Trick Or Treat

It's 5:29 p.m., the internationally-recognized official start of western civilization's annual candy grab. Do you know where your pumpkin is?

31 Days of Horror: Halloween

Well its Halloween and what better movie to wrap up 31 Days of Horror than John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic Halloween.

Spawning seven sequels, a remake and a sequel to the remake, Halloween is often credited for starting the slasher horror genre that bombarded the '80s. Bob Clark's Black Christmas actually predated this film as a slasher flick but it didn't have the same impact as Carpenter's movie had.

The story starts off in 1963 where a young six year old boy named Michael Myers brutally murders his sister on Halloween. Fifteen years later and Michael's psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is transporting Myers when Myers escapes. Myers turns up back at his old hometown and starts stalking Jamie Lee Curtis and her friends while wearing a painted William Shatner mask.

The story is simple but effective. Carpenter creates excellent suspension here and his soundtrack is creepy and memorable. Unlike the slasher films that would later follow, the body count in this film is quite low. Carpenter wisely never directed another Halloween movie and instead moved on to make other brilliant horror movies - usually titled John Carpenter's whatever (The Fog, The Thing, Christine - even though Christine is a Stephen King story).

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Halloween Edition

Today's special Saturday Morning Cartoon is the 1953 Oscar nominated short cartoon The Tell-Tale Heart. The cartoon is narrated by James Mason and directed by Ted Parmelee who directed several Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons.

This is a faithful and creepy adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's classic short story. There is limited animation but surreal backgrounds and the point of view look to the film work excellently to create a unique style for the cartoon.

Pick of the Day: Thirst

Shane's been regaling you this month with a pre-Hallowe'en run-down of his 31 favourite horror flicks. I'm not saying that this film by South Korean director Park Chan-wook (Old Boy Trilogy) should have been included in his list. But Thirst is screening tonight at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. so it was a natural for my pick-of-the day. Although as I noted in yesterday's post, there is some decent music happening tonight too.

Awarded the Prix du Jury at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Thirst is loosely based on Emile Zola's 19th century novel Therese Raquin, and concerns a priest who selflessly ministers to the sick and dying while silently wrestling with doubts about the sanctity of his faith. After volunteering for an experiment to find a cure for the fatal Emmanuel Virus, he succumbs to the disease, only to be reborn as a vampire with an insatiable lust both for blood and his childhood friend's beautiful wife Tae-ju.
Thirst is rated 18A, and is apparently the first mainstream Korean film to feature full-frontal male nudity. Here's the English language trailer. (YouTube) And if you're too busy trick or treating tonight, Thirst also plays at the RPL Sunday at 9:15 p.m.