Oh my lovely Lunatics, it would appear it is that time again. Yes, like every successful franchise in the very genre we’re programming, the audience wants more and though the third outing usually comes with a surprising attempt at humor and commercial appeal, we are cursed to oblige. Cursed to please. Cursed to continue. CURSED… to return.
Programming so nice, we’ve done it thrice! See what I was saying about the commercial appeal? ANYWAY if you’ve come back for the third year in a row, you know the deal, skip ahead to the next paragraph while induct the newbs. I’ll see you there. As for the rest you fresh faced flesh bags here’s how it works. Once a year when the moon is high, Oscar and I meet in the woods with 1 goat, the blood of a preteen virgin frog, 13 pieces of African gold and 2 lists of 31 movies as offerings to the dark lord Marbas and after a long night of incantation and blood soaked chanting we email back and forth shifting, moving nudging AND replacing till we reach the perfect spooky season program.
Now the first year we had audio and video commentary and last year was 2020 so we BARELY got to even do the list but this year WE’RE BRINGING IT BACK! This year there will be AUDIO and VIDEO COMMENTARY and just like before the AUDIO COMMENTARY will be open for everyone to stream and the VIDEO COMMENTARY will only be available to our subscribers but this year each commentary will be released according to their programming day. So just like the third part of every great horror movie that strayed from the formula in it’s sequel, we’re bringing back the thing you loved from part 1 but different in hopes of gaining audience favor. Sure it’s shameless and vile, IT’S THE 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN!
Seeing as we’re starting on a Friday we thought on day 1 we’d hit you with a punch to the throat with this remake that does it’s own thing in the best way. Suspiria 2018 drops the color palette of the Argento original and doubles down on the gore and witches. The commonalities are a creepy dance academy, a new recruit and some strange goings on that will make your blood run cold and skin crawl. So prepare to reconsider your career in the art of dance because sometimes the cost of expression… is pain.
Ready or Not (2019)
On day 2 we see how the absurdly wealthy live in this tale of post marital tradition gone wrong that leaves a newly married bride fighting for her life in this wonderfully gorey horror comedy. Basically these crazy rich people believe they have to kill her due to a deal their great grandfather made with the devil which is why they’re rich. Or some shit like that. It’s bat shit crazy and a surprise to both myself and Oscar. It’s funny without losing it’s horror factor, it’s violent and kinetic and has one of the best endings I’ve seen in ANY movie in a long time. Hike up your garter and grab a gun, we’re making a quick stop before the honeymoon.
Color Out Of Space (2019)
Onward to the country for day 3 where Nicholas Cage, WAIT NO, LISTEN, NICOLAS CAGE!… Ok, so Nicolas Cage heads up this trippy, at times psychedelic H.P. Lovecraft adaptation about what happens when a meteorite crashes in your backyard. The answer to that of course is weird shit. WEIRD SHIT starts happening. I mean, that’s the simple version of it. Look, the visuals are mesmerizing, the ambience is creepy and off putting and the effects truly disturbing. It’s the kind of horror movie that would have traumatized you as a child and director Richard Stanley knows how to utilize Cage’s madness for this story. You will never be able to unsee it but you’ll be glad you did.
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Day 4 is the first Monday of our program so we thought we’d start the week light with this tale of the horrors of immortality. Sure there’s more laughs than scares but the mere thought of being caught in the middle of a love triangle for all of eternity is TERRIFYING to me. Full of death, destruction and the ideal blending of practical and digital effects it’s humor is dark and it’s visual style is a throwback to classic horror cinema. If you need more reason than that it’s directed by Robert Zemeckis, has goldie hawn at the height of her powers, Bruce Willis when he gave a shit, Maryl Streep pulling off a to 11 camp performance and Isabella Rosallini matching her energy but nude. Why are you even still reading, go watch Death Becomes Her.
Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1956)
Day 5 is a personal favorite of mine and the perfect kind of movie for a weekday in the spooky season. What’s that you say? Small town America’s in trouble?! What could it be?! Communism?! I mean, that’s the allegory some people take from it but in the movie it’s motherfucking pod people. Seed pods from space that birth exact replicas of people and then take their place. It looks like your neighbor and sounds like your neighbor but something about them is just… off. From the black and white film to the writing and performances, everything about this movie gives off that ideal creepy paranoia filled atmosphere that only 1950’s sci fi horror can do. So keep an eye out for the body snatchers… they’re everywhere.
