More HORROR, Please!


I went grocery shopping on Thursday to get a jump on all the assholes getting ready for the “big storm” we are supposed to be having here in Seattle. But like a true Seattleite, this storm just couldn’t be bothered to be where it said it would. So I cooked chili and have a list of horror to watch and no storm. Not really. I mean, it’s windy. It’s grey. It’s been raining off and on for two days. But this is Seattle.

So, while my fella catches up with GLaDOS, I’ll give you a brand new list of horror movies. Movies I haven’t listed before! I’ve made a few lists of horror movies. I’ll link them here for you.

Since some awesome movies have come out in the past few years, and I have overlooked a few, I thought it was the right time for another list. Enjoy!

Lake Mungo, (2008) – I’m putting it first so you don’t miss it. This is by far the scariest film on the list. And I do NOT scare easy. If at all. This is a documentary style horror film that leaves you wondering if it really isn’t true after all. It makes Blair Witch look like the footage my mom found of our camping trip to Lake Tahoe in 1988. I don’t want to say anything else. If you see one of these movies, make it this one. You’ll be sorry in all the right ways.

From the Dark, (2014) – I put this in the “survive the night” category of horror movies. All they have to do is make it until the sun comes up. That’s all. A couple who has… car trouble… finds a creepy house to take shelter in. Stupid.

Antichrist, (2009) – All of Lars Von Trier’s films should be classified as horror. I’m just saying. But this one… THIS ONE! Let’s just say you haven’t seen a “couple in a cabin in the woods” movie like this one before. Known only as HE and SHE, the already terrifying Willem Dafoe, and the always in need of a hug or a valium Charlotte Gainsbourg play the couple. If you have the stomach for it, this is a fantastically horrifying film that even seasoned horror fans like myself had trouble sitting through. A fucked up movie. It’s violent. It’s gory. And again, it’s directed by Lars Von Trier.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, (2014)large_sgkw6ifftakwlqy2olfdq4ubxv0I love horror movies in black and white. Maybe it’s a sentimental thing, but every shadow is creepier in black and white. This movie takes place in the aptly named Bad City, where darkness, death and loneliness are your new neighbors. It’s also about a skateboarding vampire badass bitch. It’s an Iranian film written and directed by a woman named Ana Lily Amirpour

The Vanishing (Spoorloos, 1988) – This movie fucked me up for a few days. Psychological terror is worse than a guy with a knife any day. This movie deals with that feeling of needing to know… A woman is abducted from a truck stop. Years later, after dedicating his life to finding her, he receives a letter from her abductor. An utterly devastating movie.

Wolf Creek, (2005) – My favorite way to begin any movie: BASED ON TRUE EVENTS. Ah, yes… Backpackers on a road trip. Does it ever end well for them? Not onscreen. Without giving too much away, this one deals with three Australians in the outback who run into some trouble and go looking for help. This movie is disturbing and it feels like someone is breathing over your shoulder the entire time. You’ll hate every second as much as you love it. A remake is due out this year, but see this first!

Dead End, (2003) – As the title suggests a family makes a really bad decision on their way to a family Christmas dinner. This is low budget horror at its best. And that’s all I’ll say about it. I don’t want to give anything away.

The Bad Seed, (1956)bad-seed-1956-patty-mccormackAn oldie but a goodie. The original Kiddie Killer is still the creepiest. Played to perfection by a young Patty McCormack, Rhoda Penmark is the perfect little angel. Most of the time. She just gets real upset sometimes. Another movie in black and white, this 1950’s film breaks from the monsters of the time and gives us something far more horrifying: CHILDREN.

Grace, (2009) – Speaking of fucked up children, have you seen Grace? I guess this is more of a fucked up mom, but still. After a tragic accident kills her husband and unborn baby, Madeline Matheson insists on delivering the baby to term anyway. And as you might have guessed, this baby doesn’t want Mother’s Milk. It’s gross and disturbing and pretty much perfect for mom’s to be.

Bug, (2006) – I’m still pissed at my friend who told me to watch this. This movie messed me up for like… six years now? It stars Ashley Judd and the always frightening Michael Shannon as two lonely losers who find solace in each other and a shared delusion. It’s insane. It’s scary. I took a shower after.

