Segarini: All Hallows Week

Halloween shows up again exactly one week from today. A holiday enjoyed by young and old alike, it is a great excuse to spend time with your kids, indulge your chocolate and sugar jones, or dress up like Freddy Krueger, Dracula, or Celine Dion, depending on just how scary you want to be. Here then, are some Halloween diversions, costume tips, and things to do leading up to next weeks celebration of witches, goblins, diabetes, and the undead.

Some of these movies will be playing on television this week, and the others are easily found at places like Kickass Torrents on the Internet. Still others can be found at upscale, hip, mom and pop video stores like Queen Video and Suspect Video in Toronto. You can also easily find the ‘torture’ movies so popular these days like the Saw and Hostel series’, but gore for the sake of gore doesn’t really fit my criteria. Strange, when you consider I am drawn to any movie that has risen-from-the-dead cheerleaders or brain slugs in it.

A Movie a Night for the Next 7 Days

The Haunting of Hill House: Not the horrible remake, but the 1963 original staring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. Although you don’t see much of anything scary in this film (just one heavy breathing door), it is one of the scariest flicks I have ever sat through. Lights off, bowl of popcorn, a decent chardonnay or a bottle of good Merlot. Watch with someone you can enjoy cuddling with. You will cuddle.

Phantasm II: This low budget entry in the ’80s cheeseball Phantasm series has everything you need for a good scary romp; an iconic bad guy (The Tall Man), a couple of kids caught up in the craziness, and these delightful little metal balls that kill in a most disturbing way. Nachos, cold beer, and some pepperoni sticks. Watch with your wittiest friends, this thing was made for Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

Ghost Story: First, you get author Peter Straub to write a great book, then you hire Melvyn Douglas, John Houseman, Fred Astaire and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. to star in a movie based on the book. This is a wonderful, old school creep fest of the first water, and no scenery is left unchewed. A personal favourite. A good single malt scotch, cognac, or port, a wheel of brie and some Carr’s crackers, and a couple of Monte Cristo cigars. Watch with your Frat brothers or a couple of old folks with skeletons in their closets.

Return of the Living Dead: Of course we have to have a zombie movie, and of course it has to be this one. Dan O’ Bannon’s homage to George Romero’s undead films, this baby is scary and funny as hell. You will be walking around for weeks saying “Brains” every time a waitress tries to take your order in a restaurant. You will also shuffle everywhere. Watching obnoxious teens get their just desserts has never been more fun. Keep an eye out for the ‘half-dog’ early in the movie. Beer, and do a shot of tequila every time someone says “Brains!” Watch with an easily scared person of the opposite sex with loose morals and large breasts…unless ‘opposite sex’ means a guy, in which case you can forget the large breasts thingy.

Event Horizon: Sam Neil, Lawrence Fishbourne (God, he has a huge head) and a possessed spaceship. What more can you ask for? Panned relentlessly when it came out, this is a damn good scary movie regardless. Apparently, no one can hear you say “mother fucker” in space either. Smoke some decent pot, tortilla chips (please, NOT Doritos), medium hot salsa, and a jug of orange or grape Kool-Aid. Watch with your dog, or a friend from work.

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn: As funny and scary as Return of the Living Dead is, this fright-fest is the funniest and scariest of all. Ash (played by horror icon Bruce Campbell) not only chews all the available scenery, he swallows it whole. The kills are hilarious and disturbing, and between the disembodied hand, flying eyeball and headless ballerina, you will find yourself conflicted as to whether you should laugh or scream. There are a raft of sight gags (my favourite being the subtle placement of a paperback book on an overturned bucket) and some of the most imaginative cinematography ever, proving once again, that small budgets make you creative as hell. Pulled pork sandwiches or barbecued ribs, cold beer or frozen vodka shots. Let your 11 year old daughter show this at a sleepover and see how many parents swoop down on your house to pick up their kids early.

Psycho: This masterpiece (made on a bet and against the wishes of the Paramount studio he owed a film to, and for very little money) Hitchcock  scared the popcorn right out of me over 50 years ago when I was 13 years old and it still fucks my shit up all these years later. Is it the crazy black and white tilt-o-whirl cinematography, the incredibly lit and harrowing images, the death scenes and mother in the fruit cellar reveal, or was it just Bernard Herrman’s insidiously frightening score? Everything about this movie gives me the creeps, and I can’t think of another film that even comes close to being this flat-out frightening. I still lock the door when I take a shower. Good bourbon, (and by good I mean Eagle Rare or Woodford Reserve in Canada, or Fighting Cock or Old Weller if you’re lucky enough to be anywhere near Kentucky), some salty snacks and some good dark chocolate and maybe some Hostess crème filled cupcakes or a box of Yo-Hos. Watch with whomever you’d like, but do NOT watch alone. Seriously.

What Are You Supposed to Be?

Kids: If your little boy or girl want to dress up like Lady Ga Ga, tell them they have to wait until they can afford to buy their own meat dress.

Take your kids to the nearest WalMart, Costco, or Party store. Let them choose their own costumes from the wall of Halloween outfits. Do not argue with them, just buy what they want and get out of there before they change their minds. Otherwise, you will be there for hours and your kids will be confused as hell and probably cranky. If you insist on making their costume make sure you do a good enough job so their peers don’t ridicule them. Nothing worse than a kid crying into their treat bag.