John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998)
Let’s call it Western Wednesday for day 6 with this John Carpenter vampire flick starring James Woods as the ringleader of a church sanctioned group of vampire hunters. Yes James Woods is HORRIBLY miscast in his role and every tough guy line that leaves his mouth is laughable but the gore is on point, the vampire action kicks ass, the western vibe gives the classic monster story a new twist and honestly, Jimmy’s ridiculous performance kind of ads to the camp of the movie. Not to mention Sheryl Lee KILLING it as always with one of the best slow vampire turns I’ve ever seen. So load up the jeep and put on some spurs ‘cause we’re goin on hunt for the undead.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
As we creep closer to the weekend with day 7 we make our way down to Texas where the tunes are rocking, the chainsaws are roaring and the chilli is divine. Director Tobe Hooper follows up his original by upping the humor and the gore and they aren’t fucking around. Every single performance is over the top and among them all stand out the two by Dennis Hopper and Bill Moseley and matching the effects to those performances is the King of Splatter himself, Tom Savini. Bloodier, louder and crazier than its predecessor, this chainsaw massacre isn’t more of the same, it’s just more.
Watch the massacre along with us by putting us in your ear or on the corner of your screen and if it’s your first time watching it you get to watch it for the first time along with Oscar as on the day of the recording he hadn’t seen it either.
On to day 8 and seeing as it’s a Friday, you know we’re gonna hit you hard and what’s harder than a fucking sledge hammer. See, James Caan is basically playing Stephen King and Kathy Bates is playing Stephen King’s worst nightmare. A fan. In his defense, if his fans are anything like Bate’s Annie Wilkes I’d be shook too ‘cause this bitch is FUCKIN CRAZY. Seriously this movie will leave you with an irrational fear of little chubby women in sweaters. It’s tense atmosphere is relentless and director Rob Reihner knows when to break the tension with big moments that are jaw dropping. Prepare to never wanna spend the winter in a log cabin ever again because Misery is gonna bash that shit out of you.
Day 9 takes us out of the woods and back to suburbia for even more Stephen King. After a fat white guy runs over an old gypsy lady, her EVEN OLDER father puts a curse on the gluttonous attorney to get THIIIIIIIIIIIIINERRRRRR. I know what you’re thinking. “What’s so bad about that? Shit, I could lose some weight.” WELL NOT LIKE THIS! It’s a creepy monkey paw kind of story and escapes the usual Stephen King third act problem as it has a REALLY satisfying ending.
The Lords of Salem (2012)
On day 10 we go to Salem where a radio DJ gets the worst ancestry.com results ever. Honestly, it’s insane to say that Rob Zombie’s most restrained movie includes a magic record, witches and the child of Satan but it’s true. It’s kind of his most mature movie. It has those Rob Zombie visuals but slowed down to the kind of atmospheric crawl in movies like The Shining or Rosemary’s Baby and that mixed with his grit and grime makes for a trippy horror movie. Plus you get the usual peak at Sheri Moon Zombie’s ass and Ken Foree’s a blast. Get ready for uncomfortable nudity and little people tentacle dicks ‘cause the lords are back in Salem.
The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
Day 11 brings us to Spain during the civil war where a small boy is left at an orphanage after the death of his father but it would appear the ghost is roaming the halls. Guillermo Del Toro directs this ghost story so you know it’s beautifully haunting and loaded with imaginative imagery but it’s effects hold up in a way that most of its time don’t. Santi, the ghost of a former orphan that died there is a great mix of makeup and visual effect and is key to the dark secret behind this story. So get ready to read some subtitles and get spooked en espanol because sometimes the ghost is the second scariest thing in the haunted orphanage.
