Thursday 29 October 2015

Countdown to Halloween: The Hollidaze Halloween Challenge - All At Once!

So I was checking out the Horror Movie BBQ  because I was looking for inspiration something to talk about for the last couple of blog post for Countdown to Halloween and found he was doing this Holidaze Halloween Challenge thing which comes from a site called The Holidaze, I’ve never been on that blog before but they’re friends & favourites bar includes Dinosaur Dracula, The Sexy Armpit, Diary of a Dorkette and Branded in the 80’s and those blogs I do read often, so it's got the stamp of approval. Apparently what you were supposed to do is answer a different question each day as a kind of alternative Countdown to Halloween, I read through the list and began to answer it, I can’t help it, I see a list of questions and I want to answer them, it’s a compulsion. But of course it was way too late to join in with this fun because today’s the 29th – right? Wrong, I’m going to answer all 31 questions this afternoon (its 3:30 pm as I write this), fuck the system. So are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll being:

Q1: Fav Horror Movie
A1: The Bride of Frankenstein, even if it was the scariest horror movie of all time when it came out (it wasn’t) it certainly wouldn’t be the scariest horror film now but I’ve bene in love with Jimmy Whale’s masterpiece since I was probably too young to watch it and way too young to understand the homosexual metaphors going on. Everything about the film beguiles me, the sets, the angels, the acting, the direction and of course it has a completely tragic ending (we…belong…dead) and being the miserable bastard I am that’s my favourite kind of ending.

Q2: Halloween Drink
A2: Let’s just have a little chat about Ecto Cooler shall we? Because there no more Halloween a drink than Ecto Cooler.  In the UK Hi-C doesn’t exist and too my knowledge that means Ecto-Cooler was never widely on sale over here (I’m sure some shops somewhere had some) which means that we Brits missed out on the Cereal Monsters (we still do) and Ecto Cooler – fuck America. But that’s ok, surely we didn’t know about its existence and we couldn’t’ miss what we didn’t’ have – WRONG – because it was still advertised in then-contemporary America Comics so if you bought them, either as a kid during the late 80’s/early 90’s (when Real Ghostbusters was still a fad) or later in life when you were a nerdy teen who never grew out of Ghostbusters (like, say, myself) you could only look longingly at the adverts knowing you’d never know what Slimer tasted like. bastards

Q3: Best Horror TV Show
A3: Buffy. The. Vampire. Slayer. I’m not going to elaborate; I’ll let the full stops speak for themselves re: how strongly I feel about that show

Q4: Biggest Fear
A3: I’ve mentioned twice now that I’m phobic of mannequins and other similar plastic people but I also have a phobia of frogs and toads (I don’t THINK I’ve mentioned that) to the point where I don’t even like looking at them on a Google image search. Neither of those are my answers though, my answer is a little more cliché – I’m terrified of being alone,  not like on my own for the day, but having no-one in my life, no family, no friends, no lover, not even a cat, no-one, I seem to think I’m destined to end up like this and it scares me shitless.

Q5: Haunted House
A5: Excellent, I get to pimp out an old website I found. It’s called The Haunted One and is dedicated to Alton Tower’s old haunted house which was called…The Haunted House. Designed to be Europe’s ‘ultimate Dark Ride’ The Haunted House and it’s area Gloomy Wood were the first notable additions to the park after it was bought by the Tussauds Group and it replaced the (admittedly far more creative) Doom & Sons walkthrough attraction. It was, quite frankly, a fucking fantastic dark ride with some genuinely scary items and thanks to designer John Wardley trying to fit everyting and the kitchen sink (or rather, exploding toilet) into it there’s was a great inexpiableness to it that put riders in a frame of mind as if in a fantasy or nightmare, I mean there was a bloody giant peeing through one section and then a dark room full of faces. Sadly the ride was redeveloped in Duel, a shooting attraction that completely forsook atmosphere and creative for fairly empty frills that you can now get just about everywhere (even Legoland has one of these laser shooting rides). Haunted One chronicles the history and construction of the ride and then has a page with pictures of just about every gag and scene, it’s not but any means but it’s a great little tribute to a great ride.    

Q6; Fav Horror Character
A6: I thought I’d really have to think about this but I didn’t, as I don’t think Vampira counts it’s Taryn White from Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, she’s just so fucked up and that makes her very attractive to fellow fucked up people, like me (though I’m not a recovering drug addict – that I know of), the tough but fucked up underneath type of character is my favourite kind, it’s just a shame she didn’t get to show just how beautiful and bad she was in the dream world, but then if she’d’ve lived she’d been less tragic and probably wouldn’t be my choice. I so need help.