15 Feminist Halloween Costumes!

Amelia-in-costume-flyingHalloween is just three days away and once again I am without a costume. Not to fear! There are plenty of places for a gal to purchase the necessary items for a last-minute Halloween costume. I stopped by the Value Village on my lunch break and found more than enough choices. I could be a sexy nurse, a sexy witch, a sexy cat, mouse or rabbit, or a sexy Goth chick… as if that’s even possible. I ended up with some cat ears and a tail. I’m just going to wear everything I own with a cat on it and be “The Crazy Cat Lady”. So not sexy.

For a DIY gal like myself, Halloween is the perfect time for me to put together something cool and original. But for those ladies who are not so inclined, Halloween can be a cruel reminder that being sexy is the most important thing in life. Store bought costumes for such mundane professions as “Cop” or “Nurse” all come with a pair of thigh-highs, booty shorts, and stiletto boots. Because everyone knows that it is way easier to catch bad guys, or help the sick while wearing high heels and no pants.

I’ve put together a list of costume ideas that are still cool and sexy, but hopefully have more creativity and imagination than your average store-bought variety. And your ass won’t get cold. Each choice comes with ideas on how to make this happen on the cheap.

  1. Amelia Earhart – All you need for this is a pair of tan slacks, brown boots, a white blouse and some goggles. A white scarf, wig and other accessories will help sell it, but they are not necessities. Those of you who want to go all out can use a cardboard box to make an airplane!
  2. Morticia Adams 71a64d2c8146fe32d43468c3177623faBefore there was such a thing as “Goth” there was the Addams. Of course Morticia is just a TV version of the great Vampira,but she isn’t so well-known so if you dress as Vampira, prepare to be called Morticia or Elvira all night. Morticia is a great choice though, and if you are going with a group you can do the whole creepy family. All you need is a long black dress (with sleeves) and a long black wig. Accessories such as a severed hand, a rose, long cigarette holder or a family member will help sell this look.
  3.  Ghost Buster, or Janine Melnitz – If you want to be a Ghost Buster all you need is a tan jump suit. You should be able to find one at a secondhand store. Next fashion a Proton Pack, and, since my boyfriend insists, you need a ghost trap. tumblr_mw2otrYszz1qmp5efo1_500To make these you can use a backpack, or paint a piece of cardboard and add some hoses. It just needs to give people an idea. It’s Halloween, not Cosplay. Now, if you want to be awesome, you go as Janine Melnitz from Ghost Busters. She was played by Annie Potts and is going to get you crazy point for creativity and originality. Get a red wig and cut it into a bob. Next, get a leopard print coat, some big plastic beads and a pair of glasses. It would help to walk around with the Ghost Busters.
  4. Ms. Marvel 531dd786ecf4bNo, not the hypersexy Ms. Marvel of the past, but the new Ms. Marvel. She’s been updated and she’s super hip, super cool, super…super, and sexy without being a gross stereotype. Kamala Khan is “a teenage Pakistani American from New Jersey with shapeshifting abilities, who discovers that she has Inhuman genes in the aftermath of the “Inhumanity” storyline and assumes the codename Ms. Marvel from her idol Carol Danvers.” (Wikipedia) All you need for this outfit is a black mask, (or old t-shirt cut into a mask)red tights or leggings, and a blue jersey knit dress. You can sew on a lightning bolt and add a red scarf and you are ready to save the world.
  5. Lydia Deetz (from Beetlejuice) – 9e420f480b2b9611674756888cd6afd9This one is sure to get you points for originality. All you need is a big black sun hat, a black blazer, and a long black dress. A stellar copy of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased would help. then do pale make up with dark eyes and some spiky bangs. If you are more ambitious, and have more money, go for the big red wedding dress. This is a popular idea in the Cosplay world, so you can actually find patterns for the red wedding dress and for the cover of the iconic handbook.
  6. The ladies of Mad Men – This is the perfect costume idea for a group of ladies going to a party together. Carrie, Charlotte and the gang are played out. These ladies are just as fashionable and more fun. Alone, these looks would just read as “60’s chick”. But together they spell out the whole story. Betty Draper, Joan Holloway, and even mousey Peggy and the glamorous 1a36799636c13dbb_ff178663-a8a8-298b-fbcd-867d4aa84525_Mad_Men_Stairs_Jon_Jessica_Elisabeth_January_Kiernan_Christina_1153_1182_V1.xxxlarge_2xMegan Draper are easy looks to achieve with the right accessories. Betty just needs an Aline dress and some pearls. Joan, a form-fitting dress, tight hair-do and heels. Peggy Olsen is conservative and should have on loafers. And that depends on what era you want to use. You can do 50’s, 60’s and even the 70’s! Have fun with it. 
