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Walk into your favorite, or least hated, retail-chain-super-store and you’ll find Halloween decorations and costumes ready for consumption, purchase your plastic skulls here, two for one!

You’ll also find Christmas Decorations, out for display, and ready for consumption.

I wasn’t watching (I signed up for watching the watchers, and whew boy, what a boring job that is, I tell you what) but as I was saying, I wasn’t watching, but I bet you a Jack’o’lantern that the Christmas decorations were put out before the Halloween ones.

I adore Halloween, and if you’re reading this, odds are you love it too (or have confused my Apex blog with the other blog I write called The Apex of Hobbies, Hummel Figurines!). Everything about Halloween tickles my fancy like no other holiday… except for the fact that Halloween is slowly disappearing and if we don’t do something about it, it’ll be gone like so much graveyard mist under a summer sun.

Jack-o'-LanternAlarmist?

Nay, nay!

‘There are too many of us, too passionate, about Halloween to let it disappear, pshaw.’

What, you don’t think Smokers were passionate about their Pall Malls?

Let’s look at what happened to Smokers.

First, you couldn’t smoke on international flights.

Okay, that makes sense. It’s a long flight and boy, it must be hell for those nonsmoker types, trapped in a cylindrical metal tube full of smoke.

Then it was all domestic flights.

Oh, okay, sure. That’s not a long flight anyways. I’ll just light up when I step off the…

Then all airports.

Hey…

Government Buildings.

Wait…

Offices.

But…

gravestonesRestaurants.

I say, this is…

Towns.

My God…

States.

What just happened?

And it’s happening to Halloween.

It’s been happening to Halloween.

How many of us dressed up for Halloween at school?

My senior year of high school, Chad Brownlow wore a gorilla mask all day long and that was 1991. It might not have even been him under the mask, I don’t know, but the point is: we dressed up (and maybe also got beaten up, but whateves, it’s cool).

But not anymore.

Kids can’t dress up at school at all. In fact, a few years ago, one of my kids’ teachers, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, sent out a notice that all the kids could dress up as one of their favorite characters from a novel for ‘Literacy Day.’

We hung that teacher from the public gallows in town square.

Back in the day (and I don’t even care if I sound like an old motherfucker)… back in the day, you had to wear a costume to get candy. Now, teenagers walk up to your door with a plastic shopping sack, givemecandyorishootyouinface.

To be fair, some kids go all out with their costumes on Halloween night, but the line between Cosplay and Halloween costumes be a blurring. (And how ‘bout that one forty-year-old guy walking around the Spooktacular wearing a thousand dollars worth of demon makeup and leather wings—I just hope I don’t find myself standing next to him in the Kettle Corn line’s all I’m saying…. What’s up? I’m going to kill you. Fair enough.)

Now, there is still something special about horror movies in October, but it’s getting harder and harder to get up for Jason Takes Manhattan, followed by Friday The Thirteenth part Five, followed by Jason Takes Manhattan.

(And on the other channel, you have The Horror of Dracula followed by The Curse of Frankenstein followed by The Horror of Dracula, which, yes, is better, but I watched those five years in a row, now.)

Gone is the mystique of turning on the television and discovering some forgotten gem, or little known import of a horror movie.

Check out Commander USA’s Groovy Movie playlist (which aired typically on Saturday afternoon—yes, Saturday AFTERNOONS—from 1985-1989!) NOTE: list from Wikipedia:

• The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas

An American Werewolf in London poster• Alligator

• The Alligator People

• Alone in the Dark

• An American Werewolf in London

• Andy Warhol’s Dracula aka Blood for Dracula

• Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein

• The Aztec Mummy

• Bedlam

• Black Carrion

• The Black Cat

• Blood and Roses

• Bloodbath at the House of Death

• The Blood Beast Terror

• The Blood of Nostradamus

• Blood Song

Boogeyman poster• The Bloody Vampire

• The Boogeyman

• The Brainiac

• The Brute Man

• Bug

• Captain Kronos,Vampire Hunter

• Cat People

• Cave of the Living Dead

• The Children

• Child’s Play

• C.H.U.D.

• The Clonus Horror

• The Contraption

• The Corvini Inheritance

• Countess Dracula

Crywolf 1947• The Crawling Eye aka The Trollenberg Terror

• The Creature Wasn’t Nice aka Spaceship or Naked Space

• Cry Wolf

• The Curse of Frankenstein

• Curse of Nostradamas

• Curse of the Aztec Mummy

• The Curse of the Cat People

• The Curse of the Crying Woman

• Curse of the Doll People

• Curse of the Vampire

• Dance of the Dwarfs

• Dark Forces aka Harlequin

• The Day Mars Invaded Earth

• The Deadly Mantis

• The Death Kiss

• Death Valley

Death Valley Poster• Demonoid

• The Devil Bat

• The Devil Bat’s Daughter

• The Devil’s Gift

• The Devil’s Nightmare

• Devil Times Five

• Doctor of Doom

• Dracula

• Dracula’s Dog

• Exorcism at Midnight

• Fiend Without a Face

• The Fifth Floor

• The Flying Serpent

• Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

• Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Friday the 13th movie poster• Fräulein Doktor

