Halloween: Pagan gourds and horror trailers

Halloween has gone through several iterations for me since I donned my first costume and stepped into the chilly Colorado night to grift candy from neighbors. However, there comes a time when it’s no longer socially acceptable to trick or treat, and you have to find other things to do to ring in the holiday.

There was a short two year period wherein my circle of friends and I took up the cause of pumpkin protection. I’d like to think we were The Dirty Dozen of Halloween, that is, if The Dirty Dozen were teenagers with poor social skills, acne and an arsenal of water guns. I never took to “pumpkin smashing” like my classmates,* because I always thought it was a shitty thing to do to kids who had spent a lot of time carving their pagan gourds.

This sounds dumb, but I have never forgotten how that feels. Stepping out on November 1st, grasping at any lingering vestiges of my favorite holiday, only to see an orange smear across the road in front of our home. My tiny frame standing there in pajamas, eyes stinging from tears, the faintest echo of teenage laughter on the Autumn wind. If I were a comic book character, you’d be able to trace my super-villainy to that single moment. I would be the righteous spirit of Halloween. Certainly not a first string villain, but maybe a backup in a Spider-Man story or something. I forget where I was going with this…

Two years ago, my sister’s husband was out of town and she found herself with nothing to do for Halloween. So my wife and I had her over to watch movies and hand out candy. To make the evening more than just simply opting in a DVD, I curated a series of vintage trailers (from the 40s to the 90s) to precede the feature presentation of Trick-r-Treat. So for about twenty minutes before the movie, we just watched horror trailers. My sister loved it so much that she demanded a full our for next year. I was only too happy to oblige. Last year, the presentation was a full hour and included Halloween themed commercials and cartoons, including the recent Micky Mouse cartoon Ghoul Friend. Fun was had by all, even by those in attendance who don’t care for horror movies. This year it’s a new lineup, new commercials new cartoons and hopefully I will be able to top the Hausu trailer from last year.

Which reminds me, I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s horror movie blogs, especially those written by guests. I am very lucky to know such talented folks, but even more fortunate to know those kind enough to step in for me when I had to step out. Thank you to all who contributed. I am very grateful to have such wonderful friends.

If you want to join in from home on my little Halloween screening, you can check the robwalkerfilms YouTube page for horror trailer playlists past and present. This year's set list will be up tonight, so pop some corn, sit back and a enjoy. It’s more pleasurable than holiday theft and property damage.

Stay safe tonight, everyone.

*Although I did spend a fair amount of senior year of high school making out to The Smashing Pumpkins