Now, I know this has been a difficult time for all of you, waiting in daily, ever-maddening anticipation for the day when I would once again blog. For that, of course, I apologize. But worry not! I have allll kinds of things to talk about, like...
Now honestly, I haven't been a big fan of Halloween in the past. Somewhere around the end of junior high school I became disenchanted with wearing costumes outside of a performance situation. I don't particularly enjoy gory horror films, and I tend to find haunted houses kind of embarrassing (for me...the houses themselves vary in quality). So ever since I freed myself of the Thanksgiving Restriction and therefore allowed the Christmas Season to extend into November, Halloween has just been the holiday I have to wait through before I get out my Christmas music (and a good excuse to watch Nightmare Before Christmas in order to signify the change). Last year I pretty much got out of the holiday altogether, thanks to a septo-rhinoplasty undergone just three days before Halloween. I was quite proud of that at the time. Major nose surgery comes with a particularly gross healing process, though, and I don't know that I want to go through it again just to get out of some costume events. Besides, this year the Berkeley Institute of Religion is hosting a GINORMOUS haunted house/Halloween dance, and many people I know are involved, which means I'll feel bad if I'm not there. And I guess that means I might as well enjoy it, right?
- Sidebar: is it weird for an Institute of Religion to host a Halloween celebration? Discuss.
So this year I've decided to make an effort. To that end, I've selected a theme. From now until the end of October, I'm indulging in 1920's HORROR, with an emphasis on the works of Lon Chaney (film) and H.P. Lovecraft (literature). Basically I'm going to watch some silent films and read some great sci-fi horror stories and then post reactions, analyses, or other content about them here. I'll display the current list of films and stories in the upper right-hand panel on this page, for anyone playing along at home. Trust me, you won't regret it if you do. The Lovecraft stories are all available through Project Gutenberg (click the links in the list), though I always recommend having a physical book to hold, preferably in the dark. Many of the films are available instantly via Netflix. You can also check your local library.
Now, I should state upfront that my content choosing rules aren't 100% strict. For example, not all of the films feature Lon Chaney. And I don't think all of the Lovecraft stories I've chosen were actually written in the 20's. Nonetheless, it's close enough. Listen, the point is that they knew how to craft some great, often intense stuff back in the early 20th century - and most of it was a lot of fun! Watch this space in the coming weeks (if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you won't have to, because I'll post the links as they come up).
Listen guys, I'm very excited about this Halloween project. This is my first experience with many of these films, despite being a huge fan of Chaney's work in general, and it's definitely the first time I've read any of Lovecraft's work. I'm anticipating a lot of vaguely creepy fun in the near future.
First up: THE UNKNOWN (film) and AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS (novella). Which I post about first will largely depend upon the folks at Netflix.
BONUS CLIP! Because one thing I have always secretly liked about Halloween is novelty music (and one thing I openly love about life is watching 30 Rock):
Hey look guys - new layout! I'm getting the Halloween spirit already! Let me know if it's impossible to read or otherwise annoying, and I'll happily change it.