Land of The Dead (2005)
Onward to Day 12 for George A. Romero’s oddly timely tale of the haves and have nots in the zombie apocalypse. Seriously, this movie could have been written yesterday and it was made over 15 years ago. Aside from the social commentary it’s actually a fun ride. The gore is awesome and they’re possibly the best looking zombies in all of Romero’s movies. Top that with pitch perfect camp performances from Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo PLUS Eugene Clark as Big Daddy, the machine gun wielding leader of the zombie freedom fighters. Yes, you read that right. The night has passed to the dawn, the day is long over and now the land belongs to the dead.
Don’t Look Now (1973)
Day 13 take us to Venice where Donald Sutherland and his wife are grieving the death of their daughter when a psychic gives them a message from beyond. DONALD SUTHERLAND. At the height of his powers, perm and all. This thriller is a great Wednesday horror movie. Suspenseful with that 70’s realism that we all miss, Don’t Look Now makes the city feel claustrophobic and uses its imagery to have YOU second guessing what the fuck is actually going on just as much as it’s characters are. So get on the gondola and prepare for a SUPER awkward sex scene because Don’t Look Now ain’t playing no games.
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
Slowing things down on day 14 with this kind of remake kind of not a remake of Nosferatu. Whatever, all you gotta know is that director Werner Herzog is a mad man with an interesting take on vampires and Klaus Kinski’s Count Dracula is one of the greatest performances ever put to film. He is fucking terrifying looking but in the same moment there is a sad and at times alluring quality to him. All this done under makeup effects and fake teeth and nails using lighting and camera tricks, it really is a great retelling of a classic horror story.
The Void (2016)
Well, day 15 is another Friday, which means we’ve GOTTA hit you hard so we’re taking you to The Void. This low budget siege movie is part throwback to the practical effects of 80’s horror and part cosmic terror that is visceral both in it’s visuals and story. Sure it’s borrowing from Lovecraft and Carpenter but it’s doing it right and by right I mean brutal. The gore is STRONG and whoever designed the creatures should definitely be put on some kind of watch list because FUCK are these things crazy looking, The survival rate is always low when you go up against the void.
The Shining (1980)
On to the Overlook hotel for day 16 for this iconic haunted hotel story from the late great Stanley Kubrick. What can I say about this movie that hasn’t been said a million times already. Jack Nicholson over the top in the best possible way, Shelly Duvall is basically having a meltdown on screen for all to see, Stephen King hated it and the whole thing was Kubrick confession of faking the moon landing. A million things have been said about this movie but all you need to know is it’s scary as fuck, the score kicks ass and you’ll never get the words redrum out of your head.
Doctor Sleep (2019)
Day 17 gives you the immediate payoff of a sequel that took nearly 40 years to make. Mike Flanigan, director of The Big Spooky Mirror, tells the story of Grown up Danny Torrence, played by Euen Mcgregor, as he is just starting to clean up his nomadic alcoholic existence when he is recruited through the shine by a little girl named Abra to fight a gang of energy vampires lead by the vilanis Rose The Hat. No seriously, this is a sequel to The Shinning and it kind of kicks ass. Mcgregor anchors the movie, Rebecca Furgeson is scary as fuck as The Hat and Kyliegh Curran gives not just a good child performance but a good performance. So grab your rifle and hide the children ‘cause Stephen King has no problem with killing kids.
The Frightners (1996)
On day 18 we’re giving you a little light hearted ghost story for you Monday with this Micheal J. Fox horror comedy directed by Peter Jackson BEFORE he made Lord of the Rings. See, Frank Banister is a paranormal exterminator but he’s actually a con man working WITH ghosts to make some quick cash. But when a string of murders has the cops seeing HIM as a prime suspect it’ll take his ghost pals, his new love interest and the ex girlfriend of a long dead serial killer she just made friends with to uncover the supernatural murderer that’s plaguing this little town. I know it sounds nuts but the scares are solid, Dee Wallace is SO good it kills me and Danny Elfman’s score kicks so much fucking ass. Just trust us. It’s a great start to the week.
Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)
Day 19 keeps both the ghost and the great kid performance train tolling with this dark fairytale from director Issa Lopez about a gang of orphan kids in Mexico who find themselves caught between the drug cartel and ghosts. The ultimate rock and a hard place situation. Full of gorgeous imagery and SUCH good child performances that it’s mind boggling to think they’re all first timers. Flashy but subtle, uplifting but heartbreaking, Tigers Are Not Afraid is the kind of movie that shows that sometimes horror can be more than just scares.
