Wolfman Mac “shout-outs.” When we first met up with Mac he thanked us for making the journey and asked how long we had been on the road. After I told him he grabbed the megaphone and yelled, “Listen up wolf pack! Our friend Dave here drove up all the way from Chicago! Four and half hours to see us!!!” My face turned scarlet as the onlookers cheered.