October 2009


Ah! The air smells of pumpkin and wet leaves.  It is time for Halloween parties!  So, what to watch at these parties.  Well, there are some great choices for movies to watch this weekend.  Specifically some movies led themselves well to being on in the background.  This will be very brief!  Eep!

Black & White Classics

Psycho

This film is easily the scariest movie I have seen…ever.  That is especially impressive considering that the first time I saw it was on a big screen with a bunch of other people.

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die

Doctor take future wife on a trip.  Car wreck.  Severed head.  Saves head.  Doctor looks at strip clubs for new body to attach to head.

Night of the Living Dead

You know the drill.  Zombies, zombies, everywhere!  Assortment of people try to hold off zombies.  Good stuff.  **Watch the Entire Movie Online — Click Here**

Devil’s Night Favorites

The Crow

Eric Draven and his girlfriend Shelley are murdered on Devil’s Night.  Eric comes back a year later to exact revenge/justice.  One of the best movies ever (and surely will get an actual real review soon).

The Exorcist

Did these people on The Paranormal Hour learn nothing from The Exorcist.  Little girl plays with a talking board and becomes possessed.  Priest tries to save girl.  Apparently, a guy I know was an extra sitting under one of the trees.

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So, I am horrible and am sending this out far too late, but to be fair I had plans with actual real live people and so I figured you wouldn’t mind me having a social life.  I am happy to report that this month I’ve had 1,666 blog views.  Maybe that isn’t a lot, or maybe it is, but either way I love it!  Almost Halloween and I have reached 1,666 for the month of October.  Brilliant.  So, tomorrow, I will write for both 2 days and for 1 day to Halloween!  Then I think we all should enjoy Halloween!!!  Brilliant.

Tim Burton clearly is one of the kings of Halloween. So, for the 3 Days to Halloween blog I have selected a few Tim Burton movies.

Sleepy Hollow

One of my favorite movies is Tim Burton’s retelling The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It is one of the most visually stunning and scariest Halloween films and certainly showcases Burton’s talents. Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is an investigator sent from the city to investigate the mysterious murders that have taken place in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. There he not only finds murder and mystery, but the love of Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci). The special effects and general mood of the film are an absolute must for Halloween. Ichabod’s contraptions are fantastic and the gore in this movie is not over the top, but exactly right (as long as you like blood and guts in your movies). Christopher Walken’s teeth alone are the stuff of nightmares…and that tree! If you have seen the movie, you know I’m right. It is a perfect tale for Halloween and certainly not for the faint of heart.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (2-Disk Collector’s Edition)

Getting this edition of the film is a smart choice. Not only does it feature the movie and a few others (see below), it also has special features of deleted scenes, behind the scenes, and trailers. The movie itself is about Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King. Jack is sad and then he comes across the land of Christmas. He decides that all the ghouls and goblins should be in charge of Christmas this year. Of course they get it all wrong, because they just don’t understand holidays other than Halloween. Music, creepy fun, and even a little bit of romance are all part of this story about a skeleton that has good intentions, but gets it all wrong.

Vincent

Vincent is a short film about a boy who dreams of being Vincent Price. It is one of the many extras on The Nightmare Before Christmas 2-disk collector’s edition DVD. It is a clever little poem and stop motion animation piece that I find a delight to watch again and again. Also in the extra features, the original poem is read by Christopher Lee. If you like Vincent, you should also check out illustrator Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies, as I feel you would also get a kick out of his twisted alphabet.

Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie

This short film is also featured on this edition of The Nightmare Before Christmas and will eventually be done as a feature length film. The story is about a young boy who brings back a beloved pet, but of course the creation is misunderstood by the neighbors. I was a bit unsure about the story when I was younger, but I gave it a go again once I was older and watched the whole thing and found it to be excellent as long as you watch the entire movie.

Tomorrow: 2 Days to Halloween, Halloween Black and White Classics


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After a long day of shooting video at the library and wishing I was sleeping, I’m finally home and drinking a cup of tea and watching some of my favorite Halloween DVDs.  The Halloween Video Countdown continues! Now it is only 4 Days to Halloween! Today is all about Halloween episodes on television series. It is like candy corn for the soul.