  7. Suffragette – If you really want to go as a feminist this Halloween, then this is the look for you. Go to your local Goodwill or Value Village and find a high collared old timey dress. Or night-gown. If you sew, you can add details to help, if not there are places to find a costume dress that looks 19th century. Then all you need is a banner across your chest or a picket sign. And a hat. Those ladies loved hats.
  8. img_1910Frida Kahlo – First of all, yes you must do the eyebrows and the mustache. That is a deal breaker. There is nothing worse than a really pretty girl trying to be Frida Kahlo. The real Frida embraced her unique qualities and lived with them. So it needs to be part of your costume. And honestly, the eyebrows sell the look. Aside from that you need your hair slicked back, or in braids. You need flowers in your hair, a shawl, and about 40 necklaces, braclette and a big skirt. Done.
  9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – This one is all about props and accessories. Any Buffy fan will tell you she didn’t go anywhere without Mr. Pointy, her favorite stake. So you’ll need to make one of those. Next, you’ll want to try for an iconic Buffy look: Leather jacket, black slacks, jeans or red leather pants, tank top and hair back with bangs. You’ll need black boots and a cross around your neck. full_30102010218_1298118365You could also do a big pink prom dress, but you’ll need to make sure Mr. Pointy is always in hand.
  10. The Bride AKA Beatrix Kiddo, (Kill Bill) – This is easy. Get yourself a yellow track suit and a plastic samurai sword. You’ll need some yellow running shoes as well. If you are not blond you’ll need a long blond wig with straight bangs, Then spatter yourself with blood. Or soak yourself. It’s Tarantino and Halloween. Go crazy with the blood. The more the better. Soak it up.
  11. Agent Scully 86442-b1a60045dc8ced2a443097c43aad5192The hottest FBI Agent this side of Agent Mulder. Dana Scully is all about the black skirt suit and pumps. Add to that a red wig ( a must!) and make yourself a FBI badge. Extra accessories can include a flashlight, an outdated cell phone, trench coat and a gun.
  12. Pussy Riot – This is the easiest, the most timely, the most feminist and the most badass choice you can make. Extra points if you dress your daughter like this. grid-cell-28985-1413567743-5Gold star if your daughter asks to go as one of The Pussy Riot girls. These chicks define what it means to be a badass, and what it means to walk the walk. First you’ll need a stocking cap that covers your face. Now cut holes for eyes if there are none. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Next get some bright-colored tights and a (different) bright-colored jersey dress. Write some stuff on your arms in black marker and you are good to go.
  13. Xena Warrior Princess 2This one is a little harder to make at home, but there are plenty of places to buy a full Xena costume or accessories. What I would do is buy a brown corset and fashion a breast plate out of something. trial and error would have to come into play. Foil? Fabric? Who knows. For the skirt I would probably find a spartan skirt at a costume store and use that. Then add boots and make a Chakram by cutting a frisbee and painting it. I’d need a black wig and better abs, but that would ba a pretty convincing Xena Warrior Princess costume if you ask me.
  14. Princess Leia – So the trick here is to go with Leai from the first movie. That is “A New Hope”. You know, white dress, laser gun, cinnamon bun hair do. I was Princess Leia when I was a little kid and my brother was Darth Vader. My mom made the costumes. She made the Vader helment with a pair if sunglasses, an army helment and card stock. That’s how you do Halloween. Don’t go for the Gold Bikini look. 5959268c0bb885a28894d64af0bf0e12It’s played out, and the Cosplay chicks who do it, do it really well. So instead go for an easier, more comfortable and more iconic look. You’ll need a long white dress with a turtle neck. If you can’t do that, a long white dress with long white sleeves. Or a white bathrobe. White boots. A thick silver belt. you can make one of these if necessary. It’s a recognisable part of the look, so it should be there. And now, the hair. It’s a must. If you have long hair, you can actually do this with your hair. If not, the options are endless. Actual cinnamon buns. Ear muffs dyed and styled. Knit caps that have buns on the sides. Panty hose fashioned into a Leia’s Hair hat. Store bought Leia hair buns. They all exist. I promise.
  15. Mary Poppins – Who is more iconic than Mary Poppins? Nobody. If you get this look right nobody at the party will ask, “Who are you supposed to be?” keikolynnThey’ll know right away. The outfit is fairly simple. You’ll need a shin length black skirt and a button down white blouse. You’ll need white gloves, a scarf, and black boxy shoes or booties. Now for the accessories. These are important. Of course you’ll need an umbrella. A black umbrella. Next a black hat with daisies and flowers on it. You’ll need a big carpet bag and a little red bow-tie. Boom. Mary Poppins.

