This could quite likely be the night when we get our first frost or freeze ... though I suspect we'll get a glancing blow or light frost, I think the hard freeze is at least a few days off. So, for now, we still have the towering Castors in the garden, late blooming Toad Lilies and valiant mallows, morning glories, calendulas and other annuals still hanging in there. Amazingly, a lot are still blooming though the garden is clearly in definite decline ... just in time for Halloween.
Time for the bones and tombstones to take over the front bed ... the porch soon to be transformed into Grizelda the witch's lair, along with her ghostly entourage ... yep, we have a lot of work to do and have barely begun! At least we have all the candy and toys stocked and ready to go next week!
Oh, and Pepa has a new costume this year ... after a good 10 years of mostly being a Devil Dog (and sometimes a bumble bee), she's finally got some new spooky threads that she actually seems to enjoy. Though you can't tell in this picture, it's a body length skeleton shirt of sorts ... kind of like a doggie onesie? Anyway, she took to this immediately, since it's more like a cuddly t-shirt than a costume. Cool! And she glows in the dark as well, hehe. And the full moon is today ... hmm.... with it getting cold and windy, it's feeling like the season is truly upon us! I'll have more pics of the decorations as they are installed, so check back soon.
Film programming suggestions we've seen recently and recommend!
The Devil Rides Out -- a 1968 Hammer production with the stellar Christopher Lee fighting nasty Satanists who want to baptize a few of his friends into the dark arts ... it's a good one! Atmospheric and effective, with a great screenplay by Richard Matheson (see below).
The Legend of Hell House -- the 1973 and only (I hope) adaptation of Richard Matheson's Hell House, scripted by the author himself. I bet you're familiar with his work, even if the name is not familiar ... he wrote many classic Twilight Zone episodes, numerous screenplays (including the above title!) A tale somewhat reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting (so inferiorly remade a few years ago, wasting the talents of Catherine Zita Jones, Lili Taylor and Liam Neeson among others), it truly stands on its own in my esteem. And I was a huge fan of the book when I was a teenager (and Matheson in general too) ... it's an extremely literate --and yes, psychologically scary-- (read boring for the less patient modern audience) haunting tale well worth the effort of seeking out and viewing.
For that matter, the original Robert Wise version of The Haunting linked above is one of those haunted house stories that still gives me the shivers decades later. If you've never seen it, turn the lights down low and get ready for some real chills. Interesting lesbian character portrayal for the era too (1963), and Claire Bloom sure seems to love vamping it up as "Theo." I can't recommend this film highly enough ... that abomination remake probably had Shirley Jackson spinning wherever she is these days ....
For fans of the legendary William Castle, TCM recently broadcast an evening of his classics, one of which, Homicidal, I'd never heard of, nor seen ... so that was a real treat, though not quite on the par with his classics The House on Haunted Hill and my all time favorite, The Tingler. It is one to check out if you see it pop up on some late night schedule and unlike most Castle productions, managed to keep us guessing till almost the end of the film. Some see it as a blatant rip off of Psycho, and it does share some details, but it's still a fun, schlocky ride, as only William Castle could do them. I could go on for hours about his films (one of my many guilty pleasures), but I'll spare you for now.
One closing note for David Lynch and Twin Peaks fans out there (you know who you are!). Finally, this 30 October, the "Definitive Gold Box Edition" of the entire series, including the elusive pilot episode (and European version), is being released on DVD. Now, if you're a fan of the Peaks, I'm sure this is exciting news (I've had mine pre-ordered for over a month now, hehe). If you're not, but are open to discovering one of the most innovative and unique oddball soap operas to ever hit the prime time airwaves, you should at least see if this shows up in your local video store. (There's enough of a cult following and legend built up about this series that even FM's local video store might have it. After all he does live in a college town, no?) It also appears that they've included lots of goodies in this 10 disc set, so I'm going to be enjoying this one for a good, long while when it arrives. We used to countdown to Halloween by viewing one episode of Twin Peaks per night up until the big day, but this year decided we'd have to delay it due to the new set. Who knows? We may be marking advent this year by watching David Lynch's work instead ... damned secular liberals that we are.
More Halloween soon ...
Update 30 October, 2007: still barely a light frost and no freeze yet. First Halloween in many years this hasn't happened, to my memory.