Posts tagged "Halloween"

“Strange Fascination, Fascinating Me”: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

“Strange Fascination, Fascinating Me”: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

The third installment for Blake & Ian’s four-part series is Ian’s second selection, the 1982 classic creature flick The Thing, directed by John Carpenter andstarring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley & T. K. Carter.

Ian:

John Carpenter’s The Thing is a masterpiece of cosmic/body horror which viscerally manifests the alien abjection of sin. Through masterful use of freezing, tension-fraught atmosphere and brilliant (i.e. horrifyingly gory) special effects, Carpenter meditates on embodiment, identity, and paranoia with breathtaking results. The story, set in hostile Antarctica, follows a shape-shifting alien which can replicate the physiology and even the memories of everything (and everyone) it assimilates. Its arrival triggers an…

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“Just The Two Of Us”: Robert Harmon’s The Hitcher (1986)

“Just The Two Of Us”: Robert Harmon’s The Hitcher (1986)

The second film selection for Blake & Ian’s four-part series comes from Blake’s selection of favorite horror films, the 1986 version of The Hitcher, starring Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Blake:

Jim Halsey: Why are you doing this to me?
John Ryder: You’re a smart kid…figure it out.

Whether it’s the rise of urban legends or the rise of actual incidents, hitchhiking is all but extinct nowadays. It seems to be another victim slain in the slow and continuous death of the old neighborly courtesies.

Hitchhiking is just one aspect of a wider American artistic landscape full of the open road–from…

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“Is This Real Life or Is This Just Fantasy”: Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932)

“Is This Real Life or Is This Just Fantasy”: Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932)

Ian Olson (who brought Mbird a wonderful reflection on Law and Grace in the new Godzilla) and I decided to put together a 4-part series in celebration of October and Halloween–Mbird-style, of course! We both chose two of our favorite horror films and wrote an article for each one and then allowed the other to present a brief addendum/rebuttal about the film and the article written. This week we open with a classic vampire film from 1932 from the Danish filmmaker, Carl Theodor Dreyer, entitled Vampyr.

Ian:

How awake must I be to grasp the real world? To see it for what…

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Halloween/Reformation Day Linkathon: Equal Opportunity Holidays, Fat Letters, Midnight Coteries, The Returned and more Lou Reed

Halloween/Reformation Day Linkathon: Equal Opportunity Holidays, Fat Letters, Midnight Coteries, The Returned and more Lou Reed

A quick grab bag in honor of the day:

1. Over at Liberate Nick Lannon reflects on the gratuity of Halloween relative to Christmas, stating from the outset that “Halloween has become more Christian than Christmas”. He’s not wrong:

“Consider the theological implications of Halloween. Halloween is the ultimate equal opportunity holiday. EVERYONE gets candy. On the surface, it’s the picture of the Gospel!  There is no checking of qualifications at the door. You come, you receive. Christmas, on the other hand… well, you know the song:  ‘He’s making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa…

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In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt. 6: The End (Is Not The End)

In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt. 6: The End (Is Not The End)

When I first decided to put this series together, I was planning on using several different sources as jumping off points for each post. But the more I consulted Eugene Thacker’s In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy vol. 1, the more I realized how essential it was to providing a solid foundation for how we should look at horror cinema (and, by relation, all elements of horror culture). Thacker brings the reader to a point where they must confess three things: 1) That there are things in the natural and ‘supernatural’ realm that are hidden from humanity…

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In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt. 5: The Creature Feature

In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt. 5: The Creature Feature

This past weekend I set out to watch my three personal favorites of the creature feature sub-genre. Considering it was also my twenty-ninth birthday, these viewings made for good celebration (red flag: this guy is a little off, methinks). My selections may show my “chronological snobbery” (C.S. Lewis), but rest assured, I am in no way deriding the creature features of the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. I wouldn’t dare do so on Mockingbird! However, the three films that will drive the discussion of this post are ones I grew up with: The Mist (2007), The Thing (1982) and Alien…

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In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt. 4: The Apparition

In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt. 4: The Apparition

Have you ever had an experience with a ghost or spirit? Odds are, like most haunted house movies, the set up involved an unfamiliar setting and a kid, or kids. They are more willing to ‘expect the unexpected’ after all. For instance, perhaps you can imagine a situation in a house in the middle of nowhere, say, miles outside of Midland/Odessa (home of Friday Night Lights), with little population and little pretension of something abnormal taking place. A kid staying with his grandmother in a two-story house with a completely wooden stair separating the floors and no one in the…

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More Jimmy Kimmel on Luke 11:11-13

Last Christmas, we posted Jimmy Kimmel’s segment, “I Gave My Kids A Terrible Present,” featuring parents who pranked their kids by giving them terrible Christmas presents. Presents like a half-eaten sandwich wrapped up in a big box. Parents recorded their kids’ reactions, and the resulting tantrums and tears were hilarious and theologically insightful, to say the least.

This Halloween, Kimmel brought back his original prank, “I Told My Kids I Ate Their Halloween Candy,” showing kids reacting to the news that their parents ate all their Halloween candy. Overall, it’s pretty similar stuff: kids crying and throwing tantrums, hilarity (and depravity?) ensues. This seasonal compilation, however, has a bit of a surprise ending. It gives grace-in-parenting a whole new meaning…

In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt 2: The Slasher

In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt 2: The Slasher

Here we go with part two of Blake Collier’s budding In the Event of a Cosmic Horror franchise. To read part one, go here.

The Slasher

Because I am a bit of a masochist, I am going to start the breakdown of horror sub genres with an analysis of the slasher film. No type of horror has been so maligned by critics, parents and Christians as the slasher flick has in the whole economy of the horror film.  It appears as if the first true slasher films were made in order to prominently depict three things: killings/blood, sex/nudity and vengeance. That second…

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In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt 1

In the Event of a Cosmic Horror, Pt 1

This one comes to us from new contributor Blake Collier:

I am, currently, on the cusp of finishing thirty-one straight days of watching slasher films for my annual October horror film marathon. I decided to do a chronological cross-section of the slasher sub-genre from Psycho (1960), the film that most influenced the slasher film, to the more recent Icelandic slasher, Rejkjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009). Needless to say, most of my family and friends look at me with raised eyebrows and shake their heads in confusion as to why I would put myself through such torture. This year, in response to…

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Michael Jackson’s Ghosts

Michael Jackson’s Ghosts

With Halloween/Reformation Day almost here, what better time to revisit Michael Jackson’s 1996 little-seen opus Ghosts? Conceived as a Thriller-style mini-movie (or maxi-video), the 40-minute “horror” piece never really saw the light of day, and remains unavailable on DVD. Thank God for youtube! Thank God also for Nathan Rabin of The A/V Club, who just published a masterful look at this HIStory-era curio, in an excerpt from his terrific new book, My Year of Flops. If you’ve never seen Ghosts, I commend it to you for three reasons: 1. It’s Michael Jackson 2. The Stan Winston-effects are really something to…

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Mockingbird on the Sidewalk: Is Halloween Lame?

Mockingbird on the Sidewalk: Is Halloween Lame?

Halloween was last week. I’ve never been that excited about Halloween myself, owing probably to the incident in my youth, when, having to go to the bathroom while trick-or-treating far from my home, I was shocked to be refused entrance to house after house. “May I please use your bathroom?” I’d beg in my best “I’m a cute suburban white kid with good grammar and it’s barely dark out here — what could go wrong?” voice. I eventually had to run home in mortal fear of peeing my pants — the scariest Halloween ever.

What has interested me…

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