Mom: Save the slutty nurse/hooker/naughty librarian outfit for your husband’s birthday or a costume party. Wear something warm. You and dad should wait on the sidewalk and let the kids go to the door on their own. Buy the little ones those pint size flashlights they have at convenience stores. Flashlights are very soothing in the hands of a kid out in the dark surrounded by zombies, ghouls, and ghosts, even if they are the same size.

Dad: Spend the rest of the week sleeping in the clothes you’re wearing right now. Don’t shave. Go out as a writer or a musician.

Some Scary Pictures

Is Elvis really dead? There are a lot of people that believe he is still alive. Yeah, I know…sounds stupid to me too, but there are some arguments I’ve read that almost sound reasonable. One of the creepiest things I have ever seen was a picture of Elvis sitting in a chair in the pool house at Graceland. Not disturbing in and of itself, until you find out the picture was taken in January of 1978, 4 months after Presley died. Whoa…just got a chill. Read more here.

The Amityville House Ghost. I remember the first time I stumbled across this picture on the internet. Popped up full screen and I must have jumped a foot out of my chair. It’s weird enough that this picture exists, but what is weirder still is just how otherworldly the boy in the picture looks. Considering there were no children in the house at the time the picture was taken, it becomes a shiver inducing photo that the woman who shot it swears was just of the upstairs landing, with no one in the picture when she snapped it. Great…now I’ve given myself the creeps again. I’ve got to start writing these columns during the day instead of in the middle of the night.

There are a bunch of pictures on the net that creep me out so bad I have trouble looking at them. Not for the squeamish or faint of heart. I’m not kidding! Look at these pictures at your own risk. Here.

The Iceman Halloween Spooktacular

This was originally recorded in 2007 when I was at SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s channel 95, an all-Canadian music station that played a lot of what are currently the biggest acts from Canada. At the time we were playing them, hardly anyone had heard of them. Iceberg no longer exists thanks to the XM/SIRIUS merger, but I retooled this show a few years ago and Todd Miller’s wonderful Radio That Doesn’t Suck internet radio station puts it up every Halloween for a week or so. This year it will be there ‘On Demand’ until the day after Halloween. The Canadian content has been replaced with some of my favourite Halloween records and we usually play it around here while we’re handing out candy. If you’d like to hear it, just go to http://rtds.ca/ click on “On Demand” in the left hand menu under “Listen” on the opening page, and then click on the Iceman Halloween Spooktacular link in the player. This is the kind of radio I miss. It is the kind of job I miss. You might want to check out some of the other shows at RTDS, too. This is the kind of radio we all miss.

A Music Note

A good friend, (and my current favourite singer/songwriter/guitar player on the planet), David Celia is playing a series of House Concerts in Manitoba and Saskatchewan starting later this week. You can see what cities and towns he’ll be in here, but if you would like to attend them, email David at dave@davidcelia.com and he’ll let you know specific addresses, etc. if you are in any of those places, do yourself a favour, this guy is not to be missed.

We now have an email address where all of us here at Don’t Believe a Word I Say can be contacted: dbawis@rogers.com Please use it to ask questions,tell us what you’d like to read about, send links you’d like to share, and let us hear what you have to say.

Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, The Segarini Band, and Cats and Dogs, and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now sadly gone), and now provides content for radiothatdoesntsuck.com with RadioZombie, The Iceage, and PsychShack. Along with the love of his life, Jade (Pie) Dunlop, (who hosts and writes “I’ve Heard That Song Before” on RTDS), continues to write, make music, and record.

6 Responses to “Segarini: All Hallows Week”

  1. Marlene Schuler Says:

    Fun column Bob. Brought back lots of memories. Particularly remembered being a young girl at the Palace Theatre in Toronto huddled over popcorn watchng the House on the Haunted Hill. It was my favourite.

    • LOVED the original “House on Haunted Hill”. I think that was schlock horrormeister William Castle’s handiwork. He made some great ‘B’ horror films including “Tingler”, “Macabre”, “13 Ghosts”, and the incredible Joan Crawford fueled “Straitjacket”.
      Check out his gimmicky films at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Castle

  2. Excellent article today, Bob. Bring back great memories. I was one of those who LIKED ‘Event Horizon’ too. Sharon Stone would remake the film with Dustin Hoffman a year later called ‘Sphere’.

    My fave scariest movie of all time (not including the original ‘Alien’ which crosses two genres) is the zero-gore, 1000% scarefest “Changeling” starring George C. Scott — filmed in British Columbia. Imagine Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Tell-tale Heart” set in the ’80s with Scott chewing up ever scene as he does battle with the ghost of a murdered child. Alas, he would follow it up with the less-than-spectacular ‘Firestarter’ with Drew Barrymore.

    BTW – Peter BENCHLEY wrote ‘Jaws’. Straub was Stephen King’s major scare competitor — they would eventually write three books together including the brilliant ‘The Talisman’.

    • Thanks for the heads up on Benchley. Warren Cosford also pointed that out to me. It was late. The Talisman is one of my favourite genre books, Straub’s name must have just popped into my head.

  3. Great choices, Bob. The Haunting is my favourite ghost story and proof that what you don’t see can scare you the most. The horrible remake was all special effects and a huge disappointment. As for Peter Straub, I’ve read all of his books and highly recommend Koko and The Throat.

  4. Terri Rosales Says:

    Great article. I too am a House on Haunted Hill fan. Its my second favourite after Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I haven’t seen all your other choices so I’ll have to check them out.

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