Q7: Fav Halloween Candy
A7: Oh it has to be the Ghostbusters Slimer Chocs I wasted a whole post on earlier in the month, they’re Ghostbusters themed, they’re really tasty and they’re really cheap, there is – by a process of elimination no less – no bad to them.

Q8: Fav Halloween Song
A8: Welcome to my Nightmare by Alice Cooper. I’ve made many a Halloween compilation over my years, for all sorts of reasons – car journeys, family parties, big house parties, small Halloween gatherings and no matter what the use, if it’s Halloween and it’s a playlist there is only one song that can open it and that is Welcome to My Nightmare - I’ve tried others but none of them feel as right, none of them set the mood perfectly while still being well known enough to keep people interested (I use the single edit usually but for the big Halloween house parties we used to have I’d use the longer album cut, mostly because my lot are physically incapable of being on time for anything and this gives them more to time to arrive and thus get the benefit of the mood setting)

Q9: Fav Universal Monster
A9: The Creature From the Black Lagoon. It’s not my favourite universal film (that’s Bride, as you now know) but I just think The Creech looks so cool, really that’s it, it’s that shallow, in fact just for you, here’s a group shot of a lot of my Gill Men:

You could ask (if you were real) "dwitefry, why do you have that many Gill-Men?", but don't because you know I don't have a good answer. 

Q10: Halloween Art
A10: gives me a reason to post this somewhere other than Facebook:

Q11: Halloween Decoration
A11: I am so short on Halloween Decorations, we used to have boxes of them, just like Christmas decorations, but a few moves and a breakdown lost most of them , so desperate was I to make our little Halloween gathering this year (at my house) look at least slightly atmospheric that I raided my toy boxes and bedroom shelves to gather enough object d’art to fill just the front room, we used to decorate the whole downstairs, the garden and the toilet and I could barely give my front room a ‘tacky’ theme, it’s just fortuitous I have so much macabre crap around the house when it’s not Halloween. The point of this is actually to share my ‘I’ve got half an hour and no decorations left’ snacks table, which I took a picture of because I was so damn pleased that it idn’t look completely shit, it looks a lot better when the Barkers brought their sea of cupcakes and Georgia brought her eyeball truffles:

One of my friends head-butted that chocolate skull to break it, he is an idiot (it worked though).

Q12: Fav 70’s Horror
A12: There’s a LOT of competition for this (and a lot of it’s by Hammer) but the award’s going to have to go Japanese batshit horror extravaganza Hausu (House) from 1977. Any attempt to explain it wouldn’t do it justice but I’ll try: the setup is a bunch of pretty teenager girls end up in a house that’s actually haunted, and presumably haunted by a ghost on LSD and uppers furiously masturbating while using a kaleidoscope. if that hasn’t’ convinced you to watch it I’m not totally surprised because it’s really hard to sum up the experience of watching Hausu ( ‘…the fuck?’ is often used but that doesn’t do it justice) or why I love it so, my advice to you imaginary fans is to just watch it and decide for yourself, either you’re a Hausu person or you’re not.

Q13: Fav 80’s Horror 
A13: A straight up tie between Gremlins and Ghostbusters, which is good because I think the internet has said just about everything possible about these two films and that means I don’t have to spend too much time on this answer. My reasons: Gremlins is a fairy-tale for horror fans and Ghostbusters is the pinnacle of horror-comedy.

Q14: Fav 90’s Horror
A14: Because I don’t think Jurassic Park really counts I think I’m gonna go with the remake of House of Haunted Hill the ending is pretty pathetic but everything up to it (and after really) is fantastic, it’s one of the most disturbing horror films I’ve ever had the pleasure of shitting myself up, the ghosts (up until the evil soot monster) are so well realised and so bloody haunting, they stay with you shall we say, long afterwards, when you’re waling to the toilet and you have to go past the stairs and you just know if you look down Vanacutt is waiting in your hall…*ehem* and Geoffrey Rush is fantastic via his method of being every Vincent Price character ever (oh and there’s a cameo from James Masters, and Whistler)      

Q15: Fav 2000s Horror
A15: Dog Soldiers motherfucker, Dog Soldiers – THE finest werewolf ever made (Ginger Snaps is close, but it lacks a certain…Pertweeness). A bunch of squaddies lead by The Doctor’s son Sean Pertwee take on a pack of werewolves  from a Scottish cottage with only dwindling ammunition, household items and their own uncontrollable awesomeness to keep them alive until sunrise. Infinity quotable (my favourite: “I hope I give you the shits, you fucking wimp” – those are some last words to be proud of)  and oddly enough featuring half the cast of 55 Degrees North it features the best werewolves ever put on film (all practical affects) and a literal cavalcade of kick-arse moments. I cannot talk this up enough, it will not let you down, it is fantastic.

