With the new horror movies coming this October

featuring villains of all ilk, I’m wondering which type of bad guy you prefer.

From the days of Christopher Lee and the Hammer films I’ve been a vampire fan. Lee was the most elegant of vamps until Louis Jordan came along and oh, sigh … who didn’t want bitten? Although Luke Evans is adorable, I skipped Dracula Untold. Is the romance over for me or is it a case of too much gore, bad language, and smut in everything these days? Those things were limited, alluded to, left to your imagination with fading to black in the early films. We saw drama, lots of it hokey, but we weren’t totally grossed out. Well, except for that creepy flick about the creepily creeping severed arm. Yikes!

Head Knocker

Young Jacob Marley?

Other classics include Lon Chaney’s Wolfman and Bela Lugosi’s Frankenstein. Despite admiring both actors, I never developed a taste for any wolf films, even An American Werewolf in London, while I continue to love and re-watch Gene Wilder’s Young Frankenstein. This 1974 film remains one of the funniest ever with lines that are infinitely quotable. From Marty Feldman’s Igor’s (eye-gore) interpretation of what Abby Normal meant to Madeline Kahn’s prim send off of Gene at the train station, “Taffeta, darling.” If you haven’t seen the film, treat yourself this month and laugh over your buttered popcorn.

But about Halloween…

I’m not a fan of any other version of Frankenstein, not Mary Shelley’s novel, the Kenneth Branagh film, or any released before or after handsome Ken. While vampirism is an imaginative stretch, regenerating pieces of people into a new person is too disturbing on every level. 

This Halloween brings fans of the movie by the same name a new treat with Jamie Lee Curtis popping into the latest remake of the re-resurrection of the resurrected and resurrected Michael Myers.

Mark Gatis, author, actor, playwright and spearhead of BBC’s Sherlock, hosts a special on the History of Horror: Hammer Films and British Horror. It’s great fun and worth watching if you’re a fan of the genre.

Not my thing…

For reasons I’d have to go into therapy to figure out, Halloween is not my favorite time of year. Jackie once gave me a card I still have and used to tack to my front door, “Put all your candy in the box and no one will be hurt.” I used to get a lot of laughs with that. As kids, we had fun pulling together the best homemade costumes Mom could invent. One year she made my brother into a pumpkin—complete with stem as his head. Pre-internet,  Pinterest and all other p-help, how did Mom think that one up?

There were the occasional years our parents would dress up with us and wander the neighborhood collecting treats. There was always great humor involved. But of the four of us, only the youngest sister LOVES Halloween. Her parties have taken on a level of notoriety in the neighborhood.

me, war paint

Not sure this was Halloween, but Seester did it to me.

The current Halloween ritual my husband and I share is to pour liberal glasses of warming red wine, keep the bottle handy, light the jack o’lanterns, and prepare for the onslaught of treaters. We’ve no desire to be tricked! We pass out candy (one bowl with nuts, one bowl without—who knew that would be such a hit with the kids and parents?) and laugh a lot. I am impressed with the inventiveness I see in many of the costumes—there are still imaginations being put to work despite the amount of pre-made everything available for purchase. So while I don’t know half the characters being depicted, I happily oh and ah and shiver respectively. The kids seem to like the drama I give them.

So what’s your deal with Halloween?

Love it? Hate it? Dress up? Hide? Will you do something new this year? Go to a party? Don a costume before passing out treats? Oh, and don’t forget to tell me: Who is your go-to Ghoul?

camo chick

Peer pressure in the 1990s. My friends didn’t recognize me.


Read: Ghoulish Door Knockers from Europe