Supernatural

Supernatural is my current television addiction.  The show is about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, that travel across the country in a 1967 Chevy Impala (to a classic rock soundtrack) hunting demons.  Could it be any better?  Did I mention they are really sexy?  For those already hooked on the show, don’t forget season 4, episode 3, in which the boys roll into a classic horror movie!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
**SPOILER ALERT– Don’t watch this video unless you’ve already seen these episodes**

Like Supernatural, clearly watching just about any Buffy episode is going to be good times for Halloween (or any time, hello!).  However there are two episodes you need to watch for Halloween. The first is season 2, episode 6, in which Buffy and the Scoobies turn into their costumes.  It also should be noted that we get a bit of Oz noticing Willow!  Eep! The next must see episode for Halloween comes in season 4, episode 4, (“Fear Itself”) in which the gang gets locked up in a real house of horrors.  Now, if you are going for creepy, watch the critically acclaimed “Hush” (season 4, episode 10).

The Adventures of Pete and Pete: Season 2, Episode 7, “Halloweenie”
**In addition to Halloweenie, watch this Pete and Pete short**

Halloween is when “the ghouls and goblins of our souls are set free to roam the night and scarf candy.” So, what is Big Pete’s damage? He thinks Halloween is for Halloweenies. The Pumpkin Eaters, “the dark knights of Halloween,” are looking to recruit Big Pete to smash pumpkins and ruin Halloween for everyone.  Can Little Pete help his brother find his Halloween spirit or will it be destroyed forever?

The Muppet Show: Monster Laughs with Vincent Price (VHS) or Best of the Muppet Show – Alice Cooper/Vincent Price/Marty Feldman (DVD)

Now on this one I’m old school.  I have the VHS, but it appears that the same Halloween themed episode is available on DVD now under a new name.  At any rate, this time Kermit holds auditions to be in a Halloween skit and spooky favorite Vincent Price shows up!  Rocker Alice Cooper gets into the mix, too!  The Muppets are amazing and Halloween is amazing so clearly you need to watch this.  I mean, come on…what could be better than Alice Cooper singing “Welcome to my Nightmare” with Muppets!

Looking for the Slutty Pumpkin

Looking for the Slutty Pumpkin

How I Met Your Mother: Season 1, Episode 6, “The Slutty Pumpkin”

In classic Ted fashion, young Mr. Mosby is attempting to find the love of his life.  He is convinced that he needs to find a girl he met years ago at a Halloween party.  She was dressed as a slutty pumpkin.  He was dressed as a hanging chad.  So, despite the seriously dated costume, he wears it year after year in hopes that one year he will once again find his slutty pumpkin. Meanwhile, Barney tries costume after costume in an attempt to get a hot girl to come home with him.

My So-Called Life: Season 1, Episode 9, “Halloween”

It certainly isn’t the best thing ever, but it is free and is kind of a kick to rewatch it many years removed. You can watch all the teenage angst on Hulu. Actually, the entire series is online, but since it is Halloween…what better than the Halloween episode. It is really strange to watch after so many years.  Angela dresses up in some horned rimmed glasses and a cardigan.  She has the book of Nicky Driskal, a boy that supposedly died in the school.  The kids get themselves locked up in the school after hours.  Ghosty craziness ensues, meanwhile, the parents get wrapped up in their costumes.  Oh, the melodrama of it all!

Tomorrow: 3 Days to Halloween, Halloween through the eyes of Tim Burton

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It is that time of year! It is almost Halloween! Over the past several years it is getting harder and harder to find good Halloween viewing on television to get in the mood. Thankfully, now with the proliferation of video players at home and online viewing, it is easier to get our hands on Halloween themed goodies so we can gorge ourselves on Halloween fare of any variety. Over the next week I will post some of my suggested viewing to get into the Halloween spirit!

5 Days to Halloween: Halloween for the Young, and Young at Heart

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Clearly, the first two choices on this list are not new to a lot of people, but I was shocked and horrified to find out not everyone knew that both Charlie Brown and Garfield have classic Halloween specials.  The Peanuts Halloween special now comes out in a Remastered Deluxe Edition.  This edition includes two other Charlie Brown specials : It’s Magic, Charlie Brown; and We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown.  But to be honest, we all are much more interested in watching Linus as he and Sally wait for the Great Pumpkin to rise from the pumpkin patch, Charlie Brown in the most memorable ghost costume of all time, and Snoopy’s adventures as the WWI fighting ace.

