Jack O’Lantern (1972)

We all know that on every Halloween we put jack-o’-lanterns on our porches and window sills to ward off evil spirits intent on ruining the year’s harvest of trick or treat candy. Ask any kid who ended up with a bag full of pencils, toothpaste and loose candy corn and they’ll tell you their mom was too damn lazy to help carve a pumpkin that year. But how did that tradition begin? Like any good joke/holiday tale it all starts when a witch, leprechaun, vampire and angry billy goat walk into a barn. Continue reading “Jack O’Lantern (1972)”

Casper’s Halloween Special (1979)

I don’t know how Casper left this mortal coil and became a ghost. The death of a child is always a tragedy and any circumstances that lead to poor Casper the human boy dying are undoubtedly heartbreaking. As a boy, I am sure he was the love of his parent’s life and the passing of such a sweet, gentle soul left them shattered. As a ghost though, Casper is such a simpleton, you wonder if somehow whatever process that allowed to him attain his ethereal form didn’t account for brain damage at the time of his death. Continue reading “Casper’s Halloween Special (1979)”

Headless Horseman (2007)

Headless Horseman is a success in the sense that several heads are chopped off. Since this is a simply a slasher movie dressed up in a dark cloak and jack-o-lantern, it isn’t just the Headless Horseman whacking away with a sword or an axe. There’s also a person who falls into a bear trap headfirst as well as a guy hiding in the trunk of a car and the Horseman just jumps on the hatch while the guy’s head is sticking out of it. And if that sounds like an improvement over the musty old folk tale we all know, just wait until you see Headless cruising around on a motorcycle! Continue reading “Headless Horseman (2007)”

Jack-O (1995)

If we’re being honest, isn’t the real climax of the Fred Olen Ray-produced Jack-O not when the careless Jack-O allows himself to get pushed from behind so that he gets impaled on a piece of wood, but when David Kelly knocks over a shelf full of paint in his garage thus causing the premature closure of his extreme Halloween haunt attraction, “The Haunted Garage”? After all, while Jack-O spent most of the film wandering around Oakmoor in circles killing people here and there for no real reason, David spent the whole movie gearing up for his spooky showcase. He was even using it as a fundraiser for the homeless! Continue reading “Jack-O (1995)”

The Hollow (2004)

The Hollow asks the viewer to swallow any number of silly-assed things over the course of its admittedly mostly painless 83 minutes: Former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter as a jock so obsessed with his town being recognized for its connection to Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” story that he almost abuses a girl for not being into it enough. Nicholas Turturo as a sheriff. Stacey Keach as filthy, drunken groundskeeper Claus Van Ripper, affecting a strange accent for no real reason and who knows all the ins and outs of the Headless Horseman. A Headless Horseman who may be pranking our hero’s dad by ringing his doorbell and then running away. Twice. Continue reading “The Hollow (2004)”

The Pumpkin Karver (2006)

The police ruled it a justified homicide. It was a Halloween prank gone horribly wrong, Alec pretending to be a masked killer attacking his girlfriend before her brother intervened and stopped him! With a knife! Again and again! How was Jonathan to know that on Halloween night, it wasn’t really a movie-style slasher who just randomly came into the house to murder his sister only a few minutes after her prick boyfriend Alec just left? Who would have thought it was all a joke?

Well sure, you or I or pretty much anyone with half a brain wouldn’t come rampaging at a guy in a costume on Halloween, stabbing him over and over like we were Norman Bates after too many cups of coffee, but Jonathan was still amped from a brutal night of carving pumpkins! Continue reading “The Pumpkin Karver (2006)”

All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

Perhaps All Hallows’ Eve was meant to be the ultimate meta experience for fans of trashy low budget horror movies. Is there any greater commentary on the genre than making a bad horror movie about a woman who is sitting at home watching bad horror movies? Or maybe writer and director Damien Leone had a couple of cheesy short films he previously shot and just repurposed that footage to make a feature length film. Continue reading “All Hallows’ Eve (2013)”