The Fog (1980)
On to day 20 to the 100th anniversary of a small seaside town of Antonio Bay where a hidden history of it’s encounter with a ship called the Elizabeth Dane is coming back for it’s revenge under the cloak of the fog. John Carpenter and Debra Hill fresh off their Halloween success deliver this moody ghost pirate tale that feels like the kind of story you imagine hearing over a campfire. Plus Jamie Lee Curtis, her mom Janet Lee, Tom Atkins and Adrienne Barbeau as the sexiest seaside DJ a seaman could dream of. Say THAT shit fast. What else can I say, the visuals and music are classic Carpenter and how many ghost pirate movies are there?
From Beyond (1986)
Day 21 has the terror coming to you and where is it coming from you say? Well the answer of course is the beyond. From Stewart Gordon of Re-Animator fame comes another Lovecraft story, this time involving cosmic and at times body horror with an underlined sexuality highlighted by it’s purple pink lighting that is slapped on with the subtlety of an EC comic book. Jeffrey Combs is perfect as always, Barbra Crampton gets to stretch her legs, Ken Foree is doing his classic cool guy shit and Ted Sorel’s Dr. Pretorious is so strong you can feel the slime when he speaks. Do yourself a favor, grab some popcorn, turn off the lights and let the glow from this movie envelop you as you get pulled toward the feeling coming from the beyond.
On day 22 we wake up in an undisclosed location with 7 strangers in a giant maze full of tricks and traps trying to find their way out. Basically this is the movie that Saw ripped off but I argue it was done WAY better in Cube. Low budget and basically taking place in 1 location, each room in the cube is identical and the fact that you have no idea how much time is passing or even what time period you are in or if you’re even on this planet make this movie anxiety inducing and claustrophobic and since its Friday so the tension is high and the deaths are brutal as fuck. Throw on your jump suit and get ready to use your shoes as a decoy because the cube is a tricky piece of machinery.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Into the dream world we go for day 23 with the smooth sounds of Dokken. Where The Gay Nightmare dealt with the plight of the LGBTQ community, Dream Warriors takes on youth suicide and addiction. Of course Robert Englund is back as Freddy but so is Heather Langenkamp as Nancy. You know… from the first movie. *Wink. Add to that a crew of teen inmates, including a young Patricia Arquette, locked up in a nuthouse, some genuinely imaginative set pieces with loads of gore and a little backstory explaining that Freddy Kruger is the bastard son of 100 maniacs. It’s creepy as fuck with surreal dream logic and Freddy’s one liners make the bloody kills even better. So I hope you’re ready for prime time bitch ‘cause it’s time for another instalment of the thinking man’s slasher.
Watch the nightmare along with us by putting us in your ear or on the corner of your screen and first timers have company again as this is another first time reaction from Oscar.
Friday The 13th IV: The Final Chapter (1984)
Sure it might be Sunday but on day 24 it’s Friday the 13th for the FINAL chapter. You know, before the following year when they made another one but THIS one is the final CHAPTER and boy does it have all the traits of a grand finale. Returning to kill the very monster he created, king of splatter Tom Savini makes the kills bloodier, gorier and visceral than anything that had some before and you best believe there are PLENTY of kills. Complete with little Corey Feldman as the cute kid and Crispen Glover doing a dance that you will NEVER be able to get out of your mind. Crank up Lion track and look out for the blood splatter, it’s Friday the 13th and a bunch of teens are gonna die.
Watch the final chapter along with us by putting us in your ear or on the corner of your screen and again, first timers have Oscar as company for another first time reaction.
Here we are on day 25 on the terrifying corner of John Carpenter and Stephen King. The only time the two titans of horror ever made a movie together and it’s that old story of a boy and his possessed car. I know, it sounds silly but King’s characters and Carpenter’s pace and camera work make for a really convincing and scary story about a murderous 1958 Plymouth Fury. No shit, the car has a personality and the movie makes the mere sight of headlights terrifying. The body count is higher than you think and though it kind of makes it so you’ll always imagine a murder when you hear 50’s tunes but Christine makes it a worthy tradeoff.
