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It's the best time of the year! Only this year has been extra terrible, so that's not saying much, and October didn't stand a chance. However, all is not lost for Samhain. Even if Halloween parties and trick-or-treating are a terrible idea, the holiday is more substantial than that. Halloween is about being extra spooky, talking about monsters, and eating a fuck-ton of snacks.
Most importantly, you still have cinema (hopefully) to set the mood, and that's enough to celebrate no matter how many people you are allowed to have with you. Due to its overlapping subject matter, it's a popular setting for horror movies, so there is plenty to watch (some of which I have already covered over the last few years). Here are five more October films that I should have probably mentioned previously.

WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

WNUF Halloween Special is a faux VHS recording brought to you by Midnight Crew Studios, the people behind Call Girl of Cthulhu (2014). It seeks to capture the warm holiday embrace of local background noise TV and infuse it with comedy and horror. The style is genuine enough that you could forget what you're watching just long enough for its plot to take shape. Think 90s SNL and found-footage horror had a really nostalgic baby. I have watched the movie regularly for a few years, and each watch, I find a new detail or background gag I missed.

Ghostwatch (1992)

A possible precursor to the film above, the BBC's TV special Ghostwatch aired to home audiences "live" in 1992. The ruse of journalism is played utterly straight as fake reporters make contact with a very active spirit. Reportedly, folks who missed the disclaimer pulled a War of the Worlds, thinking the haunting was real. It has plenty of cool history behind it and makes solid use of its format. The showcase originally aired on Halloween, so it's a good pick for some seasonal poltergeists and retro primetime investigation television vibes.

Hack-O-Lantern (1988)

Hack-O-Lantern is the kind of 80s horror that makes this holiday magical. It's got glam-metal, a murderous cult, and a slasher costume that crosses a luchador with a video game's mid-boss. One part cliche slasher rip off, one 70s supernatural terror, and two parts inexplicable madness.  Hy Pyke's performance alone makes it worth a watch for the holiday. Plus, I think Halloween needs more occult stuff; put the cloaks, and sacrifice back into October.

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

I didn't warm to it until years after it's release, but House of a 1000 Corpses is a loveable tribute to brutal horror. Perfect for (the right) parties, it's stuffed with over the top characters, practical effects, and nu-metal editing. It feels like a movie made for and by genre fans. Along with nods to things like TCM and the wider exploitation genre, the film celebrates the best holiday with a fucked up adventure that could only happen on Halloween.

Deadly Friend (1986)

I'm a sucker for robots. Saying a movie has a robot is like saying it has boobs or ninjas and instantly wins me over. Despite my love, robot movies are kind of hit or miss with the general public. Deadly Friend isn't most people's favorite Wes Craven (or even Kristy Swanson) movie, and all of the tech is straight out of children's TV shows. However, the mix of family video vibes, high concept sci-fi, and cheesy 80s horror is engaging like a grim, gory Spielberg flick. It takes place around Halloween, so it counts. Plus, Momma (the amazing Anne Ramsey) from Throw Momma from the Train gets her head exploded by a basketball.

BONUS: Watch The Crow (on VHS)

The Crow isn't a horror movie--it is an October classic, however, with most of the action taking place on Devil's Night. It's a personal favorite for me, which had a visible cult following for some time after its release. So much could be said about The Crow. It's a faithful (pre-Sam Raimi Spider-Man) comic book movie with an abundance of style and a tragic history. The set design and atmosphere perfectly match the goth-indie pen work of the source comic. I believe everyone should see it, with no need for a remake as the original holds up just fine. Nevertheless, there is a right way to watch it. I know it sounds like some hipster shit, but the movie is at its best on VHS. The dark, 90s angst loses a bit of its gusto without the deep blacks found only on tape. On the Blu-ray and DVD, the dark corners are uncovered, and the shadows become blue or sepia. A lot of the overall value gets lost when auto-upgraded for disc mediums. It's more than I can describe, just trust me. Better yet, try them back to back at home yourself.  Maybe someday the film will get a proper up-conversion with attention to detail, but until then, I will be hoarding all the tapes from the thrift store to ensure the yearly viewing. This rule is especially crucial when introducing The Crow to someone for the first time. It's the responsible thing to do. You owe it to yourself, new viewers, and the spirit of The Crow. 
(IMDB - WIKI - On Amazon)

Remember to stay spooky and safe. There are caverns of appropriate media out there to keep the holiday spirit going this year. Watch a movie, and you can keep Halloween alive in your heart. If that doesn't work, try getting drunk under a sheet while making ghost sounds occasionally in the dark corners around the place.



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