Scariest Books That Are Scary

scarystories1029291236With Halloween just around the corner, and me out of scary movies to recommend, I turn to the printed page. Scary books can be more frightening than any movie. Your imagination is a powerful weapon for fear. So, as the wind howls past your window on all Hallow’s Eve, why not curl up with one of these books, guaranteed to scare you worse than Tim Curry dressed up like a clown.

*As always, I do not put books, movies, anything on a list that I have not read/see/heard for myself. 

  1. The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty – You’ve seen the movie. It probably gave you nightmares. Well, the book is about one hundred times more frightening. I sat up one night and read it cover to cover. Shiver scale: 10
  2. Ghost Story, Peter Straub – Another well loved scary movie with a far scarier book. The idea of a group of old men sitting around telling horror stories doesn’t seem like much, but it is. Especially when those stories revolve around their real lives. Shiver Scale: 7
  3. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson – This book is terrifying. Instead of relying on horror and gore, Jackson uses her characters psyches and terrifying events to give big time chills. Written in 1959, it remains the best of the “Haunted House” novels out there. Shiver Scale: 8
  4. The Shining, Stephen King – I decided to only put ONE King novel on the list. It was hard to choose, but I went with a classic. There is no denying that this book is scary. It takes what you know from the movie and goes deeper. You might want to read this one with the lights on. Shiver Scale: 10
  5. The October Country, Ray Bradbury2013-08-15-octobercountryballantineorigJMI shouldn’t need to explain this one, but this book contains some really scary shit. The story “The Crowd” made me never want to get in a car again. Shiver Scale: 10
  6. Dawn, by Octavia Buter – I had the pleasure of meeting Octavia Butler when I worked at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. She was funny, clever, and beautiful. This book is all of those things. Except funny. It isn’t funny. Author Junet Diaz said, “This book still gives me nightmares and teaches you right quick that no trade is ever free.” Shiver Factor: 6
  7. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum – My five favorite words in the english language might be “Based on a true story.” This book is one of those. Stephen King calls this guy the scariest man in America, and he’s Stephen King! Shiver Factor: 8
  8. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis – Yes, the movie was good. But the book is awesome. It stands as one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read. Sure, the blood and violence are great, but the passages dedicated to Huey Lewis and the News are worth the cover price. Shiver Factor: 8
  9. Lord of the Flies, William Golding – Remembered mostly as a young adult classic, this novel still makes me cringe. For me, mob mentality is one of the scariest things in the world. Because it could totally happen. It HAS happened. Lord of the Flies reminds us that not all leaders should be followed.
  10. Bellefleur, Joyce Carol Oates – I know. I put JCO on just about every book list I make. But she’s awesome! And this book is regarded as one of her Masterpieces. It is haunting, disturbing, and scary as shit. It follows a family (as most of her books do) as it endures horror after horror. Shiver Factor: 10
  11. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Alvin Schwartz – The cover alone gave me nightmares for years. That deserves at least an honorable mention. The pictures in the original version of the book scared the pants off a generation of American kids. I’m going to pick up a copy of this for our upcoming camping trip. Camping is more fun with ghost stories! Shiver Factor: 7 Illustrations: 12

5 TIRED Halloween Costumes, and What to Wear Instead

Do you really want to be part of this group?

Do you really want to be part of this group?

We’ve all been there. You walk into a Halloween party and see an ocean of Jokers, a sea of “sexy devils”, and a smattering of pirates. Yawn. If you are going to take the time to get dressed up for Halloween, then do the rest of us a favor and at least try to be original. Here are the top five costumes I DON’T want to see this year and what to try instead.

  1. Khaleesi (from Game of Thrones) – Actually, anything from GoT. It is SO played out. Let’s leave that to the CosPlayers, shall we? My rule of thumb is: If you can buy it as a prepackaged costume, then don’t do it. You can be anything you want and you want to be the same thing as 100 other women? Boring. Every woman who thinks she has a great bod will try to rock this costume. INSTEAD: Go as Anne Boleyn… Holding her own Head! You still get to dress all medieval, but you’ll be original, scary, and worth the time.
  2. “Twerk” Miley Cyrus


    Twerk Miley is going to be this year’s Gangnam Style. Don’t do it. INSTEAD: Go as Zombie Hannah Montana. Miley is trying to kill “Hannah Montana” so why not help out?

