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Posts tagged "Halloween"

A Soundtrack For All Hallow’s Eve, Pt. II

A Soundtrack For All Hallow’s Eve, Pt. II

In the second half of our short series on Halloween music, here are Ian Olson‘s selections with my commentary.

”Saignee/revelations” by Year of No Light

http://www.mbird.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/12-saignée-révélations.mp3

I: Year of No Light brought their blackened sludge to bear on Carl Theodor Dreyer’s classic film Vampyr (my favorite horror film, incidentally) in 2013 and succeeded in crafting a very peculiar and yet very fitting soundtrack to this unorthodox classic. Though separated by eighty years (!), this soundtrack succeeds in encapsulating the film’s aesthetic: the diffusion of darkness as light.

This song negotiates a difficult balancing act, poised at the juncture of three very disparate moods: stately, yet ethereal,…

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A Soundtrack For All Hallow’s Eve, Pt. I

A Soundtrack For All Hallow’s Eve, Pt. I

Because Ian Olson and myself could not quite leave it alone without making our devilish imprint on Mbird during the Halloween season, we decided to each choose a five song playlist, explain them and then comment on the other’s choices. What follows are Blake’s choices with commentary by Ian.

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan

http://www.mbird.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/10-Hurdy-Gurdy-Man-Single-Version.m4a

B: Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan wrote this track after a visit to India and the lyrics themselves are saturated with a typical concoction of various Eastern/mystical ideals with a fuzzy center. It is not really remembered for its lyrics so much as its surreal and rather unnerving atmosphere: acoustic guitar…

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Costumes Required: When Church is a Halloween Party

Costumes Required: When Church is a Halloween Party

A scary-good reflection from our friend, Scott Brand!

The fall is wonderful. I spent the last five years living in the perpetual summer of Florida weather, so being back in the Midwest for the leaves changing has been a wonderful recovery of the wonder of Autumn. I can wear sweaters and jeans without losing a few pounds of sweat. It makes sense to eat hot soup. Football season is matched by football weather. However, in the midst of apple picking and frolicking in the leaves, a sneaky thief comes to destroy the goodness of October–Halloween.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am…

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Happy Halloween Décor: The Day of the Dead Comes to Target

Happy Halloween Décor: The Day of the Dead Comes to Target

There is something truly wonderful happening in the Halloween aisles of Target.

Stay with me.

Last year was the first time I began to notice Dia de los Muertos décor mixed in the mummy tablecloths and witch aprons, but this year it is everywhere. Unbeknownst to the executives at Target, they are putting the hallow back in Halloween.

I’ve never been a Christian who has had a problem with Halloween. I know there is an alternative subculture for the day where you go to a “Fall Festival” at church instead of Trick or Treating. With all of the signifiers for evil (devil costumes,…

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Another Week Ends: Death Row Hymns, L’Arche Communion, Heresy Polls, Haunted Houses, Gossip Law, Andy Warhol, and 70s Halloween

Another Week Ends: Death Row Hymns, L’Arche Communion, Heresy Polls, Haunted Houses, Gossip Law, Andy Warhol, and 70s Halloween

1. A nice change of pace this week, with not one but two stories of grace to get the tear ducts working. First, via The NY Times Magazine, lawyer and writer Bryan Stephenson recalls “The Man on Death Row Who Changed Me”. During law school, Stephenson was asked to visit an inmate on death row, to inform the prisoner that a ‘real’ lawyer had yet to be assigned his case. Bryan arrives feeling unprepared and nervous about delivering what he assumes to be bad news. To say that the condemned man’s response takes him aback would be an understatement:

The…

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A Short Guide To Hammer Horror

A Short Guide To Hammer Horror

“Born into a land of brutality and evil…it came from terror and fear! The curse…laid on a baby!” A brief list you’ll find in Issue 3 of The Mockingbird, right in time for Halloween! The Gospel According to…Hammer Horror! Nearly all are available to watch in full on YouTube. Ah Ah Ah Ahhh! “Don’t look into the eyes!”

Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Some would consider Curse of the Werewolf to be the apogee of ‘Christian’ presence in the Hammer canon.

Leon’s Baptism, the coincidence of his conception and birth with Christmas and the Christmas story, and the silver bullet from the Father: these…

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Merry Halloween

Merry Halloween

Halloween has become more Christian than Christmas.

Christians have long had issues with Halloween. We’re not sure what to make of it, we’re not sure if it’s ok to celebrate it, if we’re celebrating demons, monsters, and evil things. Michael Jackson, at the beginning of the landmark video for “Thriller,” felt compelled to provide a disclaimer that this video, in which he turns into a werewolf and a zombie, did not endorse the occult. For the same reasons, many Christians have felt the need to speak out against Harry Potter and Spongebob Squarepants.

I myself have very mixed feelings about Halloween. I…

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“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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