Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Get Smart: Weekend Vampire (1965)

CONTROL agents are being found murdered with mysterious puncture marks on their necks, leading to speculation that they are being killed by a vampire. The murders are only committed on weekends and the papers speculate that a "weekend vampire" is behind them. The investigation leads Max and 99 to the spooky castle of Dr. Drago. Drago is a disgruntled former CONTROL scientist, who was dismissed for "unauthorized experiments." Max and 99 disguise themselves as newlyweds to get into the house and discover the secret of Drago's coffin. (Synopsis from wouldyoubelieve.com) Originally aired December 18, 1965.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Halloween Party (1953)

An educational film about Halloween decoration and costume ideas from 1953.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Update

During the past week, I've tried to update some of the video links that had disappeared from YouTube or other sites.  Despite the fact that I'm not able to post regularly on this blog like I used to, I know many people still enjoy looking at the old posts, and I want to at least keep the old links active.  I hope this blog helps you get your fill of Halloween throughout the year.  Thanks for visiting!

The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (1930)

The story for this short was borrowed 15 years later for "If a Body Meets a Body," starring The Three Stooges.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween 1982

Halloween 1982 was a big event for me.  I was 6 years old at the time and obsessed with The Incredible Hulk.  The previous summer was mostly spent running around the yard with cut-off shorts and no shirt, roaring menacingly at my sister.  But I was small, white, and blond.  Although I sometimes forgot this fact when I was truly in character, it was very embarassing when my dad had his video camera zoomed in on me, knowing that I didn't look anything like Lou Ferrigno.  In fact, one particular video shows me running in front of the camera and, in my best Hulk voice, pausing to offer this explanation to the audience: "I'm not painted green because I didn't have time!"
 

But that Halloween, I didn't want to make excuses anymore.  I wanted to BE The Hulk.  So, my mom found a black wig at the drug store and some green grease makeup.  I put on my cut-offs and a plaid shirt with rolled-up sleeves (with a green t-shirt underneath and wadded socks to make my biceps bulge).  And I had the best time that night, carrying my plastic pumpkin bucket, and flexing proudly for the video camera, allowing my dad to zoom in all he wanted.

Looking back at the video, I was still a pretty underwhelming Hulk; the makeup was uneven around my mouth, which just made me look dirty, and though my mom did her best to fix it, the shapeless wig looked like a ski cap.  But it was a special Halloween for me, one of my favorites, and I had a good night trick-or-treating with my older brother (the demon baseball player) and my younger sister (Tweety Bird).  Judging by the size of his treat bag, my brother was expecting a lot more candy than I was.





Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tricks! Treats! Gangway! (1975)

This year, the world will be celebrating Halloween without the author of Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Halloween Tree, and a host of other October tales as crisp and inviting as a mound of raked leaves.  While staying at a friend's family cabin last fall, I saw a stack of worn Reader's Digest magazines from the '70s on the nightstand.  The October 1975 issue contained a wonderful essay by Ray Bradbury, a memory from his childhood about preparing for his favorite holiday: the excitement of gathering corn-shucks, cutting pumpkins, threading orange and black streamers, putting in vampire fangs and fastening a cape to his shoulders; and the sadness of realizing Halloween had passed away until next year.  May this story kindle similar Halloween memories from your childhood.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Scholastic Book Club Flyer

Fall was a wonderful time to be in elementary school because it meant the Troll Book Fair was coming. I looked forward to getting the full-color newsprint flyers that announced its arrival and reading through the columns of tiny type and enticing pictures of book covers. (There are some great examples of Troll flyers from the 1980s on this blog.)  There were always several Halloween-themed books to get me through the season. A few books I remember ordering from the fair in the mid-80s were Bunnicula, by James Howe;

Arrow Book of Ghost Stories, by Nora Kramer;

and a set of Ghostbusters books that included 12 collector stickers: The Official Ghostbusters Training Manual and a storybook "featuring the Ugly Little Spud."
Checking the internet last month, I saw a current book fair flyer from Scholastic. It's the same type of flyer I remember from my childhood, filled with dozens of spooky selections to choose from.





Here are links to the rest of the book fair flyers for October, listed by grade level. Flyers for the older grades put less emphasis on Halloween and, therefore, seem a bit drab compared to those for elementary students.

Honeybee (Toddlers-Fours)

Firefly (PreK-K)

SeeSaw (K-Grade 1)

Lucky (Grades 2-3)

Arrow (Grades 4-6)

TAB (Grades 7 and up)