  3. Downton Abbey – I love the show as much as the next guy, but loving the show doesn’t make it a good costume choice. Every time I’ve seen a “Downton Abbey” costume I’ve had to ask “Who are you?” For me, that is the sign of a Costume Fail. If your costume isn’t instantly recognizable – it doesn’t work. INSTEAD: Go as Mary Poppins. You still get to be British, you still get to be a maid, but with this outfit people will instantly recognize you. And you can pretend to fly.
  4. “Sexy” Anything

    Please. Don’t. Some things are not supposed to be sexy. Things like Elmo, food, Nemo, Alien, Ewoks, Smurfs, Big Bird… you get the point. INSTEAD: Be scary. Try being a slaughtered Smurf, or Psycho Big Bird. Be Alien or Nemo without being “sexy”. If you got your “costume” at Victoria’s Secret or a place called, you FAILED.

  5. Breaking Bad – Again, you’ll be one of ten dozen Walter Whites at the party. How cool. INSTEAD: Grab a buddy and go as “Faces of Meth“. One before, and one after. You could even make a cardboard frame for your faces. It’d be super cool, and way more creative and fun than a Hazmat costume.

The Scariest Ghost Movies of All Time

drag-me-to-hell-610x354It depresses me greatly to think about how far from scary Halloween has become. People don’t seem concerned about looking scary, or having a good scare. Halloween seems to be about sex and candy. Two things I am all for by the way, but Halloween should be scary. So, if you are planning a Halloween party, or you just want to get in the spirit of the holiday, try these oh so scary Ghost Stories.

Drag Me to Hell (2009) Sam Raimi excels at horror. He also excels at dark comedy. When you put those together you get classics like Army of Darkness, and this little gem. This is the story of a young loan officer who denies a really gross old lady a loan, and therefore gets gross old lady evicted from her home. Then gross old lady attacks Sweet Young Loan officer and puts a curse on her. The rest super fun so I won’t spoil it. But… there is a goat possession. That’s right. GOAT. POSSESSION.

The Others (2001) A fresh take on the Haunted House genre starring Nicole Kidman as a woman who lives in a huge house with her two weird kids who are sensitive to light. There are creepy caretakers, and odd nannies, and there are even cool, twisted memento mori photographs scattered about to keep the spooky vibe. I saw this in the theater when it came out and left happy. It’s a good one.

being possessed is hard work

being possessed is hard work

Amityville Horror (2005) I’m not usually a supporter of horror remakes, but in this case I’ll make an exception. The 70’s version just doesn’t stand the test of time. It’s hard to take a haunting seriously when James Brolin is brooding under six tons of facial hair. It’s much easier to take a haunting seriously when the unhappy ghosts want to inhabit the incredibly chiseled body of Ryan Reynolds.

Ghostbusters (1984) Ok, so Ghostbusters isn’t really scary. But, when I was ten years old seeing it on a big screen, it was pretty close. While it offers a few jumps and jolts, the most frightening parts of the film involve Rick Moranis trying to flirt, Zuul’s dogs, and a giant marshmallow man which terrorizes New York. It still holds up after all these years.

The Haunting (1963) I read The Haunting of Hill House in high school. I loved it. It was the first book that ever scared me. The book has been made into a movie more than once, but this is the best version. A doctor is researching the existence of ghosts in a really creepy old mansion that has a lurid history of death and insanity. The always amazing Julie Christie plays Nell – the young psychic who has a really hard time dealing with crazy.

The Shining (1980) the-shining-snow1The Grandfather of all ghost stories comes from the master of horror himself, Stephen King. Many people complain that the book is scarier than the movie. Whatever. Learn that film and literature are two different mediums, and that those two mediums work in two different ways. It’s like comparing apples to a steak. Anyway, Jack Nicholson is a writer with the worst case of writer’s block, like ever. He takes his family to The Overlook Lodge in order to work as the caretaker over the winter. Things start going spooky almost immediately. Look for Scatman Crothers as the Chef with the shining. Watch this together with Room 237 if you want to spend four hours in terror.

The Sixth Sense (1999) You all know the big secret of this movie, but knowing the secret doesn’t make the movie any less scary. Bruce Willis plays a shrink who is trying to help a cute little boy who thinks he sees ghosts. Angry ghosts. Mean ghosts. Ghosts who like opening cabinets… and not shutting them!

