Well, today is the day! Happy Halloween, y'all! It's also my wedding anniversary. We not only got married on Halloween, it was a Blue Moon too! Oh, and we were married in a castle. For real. :) Today, our marriage is fifteen years old, and our relationship is twenty-two. We don't have very exciting plans. (We rarely do.) We did the dinner and a movie thing this weekend, and it was lovely. Tonight, we're going down to Avenue F and see the wonderful decorations, watch spooky movies on Turner Classic Movies channel, and try (in vain) not to eat the candy that we never give away. Happy Anniversary, my love! Here's to the next fifteen years! May they be filled with even more love and humor. I love you! xxxooo!
Anyway, let's talk about this last batch of films, shall we?
Sadly, with the drop out mid-month, I missed talking about quite a few films. (My list is far longer than I thought.) I never even got to mention the old stand-bys like Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Last Man on Earth. Nor did I get to talk about The Fearless Vampire Killers and its connection to Charles Manson. I didn't even get to mention Edward Scissorhands, Hammer Horror films and so many others. But there's always next year, right? The first of today's movies is based upon another Stephen King story: The Mist.
Warning: this is not your happy feel good film. I thought I'd mention that. The movie doesn't end the same way the story does, but frankly, it's a much better ending. (As I understand it, even Stephen King thought so.) This is a psychological gut-wrencher, particularly if you have kids. I highly recommend it. It's really good.
My next recommendation is a little controversial, I suspect. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a big War of the Worlds fan. I read the novel when I was a junior in High School and the black and white 1950 version scared the piss out of me when I was in kindergarten. (I've never been able to look at a street light without thinking of Martian death rays.) If you ever get the chance, give Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds a listen. That link is to a live performance. Give it a watch.
There are a lot of versions of H.G. Well's novel out there, even ones that don't credit it. (Hello, Independence Day, I'm talking about you.) In fact, the plot of this story has been with us so long that the original comes of as a tired trope, but that's the thing. This was where it started. This was the first. The fact that it stomped through SF, leaving a vast trail of re-makes in it's wake like one of its massive tripods through fictional London, should be enough to support its influence on literature. (I say this largely because I overheard some dumbass on the way out of the theater say, "That's so stupid. It's a rip off of Independence Day." [sigh]) Anyway, my favorite version of War of the Worlds is the 2005 one.
I'll be the first to admit it has some problems. I'm not a Tom Cruise fan, for a start, but I do love how his immature, asshole character struggles with the responsibility of fatherhood and grows into it. Above all, I adore the scene where he's driven to murder a man in order to protect his daughter, and he makes sure she's distracted while he does it. It's an amazing scene. My biggest problem is the son. I'm fine with him being an asshole like his dad. What I'm not fine with is his survival. He made a stupid decision and should've died for it. Anyway, the tripod animation is perfect. You can't say anything bad about the special effects. Enjoy!
Happy Halloween! May you have a fun day and evening if you celebrate. And if you don't, I hope tonight is a good one for you, nonetheless.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.