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Garfield's Halloween Adventure

Garfield’s Halloween is the best of all the Garfield specials (which is saying something).  Garfield’s holiday specials are an annual tradition. Lucky for you, the Halloween special comes with Garfield’s Thanksgiving and A Garfield Christmas.  Garfield and Odie go trick-or-treating and have a memorable adventure complete with that crazy old man, ghost pirates, and great songs. I for one know them all by heart to this day.  “What Should I Be” is the best part of the entire special, but that is just one weird librarian’s opinion (although I doubt that I’m alone in this). Dead pirates and candy, candy, candy! What more could anyone want?!

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit

Aardman has been delighting us with Wallace and Gromit for years, but previously only in shorts. The huge undertaking to create a feature length Wallace and Gromit movie was well worth the wait and does not disappoint. Also included on the DVD are great bonus features. Not only are there deleted scenes and activities, but there are also amazing behind the scenes bonuses (including how to make a bunny like from the movie) and another Aardman short called “Stagefright.” Our favorite cheese loving inventor has set up business with his dog, Gromit (the real brains behind the operation), to humanely take care of the rabbit problem before the town’s vegetable competition. But of course something goes terribly wrong and the Curse of the Were-rabbit is unleashed on gardens great and small…it is a vegetarian horror film after all. Also, Wallace has found a new love interest in Lady Tottington — the same woman that the villain of the story has his eye on. Oh, the drama! The suspense! The watermelon!

Count Duckula

Count Duckula is a cartoon, vegetarian, vampire, duck: unlike the vampires of *Twilight he actually is a vegetarian. He once was a blood sucking vampire, but when he was brought back to life ketchup was used instead of blood. Now, much to the chagrin of his butler Igor, he is repulsed by blood and violence. Along with Igor and the half-wit (but loving) maid, Nanny, Count Duckula travels through space and time in his teleporting castle. And don’t forget other characters, like Dr. Von Goosewing (Duckula’s Van Helsing of course). The show is silly to say the least. Monty Python fans will certainly appreciate this cult classic. The fact alone that one of the episodes is called “Mutinous Penguins” should really be enough to sell you.

*If you hate or love Twilight, and have a sense of humor about it, you should watch this video. Honestly, it is one of the funniest things I have seen all year.

Twilight: The Broodening

Tomorrow: 4 Days to Halloween, Halloween on TV

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Life catches up with you sometimes, but sometimes also you give in to The Little Hater.  Thanks to Jay Smooth for kickin’ me out of my rut and thank you to all my new readers as well as my loyal fans.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about with The Little Hater, watch this video.  If you are a creative person, I think you know The Little Hater.  Don’t let The Little Hater win!

Now that I have been kicked out of my blogging rut I think I owe it to you all to tell you what weird librarian activities I have been involved in.  First and foremost, I have been working a lot on a multimedia game show to be played online: due January 2010.  But you don’t have to wait so long to get a taste for the game. Currently, we are working on putting together a promotional trailer for the show as well as a video to better explain the show.  Both will be released by Veteran’s Day (November 11, 2009) here and on the official website that is currently being created.  Don’t worry!  Stay cool my babies!  I’ll update more about the game and how you can be involved as things progress.

I also have been planning for some other video projects that will no doubt end up here, so stay tuned!  I have been spending a good portion of my time networking on the video production side and getting more involved with videography work.  I also have been doing random weird librarian activities such as attending food themed festivals, being in a video for Live Karaoke Band starring librarian/actor Eric Sizemore (which I also am editing), fighting censorship during Banned Books Week, and participating in a zombie crawl to promote Haunted House 9: Mystery of an Asylum Behind the Museum.

I also would like to use this space to promote a new blog by Lizz Zitron, Unintentionally Funny Books.  The blog is fantastic and while the books themselves are, well, unintentionally funny, it is Zitron’s wit and humor that makes the blog a new must read.  Lizz Zitron is a current student at my Alma Mater, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Also, from another favorite GSLIS blogger, please read Laura Rancani’s review of the graphic novel of Fahrenheit 451 (see, not everyone is a terrible librarian that doesn’t even post a blog during Banned Books Week…I’ll try to be better).  Laura Rancani is focusing on youth librarianship at GSLIS, so, her blog is especially going to be of interest to anyone interested in youth services (YA books galore!).

Fear not.  I will try to keep my little hater away and continue to update on a regular basis again.

P.S.  Rest in peace Patrick Swayze.

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