The Devil’s Backbone (2001) A movie directed by Guillermo Del Torro and produced by Pedro Almodovar is a movie worth seeing. Carlos is a twelve-year-old boy who stumbles upon an orphanage in the midst of the Spanish Civil war. He soon discovers the schools dark secrets, and its ghosts. This movie is awesome.

915852_originalThe Frighteners (1996) Long before Peter Jackson was gallivanting around New Zealand making gay hobbit porn, he made movies like this one. (And Dead Alive. And Meet the Feebles) Michael J. Fox plays a man who recently lost his family in a car accident. He soon discovers he can communicate with the dead and make a living as a phony paranormal expert. Not to be confused with a real paranormal expert. This is a pretty scary movie for young viewers, and the special effects are still pretty awesome.

Happy Slut-o-Ween!

The other day my boyfriend and I went to one of those pop up Halloween stores in hopes of finding inspiration for our first Halloween stateside in, for me, seven years. The first thing we saw was a “Sexy Cop” outfit. “Ugh,” I said as I rolled my eyes. “Why does every fucking costume for a woman have to be slutty? Why can’t we just be scary or funny?” My boyfriend told me to relax. This was not the first time I have complained about the social injustices of my favorite holiday.

We kept walking. We past slutty Elmo, sexy Chewbaca, sexy fairy, sexy taxi driver(!), slutty cat, dog, fish and rabbit, and of course the classic – sexy nurse. Finding zero inspiration among the prepackaged male fantasies I had to choose from, I tried to think of what I could use from my own closet. After seven Halloween’s in a country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween, I have gotten pretty good at make-shift costuming. It was then I remembered I had a French Maid outfit. The same one I had worn in High School, and again a few years ago in Prague. Sure it is totally unoriginal, but it’s easy and cheap. And I could always be a zombie French Maid, or a French Maid who’s had the shit knocked out of her once or twice. Perfect. I told my fella that I’d just use what I had at home and he said, “Wait. Why is a sexy nurse bad, and a French Maid is ok?”

A valid question with a simple answer. I walked him back over to the slutty cop outfit and said, “Have you ever seen a cop dressed like this? Nope. The French Maid outfit is naturally sexy. It isn’t contrived to be sexy – it just is. Nobody lowered the hem or changed it to make it sexy. The sexy Elmo, or nurse or whatever – is deliberate. There is nothing sexy about a taxi driver or Elmo. It’s just underwear pretending to be a costume. Lame.” Personally, I’d have more respect for a woman who wore lingerie and said she was dressed as a hooker. At least that’s honest.

What I hate about the sexist Halloween costume surge is the fact that we ladies buy into it. A long time ago Halloween wasn’t about showing cleavage or being sexy – it was about being scary. When did we all decide that being man candy for Halloween was a good idea? I’m happy to say that I grew out of it. The French Maid outfit is modest in comparison to some of the things I have seen packaged as a costume.

The difference between being sexy and being slutty is simple. A woman can be super sexy without showing her boobs, her ass, and everything else. Once you raise the hemlines, lower the neckline and put on fuck me heels (all at the same time) you have ventured into slutty. If that is the kind of attention you really want, then knock yourself out. Have a good time. Just know that EVERYONE at the party thinks you are a walking, talking cliché.

Happy Halloween!

10 Best Horror Villains

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I love Halloween! I love the candy, the decorations, the costumes, trick-or-treating, and pumpkins! I even love all the scary college girls dressed up as Hookers. It wouldn’t be the same without them. Who would the rest of us make fun of all night if dumb twenty somethings didn’t dress up like slutty cats, dogs, teachers, and Elmo’s? The point is that I love Halloween and all the fun stuff that comes along with it. And part of that fun stuff is horror movies 24/7.

Last year I gave you an awesome list of my personal favorite Halloween movies. This year I will give you my favorite Horror Villains. This list is near and dear to me. Halloween is supposed to be scary and fun. Methinks we have gotten away from that.The focus isn’t on scary anymore. The only costume options for little girls seem to be pink or sexy. Well, screw that. I want to be scared! Bring on the slashers and stalkers. Bring on the crazies and the zombies! Here is my inspirational list of 10 terrifying villains.

