Halloween is a popular holiday, especially among us nerds. Just think about it: there’s costumes, candy, and countless spooky movies, comics, and TV shows tailored to perfectly fit the season. What more could a nerd ask for than cosplaying and getting to indulge in all that candy and pop culture? In celebration of this year’s All Hallow’s Eve the staff has come together to share with you our favorite Halloween treats; from our favorite horror movies to chilling comic books and even a dose of live theatre. Grab the candy corn and get comfy, this is Kabooooom’s Favorite Halloween Treats!
Halloween and Rocky Horror have become synonymous, I think, because they both give normally reasonable adults an excuse to dress up and act like kids again. A live Rocky Horror show features dancing in the aisles, singing along with the music, throwing things at the screen, and more shouting of smart ass remarks than your average episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 – just like most kids watching their favorite TV show.
I’ve been attending shadowcast productions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for well over a decade now, both as an audience member and as part of the cast. My troupe, Amber Does Dallas, usually performs bi-monthly but we always do a little something extra for Halloween.
We hold costume contests and offer candy to those who came in costume. We also arrange special pre-show musical events, such as this year’s performance of “I Put A Spell On You” from the movie Hocus Pocus, which featured three of our actresses dressed as The Sanderson Sisters.
Dressing up with your friends, having fun, singing, dancing and making people happy – there’s no finer way to spend a Halloween night to my mind.
The Simpson’s “Treehouse of Horror”| Sarah Moran, Comic Book Editor
Is there a better herald of the Halloween season than The Simpson’s annual “Treehouse of Horror” specials? Well, not counting when the specials are delayed and air in November. D’oh! Still, for a television series in its 25th season their Halloween specials stand as some of the best seasonal television around.
The “Treehouse of Horrors” always have the best couch gags, just look at this year’s opening bit from director Guillermo del Toro. And how about the name-changing in the credits? Bat Groening, James Hell Brooks, Hank AAAAAAHH!-zaria. Nobody would be adding Halloween puns to their names on Twitter if we didn’t all grow up watching The Simpson’s do it first.
Their horror spoofs are spot-on: “The Shinning”, “The HΩmega Man”, “I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did”; the list goes on and on. Sometimes the shorts are heavily Halloween inspired, like “Easy Bake Coven” where Marge and her sisters are witches who create the first Trick-or-Treat. Others will mock non-Halloween cultural moments, like “Citizen Kang” where tentacled aliens, Kang and Kodos, abduct candidates Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, rig the election, and eventually enslave all of humanity. Almost all the shorts featured on the “Treehouse of Horrors” become iconic Simpson’s moments. So much so all I need to do is describe the one where Homer travels back in time with a toaster or sells his soul for a doughnut to Devil Flanders, and you all know exactly what I’m talking about.
The Simpson’s are iconic, no doubt about it, and their “Treehouse of Horror” specials have become not only a Halloween tradition, but a yearly treat from America’s favorite family.
Community “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps”| Dan Ziffer, Writer
Community has, undoubtedly, been able to produce some wild episodes in the eyes of the fans. Season 3’s Halloween episode, “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps”, is a shining example.
In the episode, Britta suspects that one member of the study group is a psychopath and decides to use her community college learnings to find out which one it might be. She tells a horror story in order to help determine who it might be, but each member interjects with their own horror story.
The episode is a brilliant device for character development, as each character’s story ultimately shows the viewer what kind of person the story teller is and how they view the others. Each story matches its characters very well to what fans have become accustomed to by this point in the series, yet still provides excellent views into the psyche and lives of the characters outside of the study group.
The episode bounces around a little bit and may be hard to follow at some points, but diehard fans of the series will surely enjoy this Halloween episode.
John Carpenter’s Halloween| Paul Gomez, Writer
It wasn’t easy choosing John Carpenter’s Halloween over one of my favorite graphic novels, The Long Halloween. There’s something special about the original Halloween. There’s a reason it spawned who knows how many sequels. I wasn’t lucky enough to see the original when it came out, but I was lucky enough to see it in retrospect. In Halloween, the rules for a modern day horror film were cemented.
One of the things that Halloween is so unforgettable is that mask. The mask makes Michael Myers. There’s something about that mask that makes Michael seem timeless, soulless, and empty. When you look into those eyes, there’s nothing that signifies this person has empathy. Michael doesn’t talk, he doesn’t appear to have a motive. He could kill you just because you were in the way. He kills on Halloween, a day where everyone is wearing masks, you can’t tell he’s actually a murderer. To you, he’d be another guy in a costume.
