Halloween Day 10: Trick r Treat

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

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

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

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.

Halloween Day 6: The Creepshow

One of the main influences on TLZ is Psychobilly/Rockabilly music. Pyschobilly is the melding of Rockabilly music with punk and most purveyors add a horror element to the mix. I am not sure why the blending of these elements seems to work so well but once you hear it it is almost impossible to separate again. One of my favorite bands of this genre and one I was listening to mostly when I was transitioning TLZ from animation to comic form was The Creepshow. While their newer album kind of veered from horror their first two are firmly rooted in almost a comical take on the spooky. They have an awesome retro horror vibe and look about them and it was very influential while developing a visual update to the characters and theme of TLZ.

Halloween Day 5: The Goon

The Goon is my kind of comic. Chalk full of zombies, monsters, cannibal hobos, communist airborne mollusks, fish men and some of the best dialog in comics, The Goon is a delightful horror treat any time of year but especially around Halloween. The Goon is masterfully drawn by Eric Powell and written so wonderfully that it can go from being one of the funniest comics out there to the most heartfelt and saddening comic on the shelf in the same issue. The Goon is not only what horror comics should be but what comics in general should be.