Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR #394 (Vol. 8, No. 41) This edition is for the week of October 8--14, 2007.
Halloween Brew: A Potpourri of Halloween Recommendations, Pt. 1--Books and Music
Comics and Books
Halloween isn't just one day of the year. No, for us Horror fans and fans of the macabre, it's the whole month. Just like Christmas only creepier. For a whole month it gives us an excuse to watch all those horror films, novels, comics, etc., that otherwise would have no reason to explain their needless existence on our book shelves and video cabinets. I'm not the most qualified to give recommendations for local haunted houses or spook shows to haunt, that's La Floridiana's bag. But I can and I am in a two parts going to enlighten the jaded few who think that they are experiencing Halloween to its fullest extant. What am I going to do for you folks? I am going to give you some book, comic, and music recommendations for this ghoulish October so you appreciate and revel in the holiday all month long. The first part consists of book, comic and music picks that I will be enjoying this month and hope you open your lame "I'm gonna be adult and go to Guavaween" eyes to enjoy all of them also. So push away the cobwebs and allow me to enlighten you once again.....
Berni Wrightson and Len Wein created this horror/superhero comic back in the mid-70s that featured everything from a Frankenstein monster called The Patchwork man, a werewolf, giant lizard aliens, a demon housed in a orb just poised to take over the world, to the Swamp Thing's arch enemy, the evil ancient scientist, Arcane. Arcane who was introduced (with the classic line "Allow me to introduce myself...I am Arcane") in issue 2 also seemingly met his end after plummeting out the window of his castle to the rocky crags below in that same issue later returned in issue 10 as a misshapen version of himself after being brought back to life by his mutant creations the Un-Men. His insane plan to make the entire world his slave didn't sit too well with some ghosts of old bayou slaves and he was subsequently torn to pieces. Any of the issues are great horror storytelling and highly recommended.
Stories of Darkness and Dread
Joseph Payne Brennan was, like August Derleth, a student of the Lovecraft school of horror. Having written for Weird Tales in the 1950's he started late in the game for that type of horror but most of his stories are now considered classics. Most of them concern, like Lovecraft's, New England antiques and old houses which contain demons from ages forgotten. This short story collection was published in 1973 by Arkham House and now, like most all other of his collections, is out of print. Though it doesn't contain his best known story "Slime", which it's rumored Dean Koontz ripped off of for his novel Phantoms, you should still pick it up as it makes a perfect nightcap for the month of Halloween.
Halloween: Vintage Holiday Graphics
A great book if, like me, you love those old cardboard Halloween decorations and anything involving knick-knacks and collectibles. It includes great photos of postcards and everything from old masks to candy bags.
Halloween Merrymaking by Diane C. Arkins
Here we learn that Halloween, contrary to popular belief, was not for children but adults. It was usually celebrated by having a party which included games and festivities for prizes. This book details what it would have been like to celebrate Halloween in the turn of the century. Part history book part how-to book on how to throw a vintage Halloween get-together. Examples even include actual articles from the 1900's home and craft magazines of the day.
Both these books are a great read to get you into the horrible holiday spirit.
Coven: Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls (1969)
There are very few bands as cool as Coven. Not only did their first album Witchcraft which included songs of Satan and demon worship appear a whole year before Black Sabbath would take the credit for such themes but it even had a member whose name was Ozz Osborn. Coincidence? I wonder. Their sound is best described as an evil Jefferson Airplane. The last track is 13 minutes of Satanic chants and rituals. This one is essential for any Halloween party.
Monster Rock N' Roll & Monster Melodies
These two are great. They are full of 50's and 60's garage rock with interludes of ghosts moaning, damsels screaming for dear life, and witches cackling. Includes such classic song titles as "Frankenstein Rock" and "What Kind of Ghoul Am I?".
Alice Cooper: Good To See You Again DVD
Documenting the classic Billion Dollar Babies tour of 1973 this one has a rather silly premise of the band backing out of a movie shoot and being chased Monkees like through various lame sketches. But when it comes to the performances Cooper and the band are dead on. Just like they like it...dead. Dirty, raunchy, sweaty motor city rock is on display here as Alice sings his guts out all the while insulting the crowd (he even calls one of the crowd a fag and proceeds to ridicule him. All this after he teased the entire front row to kiss him earlier...that's some edgy shit) all before his Grand Guignol exit of decapitation.
To Hell With You All...
"The Enlightenment" is ©2007 by Terence Nuzum. All graphics (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.