  1. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), Psycho – Mild mannered hotel clerk Norman Bates manages to scare the bejeezes out of me every time I watch this movie. I think it is a combination of his pervy “Peeping Tom” stuff combined with his hatred for women who take showers. The last scene in the movie says it all. 
  2. Michael Myers, Halloween – My personal favorite slasher is Mike Myers. I like his can do attitude. He is super strong, super stealthy and he doesn’t stop until he gets the job done. He escaped a mental institution and needs to kill Jamie Lee Curtis and an assortment of other high school babysitters including (but not limited to) one of my childhood heroes, PJ Soles. 
  3. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) Misery The phrase “I’m your biggest fan” has never been more frightening. Kathy Bates is the worst nurse since Nurse Ratched, who almost made this list herself. She’s sweet, inventive and most of all she’s 100% committed to reading. I like that in a murderer. And I believe half the credit here goes to James Caan who made us all feel just as tortured as he was. 
  4. Angela Baker (Felissa Rose) Sleepaway Camp – Judge, jury and executioner. This is one badass bitch. Kind of. I mean she was born a he, but raised as a girl and, well, it’s a really good back story and if you haven’t watched this classic 80’s slasher flick then just go do that now. It’s awesomness is vast my friends, vast. 
  5. “Leatheface”, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Speaking of making a suit out of skin… 
  6. “Bronson” (Tom Hardy) Bronson – This film is based on a real dude. He is the most notorious prisoner in the UK and earned the nickname “Bronson” because he likes killing people and kicking the crap out of them. If you haven’t seen this excellent film, then do so. But it is ULTRA VIOLENT, and ultra stylized which makes it ultra badass. Oh, and it includes my favorite sentence in all of cinema – BASED ON A TRUE STORY! 
  7. Mrs. Margaret White (Piper Laurie), Carrie – I never thought of Carrie herself as a villain. She was a victim of circumstance and totally bad parenting. The REAL villains in this film are John Travolta, PJ Soles (god bless her) and one Miss Piper Laurie who plays Carrie’s crazy mom. If you think your mom is nuts, then you’ll feel better after seeing Carrie. Dirty Pillows! 
  8. Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?– Bette Davis started out her career as the beautiful, young ingenue. She steadily made her way up through the ranks of Bitch and Villain until she finally made a full 180 with Badshit Crazy Super Bitch. Baby Jane Hudson is Bette Davis at her best. And, it didn’t hurt her performance that she hated Joan Crawford in real life either. 
  9. “Buffalo Bill”, (Ted Levine) The Silence Of The Lambs – You thought I was going to say Hannibal Lector, didn’t you? I know he gets all the glory, but Jamie “Buffalo Bill” Gumb is far more terrifying than the good Doctor. First off, he is still on the loose. Second, he kidnaps overweight women from parking lots. Third, he throws them in a ditch, kills them, and then skins them so he can make a woman suit. All he wants is to be pretty. I get that.
  10. “The Big Bad” The Cabin in the Woods – If you haven’t seen this, then I don’t want to ruin the fun. But all I can say is it IS fun. It’s a great movie that satisfies all your horror movie needs. I’m not even going to include a clip. Just watch it and have a fun time.

Ode to Linus

I have always felt a kinship to Linus Van Pelt. As a child I carried around a “blankie” and I sucked my thumb. Blankie would travel with me everywhere and I pity the fool who would try to take it from my tiny little hands. We were inseparable. But I don’t think the fact that I had a constant companion, or the fact that said companion was an inanimate object made me any less awesome. It is said that Linus coined the phrase “security blanket”. What is more awesome than that?

I think little Linus is the unsung hero of the Peanuts gang. Linus is undoubtedly an old soul. He is often dropping philosophy or theology on the gang leaving them stunned into silence, or reverence as the case may be. He has a blanket which he uses as costumes, a companion, hats, weapons, you name it. When Linus was being teased by a bully he fashioned his trusty blue blanket into a whip, snaps off a tree branch and tells the bully, “They never tease me more than once.”

The most important thing about Linus is obviously the invention of “The Great Pumpkin”. This kid invented his own shaman like being called “The Great Pumpkin” who would visit the most “sincere” pumpkin patch and bring gifts. Now, sit with that just for a second. He is the only person in the world that believes this, and in his description he uses the word “sincere”.  Linus is a man of faith and high morals. Linus understands what it means to be a believer. Linus likes Halloween, a lot.

So, Happy Halloween Linus. And may the Great Pumpkin finally rise out of the pumpkin patch and bring toys to you, and all of the other boys and girls in the world. 