Q16: Halloween Party
A16: How cool would it be to have a Halloween party in the grounds of the Haunted Mansion? You couldn’t actually have it inside because you’d fall through the holes and break something (a lot of the mansion is actually suspended a good few feet in the air) but how great would it be to set up some gazebos in the grounds of Walt Disney World’s Mansion (cos it’s all decayed and shit) and just have everybody you like flown over there, have a big spread of Halloween themed food and booze and see who would be the first to shag against Madame Leota’s grave. If I was a billionaire I’d do this, and hire cast members to get the Hitchhiking Ghosts costumes out of mothballs to serve us with blood red booze (well just Ribena for me, I’d have to have some Ribena flown over too) and the Cadaver Dans to serenade my guests with a self-chosen playlist of barbershop quartet versions of Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Wednesday 13 songs, imagine them doing 197666 or Living Dead Girl or Welcome to My Nightmare!:

This is now my new favourite unobtainable dream.

Q17: Carved Jack-O-Lantern
A17: My very creative friends Georgia and Dale carved our Halloween Pumpkins this year, and they made them Studio Gibli themed, specifically My Neighbour Totoro, please marvel as their geeky skills:

Q18: Halloween Food
A18: perfect, I didn’t think I’d get to post this because I couldn’t stretch it long enough. Remember Mr Kipling made some Witches Hat Fancies? Well they also themed their Angel Slices into Chocolate & Slime Slices.

They taste great, way better than the regular slices Kiplings make, again they’re supposed to be lime flavoured in the cake department but really they taste nothing like lime, they are a little tangy if you put, say, two in your mouth at once but otherwise they just have that usual sweet flavouring taste we all know so well but couldn’t describe if we tried. The real joy comes in the icing, usually sharp fruity flavours these instead have thick chocolate that either squidge or crunch nicely depending on if you’ve kept them in the fridge, biting through these feel like how you imagine chocolate cake to feel like when you bite through it, the cartoon chocolate cakes in Tom & Jerry feel like this, that huge cake in Matilda feels like this, it’s great.

Q19: Childhood Costume
A19: I haven’t got any pictures of this sadly because I in fact only have one picture of all my childhood Halloweens at the moment but the best costume I ever had was Spawn, Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, I was a short pre-teen kid in a home-made spawn mask and cape my aunt sewed together (she’s actually pretty damn good at that shit) and some black clothes we used tape on, I thought I looked badass, but I probably only looked faintly adorable, the cape dragged and I trod on It a lot which did not help fight off the adorableness. I actually went trick or treating in that, one of the few times I ever bothered (I never like ask people for stuff).

Q20: Scariest Movie
A20: in terms of affect it had I should really vote for Thirteen Ghosts (the remake), Mars Attacks or Carrie – Carrie made me jump out of bed, I didn’t touch the ground until I was in the hall, no, really (but I had a cabin bed so I was pretty high to start with) - stupid hand scene, Thirteen Ghosts traumatised me for a night but I did have a mega fever at the time so it had help and Mars Attacks traumatised me, well I still won’t watch it so I guess it traumatized me forever but I was about 7 and should never have seen it. BUT I think I’m actually going to go for The Woman in Black (the new version with horse bothering Daniel Radcliffe in it) I think it may well be the scariest ghost story every committed to film, it feels very much like the ultimate ghost film (and et they still made a sequel, unsurprisingly it wasn’t as good – it was alright though).

Q21: Funny Horror Character
A21: This might be stretching it a bit but the award goes to Draculara from the Monster High webisodes, that girl is a living funny background event, just having her bob across the screen makes me laugh, I honestly have nothing else to say about this, she just makes me chuckle, thinking about her makes me chuckle, I know some people find her annoying and I can see that, she works best when she’s not the focus of the webisode, but just around doing (sometimes unintentionally) comical things.

Q22: Challenger’s Choice
A22: I guess this means I can talk about whatever I want to? And you know what I want to talk about – two songs by Wednesday 13. I’d been trying to find a way to shoehorn them into this Countdown but couldn’t’ figure out how, this will do: those songs are ‘Haddonfield’ and ‘Till Death Do Us Party’ from his (brilliant) album Fang Bang. Haddonfield should be pretty self-explanatory, it’s about Halloween and should be made the franchise’s theme tune, every DVD menu should play it, it’s chorus is like angel dust to slasher film nerds like me “It was the night that he came home / so don’t go out alone / when it’s dark in Haddonfield” for those with lives ‘the night he came home’ was the tag line for the first Halloween film. Till Death Do Us Party isn’t quite as good, but only because it includes the line ‘and don’t’ forget the weed’, I hate the saying ‘and don’t forget’ when used I lyrics, it’s just so teeth-grindingly unoriginal and cliché and Wednesday can do better, but otherwise it’s great. The full line the title comes from ‘till death do us party right here on Crystal Lake’ and it really focuses on how dumb Friday the 13th victims can be. These are two songs that should be essential for everyone’s Halloween Playlist but I barely see them mentioned, that is a crime against nature and you should all hate yourself.

