Creepy crawlies!

I love Halloween. I was one of those kids who really got into this fun holiday. I mean really got into it. One year, I made myself up as a skeleton-like zombie, with a paper maché eyeball hanging from my taped-shut right eye. I found some old clothes that I had grown out of and ripped open holes, tattered the edges and dabbled fake blood in all the appropriate spots. In order to give off the impression that I was a 'complete' skeleton, I even had my mom buy me some black tights and painted white bones that would show underneath the ripped holes in my jeans. I then walked around the neighborhood with a fake rubber hand (which I affectionately called "Hans") asking for candy. I was hard core, man. (Throughout the years, you would find Hans left in the freezer occasionally to give my mom and sister a little jolt in the morning. Just to keep them on their toes.)

I loved Famous Monsters magazine. I once got in trouble for reading the magazine during class. It was one of those classic confrontations in grade school where the teacher stopped the class and asked me to bring what I was reading up to her. I can't imagine what she thought when I handed her issue #158, with ALIEN on the cover. I'm surprised my mother wasn't called immediately.

Ah, but it was all in the name of good ol' fashioned fun. I loved all the horrific creatures and blood-soaked walls of the horror genre. There was so much originality and creativity put behind all those films -- I guess that's why I was so drawn to all of that. There was so much creative energy put into each film, and all just to scare the pants off of me. Even as a kid, I knew it was all fake. Those films and creatures all frightened me to death, but I loved it so. Isn't it funny how that works? Why is it that we are so drawn to what scares us?

So, yes, I love Halloween. It's all about having fun and the thrill of being someone (or someTHING) else. Good-natured heebie-geebies -- no satanism or demonic gooblety-gook, mind you. All about having a great time spooking and being spooked.

To put you all in the mood, I wrote a two-part commentary on one of my favorite animated films, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, late last year. I felt compelled to write about the film after watching it multiple times with Ava and realizing just how well it held up after 10 years. I kinda went overboard analyzing NIGHTMARE, but it was worth it. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. Hope you enjoy.

Have a great Halloween!


  1. I used to read this mag--along with Starlog and Fangoria--which used to be a lot better than now. Starlog used to actually have pretty good interviews and stuff. They also used to do a lot of special effects issues which were like some kind of creative-opiate to me. I have, somewhere in my collection, the 1981 movie guide with EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, WRATH OF KHAN, BLADE RUNNER, and a few others. They also did an interview with Don Bluth back in the 80's which was awesome.

  2. I was Mighty Mouse for Halloween one year when I was around 4 (1958). My mom made the costume and I felt Mighty in it! I can still hear the theme song ringing in my ears - I loved it!

    Here's a link to an old Mighty Mouse video - no music though :(

  3. Another fan fave mag of recent years was Cinefantastique. They eventually spawned an animation-only version, called Animefantastique, but that only lasted for 4 issues. The magazine has since changed it's format and is called CFQ, or something like that. I loved all in-depth articles on a particular movie -- that's plural! Yes, they would do about 3 or 4 articles on a movie, all pertaining to a partcular aspect of the film. Great magazine in it's heyday.

    And Gemma Grace, I lovd Mighty Mouse when i grew up. There was something about those TerryToons that I loved. And that theme song is classic.

  4. Film fan mags are sort of a lost artifact of the 80's. Starlog would do hard-nosed commentary about Sci Fi and the state of Sci Fi in films and in media. I need to go and look for some of my old Starlogs... I think I might have commited the mortal sin of throwing them out. Eeek...

    I do have a fantastic book on special effects that was published by Starlog back in the 70's. Pretty cool stuff actually. Most of it was devoted to stop-motion...