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love to play dress up and I love candy, so it is a natural fit. I appreciate Halloween because it doesn’t play into any highfalutin messages about making the world a better place, or loving your fellow man. Halloween doesn’t ask you to be a better person for a month and then go back to your evil ways. It doesn’t tell you that baby Jesus is cool and you should celebrate his birthday or tell you to go kill a turkey in order to be grateful for what you have. No. Halloween asks only a simple thing from you: Have fun.

Being in Prague for Halloween has always been a little different. First and foremost, they don’t celebrate it here. Not really. Kids don’t go trick or treating here and you will be hard pressed to find a little family of Jack O’ Lanterns burning brightly on someones porch – unless that someone is an expat. The expat community here bands together at this time of year to bring Halloween traditions overseas. There are drunkin’ parties to go to, monster mashes and the streets are lined with slutty cats, nurses and fairies – just like at home.

This was my second year teaching preschool in Prague at Halloween time. It’s always a blast to see the little people in their makeshift costumes knocking on doors asking for candy. Or, in the case of my preschool, knocking on the neighboring businesses doors which just so happen to be a Vet and a Dentist. My boss supplies them with candy and the kids run in and scream at them. It’s actually pretty awesome.  It brings a little smile to my face knowing that I helped a little kid find the joy of Halloween. These kids don’t have the Target commercials asking them what they will be. They don’t have isles of Halloween candy begging to be eaten. They don’t have Halloween. But, the kids at my school do. Or at least a little version of it. They get some sweets, a mask and they have fun. And that’s all that really matters.

Boo! 25 Best Movies for Halloween

Here is a list of what I consider to be the 25 BEST films to watch at this SPOOKY time of year. As always, I try to put together an original list, a list with some films that you haven’t seen, and I promise there will not be a “Nightmare on Elm Street” or a “The Ring” in the bunch. So, to all of my readers – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

  1. Halloween – The best slasher film of all time. A classic and still scary.
  2. The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown – He will come. He will!
  3. The House of the Devil – My favorite new horror movie. It has great pace, satanic rituals and lots of blood. It’s a throw back to the 70’s when horror was actually good and not Asian kids with creepy make up popping out of closets.
  4. House of Wax – I could have picked just about any of Mr. Prices great horror films, but this has always been my favorite. And I gotta say, Paris Hiltons death scene in the remake is pretty damned cool.
  5. Die! Die! My Darling! – OK. Not the best film ever, but MAN OH MAN do you get the best religious fanatic ever on screen. A Hammer classic and an all time favorite of mine.
  6. Rosemary’s Baby – No, I don’t have a thing for satanic cults, just for awesome movies. And this is one.
  7. April Fools Day – I know, not really a “Halloween” movie, but so much fun. And full of 1980’s sex and violence.
  8. Dawn of the Dead (both versions) – It’s rare that I’ll actually like a remake, but this is an exception. But, always, always Romero.
  9. Texas Chain Saw Massacre – Duh. It doesn’t get fucking creepier than this movie. Seriously. the music alone. Too much fun! And, don’t bother with the remake.
  10. The Descent – Everything works here. Bad ass chicks. Bad situations. And… well, just watch it.
  11. Dead Alive – And you though your mom was crazy…
  12. The Exorcist – Back when making little kids scary was new, and actually scary.
  13. The Thing – Still one of the scariest movies of all time.
  14. The Nightmare Before Christmas – Thanks for being born Tim Burton.
  15. Fright Night – My favorite vampire movie of the 80’s. Still awesome. I hear they are remaking this and I am not pleased.
  16. Drag Me to Hell – Putting Army of Darkness on this list was just too easy, so watch this fun and cool movie by Sam Rami.
  17. Freaks – If you haven’t seen this, um, sorry.
  18. Blue Velvet – I made a friend of mine watch this one Halloween. I think she’s still mad at me.
  19. Pan’s Labyrinth – How freaking cool is this movie!? Awesome monsters, smart characters and a bad guy who is human.
  20. Near Dark – Best Vampire movie ever. EVER. And please note that the director is the same woman who directed The Hurt Locker.
  21. An American Werewolf in London – The Nazi Muppet scene alone.
  22. Wicker Man – Another movie with slow, great pacing and an ending that is more famous than the 6th sense.
  23. The Sixth Sense – I’m still not telling.
  24. The Shining – Here’s Johnny!
  25. The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Halloween just wouldn’t be complete with out a little Tim Curry in drag. Y U M.