• Friday the 13th

• Friday the 13th Part 2

• Friday the 13th Part III

• Funeral Home

• Genii of Darkness

• The Great Alligator

• God Told Me To

• Hands of the Ripper

• Hangar 18

• The Hearse

• Hercules in New York

• Horror of Dracula

• Horror of the Blood Monsters

Inseminoid Poster• Horror of the Zombies

• Horror Planet aka Inseminoid

• House of Psychotic Women

• House of the Long Shadows

• House of 1,000 Dolls

• The House Where Evil Dwells

• I Married a Monster from Outer Space

• I Walked with a Zombie

• Inframan

• In Search of Dracula

• Invasion of the Vampires

• Island Claws

• Island Monster

• It’s Alive

• J. D.’s Revenge

Kingdom of the Spiders• Kingdom of the Spiders

• Land of the Minotaur

• Laserblast

• The Late Nancy Irving

• Let’s Scare Jessica to Death

• The Little Shop of Horrors

• The Living Coffin

• The Living Head

• The Loch Ness Horror

• Mako, The Jaws of Death

• The Man and the Monster

• The Man and the Snake

• Mark of the Devil

• Mark of the Vampire

MonsterInTheClosetDVD• Mausoleum

• The Monster Demolisher

• Monster in the Closet

• My Bloody Valentine

• The Pack

• Pandemonium (film)

• Panic

• The Pied Piper

• A Polish Vampire in Burbank

• The Possession of Joel Delaney

• The Premonition

• Psychophobia

• The Psychotronic Man

• One Dark Night

• Q, the Winged Serpent

• Rabid

• The Return of the Vampire

• The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy

• Samson vs. the Vampire Woman

• Samson in the Wax Museum

• Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

• Satanik

• Savage Sisters

• Scalpel

• Scared to Death

• Simon, King of the Witches

• Slugs

• The Space Children

• Stranglehold

• Student Bodies

Tales that Witness Madness• Swamp of the Lost Monster

• Tales That Witness Madness

• Taste the Blood of Dracula

• Tattoo

• The Terror

• They Still Call Me Bruce

• Three in the Attic

• Trick or Treats

• Toxic Zombies

• Undersea Kingdom

• The Unseen

• Up in the Cellar

• The Vampire

• The Vampire Bat

Vampire Circus• Vampire Circus

• The Vampire’s Coffin

• Venom

• War of the Colossal Beast

• What?

• What’s Up, Tiger Lily?

• Witchfire

• The Witchmaker

• The Witch’s Mirror

• The Woman Who Came Back

• World of the Vampires

• Zombies on Broadway

• Zorro’s Black Whip

Holy shit! Cave of the Living Dead?! The Blood of Nostradamus!!

Now that’s a list of movies right there.

Where was I?

Oh yeah.

The horror movies that we have to choose from on Halloween, and throughout the month of October, is lacking, to say the least. It’s white noise, if it even registers at all, and just another sign that Halloween is being marginalized.

You think I’m kidding?

Look at Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has been fucked six ways to Sunday! Pretty soon, it’s gonna be called The National Football Holiday and we’re all gonna be eating Turdunkens and all like ‘do you remember when the Dallas Cowboys played The Team Formerly Called The Redskins?’

Halloween is going to be nothing more than a string of the movies Halloween 4-7 on a loop, plastic grocery sacks for candy, and finished and over with by 9pm, done and dusted, is it Christmas time yet?

(Full Disclosure: my latest novel is a Christmas novel and has been sitting, unread, on my agent’s desk since September 9th, go Christmas!)

What can we do about it?

Thank you for asking!

We can stream one horror movie for ‘wrap-me-in-a-blanket-and-hand-me-a-hot-toddy-nostalgia’ on Halloween (say maybe Vampire Circus) and one movie that we have no idea if it’s gonna be good or not (say maybe Shriek of the Mutilated).

We can read a good scary story from one of Apex’s anthologies (say maybe The Zombie Feed Vol. 1) and then read a good old fashioned scary story (say maybe from M.R. James).

We can post this call to arms on your Facebook and retweet the helloutofit.

We can call, email or tweet your local congress person and tell them “This Shutdown will not go unnoticed! I demand better and I’m watching what you are doing and I will start voting this election, you better believe it!

They’ll know what you’re talking about.


For more Halloween fun, check out these clips from some of the movies mentioned above.

Commander USA

Cave of the Living Dead

The Blood of Nostradamus

Vampire Circus

Author BJ BurrowBJ Burrow co-wrote the screenplay to the SyFy movie The Monster Hunter (starring David Carradine). His first novel, The Changed, was released by Apex Publications. He lives in Austin, TX, with his wife Melissa and their three children. Visit him on the web at www.bjburrow.net. He is proud of winning his fantasy football league four out of ten times. He is currently working on his second novel.

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3 Comments

  1. At my house, the teens that come up dressed in their regular clothes get the shitty candy. We don’t play that game. I hope your prophecy doesn’t come true. I plan on scaring kids until I’m dead. And then, I may keep doing it!

  2. Love it Nicole! The only prophecy in this blog that’s gonna come true is the one in The Blood of Nostradamus, and that’s wiping everyone out, so no worries!

  3. I enjoyed your too true story. I just realized that looking at Commander Usa’s hair that it really was me when I was a drinking man..

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