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Halloween Day 12: Tales From the Crypt

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Tales from the Crypt, at least the TV show probably makes up a good majority of my earlier horror memories. I have very specific memories of sneaking to watch it on HBO after my father had sent us to bed so he could watch Elvira alone. WHat struck me as a child about it was of course the over the top violence but also the sense of humor about it. I had never seen something so violent and horrific played for laughs. That and who could forget the Crypt Keeper.

When I got older I discovered the source material, the comics. A lot of those stories were told on the show but what these had was the artwork. The amazing artwork by some of the greatest artists to ever touch a comic page. Jack Davis, Graham Ingels, Al Williamson and even Wally Wood. For my money, comics don’t get much better than the old EC series.

I have been picking up the dvds and collections of the comics over the years and I am always surprised by how cheaply I get them. These are treasures! Again, if you haven’t, watch some Tales From The Crypt, or read some of the comics boils and ghouls.

Halloween Day 11: Nim Vind

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While I would like to say Nim Vind has now become a Halloween favorite, I have been listening to this album constantly for the past year and have not grown sick of it. I think this band falls into Halloween favorite because when I first heard Nim Vind it was around Halloween last year when I was looking for some new horror rock to try on. The first song I hear was Killing Saturday Night and that was that. This band is great. While keeping one foot in the horror rock genre they manage to elevate the genre by adding their own mix to the works while most bands are just content to rip off The Misfits. Good for a Halloween spin or when you just want to listen to some great rock n’ roll.

Halloween Day 10: Trick r Treat

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Like Christmas Story is to Christmas, Trick r Treat is to Halloween, at least for me. This movie is so great and tailor made for Halloween it needs to run on a 24 hour marathon channel just like Christmas Story. This movie wallowed in post production hell for almost 2 years until being forced out on to DVD with little to no theater listings. An original story centered around Halloween, told in an anthology format weaved together by a comic book narrative (ala Creepshow) and a creepy little kid, it captures the spirit and childhood exuberance I have for this season and Halloween. Every year recently we are subjected to remake after remake sequel after sequel and when something truly great comes out it barely registers with a whisper. If you love Halloween, watch this movie. It is right up your haunted alley.

Halloween Day 9: Gris Grimly

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Gris Grimly is a recent Halloween favorite. I was turned on to his work by seeing his movie Cannibal Flesh Riot at the Spooky Empire convention in Florida about 4 years ago. Not only a skilled filmmaker but Gris is also an amazing illustrator and all around creative powerhouse. What I really enjoy about his work is that he has a classic take on horror but somehow melds it with this contemporary feel. The other aspect of Gris that I really enjoy is the idea of all his creations being under the banner of Gris Grimly and the amount of effort he puts into his products. When I purchased the DVD of Cannibal Flesh Riot at said convention it came in this awesome package that had the DVD a bonus cd with a bunch of horror rock bands doing songs inspired by the film and a newspaper insert about one of the characters in the film. Wonderful stuff here and a perfect entry into your Halloween horror festivities.

Halloween Day 8: Hellboy

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Hellboy was one of those comics that has been around for almost as long as I have been reading comics, and I was aware of but never picked up until I was in college. Once I did start to read it I realized how foolish I was that I had not read it sooner. It seemed almost tailor made for me and my tastes. I started with the first collected book, Seed of Destruction and was instantly hooked. Like I said I had been aware of the character and Mike Mignola’s amazing art but for some reason just never picked it up. Well I have been a devoted fan ever since that day, not just of Hellboy but all the spin offs and Mikes other works (The Amazing Screw On Head being my other favorite of his). The movies, the animated movies, the Hellboy comics, BPRD and now their spin offs, Lobster Johnson, WitchFinder and Mikes amazing, AMAZING, art book are all taking up a space well deserved on my shelf not more than two feet away from me. Mikes work is a constant reminder of how great comics can be, how intelligent horror can be done and how fun all of that can be. Halloween is the perfect time to get to know Mike Mignola and his universe by checking out any of the books or watching any of the movies (masterfully directed by Guillermo Del Toro) and just get lost on an adventure with the wonderful characters that live there.

Halloween Day 7: Return of the Living Dead

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I love this movie. Aside from the Romero zombie flicks, this is probably my favorite zombie movies. I think this actually was the first zombie movie I ever saw so this is what solidified the concept of zombie to me. This movie is perfect from beginning to end. The humor, the zombies, the awesome soundtrack. The characters are all so ridiculous and over the top and how can you even mention this movie without talking about the Tar Man, one of the most iconic zombies in the genre. This series continues to live on and the second and third one are worth checking out as well but are not as classic as the original Return of the Living Dead.