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It's Christmas in October (For Horror Film Fans)

Posted on October 19 2018


By Peter Skiera

If you’re a horror movie buff like I am, the month of October is hands down the most wonderful time of the year. Lock your doors and windows, turn off the lights, make a big bowl of popcorn with extra butter, and fire up the boob tube. A host of cable channels are trotting out the heavy celluloid guns for your psychotic pleasure: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) airs their annual “Classic Horror Marathon,” Freeform (formerly the ABC Family channel) has “31 Nights of Halloween,” – not to be confused with Syfy channel’s “31 Days of Halloween,” or for that matter, “Rob Zombie’s 13 Nights of Halloween” on HDNet! And lest we forget AMC’s “Fear Fest.” For the kiddies, the Disney Channel airs “Monstober”, featuring Halloween-related animated features. As Annie Brackett said in the original Halloween film from 1978: “Six straight hours of horror movies…little Lindsey Wallace won’t know what hit her.” If you prefer to scream while you stream, Netflix has over 260 scary movies on tap this month. They’ve even organized them into categories like cult, slasher, B-movie, etc., making it so simple it’s, well, scary.

Besides having to empty your bladder, the other thing that might pry you off of your sofa are the various conventions and festivals. “Spooky World” used to be one of the best places to meet horror celebrities. That’s where I met Robert Englund, aka “Freddy Kruger” (Nightmare on Elm Street franchise) 25 years ago. Spooky World is still around today but is located in NH instead of MA and has transitioned into more of a horror amusement park. Another local favorite is the terror factory: Factory of Terror.

Spooky World used to be the place to meet horror celebrities.

Earlier this month I attended the Salem Horror Fest in Salem, MA. It was there I met Kane Hodder who played Jason Vorhees in most of the Friday the 13th films until, as he explained to me, “I was unceremoniously fired.” I stood outside in the chilly weather with people of all ages and genders who lined up to get a picture with the notorious mass murderer…um, actor.

 


Raising Kane: Kane Hodder, aka Jason Vorhees, sans the hockey mask and bloody bayonet.

Just a few blocks down I met B-movie scream queen legend Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Silent Night, Deadly Night, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama). In between signing autographs and talking with fans, Linnea told me she’s very busy making appearances throughout the USA, Canada, and France. Horror is indeed a universal language. A couple of weeks before I met her, I snail-mailed her a few questions and told her I would include her written answers in this article if she responded. She did! Here is the brief Q&A:

Peter: What’s your favorite horror film?
Linnea: Terminator II.

Peter: What was the worst way a character you played in a movie died?
Linnea: Impaled on the antlers of a deer.

Peter: What’s your favorite Halloween costume?
Linnea: Wonda the Witch.

Peter: What’s your favorite Halloween candy?
Linnea: Heath Bar.

Peter: What’s the scariest thing you’ve experienced?
Linnea: Rat infestation.

Peter: What was your funniest or weirdest encounter you had with a fan?
Linnea: When a fan showed up at my parents’ house wearing a mask, cape, purple hair, looking for their house, running around. My Mom opened the door to him. I couldn’t believe it. He thought I lived there.

Peter: If you were a zombie, who would you want to eat first?
Linnea: Nicole Kidman.


Linnea Quigley…still screaming after all these years.

In return for her answering my questions I promised her I’d donate to her favorite charity, The Humane Society, which I did. As she wrote to me, “Be kind to animals. Take their leash, not their life.”

More recently I made the long drive out to Worcester, MA for their annual “Rock and Shock” Convention at the DCU Center. This meant missing “Super Megafest Comic Con” held in Framingham, MA, during the same dates, but I’d rather meet Linda Blair than Jerry Mathers. I also got to meet the great Malcolm McDowell of A Clockwork Orange fame. As we shook hands I told him I forgave him for killing Captain Kirk in 1994’s Star Trek Generations. Unapologetic, he responded, “I would have killed the other one {Picard} who wouldn’t stop talking, if they had let me.”

Linda Blair – still looking fine at 59.

A face only a mother could love: A young Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil in 1973’s The Exorcist.

Below: Malcolm (not in the middle) McDowell.

You just never know who you’re going to bump into at these events.

Is there a Veterinarian in the house?

One very exciting event for this October is the release of the new film Halloween. No, it isn’t a reboot of the 1978 classic, but a direct sequel, bypassing all the others in the franchise. Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode and Director John Carpenter joins as Executive Producer, creative consultant, and composer. There’s even a voice actor who does a Doctor Loomis impression in place of the late Donald Pleasence. Variety said the film delivers “…plenty of fresh suspense — and grisly-creative kills…” You can be sure I’ll be at my local theater this weekend for the premier.

Switching from movies to music, if you’ll be hosting a Halloween party or just want an appropriate background as you carve the pumpkin or dish out candy to the trick or treaters, fire up your Como Audio music system and tune Internet radio station Big R Radio, Halloween Hit Radio, Halloween Radio, Dead Air, Halloween Radio Kids, Halloween Radio Atmosphere (spooky sound effects), or Horror and Halloween Radio (old time radio shows).  One of these stations is sure to get you in the Halloween mood. If you don’t own a Como Audio model or you’d like another, be sure to enter our Halloween Solo Giveaway. The piano black finish will go nicely with your Halloween décor.

Yes, October certainly is a great month if you’re a horror fan. Thankfully, the excitement doesn’t totally end there. In just a couple of weeks it’ll be time for RI’s annual massive Comic Con. I have my ticket in hand and my hotel room is booked. More on that extravaganza next month. Until then, Happy Halloween.

 

 

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