There’s some disturbing things in the movie. I don’t mean gruesome, I mean there’s some scenes that within the context of horror films are scary. The first one is Michael Myers driving a car. Laurie is walking around with her friends, then this weird fellow is following them with a car, and you notice it’s Michael! You always see the serial killers in films chase people by walking, but rarely you think about them driving. You realize how mobile they are. It’s a dumb thought, but still freaks me out a little. The second thing is when Laurie is washing dishes she looks into a cornfield and she sees something, then you realize Michael is there! Then you kind of begin Michael could be in any cornfield. It’s a brilliant way to make someone paranoid.
Halloween is a movie that always gives me a good scare, and I love it for that reason.
Before I start saying anything about this book, I should probably let you know that Chynna Clugston’s Blue Monday is my favorite comic book series on this or any multiverse.
With that being said, I’m also going to let you know that this is the story that transformed me from fan to fanatic.
Loosely inspired by Clugston’s high school days, the series follows the adventures of Bleu Finnegan and her friends Clover, Erin, Alan and Victor as they attend high school during the early 1990s.
“Dead Man’s Party” was released in 2002 and centered around the gang’s Halloween Party which has found itself shrouded in darkness after a blackout. As a way to pass time the gang exchanges ghost stories.
If the heavy references to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Dark Shadows don’t grab you, then the razor sharp dialogue between Clugston’s character’s will. Blue Monday has always been a humor-filled title, but this issue hits it out of the park.
Unless you want to go digging through your local comic book shops’ back issue pile (and who wouldn’t?) you can only find the story in the collected graphic novel Blue Monday: Inbetween Days.
A real bang for your buck, Inbetween Days collects all of the series holiday one-shots, including the fan-favorite story “Love Cats.” Check it out, or be forever cursed by a smelly Pooka!
“Hack/Slash” | Marcus Hammond, Writer
I’ve recently found that reading Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash comic best satisfies my Halloween need for campy blood and gore.
Cassie Hack’s lust for violent vengeance and Vlad’s unrestrained power and submissive attitude create a dramatic backdrop for the paranormal bashing, scantily clad sorority girl slashing, horror-filled landscape that is Hack/Slash. There’s nothing better than a zombie-fied priest cutting a swath of murder through debaucherous spring breakers.
While the pages of this comic are caulked full of wickedly ridiculous situations, there’s also a decent thematic frame that deals with identity.
As I read Hack/Slash I think fondly back to a time when horror movies meant you never went upstairs to evade a killer and virgins were always safe. Happy Halloween reading!
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser| Matthew Charles, Writer
On many a Halloween, I would find myself sitting at home watching horror movies and handing out candy to tots. I’ve never minded it much because otherwise, I would’ve never stumbled across a number of classic horror gems, namely Hellraiser.
There are a lot of horror films I enjoy but Hellraiser quickly became one of my all time favorites. Does it have a Grade “A” plot? No. Grade “A” acting? No. But the movie oozes style. Who can forget the cenobites and their amazing macabre designs? What about the gruesome yet sensational deaths? Even some of the philosophical pseudo-religious mumbo-jumbo in the script still sounds pretty darn cool coming from Doug Bradley’s Pinhead.
What was a boring Halloween night quickly became a wild ride, and what was a cheesy “B” horror movie quickly became one of my yearly staples. For me, it just ain’t Halloween without Hellraiser.
During the 1970’s, fans of the macabre were fed copious amounts of low grade “horror” movies. Every “B” movie seemed to cater more to teenage lust than true horror, and legitimately scary movies such as The Exorcist were hard to find. Thanks to Dan Curtis (creator of Dark Shadows), however, 1975 gave horror fans exactly what they wanted right in their own home with the ABC Movie of the Week, Trilogy of Terror.
The made for television movie starred Karen Black as various characters in a trio of dark tales. While the first two stories, “Julie and Millicent” and “Therese,” were wonderfully creepy in their own right, the true star of the trio is the final story, “Amelia.” “Amelia” is the story of a woman who unwittingly unleashes a Zuni warrior aptly named “He Who Kills”, whose spirit is contained within a Zuni fetish doll, bringing the doll to life with terrifying results.
This final tale was enough to give plenty of youngsters (and more than a few adults) nightmares after it aired and the film has gained a well deserved cult audience. The movie is a Halloween must for any horror fan.
So, what are you favorite Halloween Treats of Pop Culture? Let us know in the comments below!