Q23: Favourite Mask
A22: The Terror Mask (this counts) the haunted mask that possesses Rick in the Splatterhouse series, sometimes it’s red, sometimes it’s white, sometimes it’s moulded into his head like a really frisky face hugger but it’s the item that resurrects Rick and allows the games to happen to it’s pretty damn central to one of the best horror video game franchises ever, add to that it’s power to turns you into a huge muscle man (whiel not ripping your Mastodon t-shirt, so I guess it has good taste in music too) who looks like Jason Vorhees, can perform various gruesome magical tricks and punch zombies with chainsaw hands in face and not worry about it, so it’s a bloody good mask.

Q24: Fav Halloween Cartoon
A24: I think I’ve already gone into this but its Scooby-Doo, maybe I’m misremembering things but I seemed like Scooby-Doo was on 24-7 on Cartoon Network every October in the 1990s with The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf being the two that always seemed to be on the most, did they do Scooby-Doo Marathons or something like that? Even if they didn’t it’s the cartoon I most associate with Halloween and it’s a good choice – I mean every episode of that film was just a cheap horror movie for kids - sexy young people versus bad special effects with a crappy musical number. Of the masses of  Scooby ‘toons The Reluctant Werewolf is the one I associate the most with Halloween and I’m going to watch it this October the 31st , if you’re sitting and thinking ‘really, that one?’ need I remind you it features classic movie monster archetypes drag racing like it’s Whacky Races from beyond the grave.

Q25: Walking Dead Character
A25: I guess this is meant to be favourite Walking Dead Character? I don’t’ know about the television series because I gave up on it after 1 season deciding resolutely ‘the book’s better, fuck this’ so going by the books alone, it’s my man Tyreese:

I may not totally agree with what he had to say on suicide but in terms of arse-kicking he was matched only by Michonne and everyone’s going to pick Michonne because she is undeniably badass in every way but Tyrese came in earlier (I was reading from before the Prison arc, I forget exactly when I jumped on) so I had longer to form an attachment with him and as awesome as Michonne is she never killed a whole gym full of zombies by herself with nothing more than a hammer, and Tyrese got to have sex with Michonne, repeatedly, let that sink in fanboys, then make Tyrese your god.

Q26: Best Death Scene
A26: There is only one answer, you know, I know it and that answer is Gennaro in Jurassic Park:

Like there could be any other answer – an arsehole gets the death he’s had coming to him since his first scene, after the heinous act of leaving children to die, in the most emasculating, embarrassing and FUNNY way possible – on a toilet.  

Q27: Fav Goosebumps Cover
A27: Holy shit I don’t think I wrote a single thing about Goosebumps this Halloween season did I? Oh no wait I did in the Halloween Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On – phew! Anyway it’s the UK cover for The Girl Who Cried Monster:

A screaming young girl surrounded by books perfectly sums up Goosebumps, it’s like they drew ‘Goosebumps’ as a concept.

Q28: Underrated Character
A28: As this isn’t ‘favourite underrated character’ I can just talk about this month’s choice for an underrated character in horror and that’s Porcelain:

Porcelain is in the fairly recent found footage film (that narrows it down) The Houses October Built (released as The Houses of Halloween here in the UK) where she’s really the closest the film has to a ‘signature’ villain, she’s one of the performers in the haunts the main characters visit on their way to a thoroughly disappointing ending and is the best thing in the film, she turns up again miles away from where they first encountered her and then you get the above scene which is just such a mix of weird and scary I think it actually trumps the similar scene in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (mostly because Porcelain is a ‘monster design’ rather than a weird smelly hillbilly design) she has a great look and should be on her way to becoming a cult favourite horror villain, but I sadly think the film she’s in will work against that, a pity.

Q29-31: Halloween Costumes 2013-2015
A: this is a bit of a cheat but I honestly haven’t dressed up for three years, the closest I came was wearing a shiny Skeletor-looking mask for a while this year but I couldn’t eat in it so it got thrown somewhere, as much as I like Skeletor I like cupcakes and chocolate eyeballs more.

HA! I did it, but is it interesting to read? Eh, if it isn't that'll only makes it marginally different from my regular posts. 

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