Hack-O-Lantern (1988)

For those of us who grew up with Satanist grandfathers, Hack-O-Lantern really brings back memories. The fights with our square Christian parents, the assorted homicides, the ceremonies where hot babes were branded on their asses with our awesome logo, the sexing in the graveyard right on top of dead dudes and of course the strippers at the town Halloween party.

It was such a shame that mom had to kill our evil buzz by murdering gramps, but little did she know that he just went and transferred his dark soul to another grandson! That’s what you get for spending your time at the cemetery whining at your husband’s grave who we had to kill with a hammer instead of focusing on your Satanic studies, Mom! Continue reading “Hack-O-Lantern (1988)”

The Haunted Pumpkin of Sleepy Hollow (2003)

Much like the Headless Horsemen who headlines Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the venerable 19th Century classic of American literature is once again resurrected for a terrifyingly tepid and kid-friendly version that nevertheless manages to elicits some genuine scares. Chief among these nightmarish moments is the theme song “Sleepy Hollow” which plays during a montage of kids getting a haunted house ready. Its blatant attempt to channel Green Day is quite chilling. Continue reading “The Haunted Pumpkin of Sleepy Hollow (2003)”

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)”