Halloween Film/TV Treats

Oh, thank you, @SandyFrank - I’ll check those out!


John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness, probably the most overlooked gem of his career. In fact, one of the few horror movies I own. Watching Sam Neill’s transformation is a real treat for me. Bonus bit part with Charlton Heston.


One of my favorite Carpenter films, and indeed films full-stop. The finest interpretation of Lovecraft put to celluloid.


Have a happy Halloween…Silver Shamrock!!!

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the oddball in the Halloween franchise as it drops Michael Meyers in favor of a mad scientist who plans a mass sacrifice through a television commercial, his company’s Halloween masks and pieces of Stonehenge.

In spite of its flaws, it is a favorite horror flick of mine. Even then, the plot holes are glaring. Just how the hell did the villains get a giant piece of Stonehenge across the Atlantic Ocean and across the USA undetected?! Plus the television commercial giveaway…what about all the time zones?


I like that one as well, and saw it in the theatre when it came out. I could appreciate the intent of making a different story every Halloween rather than continuing the Michael Myers thread.

I would swear that when I first saw the movie that the Cochran character explained that he moved the menhir to America the same way the Druids moved them to Stonehenge. So the implication was he used magic. But upon recently rewatching the movie I didn’t catch that explanation. So either it was edited out or I came up with it myself and self-canonised it.


I went to all four of the After Dark and saw all the movies (except the first one, I caught only five).

The Gravedancers was one of the best, and Mike Mendez’ follow-up film (SEVEN years later!) Big Ass Spider! was also an above average entry in the giant-spider-terrorizes-LA genre.

The quality dropped precipitously year-over-year, though, as did attendance (cause and effect are murky), and then of course exhibition venues.

The last year, we saw The Graves at the premiere—which was on a Monday afternoon at the Beverly Hills Galleria, and it was just us (me and my son) and the cast. Terrible film, but more fun to be there with the cast and crew in attendance. The heavy was sitting two rows in front of me and, yeah, we’re about the same size.

My picks for the best would be The Deaths of Ian Stone, Gravedancers, Rinne, Dread, Borderland and, I guess, Butterfly Effect: Revelation. Honorable mention would be for Mulberry Street: You can tell there’s a ton of talent involved and the budget is just cripplingly small.

My picks for films that had greatness in them that didn’t quite play out: Unrest, Dark Ride and Kill Theory. Honorable mention for Autopsy, which had some great fun-house horror moments.

Almost all the films managed good atmosphere (that they mostly couldn’t live up to), which is interesting to me only because lately I’ve been seeing a lot of horror that doesn’t even manage that.

I did get a festival poster signed by Rolfe Kanefsky (Nightmare Man) one year, though. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.

1 Like

When we went to Toronto a few years ago one location was high on the To-Do List


Whoa. I don’t think anyone’s mentioned the original version of The Wicker Man.

Even if you know the basic story via RT’s merciless take-down of the later version, please go and watch the earlier one. It’s not laden down with a bunch of pretentious, goofy crap and unneeded subplots. It’s diverting, even if it’s not mind-blowingly scary.

I think it’s well worth the time. :slight_smile:


I love the original Wicker Man, it’s a classic. It’s a great pagan film and an inspiration for others like The VVitch and Midsommar (both of which I also enjoy a great deal). Highly recommended indeed.


A Pagan buddy of mine really didn’t like this movie, or at least the idea behind it. I don’t remember if she ever saw it or not.

However, I did try to point out that the devout Christian protagonist is kind of a jerk, and foolishly overconfident: and so outmatched by the townspeople. They’re clever folk, if nothing else. :smiley: (Their victim isn’t.)

1 Like

Isn’t it? I guess it isn’t, but not because there isn’t a bunch of pretentious, goofy crap in it, but because the movie by-and-large doesn’t swallow it.

In a very real sense, everybody in the movie is a jerk. Heh.


I guess I should be more specific and say it isn’t laden down with LaBute’s special misogynist brand of goofy crap. :smiley:


Yah, “pagan” is a wide and varied field, so it’s not representative of the body as a whole, but rather of one kind of paganism. My kind, the old dark ways. :woman_mage: :goat: :grin:


Not exactly a horror film, but with horrifying and disturbing moments, is The Lighthouse. I enjoyed this one immensely.

My partner and I had a long talk thrashing out the meaning of it afterwards. We finally settled on an interpretation, which I’ll spoiler-fy so as not to pre-bias anyone who hasn’t see it yet. It’s not an earth-shattering realisation, and in fact seems rather obvious to us in hindsight.

We decided that the main underlying story is the myth of the theft of fire by Prometheus from the Titans of Olympus. The old lighthouse keeper is Zeus, jealously guarding the secret of the sacred light, while the young keeper is Prometheus eager to seize this gift. That he is having his entrails eaten by a seagull at the end is such a direct parallel to the fate of Prometheus that we kicked ourselves for not putting it together sooner. There are so many other elements from the myth woven in there as well.


The Lighthouse was great, strange, disturbing, well-acted… But I thought it was about body fluids? Spit n’ snot and blood and piss and semen. :wink:


One of my favorites. Zombies by way of the linguistic plague from Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. I showed it to some people who didn’t like its lack of action, but it’s unique and I like how it builds a feeling of scope and dread through insinuation.


Here’s another The Triangle. They built a real, functional hippie commune in the desert for this one, and it was mostly improvised. It lends the found footage format a sense of verisimilitude. The protagonists really drank ayahuasca for one scene. So spooky it scared my partner’s cat.


It brought to mind William S. Burroughs’ dictum, “Language is a virus from outer space”.

That’s two Triangle-titled films from this thread I have to hunt down now.


If it is bonkers riffing fun you seek, might I submit Wes Craven’s 1984 TV movie Invitation to Hell?

Robert Urich’s family is kidnapped to hell (by Susan Lucci!) via a sketchy country club hot springs spa. How will he save his family trapped within a realm of unbearable heat? Well, luckily he’s an engineer who’s developed a thermally-resistant space suit with, for some sick, excessive reason, a laser cannon on the arm.

Here it is free…


One Cut of the Dead (2017)

A very clever and original film where it’s hard to talk about why it’s good without spoiling it. Best to watch it cold with as little information as possible.