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Onward to the late 1700’s for day 26 and this adaptation of the famous tale of the headless horseman. Tim Burton brings that 70’s Hammer Horror bright red blood into his bleak colorless visual style and the juxtaposition is fucking fabulous. Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t a Disney movie, it’s a Paramount pictures release. I promise that if you saw this as a kid you are NOT remembering how violent, gory and scary this movie gets. The cast is fucking stellar from top to toes lead by Johnny Depp doing his best impression of a 14 year old boy playing detective and Christina Ricci in the second role she was born to play. So watch your head and pray for the invention of penicillin because the horseman here and he’s come to collect.
Near Dark (1987)
Day 27 brings us to the American midwest for director Kathryn Bigelow’s modern vampire story where a young man is seduced and bitten by a sexy drifter and convinced to join a group of nomad vampires laying waste through the countryside. Will he pass his undead probation period or will the guilt of feeding prove to be too much? Think The Lost Boys with less camp and more action. It’s bloody, it’s violent and it gives us all the beautiful gift of Bill Paxton as a fucking vampire. What more could you possibly ask for on the final hump day of the spooky season. Now load up the winnebago and look out for the buckshots ‘cause it’s getting near dark and the gang is hungry.
Train To Busan (2016)
Moving on to South Korea for day 28 where the action keeps coming in this zombie outbreak movie where a little girl and her father are running for their lives on the last train from Seoul to Busan. Don’t let your fear of reading subtitles keep you from this heart pounding adrenaline ride of horror that keeps the pace going and doesn’t let up. The scares are great, the zombies are as vicious as a rabid animal and director Sang-ho Yeon brings a visual realism that makes the whole thing more terrifying. Throw in a nice little child performance by Su-an Kim and you got yourself a hell of a zombie movie that will keep your pulse racing till the end.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
Day 29 and we’re headed to the 90’s for screenwriter Kevin Williamson’s post scream effort about 4 fuckable white kids that have sworn to not speak a word about that guy they accidentally ran over with their car after a night of partying. But when they all return home a year later SOMEONE starts taking them out one by one. This is just one of those simple and straight to the point slashers. Sure there’s a mystery element but let’s be honest, we’re here to watch these kids die. So scream out to the sky while spinning in a circle and look out for the fisherman with a hook because he knows what you did last summer and he’s going to make you pay.
On to Boston for day 30 where a madman is making a human jigsaw puzzle from the body parts of the co-eds of the local college. Look I’m gonna be 100% real with you here. Oscar and myself picked this movie because neither of us had seen it and the trailer is what sold us. What was it about the trailer that caught our attention? It was as simple as this string of words. “You don’t have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre. Pieces. It’s exactly what you think it is.” That was all it took. We were on board and now we bring it to you on your last spooky saturday. Did we make a good choice?
Watch the puzzle pieces stack up along with us by putting us in your ear or on the corner of your screen and first timer watchers have BOTH of us as company as neither Oscar or myself had seen the movie before. A round of first time reactions for the bar!
Well here we are again on our last day of our 31 day program. Come on, you know what’s gonna happen here, we’ve done it two years in a row and we don’t see any reason to stop now. We’re going back to Haddonfield to the night that little Mikey Myers came home. Why do we keep putting this as the last movie in our program? Well I hate to sound abbrasive but thats a stupid question. It’s John Carpenter and Debra Hill, it’s Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence and it’s the only movie to watch on Halloween. ESPECIALLY a Halloween that falls on Sunday night. Just think of it. The night is winding down, the trick or treaters have stopped, you grab the leftovers, turn down the lights and turn on Halloween. Trust me, it’s what you do. You’ll thank me later.
So there you go, the 31 days of Halloween 3: The Curse of the Return. How’d we do? Did we nail the third part of what will inevitably be referred to as the original 31 days trilogy? How do you think it compared to the last two years? Let us know by reaching out on your social media of choice @VictorMoranLive and feel free to send us your thoughts as you watch along every day. To subscribe to this RSS feed for daily reminders, click the pumpkin below. We look forward to hearing from you because though the curse forced us to return… it doesn’t mean we didn’t want to.
HAPPY SPOOKY SEASON EVERYBODY!
wirtten by Victor Moran